Sunday 3 June saw the usual intrepid bunch of Branch members (Doug Bradley, Michael Collins (Chairman), Dave Gilbert (Standard Bearer), Tom Harrison, Bill Houston (Secretary) and Roy Knox) heading North up to Amble to represent the Branch at the unveiling of the Memorial to the crew of the RAF Pinnace 1386 (from the then Marine Craft Unit at Amble) which capsized on 29 September 1969 outside Amble Harbour on the Pan Bush Shoal with Flt Lt Bell (Skipper), Cpl Ivil and SAC Benson (the two Wireless Operators) losing their lives. The remaining five crew members owe their lives to the heroic efforts of the Amble Lifeboat crews; local fishermen; the crew of the SAR helicopter from 202 Sqn at RAF Acklington and members from the nearest Royal Navy Diving Team.
The memorial plaque (located on The Green at Amble, the nearest point to the Pan Bus Shoal) was unveiled by Wg Cdr Brown from RAF Boulmer (supported by two Warrant Officers from the recently formed Trade Group 7 (the amalgam of the Air Traffic Control and Battle Management specialities)); two representatives from the Royal Navy Diving Team at HMS Faslane; current members of the Amble RNLI Lifeboat; RAF Air cadets; many members of the Marine Craft Association and their families and many members of the local fraternity . After the blessing of the memorial by the Vicar of Amble a Minutes silence was observed and this was followed by a violin recital and the laying of wreaths, one by the widow of Cpl Ivil. After the formalities were complete, refreshments were available in the Lifeboat Station nearby.
On the way home, the team felt it necessary to deploy to The Trap in North Broomhill to reflect upon the day’s events !!
COMMEMORATION OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN – 2017
Over 250 people packed into St Andrew’s Church in Newgate Street, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne for our annual Commemoration of the Battle of Britain on Sunday, 24 September 2017
In attendance were the Sheriff of Newcastle, Councillor David Down and Mrs Down, The Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear, Major Eric Ingram, the President of Newcastle Royal Air Forces Association, Air Commodore Ian Forster OBE, Wing Commander Tim Brown representing the Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Boulmer and Reverend (Squadron Leader) David Haslam, Royal Air Force Boulmer.
An Honour Guard of 24 personnel from Royal Air Force Boulmer represented the regular Royal Air Force; the Northumbrian Universities Air Squadron sent 14 of their personnel and there were 30 Cadets from the Air Training Corps present. Adding colour to the occasion were fifteen standard bearers from Royal Air Forces Association Branches and other ex-service organisations whilst the music for the event was provided the Band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
The Service of Thanksgiving was conducted by Squadron Leader Haslam and included readings by Wing Commander Brown and a young RAF officer.
Following the service, a buffet reception was hosted by the Branch.
Some photographs of the event appear in the ‘Photographs’ section.
The Branch Standard was paraded at the funeral of Branch members Tom Padgett.
The Northern Area Conference was held in Blackpool. Bill Houston attended as the Branch Delegate.
The annual ANZAC Parade was held at Chevington Ceremony and the fine weather contributed to the attendance of approximately 250 people. RAF Boulmer provided a Guard of honour and Wing Commander Taylor as reviewing officer. The cadets of 1801 Squadron ATC participated as did 14 RAFA and other association standards.
The ceremony was greatly enhanced by the four new flagpoles, donated by Northumberland County Council. As usual, the buffet reception was held at The Trap Inn.
The annual Celebration Dinner was held at Northern Rugby Club and enjoyed by all who attended. Music was provided by a small ensemble from the ATC Wing Band and a free cask of ale was donated by the chef, David Giles. Guest of Honour was the Area President, Air commodore Richard Corney, OBE, with Mrs Corney.
The Branch was represented at the Falklands Commemoration event held at the Jigsaw memorial, Killingworth. David Gilbert paraded the Branch Standard.
The Branch provided the only RAF representation at the Military Village event held on the Town Moor.