Ray Hodgson sadly passed away today (28 May 2017)
Remembrance Day Ceremony 2016
As they did last year, the BBC covered the RAF marching past until it was our turn, then they switched away to a Sophie Raworth interview.
Fortunately, as we were only about 10 yards away, we had a good view and they did catch a glimpse of some of us including a good picture of Tim Hutchinson and Ken Parkin.
Afterwards we repaired to Dom Pico's on the South Bank for an excellent repast and some lovely Portuguese Pivo. I would like to add a small tribute to the so-called 'Poppy Cabs' who during the day, ferry those involved in the Remembrance Day ceremony to their destination free of charge. They do this as a sign of respect for those fallen and injured during the numerous conflicts we have been involved in. Their warm-hearted gesture is much appreciated by all. A very special thanks must also go to Brian Scott who, once again, did and excellent job in planning the Association's participation in this memorable and moving event. So see you next year. - Alan Robson (click image for photo gallery)
RAFLing Association Reunion 2016
Thursday evening was a 'Meet & Greet' evening with a very tasty buffet and copious amounts of wine and beer. That is always an enjoyable occasion when we meet up with friends, some of whom we may not have seen for years.
On Friday, our stalwart Chairman, George Bason, had arranged a coach ride to RAF Waddington where we had an interesting trip around the Heritage Centre which contains, among many other things, the reconstructed fuselage of a RAAF Lancaster Bomber which had crashed in Scotland in 1942. The staff were very knowledgeable and made excellent guides around the centre. We then repaired to the Officers' Mess for a buffet of seafood, samosas and liquid refreshment which was enjoyed by all. The afternoon was taken up with an extremely amusing lecture by FS Rob Forwood about how 51 Sqn were coping with their new 'Rivet Joint' airframe as well as the new arrangements for messing for the 'Formation Eating Team' as they are usually known. We only narrowly avoided bumping into another visiting contingent headed by the Defence Secretary, the Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP.
Saturday was a free day until the evening when we met up again for the Gala Dinner. The food was excellent as usual and once the disco started after the meal the dance floor was never empty with Brian and Irene Scott making the running and all joining in the most unusual version of the 'Macarena' that I or anyone for that matter had ever seen. There was a slightly amusing problem which may be noticed on the photographs in that the RAF Ensign was erected back to front but which the staff were unable to rectify as it had taken some time to put up in the first place. If anything, however it just added to the jollity of the evening.
On Sunday we were back in the coach again for a trip to the museums around the Ironbridge Gorge. Again there was a bit of a problem when George found out that the buses which should have been available to run people between the various museums were not running that day, but Colin, our sterling coach driver came to the rescue there.
Sunday evening was a farewell buffet, after which we retired to the lounge for a wee bit of imbibing, for those who could still find room for yet another pint of 'Old Speckled Hen' (or a pint of pickled eggs which I heard one of our number order, no names, no pack drill).
After breakfast on Monday it was time to say our farewells and wend our (very) weary way home, until the next time.
Thanks must go to the RAFLing Committee, mainly our illustrious President, Mike Hancock and indefatigable Chairman George Bason who pulled out all the stops to provide a most memorable weekend, They were ably assisted by our Membership Secretary Sue Hancock and our Treasurer Anne Robson who guarded our funds as if they were her own (take it from one who knows). The staff of the Marriott Hotel were also without exception friendly and helpful. The rooms were immaculate and the food could not have been bettered.
Mike and George are already making preparations for our reunion in 2017 which will almost certainly be held in Berlin. So book early to avoid disappointment.
This entertaining and informative book will appeal to anyone who grew up in the 1950s and 60s, and especially to those who have had any connection with the Armed Forces in the last 60 or so years. RAFling members will find much of its story comfortingly familiar.
The RAFLing Association is pleased to announce the long overdue addition of a brand new section to the website. Thanks to the sterling efforts of Alan Robson and contributions from various sources, mainly former Chinese Linguists, we have already populated this section with background information on the RAF Chinese Linguists, including some course photographs. We look forward to receiving lots more information about the various courses and also photos if available. Welcome on board guys!
(Please note that non-RAFLing Association members need to add 15% to the prices of all items).