AIR TRAINING CORPS, 1970

A Visit to RAF Shawbury & the Band Marching in Newhaven

By Andre Havard

I had a short sweet spell in the ATC in 1970; I got to fly in Chipmunk training planes (& did aerobatics), a Hercules Transporter and a glider. Great fun but I soon discovered that the discipline of military life wasn't for me.
The first pic is 1218 Squadron at RAF Shawbury, near Shrewsbury. Apart from the areobatics, we had lots of other activities, including a five-a-side football tournament against other squadrons (We lost the final), a drill competition which I tried to dodge by volunteering to make sandwiches - I failed.
We also went off base for excercises, including a night time operation against the Army cadets of Tern Hill. We had to defend an objective against attack by the Army (some of the people in this photo fell asleep while on watch, allowing the "enemy" to get through!). We built a raft to cross a river. Ours fell apart and Anthony Still's specs ended up at the bottom of the river, with us scrabbling around to retrieve them, and we had an orienteering excersise, where we were dropped off in the countryside and left to find our way back to base, mapping the surrounding area as we went. It was easy to get back - we just followed the planes as they came in to land!
We were aged around fourteen when this was taken - I doubt if kids of the same age today get the kind of freedom that we had, which is a shame - they are missing out on so much.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'AIR TRAINING CORPS, 1970' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'AIR TRAINING CORPS, 1970' page
This page was added by Andre Havard on 18/03/2012.
Comments about this page

I'll add a few names as soon as I get the chance, though there are many I've forgotten. The second photo was taken in Newhaven. The band are marching past the old Police Station Dacre Road, in the direction of the river, which is part of the one way system now.

By Andre Havard
On 18/03/2012

Top picture, L-R: Back Row: Me, Colin Bell, Anthony Still. I can't remember the rest of the back row until Stephen Kirkpatrick who is at the end. Front: Kev Sanders, ? ?, Maurice Brocklesby, ?, Colin Bell's Dad, Nigel Crouch, Gary Powers, ? ? Can anyone put names to faces?

By Andre Havard
On 02/04/2012

I think some of the back row, top picture, from where you left off Andre are, Brian Whitehouse, Peter Eaton ? (Sellwood maybe) ?, Tony Nunn. Two names missing from the front row right I seem to recall as Cadets Richardson and Heywood, and next to Kev Sanders Cadet Allcot perhaps?

By Andre too!
On 05/04/2012

A few of those names ring a bell - thanks! The only other Andre I know is Duchossoy - is that you?

By Andre Havard
On 06/04/2012

I was in 1218 SQD from 1946 until I went into the RAF to do my national service in 1952. Still have my log book and a few photos. Some names I remember; Ron Short, Vic Selwood, John Allery, & Laurie Patton. Had some great times and camps and had a 6 hour flight in a Lancaster from Bassingbourne. The HQ was a nissan hut attached to the RAF Air Sea Rescue unit and the billets were up the fort.

By Dave Brady
On 09/04/2012

The officer in the back row is me. I started the band around 1971 and all opf the instruments were donated by local people. A fine crew.

By Jack Patten
On 24/05/2012

Top picture next to me (Pete Eaton) is Bob Sellwood (the drum major in the picture of the band)  who was the CWO. In the front row next to Maurice is Guy Pearman (Flight Lieutenant).

By Peter Eaton
On 27/09/2013

Back row fourth from left is Brian Whitehouse.

By John Kingshott
On 08/08/2015

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