Or Personal Recollections of Two Years Hard Labour
(Suggested by Bob Wilson)


A rather strange recollection . 

If I remember correctly ( unlikely)  Gez Goss occupied the bedspace directly opposite  moi' in room 6.
On our first evening at Halton , I recall apprentice goss climbing into bed dressed in his swimming trunks  !
I mused over this for some time,  sleeping fitfully on my l'essence du vomit feather pillow
( until I was lamp - posted by a raiding Flight )  - thinking - Do all Londoners go to bed in swimming gear ?
After listening in to various conversations days afterwards , I now deduced they were called " boxer shorts "
Since Y - Fronts were still hote' coiture in the east end of Sheffield , I had genuinely never seen or heard of them !
Considering this guy was now likely to be a boxer ? I thought it best not to broach the subject with him ...................

(Shef Lewis)

At St Athan (after leaving Halton) some Flt Sgt did something to
really p*ss me off. I can't remember who or why, but I do remember
what I did. Several times a day, I'd phone his extension and just say
'coco pops'. No idea why, but he was going demented by the end. Once
he actually screamed down the phone, "I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!!". I just
said, 'no you don't' and hung up.

Revenge comes in many guises!

(Jock Kerr)

A couple of incidents I remember at Halton.

I remember at York Flight changing our furniture for some new designs and all the old stuff had to be stacked outside. We decided that as it was old stuff we would save the taxpayer money and trash the wooden lockers ourselves. Unfortunately poor old plumpton caught us doing it and blew a fuse because they all had to be handed in as replaced items. I think we had to pay from our flight funds but I'm not really sure of the outcome.

I also remember 219 raiding our block as senior entry after an exchange of words between windows. This was in Comet. They targeted the 1st floor room where apparently the problem started!! How we laughed(and coughed) through the scouring powder mist that night and tried to patch up the broken windows. The enjoyable part was watching Taff Williams stop them coming up the stairs almost single handed using a broom stick. Hard headed boys those from 219.

Finishing it off there was an incident whereby we got our revenge on an LCA from junior entry who had  given us a rough time while he was in our block. He hid, we found him, in the toilet. We decided to shower him with buckets of water. Unfortunately someone dropped the steel bucket. Well he got concussion and we were called up in front of the CO. Again the outcome is a little cloudy , I think we were fined. Can anyone remember! 

(Keith Godden)

Oh yes I also remember sort of running / fast walking across the parade
square, not really looking where I was going, with PJ I think and ran
straight into Dave Appleton one of the Zepplin  Flight hard boys. He was
bent down trying to light a cigarette and our collision not only put his fag
out but wasted his tea all over his face......and I bloody survived !!
Maybe he was the "Hello Sprog" smack in the face guy I mentioned
earlier....and Paul Hogan "Borrowing" my only genuine Porn mag. Had to rely
on "Men Only" mags stolen from the paper boy outside the mess..
I also seem to remember getting thrown out of a strip joint in London with
someone, may have been PJ again, spent a lot of time with PJ I did...

(Steve Farmery)


On returning from a 36hr pass, I had gathered up my pile of washing from home and crammed it into my kit bag.  Hitched back up to Halton, and threw the contents of the bag into my locker.

The following morning, we left for workshops, I had forgotten to close my locker.

On returning to the block at lunchtime, I was summoned into Flt Lt Chews office.  The door closed, and there was Cpl Hogan holding a bra.. 

“OK Hovey, explain this one, we believe you have been stealing underwear from the WRAF blocks.  Now what have you got to say for yourself?” 

“Nothing, Sir, I have no idea where it came from, honest” 

“Bollocks, Hovey you little pervert, I found this in your locker you left open this morning – now where and when did you steal it?” 

“I didn’t, and I don’t know where it came from” I bleated.. 

“You could go to prison for this” explained the Chewmeister 

“ But I don’t know where it came from, honest. It’s not something I’m interested in, only if they’re full!!” 

“Don’t be funny with me laddie, we’re calling the snoops” 

“Look, I don’t know where it came from, but I only got back last night – dumped my washing and that was it, I have been home for the weekend…picked up me dhobi from home and came back here -  that’s all” 

“Right, you’re in the shit now…explain or suffer the consequences” 

“Hang on…I picked up my washing from home, off the chair, as my Mum had told me…………I wonder if I……..hang on, could I ring my Mum??” 

“She won’t stick up for you, she won’t believe her boy’s a pervert” shouted Hogan 

Chew picked up the phone.. 

“What’s your home number Hovey?” 

“Fareham, 0329 ***6 Sir” 

There was a pause as Chew dialled out…….” Hello, is that Mrs Hovey…..ah Mrs Hovey, we have your son here in the office after a little incident…there seems to be something in his locker that doesn’t belong to him…are you missing anything…………one of your bras???”


“I see, Mrs Hovey – it is one of yours….your son picked it up with his washing – I see, terribly sorry to bother you Mrs Hovey, YOU ARE LAUGHING RATHER LOUDLY Mrs Hovey…I shall get your son to ring you this evening after we have finished this enquiry……………thank you for that Mrs Hovey.. goodbye” 

“OK Hovey, get out of here,, ,take your mums underwear and hide it from the rest…….. 

AND DON’T DO IT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!”

( Ian Hovey )

I remember going home the first christmas with something like 9 pounds for
the whole holiday, pissed off, I couldn't buy a round. I remember fights I
had, sorry Colin and Paul. Also I remember a fight I was going to have with
Mick Carter and chickened out(thank goodness). I also remember coming back
from the pub in Wendover and dropping the nut on a 224 entry guy and finding
out the next day he was the station flyweight champion(geordie someone) He
was drunk at the time and I sobered up pretty fast the next day. He met me
in schools and decided(I think) that I wasn't worth bothering about. I
remember Mick Wright knicking a load of my LPs one weekend, no witness's of
course. I hated the first year there but luckily the friendships made all
the difference. Keith Bass sat on my bed looking through my record
collection, pulled out a T.rex single, broke it in two, and gave me fifty
pence to get some decent music. I always keep an eye on him when he comes to
my house now! I got on well with Hogan and he allowed Shep, Dick and me to
drive to Brum to see Norwich against Leeds in the cup. We were late getting
there and Leeds were already one up after five minutes. It turned out 5-0.
Oh happy days(sorry Dick). More to come later.

(Keith Godden)

I remember POK Plumpton, ex Spitfire pilot....or should have been, doing a
morning inspection and someone, might have been PJ or Steve Davis I think,
or maybe not. But in assembling his bed pack stuck some pieces of hardboard
in it but it still wasn't right. When POK got hold of it and threw it in the
air to show his disgust it came apart and the hardboard hit him in the
forehead. Doesn't sound so funny on the e mail but at the time it made us
larf and larf.

I also remember us getting raided by 219 entry and Steve Smyth was sat up in
bed watching the proceedings when one of the "Raiders" proceeded to have a
go at Steve. He went to hit him and missed, hitting the wall then stepped
back and kicked him, but missed again and smacked his foot on the bed frame.
He then hobbled off cursing and quoting the immortal words " That's taught
you a lesson sprog". I didn't larf much at that one....

Does anyone remember someone called Pancho ?? I definitely do !! Dentists
best friend from what I can remember!!

I remember getting a really exiting thump in the face on returning to our
block late one night preceded by the words "Hello Sprog". Oh how I larfed and larfed......

I remember someone called Popeye in the block getting a bucket of water
thrown on him when he was on the bog...........followed by the bucket..........

Oh for the gud ole days eh!

(Steve Farmery)


Some of my recollections started fading into the midst of time caused by self abuse, fear and copious amounts of alcohol but Mick Stelmach came to the rescue over a beer (or two) and the following has been agreed on.

My bedspace lay between Mick Wright & Rod Wallace and for some reason unknown to me, god and the fire department, they went through a phase of throwing lit matches at each other over the top of my bedspace. This was not too bad, as it gave me a wonderful fireworks display as I lay in my pit and any that fell short were quickly extinguished by me.

Unfortunately for me I fell asleep dreaming of bonfire night, sparklers and pretty fireworks exploding above my head. My dream started turning nasty as the bonfire collapsed and burning embers came flying at me, burning me and causing me a great deal of pain, so much so that the pain of my dream woke me.

As I lay there thinking what a terrible dream to have, I realized that my blanket was on fire and that a burning match had fallen short and set me alight, burning my neck and left ear. I shot out of bed and according to Mick Stelmach, I screamed the immortal words "Bastard,Bastard,Bastard".

The story doesn't end there - A few weeks later as I lay asleep in my normal comatose state on my pit, I heard the word "match" being discussed near my bed which brought me screaming out of my sleep "Bastards,Bastards,Bastards" (Being Welsh I have a limited vocabulary), only to find them discussing a football match. From that day I have a deep rooted fear of burning to death in my bed and also of being rogered to death as I sleep but that is another story.

I believe that that burning blanket destroyed my boyish good looks and left me the scarred and hideous creature that you see before you, that is if I was standing in front of you.

Have I told you about the time I used to develop 'fruity' photographs for
some of our colleagues when I was a member of the station photography club?
Did I tell you about the time that Steve Davies and others used to make
incendiary devices to set fire to the waste skips?

(Bob Wilson)