in the home of my maternal grandmother at 25 Bosworth
Manchester [M11 3AW] she
delivered the baby and nipped out
for ice creams etc. The house was
demolished in 2009 as part of a redevelopment.
1935 Our family home in
those days was 35 St.
Burnage, Manchester [M19 1EL]
1936 Aug. The family
21 Broadstone Rd,
Stockport, to take
over a beer-shop, the Long Pull, previously managed by paternal
until his death. My grandfather's funeral happened to be on my 1st
My brother Barrie
1939 - 1945 WWII, and my Dad
went into the R.A.F.
1940 September This
was the time
of The Battle of Britain, and
first days in school at Longford Road, Reddish, Stockport. There were
air-raid drills, and gas-masks for children and staff
Apparently diving under the desks would have protected us
September 27 Dad was
released from the R.A.F. to continue family life with Dora, Geoff and
line is reserved for
my first bike (crate,
grid-iron, ger-off-and-milk-it etc etc). A diety
named Hercules had something to do with its invention.
Due to a fall on broken glass while playing, I suffered a
to my writing-hand. An artery and tendons were
could go back in time to Stockport Infirmary and thank those good
people who eventually repaired the
damage. I remember I was treated at the time with
antibacterial tablets, forerunners of what we now recognise as
antibiotics which were a godsend for war wounded.
My brother Philip
1949 - 1952 Attended Stockport
"engineer". Students chose to specialise either as builders
or engineers and were streamed accordingly.
1952 Aug 30 (Saturday)
First flight of the Avro 698 (prototype Vulcan) at Woodford Aerodrome,
mentioned here for
reference as David Pearson and I had just 'graduated' from
into our respective
apprenticeships, David started as
apprentice at Woodford.
1952 - 1958
I enrolled as an apprentice
draughtsman at Craven Brothers
(Manchester) Ltd. We built very large machines for
metal cutting/and grinding.
six years included certification in mechanical engineering at
Stockport College. In those days the closest we got to a
degree/cap-and-gown, or even a 'reference' was advice from the
management to "Just tell 'em
where you're from lad !"
Aug 1958 - Aug 1960
Two years National Service in the Royal Air Force.
No.1 Radio School
I was trained to
based radars such as 'beam-approach'
which assisted pilots
about to land, forerunner of ILS.
Those 'radars' were namely : Eureka; Babs; and Tacan.
Coincidentally, in WWII my Dad who was an R.A.F. electrician,
the air-borne counterpart equipment known as Rebecca.
Digressing for a moment, it pleases me to know that the
'Detection and Location of Aircraft by Radio Methods'
was first considered by the Air Ministry in February 1935,
the year I was born.
[ BOFFIN, p.7, by Robert Hanbury Brown FRS. ISBN: 9781 9101 9317 4 ]
Postings to :-
1962 & 1965 Our sons
John and Tony were born.
R.A.F. Locking (No.1 Radio School); R.A.F. Middleton St.
George, Darlington (Fighter station);
R.A.F. Chaplains School (Anglican), Dowdeswell Court,
another airman's account of his time at R.A.F. Locking.
1959 Oct 17
and I were married at Reddish Green
Broadstone Road, Reddish, Stockport.
1976 Apr 30 Licensed as a
callsign : G4FAS
(the G = England, U.K.) On radio frequencies up to 29.7 MHz
metres wavelength) I met many
other 'radio-hams' in more than 100 countries, communicating mainly in
1961 - 1993
company, Woodford, Cheshire as a
design draughtsman, stayed there until retiring as a principal
engineer. Was involved in the
construction, modification and restoration of many
of aircraft, e.g. Anson [G-AHKX]; Shackleton; Vulcan; 748/ATP; Nimrod;
Handley Page]; VC10 [ex Vickers].
Over the years the company name went through a number of
a design; assembly; and
flight test facility, the Woodford site closed on
2011. (My old school friend David mentioned above became a one of
few weeks prior the above Shawbury event I had retired from Woodford on
so happened that a farewell tour of
Britain by Victor-tanker XH 672 had been arranged for the same day - -
- so together with friends and collegues I
enjoyed the sight of a very quiet fly-past as the plane skimmed fast
and low across the airfield and away - - - it
was as though 'someone up there’ knew that
I was about to 'clock-out' for the very last time.
Feb 25 One of my A.V.Roe, Woodford colleagues Humphrey
MSc, engineer, died aged 87.
a boy he attended Cheadle Hulme School.
1940, in the heat the of
Battle of Britain he joined the A.V.Roe company as a
draughtsman. He worked on Lancaster bomber development,
direction of Stuart Duncan-Davies.
was my immediate superior throughout the 1970s, during which time the
Woodford team converted HP Victor-bombers to
Victor-tankers. Those tankers were to play an important
role in the
Black-Buck operation which enabled the defeat of insurgents on the
Falkland Islands in 1982.