Is this a 'BINGO' Anniversary
Tomorrow on the nineteenth June we celebrate our sixtysixth Wedding Anniversary or in Bingo terms - all the sixes - Clickety Click. Yes my friends we can now look forward to the 67th providing all goes well.
Like everyone in life, married or not, we have had times both good and bad but for a while it has been the loveliest period we have had. No mortgage, children and Grandchildren all grown up, a nice little semi with nice neighbours. We can get about fairly well although we creak a little. Getting a new car on Wednesday so it can't be bad - can it?
I am now emulating Samuel Pepys with his catchphrase - 'And so to bed'.
Goodnight my dear friends. Back with you in a while.
Happy Birthday to you Roy - Hope you've had a great day. If it was as good as ours then you've enjoyed it.
Regards to all.
Yes indeed - those were the days -it wasn't all that warm in June up here in the Northwest but the sun was bright and we just ignored the weather anyway. We didn't even have a motor bike and it was a while before we got a honeymoon. We rented a 2up 2 down at first with an outside loo and just one cold water tap. Cooked on an old cottage range but at least we had electricity.
Did you really have £3-10-00 left after the stay at the pub? Lucky bugger!
Sorry for the late 'Congratulations' but I missed your post and have only just read it!!! There are many similarities between us that's separated by a decade.
It was 'Our' 56th on the 9th June. I too owned a BSA but it was only a 350 (B31) which I bought in 1957. Although not on Honeymoon I had to go to RAF Newton on a course which, of course, meant Nights out in Nottingham. The Flying Horse was one of our favourite bars and I remember it was just across the road from the Locarno (I think that was it's name) Ball room. Joe Loss and his Orchestra were the 'Regulars' their. I recall that Thursday nights were called 'Over 21's Night but referred to as 'Grab a Granny' night. Our first home wasn't 2 up and 2 down, it was a 1 up and another next door. We rented a flat above a Plumbers shop with one 'Living room/kitchen/Dining room' and a march across the landing to a Bedroom. Happy Days?????
Thanks for the congrats - I never had a motor bike but rode on the back of my brother's many times. In fact I came off one night when we'd been to Tarpoley to watch a mate of his box. There were roadworks on the opposite side of the road when we were going but all the signs and barriers etc must have been moved before we set off back. We hit a bump they'd left and I had just relaxed my grip with my knees, had my hands in my pockets and was sitting there quite relaxed. I sailed through the air still in the same position and our kid slowed down a little. I remember as I went through the air that I never even flinched and landed back on the pillion so softly that my brother didn't feel me land. I just grabbed hold again with my knees and sat there not bothering at all. Then he put his hand back and began to feel my leg. I said very calmly, 'Oy - what do you think you're doing?' and he said he was scared stiff that I was lying back in the roadway. I honestly hadn't been a bit worried - probably because it all happened so quickly and just said that he could have slowed down a bit earlier - miserable bugger. Didn't stop me going pillion riding though. Oddly enough I still trusted him.
The pinstripe suit with a 'Bum-freezer' jacket!!!! A Slim Jim tie and a Cut-away collar shirt. I could not bring myself to wear Winklepickers having seen the 'Ali Barba' effect, with the curled-up toes, seen on other people.
And, like you, my shoes have the strap which fastens with Velcro. We should form a club???? (lol) :)
Went to the Bar, got a Pint and as it was Packed and i could not see my Oppo. I walked upstairs to a small Bar,but he was not there either. Deciding to return down stairs Someone had spilled Beer on the Stair so i descended from top to bottom like "Eddie the Eagle".Not only did i take the skin from my hands ( Pint long gone ) but when i got to the bottom there was this Sludgyy Slime awaiting me. I was helped to my feet by someone asking the usual "Are you alright" Me and My now Two coloured light Grey suit and me limped to the Door and the Bouncer said " Leaving so Soon Sir". I muttere a reply and I limped back to my car and threw the Suit, Shirt Tie in the Bin and the Wife did try to bathe and clean up my hands.
When my Pal rang me and i related the Story, he said "Oh i never ever go Upstairs as it is too tricky on the Steps coming down."
However, the theme of 'Opening a new Bar' reminds of the time when the NAAFI club at Chipenham had been refurbished and it was 'Grand Opening Night'. (1961 - I think). There were 2 memorable events:
1. 'Flowers' Brewery put on Free beer for the first hour (OOPs). I think it was the introduction of the first ever Keg Beer.
2. The last train from Chipenham to Melksham was 12.35 am. (I was on a Fitters Course at the time). I dragged/ carried my mate to the station arriving at about 12.30 am. He was incapable and I was not far behind!!!. I sat him on a bench and told him I needed to go to the toilet and that he had to call me if he saw the train arriving. I recall sitting on the 'Bog' with my elbows on my knees and chin in my hands with my eyes closed (trying to stop the door from swaying in front of me). I realised that I had dozed off so jumped up quickly, did the business, washed my hands and ran out onto the platform where the Station Cleaner dropped his broom in shear surprise. It was daylight and I looked up at the station clock to see the hands at 08;20 am. I had been sat on the toilet for 5 minutes short 8 hrs!!!!!!!!!!! I caught the Milk Train back to camp and walked in the billet (It stank like brewery), went straight to the bed of my mate to give him a piece of my mind for not calling me. I pulled back the bedclothes to find him fully dressed, with even his tie in position and his shoes on.
He had been sick and looked dreadful so I just covered him up and left him. The standing joke at the time was, every time I went to the shower I was reminded that my A***** looked like a Dartboard and the Black and Blue marks on my Knees took weeks to disappear.
Sequel: I found out later that a couple of blokes from the camp noticed him sat on the bench and 'Kindly' helped him onto the train. He was burbling Toilet, Toilet, They told him he hadn't got time to go because the train was leaving. He was trying to tell them where I was - Bless Him.
When we left Leeds on a Sunday Night Train direct to Bristol ( The Devonian ) we had the Carriage to ourselves and got a Kip of Sorts. BUT when we reached Birmingham New Street it was like the Wild West. We had already pulled down the Blinds and tied our belts tightly around the door handles so they would not open but that did not stop the Matelots hammering on the doors and using some very choice language But the time we arrived at Bristol Temple Meads they were mostly asleep on the Corridor Floor.
One time when i called in the Main Stores one of the Lads said "We have just got Paperwork through to send a "Thorneycroft Lorry up to a Depot near Warrington Lancs. It is going up on Friday morning. Well even though it was the other side of the Penines i thought i would have a word with my Sergeant . I told him i was due a 48 Pass and he said he would sort it with the M.T. Lad. Following morning he said "It's O.K.and with the Lads on the Gate, just be there !2 Sharp"
I thought we would have been away earlier but..... I was at the Camp Gate with my Weekend Case (About Four Jazz Albums in) The RAF. Wagon Pulled up and i opened the Door. on the only seat was this Fat women and her Kid. The Cpl. Driver said "In the Back Lad" I should have called it a Draw there and then. He dropped the back down and there was not even wooden benches on the sides like the ones when we used to go playing Football away. So away we went up the Long and Winding Road. I was hanging on stood up for hours and there was only the Wheel arch to sit on. It was dark when we got to Warrington Town and he asked me where would i like dropping off. I said the Railway Station. by that time it was about 10p.m. and there was not a Train until after midnight . Got to Leeds ,Taxi and straight to Bed......... There is more to relate but i cant face it even though it's only been 60 odd years.
On my very first posting to RAF Dishforth drinking in the NAAFI was not a good expeience. We found the solution. The Station Mail Room used an 'Erk' to deliver mail to all the sections on camp. He had a bike that resembled the old Butcher's bike with a large fixed metal basket on the front. We found out where he 'Hid' it overnight. It was 'borrowed' regularly by the 4 Muskateers to go to Black Swan (Mucky Duck) in the local village. 1 in the basket. 1 on the crossbar, 1 on the saddle and the 4th stood on the back with his feet on the wheel spindle. It was a straightforward exercise getting their. but a very different experience getting back. The poor 'Erk' must have got the blame for the damage to his bike on more than one occasion. Ah - Happy days
L to R: Just another 'jolly.' Tprs. Geoff Stokes, John Hutchinson, ? Kellow & Cpl. Tony Belcher.
Sunday morning I was in no condition to move but had forced myself to go for breakfast - me and my mates had had a good night in the local village of Tilshead so I was very fragile. Our RSM came as he always did to my tent - I was always I/C the Orderly room tent with the best accomodation in the camp and said to look outside. I couldn't guess what he was talking about until he said - 'That bloody stripey thing - we've nicked it!' It seems our ancient creaking senior NCOs had drunk steadily all Saturday afternoon, evening, night and early morning and then commandeered a wagon, pinched the pony, put it in the wagon while pissed as farts.
When I asked where it was he started laughing and said - 'It's on top of Stonehenge, on the highest watchdyercallit - er lintel.' I couldn't believe it but he said they'd taken a photo of it and as they were coming away some official had said he'd called the police, they were all under arrest so they had to stay. I asked him what they had done so he said me they had told the bloke to Eff off. 'What did he do Bert? I asked. 'He effed off!' A few weeks later up at the Drill Hall he said 'Here kid. I told you we'd taken a photo of that pony thing - look.
Sure enough there, on top of the highest lintel of Stonehenge, looking rather forlorn, springs all over the place, was the practice pony. Somehow it looked as if it were gazing out over the landscape as if wishing it were free to gallop at random wherever it wanted. Wistful really. The odd thing was that there was a complete blackout on the incident. Not a mention of the National news or in any newspaper I saw. Shades of 'D' notices methinks. An odd tale but absolutely true. True to our word our mob did not paint it - Oldhamers always do one better!
Oddly enough I couldn't remember what we all called the practice polo pony until after I had posted the story. With it having been mounted on springs and being very mobile when mounted it had earned the nickname of 'The Rocking Horse' and whenever I've told the tale I always used the moniker. It generally brings a few laughs because I can put a lot of expression into my voice. One thing you pondered about was did you ever get it back? I don't know but it didn't reappear 'next door' during our two weeks camp.
We were at a place in Denmark called Vandel. The base Headquarters had a Rune Stone (A large circular stone resembling a Polo mint) Parked at it's entrance and sunk into a lawned area. It was Huge and must have weighed many tuns. It finished up at Wittering (home) having been flown their by Hercules. There was ,nearly, a diplomatic incident. It was flown back the next day. The Hercules loadmaster stated that he had been told it was a gift to the British from the Danes. How a detachment of drunken airmen could 'Move' the thing was a source of amazement to the Danish Airforce chaps. And the loadmaster must have been really convinced that the story given by these drunken airmen was valid, particularly since it was not listed on the Load Manifest.
I was always amazed at the 'Collection' of memorabilia littering the walls of the Crewroom including signs of Station Headquarters from a number of our European Allies.
This collection was 'Matched', if not bettered, by groundcrew at RAF Lyneham. I am reliably informed that, in it's Hayday, The crewroom had a shelf lined with large specimen jars holding 'Stools' of most of the then Royal Family. They were 'Recovered' from Long Haul Royal Flights. Labels on each jar stated the name, date, type of aircraft and the destination of the flight.
There was little danger if the pilot followed the strict method of attack. The guns were 'Harmonized' to fire at a specific distance from the target which meant, if fired correctly. the 'Ammo' would show very little 'Spread' on the target. The whole exercise was designed to get the pilots to 'Aquire' the target at the correct height, angle of attack and the correct distance to achieve the optimum result. There was one occasion when the cable was shot through and the banner lost out at sea.
This squadron during the war had been quite an item, but now had been downgraded to an auxiliary squadron.
We had Meteors and Vampire Jets which on a Weekend were flown by "Part Timers" one of the things they did was "Banner Target Practice" where a long off white piece of canvas with a Bullseye (?) in the middle. This Jet would take off and head away out to Sea over the Severn Estuary. He was followed by the other Planes. After some time we would see the Towing Jet coming back in and once he was over the Airfield he would release the Cable with the Banner on it. Our job was to drive out and collect the the Banner and cable, throw it all in the back of the Land Rover and quickly get off of the Runway before the rest came in to land. We would drive back to the Squadron Offices and lay out the Banner on the grass. I should say that each Plane , just for that day, had "Marked Ammo" so whoever put a Tracer bullet / Cannon had hit the Banner they would know. I can't recall if i imagined it or not , as was it was nearly 63 years ago, but i seem to remember the Pilot of the Towing Plane at one time waiting for "John Wayn" and Co.to land to administer and sharp Boll....ng as it seems a Cannon had gone through the tail of his Plane (Maybe Not)
Is This possible for a small Jet to have had one cannon through it's tail and return safely ?.
The problem for me was that on the one day my training squad was detailed to go to the ranges near Catterick I was poorly so had never even heard a gun go off and they don't sound like they do in films. When the wagon arrived at the ranges I was told to go to draw a rifle and ammo and to my horror I was given a massive wooden box filled with .303 rounds and a rifle and pointed to target number 7. One reason this stays in my mind is that Laurel I and Hardy made a film called Come in Number Seven about a boating lake and it ties up with what happened later..
I'd never fired a rifle so didn't know how to work the sights and with my long sightedness couldn't see the back sight at all. Just a fuzzy blob and when I asked for help I was just told that I knew and to stop farting about. The first practice was at 300 yards lying down. In spite of being laid flat the recoil nearly broke my shoulder and slid me back along the sand. I'd held the weapon correctly and stuffed a hankie in my shirt but even so I hurt like buggery. Another couple of shots accompanied by the waving of a pole with a black disc attached showed that I had missed and was about two feet farther back than when I had started.
I trailed back for another rifle to the armourers who were busy boiling out the barrels to decoke them but the second was just as bad. I grew to hate that black disc and wondered if there was another colour on the other side. My shoulder ached more and more and we trailed back and forth to different distances but to no avail. All my pleas were ignored as I banged away time and time again. Then fate took a hand and the rifle jammed halfway along a bullet. I tried a bit gingerly to free the bolt but it wouldn't shift so in line with what we had been told I pointed it at 45 degrees and held up my hand.
Oh Oh! Along came Captain Turner - an officer risen from the ranks so unfoolable if there is such a word. As always he was direct and less than complimentary. I told him what was amiss and he snarled 'Well unjam the bloody thing!' When I said it needed the armourers he snorted and grabbed it from me, knelt down and started knocking the wotsit out of it. I began to sidle away thinking if the bugger goes off I want to be well away. Some hopes. 'Carey get back here - stand there and don't bloody well move!'
At last the round flew out and Turner knelt, fired several rounds and lo and behold a white disc appeared. There were two sides to it! I was told to carry on but alas there were only two more hits. The butt party had just been sent some tea and the officer i/c had instructed that all the lads must get theirs first. Just as he was being handed his tea I hit the sand bank and a spray went into his tea. He'd just taken his hat off so it went all over his face and into his hair. The second hit was when I knocked the black disc off the end of the pole.
I knew without looking that standing behind me was Capt Turner who barked at me to stand up. As I did he pointed. 'D'you see that wagon Carey? Well you've got one minute to get on it and if you don't make it then you're bloody well walking back to camp.' I saluted and asked what should I do with the rifle. 'Leave it for a proper soldier. Now Eff Off. Oh and by the way - get in the back - you're not fit to ride in the cab.' Thanks a bunch. I thought. 'I nipped over to the wagon, a 15cwt Fordson and told the driver to just set off for a few yards till we were out of sight and then I could get out of the back and into the cab.
His reaction was 'No bloody way mate - if Turner says you're in the back then that's where you're riding.' No way would he change his mind so I sat among camouflage nets, jerry cans, tool boxes and god knows what else as we jolted out way back to camp. I had to wait until he drove to the main lorry park to get out for a bit of relief. All because a clown of an Orderly in the MI Room had ballsed up my jabs and laid me up for the day. Like they say 'Shit happens'!