Do you have any Wrens in your family?
I’m not referring to the tiny, feathered variety in the garden but the indomitable ladies who joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Specifically, ladies who joined up between 1946 and 1981 and did their basic training at Training Depot Burghfield/HMTE Burghfield/HMTE Dauntless/HMS Dauntless/Reading.
Dauntless Divisional Photos is a nationwide project, in collaboration with the Association of Wrens, to gather divisional photographs and memories from those training days but also to reunite ladies with old friends, share anecdotes and relive exciting moments.
So if you, your mum, granny, aunt, godmother or even next door neighbour donned a blue suit and aimed for a life on the ocean wave, please get in touch on either firstname.lastname@example.org or 07765 435295/0771 990 9844.
Mandy Powell & Janette Crisp
Remembrance Sunday 2020
Westminster Embankment 2020
I hope Remembrance Sunday was marked by everyone in their own appropriate way this year, despite the cancellation of all organised events.
London was amazingly and rather eerily quiet in places, but there were a good few people strolling along Embankment, and taking an interest in the FAA memorial.
Alongside the Federation wreath, the FAAOA (Jamie Black) and Armourers (John McCarthy) also had local members in attendance with wreaths .
The three were placed individually at 1102, on completion of the 2 minute silence. Shortly afterwards a 4th was placed completely unannounced and without ceremony by a member of the public, who had lost an uncle (an Air Engineer) on Atlantic Conveyor in 1982 - a very nice addition on the day.
A small, unique (hopefully it won’t be the same next year!), but very good way of paying our respects, which keeps the annual tradition at the Embankment FAA memorial going.
On a different topic, there was some damage evident to the stonework at the base of the memorial, and I know this has been noted by others. It is clear that it was caused by a tractor-mower going too close, and being driven without sufficient care, which was really disappointing to see.
I have complained to the Westminster City Council Parks Manager for Embankment about the damage. He has responded very quickly, stating that it will be repaired, and that he will also speak with the contractor to ensure that all mower-drivers are re-briefed.
If the good news regarding vaccines continues, hopefully we will see a return to the full ceremony next year, with the memorial base restored to its former glory.
Fly Navy Federation
Lee on Solent 2020
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Fleet Air Arm Boys
Please see below details about a new book, Fleet Air Arm Boys Volume 1, which is due out in October, but available to pre-order through the Navy Wings store now.
Some previous marketing emails have gone out from the author, stating that it is available from Grub St Publishing and Amazon, but he forgot to mention the Navy Wings store.
All association members will receive their 15% Navy Wings discount if they order through the Flight Store using the codes which can be supplied via email, just drop me a line on the Guest Book. It is definitely worthwhile ordering through the Store, rather than the proceeds going to Amazon (who really are doing ok at the moment anyway….!).
Volume 3 of the book will be about FAA helicopter operations, and the author, Steve Bond, is still interested in hearing from those who may have stories to contribute. I can forward his email address to individuals if required.
Dear fellow members of the Fly Navy Federation,
In these trying times, it is clear that a lot of the burden and worry is falling on the shoulders of the elderly. To be a bit more parochial and in the finest traditions of the Fleet Air Arm (and also now very much in line with the latest government request for volunteers, answered by over 400,000 people in 24 hours!), I wonder if some of you might consider picking up the phone on the odd occasion whilst we are all sitting at home under lockdown. A simple 5 minute phone call and bit of banter with a fellow member of your own Association might be all it needs to lift their spirits. Time to gather round our shipmates perhaps?
Cdre Jock Alexander OBE MA FRAeS
Discounted Tube Travel
If you live in London or are an infrequent visitor like me then you probably have an Oyster Card. My spies tell me that you can get a third off, offpeak fares if you also have a forces (coming to a pensioner near you) or Senior Railcard. You have to apply at a ticket office as this cannot be done online. Presume the new Veterans Railcard will be included in the scheme.
Take Off in Portsmouth Harbour
Midland Metocs Mini Reunion
Meeting at Grange Farm Pub, Oadby, Leicester on 23rd Nov.2019, organised by Ash Price.
Radio sonde 2017 style
Here we have a video of a container ship, a big brutish, frankly ugly container ship. She is westbound from Liverpool to Halifax NS and enroute launches radiosondes. Have a look at the video from 4:09 onwards to see how they receive weather information and generate their own. How easy it is now!
David Strike Diving in Australia
Those who know me will know that I dabble a little in Model Railways.
Whilst looking for suitable vehicles I came across this model of a Bedford Tilley and so memories of transport to and from the Tower
and other such journeys sprang to mind. Would anyone like a model section on the Website?
Latest finds are two Pussers Landrovers, a long wheelbase Station Wagon and a Short Wheelbase varient that were often found on the carriers.
Military ID Cards Now Available To Veterans
Some veterans will automatically be given one of the new cards, with all former personnel being able to apply for one by the end of 2019.
The publishers, Air Britain, are a charity who specialise in publishing books that keep important niche information alive. Both they and Navy Wings want to make it as accessible as possible, so there is a special price exclusive to Fleet Air Arm Association members.
The RRP is £44.75, but the FAAA member’s price is just £34.95 if they enter a code at checkout. If you have not received an email with the code then contact the Secretary.
Forces Discount Card
Your discount card to flash wherever you go. Only £4.99 for five years so why not apply today for all year round discount opportunity?
Bungy will be parading the Bude Royal Naval Association Standard again this year as he works towards 30 years as a Standard Bearer.
From Brian Gleeson
In early June Denise and I went to southern Norway with Fred Olsen cruises on Black Watch to 03005 (very windy and boring) then Bergen, Flam and Olden all fabulous we had a great time with beautiful weather and more importantly the free drinks package !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our final cabin bill for the trip being. £25
Never happen again I’m sure !!
On the next table to us in the dining room we met former Met Wren Barbara Spraggs as was (she apparently was one of the famous/infamous Halfa bunnies in 1965 !! Just had to have a piccy.
Such a strange world and life is so strange at times.
And it wouldn't be pusser without one in the Nozz ones
Brian features on this page and also the Remembrance page as a Standard Bearer.
Dining with Divers
On the face of it the book, Dining with Divers has little to do with Cloud Observers however, one of the divers and co author of the book is non other than David Strike.
David had an interesting career as a Stoker then diver before training in Met. I served with David on HMS Albion 68-69 Far East Commission.
David continues to dive to this day, tells a good yarn and is a bit of a celebrity down in OZ where he is based and elsewhere.
Dining with Divers Second Helping
One of technical diving's acknowledged pioneers and a leading force in bringing about its widespread acceptance and growth, Captain Bret Gilliam - as the opening contributor to Volume Two of, 'Dining With Divers: A Taste For Adventure' - describes memorable encounters with humpback whales before sharing a recipe taught to him by:
"... an old lobsterman who was legendary for his skills, who taught me the proper way to cook lobster “shore bake” style. ....
"His counsel proved wise in all regards and I still cannot imagine a better way to eat lobster than on the beach in Maine with butter running down your arms and a pile of shell litter accumulating at your feet. "
Just one of the many great stories and equally satisfying recipes and meal ideas in the newly-published, 'Dining With Divers: A Taste For Adventure', compiled by Simon Pridmore and myself and now available through Amazon stores worldwide.
The ideal Christmas gift for divers, non-divers, and everyone who appreciates a good story and a good meal in sparkling company, hard-copies and e-book versions of both books are now available through Amazon stores
Shipping Areas Quiz's
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Ashley Price has set up a Facebook Group for all Midlands Metocs. Looking to add a few more members. Click on the picture to visit the page.
Yes folks Steve Howard is off on his travels again. As part of his preparation he has rebuilt his Travel Blog. For those of you who are not up to speed with Blogs, why should you be? A Blog is a techy term for a website that has pages as paragraphs but also contains pictures, links and videos. In other words its an electronic book or story thats been americanised!
Anyway just click on the banner above to visit Steve's Blog (website) where you can read about his trips to the US of A and Turkey. There are lots of photographs and videos taken by Steve and Rosina to keep you entertained and informed.
You will also be able to follow the intrepid pair on their current travels.
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