(Produced by Bob Rodham)

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                                    Date           Precision                                               Event                                               Photographs                     information by
1934 July Until the 24th Entry passed out in July 1934 Halton had a magnificent military band, but  all the woodwind - flutes, piccolos, clarinets , oboes, and bassoons - disappeared with the 24th and Bandy Bartlett had to reorganise it as a brass band.  I was the 1st Trombone.   George Barker (29th)
1935 ? Puttees went out and collar and ties came in during our time 34/36   George Barker (29th)
? ? Puttees were discontinued   Alan Gordon (61st)
? ? The two part bed in which the bottom half slid under the top is called the Mac Donald, the legs which were held in place with a slotted gudgeon pin and cotter could be removed and brandished during raids - replaced by the angle iron and springs bed (1944).
(disputed by Jack) - Change to spring beds 1948
  Geoff Williams (53rd)
Alan White (46th)

Jack Frith (56th)

? ? The three biscuits were replaced by a single mattress.   Alan Gordon (61st)
1942 August 42 Apprentice pay rose from one shilling to one shilling and sixpence   Jack Wilcock (43rd)
1943 ? Polish Apprentices   Alan Gordon (61st)   
Alan White (46th)
1944 About evacuation to Cosford   Ray Dunn (47th)
1945 Correct Victory Parade London   Ray Dunn (47th)
1945 Correct
Festival of Remembrance - Albert Hall,
I recall the radio commentator expressing in wonder when Dickie Watson - drum major - sent the mace spinning up toward the lights and then caught it again!  The Army characters never dared do that.
  Ray Dunn (47th)
1947 ? Macdonald beds to sprung beds 1947 - 48   Graham Purdy (56th)
1948 January Forage cap replaced by Beret   John Yelland (58th)
1949 Before We had a round bolster instead of a pillow   Alan Gordon (61st)
1949 Before Pig-sticker bayonets   Alan Gordon (61st)
1949 Before Entries to Wings changed to Trades to Wings   Alan Gordon (61st)
1949 About Apprentice pay was 5 Shillings (25p), rising to 10 Shillings (50p). Upon reaching 17yrs 6months this went to 28 Shillings (1.40p) full airman's rate.   David Gibbings (62nd)
1949 September Pakistani Apprentices   Ernest Sutton (63rd)
1949 - 52 Correct The famous Beaufighter engine running classroom, on record as still in place in 1971 (Bil Taylors book ISBN 185780015x0)
Someone must know when it was built.
Who conceived and designed it?
What happened to it?
DG-030110-1.jpg (14314 bytes) David Gibbings (62nd)

Berets were being issued, the originals being serge wheel covers., the soft velvety variety quickly 
replaced them.
The old ‘Field Service cap was banned. These were known as ‘Foos’. It became a ‘Fizzer offense to 
wear one.

At some time during my stay at Halton, the band were picked up by the Air Commodore as ‘Scruffy’ on parade.
As they marched off, they played ‘Colonel Bogey’
Later the edict went out; Col Bogey and the ‘Brown bear’ were forbidden, because they were always played to or at somebody!

  David Gibbings (62nd)
1951 February Sea Hornet F Mk20, WE236, crashed close to the Airframe workshops, killing the pilot Lt Cdr Wilkes RN. The stricken aircraft passed close over the workshops, which were fully occupied at the time.  National Archive ref: 178/394 refers.

I was walking back to electrical workshops [from sick bay] when this aircraft clipped the hill.  He was heading straighrt for the airframe workshop when he must have realise where he was headed.  He pulled up a bit and crashed into the dump just the other side of the railway line.  I am told that the armoured seat back was wrapped around him and he was wrapped round the stick.  Someone may be able to confirm this.

  David Gibbings (62)




Alan Gordon (61st)


1950 May
1st F/S app was Elgey 57th 

This is disputed by Min Larkin who advises that the 
first F/S app was Bunny Warren of the 54th and also
that F/S John Manning was the 57th POP commander.

  Frank59th.jpg (1939 bytes)
Frank Haynes (59th)
1950 About Electricians were split into Elect Air and Elect Ground   Alan Gordon (61st)
1950 About 61st were guinea pigs and we wore one-piece denims as working dress   Alan Gordon (61st)
1950 About Burmese Apprentices   Alan Gordon (61st)
1950 Correct A Tornado passed across Halton   Graham Purdy (56th)
1950-51 ? Minimum service pay went up to 2 Pounds 9 Shillings   David Gibbings (62nd)
1950-51 ? A Tornado passed across Halton and features in the 62nd window.    David Gibbings (62nd)
1951 January Introduction of new trade stucture which introduced
Technician ranks
  John Yelland (58th)
1951 About Plastic coloured disk [red, blue yellow] behind our beret badge.   Alan Gordon (61st)
1951 1st February Sea Hornet F Mk20, WE236, crashed close to the Airframe workshops, killing the pilot Lt Cdr Wilkes RN. The stricken aircraft passed close over the workshops, which were fully occupied at the time.
National Archive ref: 178/394 refers.
  David Gibbings (62nd)
1952 After The first Queen's Colour   Alan Gordon (61st)
1952 After Normal pillow was issued.   Alan Gordon (61st)
1952 After Trades to Wings changed to Entries to Wings               Alan Gordon (61st)
1953 September When our Entry, THE 75th Arrived (All 373 of us!) it was realised that there wasn't enough accomodation in Three Wing to take us, so the old system of each wing having entries coming in a year apart  e.g. 1 wing had 68th, 71st and 74th,  Two Wing had 67th, 70th and 73rd and three wing had 69th , 72nd, and would have had the 75th.
So the 'Powers That Be' decided to move the 74th to Three Wing, and put the 75th in One Wing.
  Dave Howell (75)
1954 November

The 71st on Guy Fawkes night in 1954 made fireworks from aluminium powder. Sold lots of small ones for a penny each. Two large ones about a foot long and 3 inches diameter were kept as a finale. These were the highlight of the evening. We stood well back. The penny ones had a very short fuse in length and timing, so had to be thrown very quickly after lighting. 
The bonfire was near Main Point next to the tennis courts and Admin HQ.

  Bob Ward (77th)
1954/55 ? How the 71st remonstrated against pommed potatoes. That was cheese mixed with powdered spuds. They threw their pom against the wall of the small mess that was behind the Henderson mess. It was something that all the apprentices had been wanting to do for a long time. At last someone took notice and after words with those responsible of the 71st, the meals took on a more digestive appearance.   Bob Ward (77th)
1956 January All entries into all wings, (for example, In 3 Wing, Block 1 Room 6 where I was, we had two of each entry from the 75th to the 83rd/84th?).   Dave Howell (75th)
Rod Abbott (79th)
1959 After St Georges moved from Old Workshops
(Fire damage)

St. George's had to be relocated as the church had been destroyed in the fire along with the dance/concert hall. There was a door through to the dance hall from the Electrician's Bay in the workshops

BK-080110-1.jpg (33757 bytes) Bill Kelley (55th)
Tony Ridler (84th)


Bob Ward (77th)

1960 April The certificate was recently donated to the Trenchard Museum . In the 8T6th graduation photo the 30,000th apprentice to graduate (me), is second on the left in front row. BR-230512-1.jpg (20528 bytes)
BR-230512-2.jpg (36487 bytes)
Richard de Fraine (86)
1964 Mid 6 digit numbers are replace by a letter and 7 numbers    Les Garden (103)
1964 Mid Upside down Tech stripes are replaced.
(The demise of the tech stripes caused much upset and folklore goes that some J/Ts’ managed to wear them for a few years afterwards)
  Les Garden (103)
1964 Mid New trade structure announced   Les Garden (103)
1968 ? At some point in our last year (1968) "Staybright" buttons and cap badges were introduced.   Although it meant we could throw away our Duraglit and button-sticks they felt, looked and were, horrible, cheap replacements for proper brass.  We also saw the end of Blanko when we had to BUY nylon webbing belts for our pass out parade.   Adrian Small (208)
1969 early 'Civilian Apprentices Trained at Halton'

British Eagle apprentice finished their training at Halton after company goes into liquidation.

BR-1960's-14.jpg (157416 bytes) Paul Hardy (217)
1970 October Wooley pulley was first introduced with our entry 219th (+ mech & tech entries) We were issued green army issue ones as a major trial before it was adopted and produced in blue. As everyone else was in battledress we stood out like a sore thumb until other entries arrived. As it was a trial, anybody whose jumper laddered or ripped was not allowed a replacement with the result that after 6 months constant use/fighting etc some of the guys looked like tramps! After several months we were issued with the stable/staple (?) belts. Red one wing, Blue 2 wing and Yellow for 3 wing.   Ian Priestly (219)