From Annie: My first memories of Rissi start from day 1. I was posted to Riss on May 10th 1966, arrived at Moreton-in-Marsh railway station, my first mistake, the transport was waiting at Kingham so had to wait. Arrived at Godfrey Payne block and was met by W/O Walker. She showed me to my room, told me to put my kit-bag on the floor, put a name badge on, which I might add was not me, and go across to the NAAFI and stand in line with the rest of the WRAF, in readiness for the Duchess of Glos. visit, not to worry as she would just look in and then go onto the Officers' Mess, not so, she did come in, came across to us WRAF, shook my hand and asked how I was enjoying being in the WRAF, blagged my way thro' and then she departed.
Unknown to me my photo was taken shaking her hand and sent on to my local newspaper back home. Imagine my mother's face, her daughter in the local rag shaking hands with royalty. I spent 4 years at Rissi, met lots of new people who became great friends, Annie York 2003; there is not enough thanks in the world for all your efforts in getting us together for such a memorable weekend. It is just unbelievable that after all these years there is still such a depth of feeling amongst all of us who served at Rissington.
There is no way to describe the feelings of fondness and camaraderie that was evident during our get together and Eileen and I cannot wait to experience that again. The memories of this weekend will stay forever fresh and you should be justifiably proud of the results of your hard work. The Oxford dictionary states Nostalgia as “yearning for the past events and circumstances” which is a wonderful way to describe a reunion. With excitement rising we all met again on Friday at the Union Jack Club for a marvelous weekend. Civilian life, marriage, children may have set us on a course far removed from those great days in service, however we hadn’t changed, a bit older yes, wiser yes, we had just taken rather long break.
So to the famous London Eye in itself a unique setting to say hello again, I doubt we much of London, too much talking, there is always another time to see the sights. So to the UJ for drinks, in true Rissi fashion, a reminisce to bring back those fond memories, how we treasure them, looking through treasured photo albums to remind us of those great days. Pip surprises me by returning an old dictionary after 35 years, what a piece of memorabilia, a wonderful gesture at least it left Rissi in Bill’s good hand, the bar closes in true military fashion, nothing changes there.
The final day, breakfast and morning coffee, it’s all gone too damned quick, a few more photos and sadly we start to drift home, unfortunately back to what is called the real world, but like so many ex’s we have an experience many have never had, we are the luck ones. A few tears, the lump in the throat, that’s the pleasure of friendship and NOSTALGIA. To us all who came from far and wide, good health and best wishes till we meet again.
Baz & Mabel
For those who didn't know – Little Rissington was the home base for the Red Arrows (who often buzzed the base shaking a few sleeping, handover-suffering erks from their slumbers early on Saturday mornings!)
Chris (Chewy) Green BA, C.Eng, MRAeS
at RAF Little Rissington 1967 – 1969
Sections SSF, The Engine Bay and 2HP
Memories -' When I arrived at Little Ris I was a 'Sprog' straight out of technical training as an Aircraft Engine Mechanic aged 18.
I knew nothing and had hardly been out of my native county. But Little Rissington gave me the grounding in Aeronautical Engineering both First and Second Line. And the Education Department gave me a second chance to gain some GCE 'O' Levels to 'kick start' my future academic career. A career that not only took me around the world but also employment with the biggest companies in the world.
First, to British Airways as a Licensed Aircraft Engineer during which I completed a Degree. Which took me to British Aerospace and Airbus Industries as part of the 'Design Team on the Airbus Fleet'. For which I was awarded Membership of the Royal Aeronautical Society(MRAeS) and made a Chartered Aeronautical Engineer (C.Eng). All of which I owe in great measure to the foundation that I received at RAF Little Rissington.'
This is a Great Story that I would like to share with my old mates (some of which are on the Friends of Little Risi List).
Chris 'Chewy' Green
Just a few Memories:
Great Christmas parties
Disco night’s at the NAAFI – One night in the 70’s when hot pants were the fashion, one of the WRAF’s being so dressed and wearing a fairies uniform.
The Polish guy who used to run the NAAFI shop.
The ‘Crew Room’ at SSF where the guy’s and us had great fun. I remember one of the lad’s – just remembered his name (Nobby Clark) who used to run the tea bar, taking bets with the other lad’s that I would buy a ‘curly whirly’ when I came into the crew room. I did buy one and the whole crew room burst into laughter!
My friend (Tim Drummond) and I taking a long Sunday walk in the snow to the cosy ‘Fox’ in the Barrington’s. We Arrived there just in time for Sunday Lunch.
Lunchtimes on Friday’s in the pub at Bourton on the Water.
Receiving the CIC’s commendation for meritorious service.
Marshalling the first Bulldog into service. I was given a photograph of that, but not sure if I still have it. Do you think the RAF might have some record of that?
Meeting my first real girlfriend who was in the WRAF – I remember coming back to LR for a weekend to see her while I was on my fitters course at St Athan. I was using a friends room who had gone away for the weekend but I didn’t have any pillows. I was at her window on the ground floor of the WRAF block, and she passed a pillow out to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a senior member of the WRAF approaching from behind – she caught us fair and square! Actually, she was OK about it, and I only received a mild telling off – as did my girlfriend.
Weekend outings to Snowdonia with officers and airmen alike. I also remember one weekend in Snowdonia when members of the WRAF were pitched at the same campsite as us. Unfortunately that Friday was one of the worst nights I have ever experienced in North Wales. Force 10 gales and hammering rain. Not one tent stood up to it! I remember seeing a few tents heading towards the river. We all took shelter in what was known as ‘Willies Barn’. It was a shame really as I’m sure we would have all had a great laugh, however the women went home on the Saturday.
I have many more memories of course – too much to describe here. I was thinking about the reunion in 2012, however I’m not sure about my work commitments. I now work as a Senior Operating Department Practitioner at Ysbyty Gwynedd (Bangor Hospital) in North Wales. Actually through my present job, I still have some contact with the RAF as we have to do helicopter training for patient transfers.
If you could advise me on how to pay you for the email service and I hope to hear from you soon.
Reunion for 2012 – details to follow – remember that the reunion for 2013 will be the 10th anniversary – no doubt it will be at the Union Jack Club
Thinking of coming next year? Why not make a weekend of it and do some sight-seeing or go to a show. Require more details then drop me a line: Annie@RAFLittleRissington.com If you would like to join us please use the feedback page or email Annie