Joining the RAF in 1947

In April 1947, I joined the R,A.F for eight years and became an Aero Engine fitter, thought there was more of a future in it rather than in Marine Engineering, how right I was. This change of employment made it impossible for me to follow the hobby to the extent I had been, how ever, I did form two clubs during my time with the Boys in Blue, one in England, the other one in Germany. Whilst in Germany I arranged a bit of a get together with an American Air Force model club, not strictly true, they approached me while I was working on their aircraft, which had made a force landing due to engine trouble. Some how we got talking about modelling, (you know how it is) and they just invited the club to come for a weekend, totally out of the blue. Even laid on an aircraft to pick us all up, unfortunately I was unable to go as there was a crash on the very weekend it was arranged for and as I was N.C.O in charge of the crash crew I had to go to work. The rest of the club went, about 10 of them, they had a whale of a time, just my luck.

In 1952 I got married, bought a house and started a family, that was the end of the modelling, couldn’t afford it on service pay, I’m sure a lot of you have been down the same path. During 1955 I was discharged from the Air Force, contract completed and took up employment in Aero Space, working all the hours god could send with no time for modelling. It wasn’t until around 1973 that I started to do a bit of modelling again after a visit to Woodvale,  I started to design a 100ins glider suitable for radio control, having had no experience in this branch of the hobby I needed some information on equipment size, weight and method of installation. Where better to go than your local model shop and I was lucky enough to have one just up the road from home, it was here that I first met Joe Le Bot, the owner, who some of you will know. We got on so well together that we became firm friends and still keep touch, even though he has lived in the U.S of A for the last 24years. It was Joe who taught me to fly radio control, even if it was on the pudding stirring mode, the Welsh Wizard soon changed that and it improved my flying no end, at least I think so, but not every one agrees. It was Joe who introduced me to the Liverpool club and I used to go with him on a Sunday, when I was not working.

It was after a little disagreement within the Liverpool Club, (power politics) that Joe, I and a couple of other modellers decided to form another Club, we were lucky, one of the founder members knew the owner of the Leisure Lakes Complex, who allowed the club to fly on a field at the rear of the site, which was fenced off from the public. He felt it would be a added attraction to bring more people in to his leisure complex and it was so successful, when we approached him about holding a Seaplane competition on one of the lakes, he couldn’t have been more helpful, (good for business) fencing off the largest lake to keep the public out but allowing them to watch. As I was working for Lucas Aerospace, ( at the Netherton factory) I applied for and received, a sponsorship, which included a very nice Trophy and quite a few small prizes in the form of pen sets, cigarette lighters, key fobs and ties, all with the Lucas Emblem on, as you would expect on a P.R exercise. The work’s Manager and his Wife presented the awards. The day was most successful.