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Cloud Observers – Team

Cloud Observers Team

Behind all associations/organisations there has to be a team of people who make it happen. Cloud Observers is no different – listed below is your team with their particular jobs and a brief biographical statement on each.

Arthur Charles – Chair Jean Brenchley – Fund Raising & Facebook
Colin Brenchley – Web Master John Williams – Tot Bosun
Gill Charles – Secretary Peter Squibb – Reunions & Media
Dennis Benson – Treasurer Mairi Squibb – Reunions & Media


Colin Brenchley

Joined the Navy in 1964. After qualifying as a JNA(Met3) joined RNAS Portland then to sea on HMS Hermes for two consecutive commissions. FWOC Northwood served as a POA and returned as a CPOA. RNSOMO as a PO Instructor returning as a CPOA, Training Design (FONAC), HMS Intrepid and HMS Ark Royal. Final Draft to GCHQ leaving in 1988. Now living in Nottinghamshire with Jean. Colin has worked in Administration since leaving the Navy and is a Company Secretary for a PLC in Doncaster. With a passion for travel and photography, Colin has his own web site featuring his photographs on

Arthur Charles

Served from 1963 – 1985 retiring as a CPOA(Met). Served at RNAS Brawdy and RNAS Portland (twice), HMS Victorious, HMS Albion (twice), HMS Hermes, Northwood (FWOC, CTF, & Oc Centre), RNSOMO and GCHQ(twice). Married to Gill and living in the village of Long Bennington in Lincolnshire. Worked as a Manager in various aspects of logistics and operations for a number of warehousing and distribution companies for twenty years. In the last few years I have opted for a quieter life and become a country bus driver whilst still assisting companies, clubs and individuals on computer matters. I maintain a number of web sites including one aptly entitled

Jean Brenchley nee Jeffery

I joined the Wrens in January 1969. On completion of Met 3 course served at Culdrose Met Office until October 1970. Drafted to Northwood, where I married Colin, worked in CTF and the Oceanographic Section, until leaving as a Leading Wren in 1973.

I then became a carer for our disabled son for 16 years. During this time I was actively involved with charity work and fund raising for various local charities.

I started a second career in 1992 at Sheffield University training as a Nurse specialising in Learning Disabilities, retiring from the Health Service in 2009 through ill health. I am now involved with a local Children's Hospice.

Gill Charles nee Dobson

Served as a Wren Radio Operator (Morse) from 1968 – 1973, leaving as a PO Wren Radio Supervisor (M). Drafted to Mercury Northwood and Gibraltar, Gill met Arthur at Northwood whilst serving at Northwood for the first time. After marriage, trained as a lecturer in Further and Adult Education, teaching basic skills to adults and training prospective tutors. An interest in genealogy led to other research and occasional freelance writing which in turn has led to the biggest project to date – the history of the branch. Reading and music, particularly choral singing fill any spare moments I may have.

Dennis Benson

Disenchanted with life as a civilian and with a burning ambition to become a Meteorologist, I entered the Service in October 1964. Joining at Raleigh, then on to Seahawk before joining HMS President for four months. Then followed a two year stint in Singapore, six months at Osprey before joining HMS Bulwark and returning to the Far East. Apart form a year and a half on Ark Royal I spent most of the rest of my time at Northwood, leaving after twenty two years, as a POA(Met), in October 1986. Since then I have spent time as a driving instructor and a number of years in direct sales. Currently I am forecasting the weather for Weather Commerce and have settled in Hull with my daughter Alison.

John "Bungy"/"Tanky" Williams

I joined the Navy at Ganges in February 1963. After qualifying as a JNA (Met3) in the spring of 1964 I joined the cruiser HMS Tiger. That was followed by a stint at RNAS Brawdy then on to HMS Albion (twice) with a year at Northwood in between. There followed a further three year stint at Northwood (FWOC), a draft to HMS Ark Royal before returning to Northwood this time to FWOC then the Oc Centre. A job at Portland as Squadron Reggie at the Fleet Target Group before moving down to my final job at Culdrose as a PO Instructor, taking early retirement in 1985. Since leaving the Navy I have had a small bespoke picture framing business in Bude, Cornwall. I am Treasurer of the local British Legion and also a founder member and Standard Bearer of Bude RNA.

Peter Squibb

I joined the Royal Navy as a Junior Naval Airman in November 1962. After training went first to Brawdy then to Ark Royal, Culdrose, Brawdy, Northwood (ASWEPS), Culdrose, Northwood (WFWC), HMS Eagle and back to Northwood (FWC) for the last time. I Met and married Mairi, a WRNS Telephonist in 1973 and left the service as Leading Airman later that year. Have had a variety of jobs since and live on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire. I made contact with Colin and Arthur via the Service Pals web site a few years ago, and the rest, as they say, is history. Peter is the brain behind the puzzles and Travels With My Plotting Pens which can be found in the ‘Downloads’ section.

Mairi Squibb nee Bruce

The Scottish member of the team, who left the Outer Hebrides in July 1971 to join the Navy, did basic training at Dauntless for the obligatory four weeks then it was down to Culdrose for four weeks training as a Switchboard Operator. I was then posted to Northwood where I met Peter, left the service in December 1972; married January 1973. When Peter finished his time later that year we moved to Hampshire and settled in the small town of Fordingbridge which is just on the edge of the New Forest. Mairi is the creator of the majority of the powerpoint and video shows in the ‘Download’ section.