Clerk Secretarial

Dennis Ballinger*

Dennis left Bircham for a tour at Scampton before posting to Muscat and Oman.  He returned to UK in the late '60s and remustered to his father's trade of Air Traffic Controller.   He had various UK postings including two overseas tours of Germany.   In 1986 he passed the Advanced Controller’s course and finally left the RAF as a FS at his own request in 1990.

Using his ATC background, Dennis was able to secure a position with BAe Systems North Sea Range as a Range Liaison Officer.   He has gained an enormous amount of new knowledge and is well known amongst the European aircrew community.   Due to the closing of the NSR, Dennis retired in Jul '05, he currently lives in Grantham with his wife Janet and three sons.

In the last few years he amassed over 1,000 hrs flying sailplanes and gliders.  Eventually qualifying as a fully rated instructor and officiates at competitions up to National Level as a Chief Line Observer.

George 'Eddie' Batchelor*

Eddie was originally posted to the Valiant base at Gaydon until 1964. He then did an interesting tour with the Military Mission based in East Berlin, finishing off his tour at Gatow in late 1967. He then served with CRE Brampton from 1968 to 1969. Then another plum posting to the British Embassy, Paris. Both of the overseas jobs utilising his French translation abilities.

Sighted at Coningsby in 1982 as Sgt i/c Management Services, Eddie spent his last five years in ADP at RAF Thatcham before retiring as a Sgt in 1991.  Eddie then spent 7 years as a Computer System Manager with Birmingham City Council before retiring full time in 2000 to Rugby, Warwickshire.

Originally a soccer representative at station level, ten pin bowling has been Eddie's sport for 40 years and still going strong.

John Blakemore*

John was originally posted to Lindholm, then a 'junket' with CENTO in Ankara in 1964, Waddington for a year in 1967 and finally an MOD posting. In 1969 he decided that he'd been in uniform long enough.  He bought himself out and joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Postings followed to Mexico City, Caracas, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Milan and Malloca. His final posting was as British Consul in Lisbon before retiring to Umbria, Italy in 2003. In 2014 he moved to Bognor Regis and has a wife Joan and two sons.

Roger Brushneen

Roger was posted to the Vulcan QRF at Waddington and later did overseas stints at Gan and Episkopi.  He took a commission in 1977 and left the RAF as a Flt Lt on his 38th birthday.

He spent two out of his three tours since he was commissioned on computing (namely writing the new payroll for officers), it's not surprising that he followed through with his skills in civilian life.  He has been a programmer, senior analyst, auditor and as a civil servant running the RAF's payroll program!!  

He retired in 2002 with ongoing medical problems - at the time he was head of department of an American computer company based in UK. When Roger gets his arthritic knees replaced with new ones hopefully he'll be able to go fresh and seawater fishing again. Currently living in Longlevens with his wife Heather, he now has the time to indulge his main interest in the History of Britain.

Dave 'Paddy' Garmont*

Initially posted to Mildenhall, Dave was posted to Episkopi in 1964 and on his return in 1967 went to Odiham. He left the RAF in 1970 to join the PO, by 1988 he was Head Postmaster in Basingstoke and by 1991 Area Manager at Swindon.

In 1997 Paddy (who plays guitar) had become the Organiser of the White Horse Folk Club in Highworth. In 1999 he retired back to Larne where he was Chairman of the local Camera Club and now, back in Swindon, he will be joining the Swindon Photographic Association. He lives with his wife Briony.

Terry Glaysher BA

Terry was originally posted to 114 Sqn at Benson from whence he was posted to Ankara - he liked it so much he served an extra year.   On his return to UK he was posted to Uxbridge and from there he was put on loan to MOD in Whitehall.   (A budding Sir Humphrey?)  On return to UK as a Cpl, Terry was posted to PMRAF Hospital Halton and whilst there he applied for a commission.   Biggin Hill asked him to come back in 12 months; Terry's response was to buy himself out which he did in Mar 1972.

He gained a degree in Philosophy from University College Aberystwyth in 1975.   This is where Terry began his interest in theatre.   He worked in Croydon for 17 years from 1979, in Arts and Theatre Administration at Fairfield Hall.   He returned to Turkey in 1999 and is teaching the Turks English.   

Although not currently participating, Terry has had a 30yr interest in Fencing, and was a member of our illustrious AA team!

Rod McBeth*

‘Mac’ had overseas tours at Akrotiri 1965 and Changi 1970. His career change occurred when posted to Innsworth in 1976 to help convert computing records from the Univac machine to ICL. Finally leaving as a FS in 1977.

In 1985 he joined the Civil Service and became a Computer Manager at Science and Engineering Research Council, Swindon. Transferred to Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Didcot, Oxon. He left the Civil Service in 1997 and became Facilities Manager for a large publishing company where he stayed until he retired in 2005.

A lifelong football referee, ‘Mac’ refereed in the Conference League, was Secretary of Cheltenham FL for 14 years and also sat on the Gloucester FA Committee for some years. He also represented Abingdon and Benson at Shooting and in 1970 at Bisley they won the RAF Championship for the falling plates match, a most prestigious achievement.

He started bowling outdoors from 1974 to County Level and in 1996 started playing the Short Mat version and currently plays for West Sussex. Upper Beeding being his home since 2005.


Mick Meyer*

Mick did overseas stints in Bahrain and Ankara.   By 1976 he was a Sgt and obtained a commission, where he was awarded the Sword of Honour at Henlow.  Mick rose to the rank of Wg Cdr and spent the last few years of his career at the home of Clerkdom, Innsworth.  Whilst at Bircham he took up Fencing (who can forget our efforts at the Apps Championships at Locking)!!  He's represented GB in World and European Championships, captained the GB Seniors and was Combined Services Epee Champion in 1996 and 1997.

Mick retired from the RAF in March 2000 and has bought a house near Cromer, not that far from Bircham.  He's still happily married to Ann, whom he met on his first posting at Stanmore.  After a few months wind-down Mick started working for the RAF Sports Board (until 2006), part-time for the RAFBenFund in London and also RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises at Fairford as their Risk Review Coordinator. Final retirement took effect in Jan 2013 and now ...... time to go sea fishing!

Andy Mitchell

'Mitch' left the service in 1985 as a Sgt and settled in Stafford working for GEC. Married to Carol, he's still going strong in 2009.




Richard 'Steve' Pitkethly

Sometimes referred to as 'The Crofter', Steve's name appeared in the RAF News regarding his efforts as a cross-country runner in 1970 whilst at Locking.  He left the RAF as a Cpl in 1971 to live in Hawick, Roxburgshire.





Pete Reed

Pete was last sighted in Aden in 1965. He left the RAF as a Cpl in 1973 whilst serving in Germany to marry a local girl. He was contacted in 2010 at Tespe, Lower Saxony but wishes to remain undisturbed.





Bill Robinson - ex 42nd

After serving in Brunei, Cyprus and several UK stations, Bill decided to leave the RAF as a Cpl (was A/Sgt) in 1974.

In civilian life Bill spent five years qualifying as an Accountant and, fortunately, found his niche in data processing.  Yet another five years passed as a programmer and system analyst before his post-grad course in Manchester gave him his entree into the world of consultancy. Bill was sent to San Francisco in 1991 for the American firm of Synon where he obtained the much coveted 'green card'.  Going independent in 1994, he's built up his company to the point of having offices in LA, NY and Manchester.

Bill (who now lives in San Clemente) had obtained his PPL and used to fly his twin-engined Piper Seminole whenever he could. From 2004 to 2012 he flew with the Civil Air Patrol in a Cessna 182 on S&R exercises and as an instructor. His Piper Seneca has been retired and he's now flying around in a Cessna 152 or a 172.

As Tango aficionados, Bill and his wife Sheilagh have even been to Argentina to hone their skills! After selling his company in 2007 he now has the spare time to write fiction and keep up a vigourous fitness regime.

Rick 'Noddy' Short*

Rick went straight overseas as a first posting to Akrotiri and on his return remustered to Loadmaster on Brits.   He finished his initial engagement in April 1974 as a FS Tac Crewman. He originally flew on the Whirlwind Mk 10 and latterly the Wessex Mk 2 with 28 Sqn at Kai Tak.

In March 1974 an indulgence flight from Hong Kong found him in Darwin from whence he travelled to Perth, Western Australia.    The first 10 years were spent in the photographic trade and on an impulse he bought an icecream parlour that only operated two days a week!!  Rick spent many years doing SCUBA diving from Perth north to Indonesia and during the mild winters was keen on Orienteering. He was also a member of the WA Calligraphy Guild until arthritis put an end to that.

Rick's an active member of the Perth PC Users Group (450 members) and is the 'expert' on Flight Simulation.   He's the author of the 41st, 42nd, 43rd and 44th web sites as well as the site for one of the club's Special Interest Groups. He finally retired in May 2009 with his wife Wendy.

*As his first posting was overseas Rick spent late Dec 1962 to early Jan 1963 based at Bircham - thus becoming the last App to serve there!

Bob Slater*

Originally posted to High Wycombe, Bob then did a 12 month stint in Borneo in 1966. Commissioned in 1971, he retired as a Gp Capt in February 2000 having spent his last four years working in NATO HQ in Brussels.   He is now living with his wife Yvonne in Boston, Lincolnshire and in 2008 was working part-time at a Hospice



Keith Smith

Originally posted to Northwood, Keith was sighted at Upwood in 1968, Episkopi in 1971 and as Sgt i/c General Office at West Drayton in 1982. He retired near Chichester in 1984 and and was working part-time in 2008 until his retirement in 2010.




Martin van Tol*

'Van' was originally posted to CFE Binbrook then tours of Saxa Vord and Brampton before purchasing his discharge as a Cpl in 1968.

Initially he worked in a number of finance and admin positions before taking a job as Co Secretary & Director of a fruit company for 20 years. In 2002 Martin became a Finance Director of a produce company he set up with a colleague. Now living in Werrington near Peterborough, Lincs with his wife Lorraine.

Rod Webster

Rod left the RAF as an SAC in 1974 and began working in insurance/mortgages in England but eventually returned to Scotland.  

Throughout his stint in the RAF he was always interested in the various stations' broadcasting units.  In Inverness he did part-time work with a broadcasting franchise and he became a full-time Sales Manager and broadcaster.   He opened Radio Border, spending ten happy years there, before becoming Managing Director in 1997 of Radio Northsounds in Aberdeen. In 2005 the company was taken over and the management team was replaced.

He then worked in the oil industry on recruiting staff and working up CVs until 2012. He lives with his wife Anne in Kemnay NW of Aberdeen. However, in November 2013 they re-located to the outskirts of Edinburgh to be nearer their relatives. Rod finally succumed to cancer ten days before Christmas 2014.


* Run your cursor over thirteen of the above images to see what 50 years has done!!