I can't find the original post

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I can't find the original post

Postby Martin » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:40 pm

But I know someone here said something about the ghosts of all those RAF kids. Well, that's gnawed at me since I read it, so I am going to post something that I posted somewhere else that deals with us "ghosts".


"I’d like to say about a chance meeting on an internet website to find that friend who might have been, who probably was if we could remember each other.
He’s clinging to me because I’m the first ex-RAF kid he’s talked to that knew him. I’m reaching out to him for the same reason but also feeling a little resentful that he’s not the guy that we both knew, the guy we went to catch lizards with, and swam with, and fought the navy and army kids with. We both know there was another kid present when we knocked about with our mutual friend but neither of us remember who he was. We now have come to the conclusion that he is my "other kid" and I am his "other kid".
But it is good. It is the first time in all these years that I have heard someone refer to things as “OUR strange childhood”.
You have no idea, unless you’ve been there, how important it is to hear someone say that.
So, after growing up for fourteen and a half years in 13 different “homes”, eight different schools in nine years and a whole lot of nasty stuff thrown in the middle of it, I think, well, I don’t know what I think.
We have left footprints in so many places, not by choice, but yes, our ghosts will probably run around those places long after we have gone. Probably looking for some form of stability.
I spoke to an ex-RAF guy last year who spent eleven, yes, ELEVEN years in the same place, oh how some of us would have killed for that.
To all those who mock the RAF kids who wandered through their lives. To all of us who fell asleep in a car only to wake up in another strange location, another "home", and to start as another “new kid” at yet another school, or even another country, we have survived, we are survivors. Some of us thrived upon it and some of us didn’t.
A psychiatrist acquaintance once said I would be surprised at the amount of ex-RAF kids that went through his door. I told him I wouldn’t. He also told me that in the 1980’s folk started to notice just how many flawed people had been created but never to expect an apology from the powers that be as the government could not afford the compensation.
I learnt never to expect anything off anyone except shit, but an apology might be nice for an RAF childhood, for all those of us it didn’t work for."
Ouch !
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Re: I can't find the original post

Postby odds » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:18 am

For your reference Martin here is the post that you refer to :

four eyes wrote:Knowledge is power old chum.I always hear the voices of those that lived there long ago if i ever dare to venture out that far on my travels.The ghosts of those poor RAF kids who were windblasted and rained upon for their few years spent in that outpost of the dammed are forever roaming the walkways of Cnoc Moy and Rannochan. :lol:


I know the feeling too well, never in one place long enough to have the chance to make life long friends. My son who is now 25 has friends that he has known and been through schools since he was 7 years old and now go out socialising remembering the days they had at school. Service peoples children unfortunately are deprived of the chance to make such friendships, a pity really but to be honest I wouldn't swap my life for anything different. I have had the pleasure of living in Singapore for 3 years and visiting Malaysia, seeing all the sites etc ...... and of course being up at Machrihanish which despite the weather was all of our families favourite place. After my Dad was posted away from Machrihanish we went to Bawtry (Doncaster) and he was so pissed off he left the RAF. I can relate to your feelings Martin to an extent, but life goes on and even when I visit Campbeltown I wander around and think how many people have I just passed that may have been to school with me and don't even know it. Sad really, cos I'd love to meet some of them, especially Four Eyes :)

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Re: I can't find the original post

Postby Martin » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:55 am

Lots of friends got sent to nice exotic sounding locations such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Cyprus. Where did we get ? Poxy sodding Gibraltar. Bloody RAF couldn’t even do the decent thing and send father on a six month unaccompanied.
Thanks for pointing out the original post, my eyes weren’t working too well yesterday for one reason and another.
I’m going to add something to this when I find it again. It’s about my first school, which is closing for good this year. I’m sure lots of “local” schools had the same sort of experience, it just seems that this one had an exceptionally high turnover of kids.
The headmaster, Taff Evans, was a dear man, a true gentleman and one of only two teachers I met when I became an adult.
I have my first school report, it says how sunny and open I was and how I tried to fit in and make friends. A few reports later and it was all about how withdrawn I was and how I shunned efforts by other children to befriend me. I’d also started wetting the bed. These days someone would have picked up on all this but not back then.
At one place, I think it was R.A.F. West Raynham, I didn’t even get chance to start school, we were only there for two weeks. I spoke to one other kid on the camp and haven’t a clue what his name was. I was taken to a school for a meeting with the Headmaster and that was as far as that went, father came home one day and told us to start packing, we were off again.
One of the old reprobates I sometimes have a pint with was in the RAF for many years and he apologised to me for what went on. I said it isn’t his place to do so and he told me that it is as his son is a screwed up junkie and since listening to my anger he’s wondered if his “nomadic lifestyle” as a child had anything to do with this. I told him he should be saying all that to his son.
Anyway, this is the bit about my first school….

“It is a cleverly designed school, where space has been planned carefully. Classrooms are light and airy; and its hall has a crenulated, sound-absorbing ceiling, and a red-and-white tiled floor, still unmarked by the hundreds of small feet that have trodden it. The spick-and-span air of newness which prevails reflects the pride of Mr. I. W. Evans, the headmaster, who insists on great care and attention being given to the school and all that is in it”.

“In spite of its problem, there is an atmosphere of serenity about the school. Almost three-quarters of its children come from R. A. F. families”.

“ “In an average primary school with a termly intake of five-year olds who, with few exceptions, remain until they are eleven, the teachers come to know them well, and can supervise them throughout the whole of their primary school life. Shortstown admits new pupils of varying ages almost weekly, and just as often says good-bye to more familiar faces. It caters for two hundred children, yet in four years the figure in the admission register had risen to well over six hundred. A normal school of similar size would take twelve or thirteen years to reach such a total. Of the 190 children on the roll when the school opened, only twenty-two remained at the end of last term. The others are scattered, not only over the British Isles, but in France, Germany, and even as far a field as Hong-Kong and Australia”.

“The paper-work involved by these movements – entries in records, transfer of documents, and so on – is no small consideration; but the main difficulty lies in dealing with children who can never stay long in any one school. Most of them have already been to three or four different schools, some to as many as seven before their eleventh birthday. Teaching methods vary widely in different areas; so do the standards attained. Children coming from hot climates have attended morning sessions only in their former schools. Syllabuses vary, too. Jack, from a school in Germany, has learnt decimals but not areas; Jill, from a school in Singapore, knows how to deal with areas, but has not done fractions; Nigel from Cyprus knows fractions and decimals, but has not started on volume. The task of absorbing these children of disparate standards into Shortstown without disruption is no light one. Much individual attention is necessary, but it must not be allowed to interfere in any way with the progress of the class as a whole, particularly the 11-plus class”.

“Mr. Evans, himself an R. A. F. man, knows the nomadic lives these children live and he and his staff are able to tackle the problem with understanding”.

“Whatever their destination, whether it be Malta, Colombo, Aden, Belfast or Bedford, the “Ladies and Gentlemen of Shortstown Academy”, as the Headmaster sometimes calls them, will take with them affectionate memories of Shortstown, the school where so many learned so much in such a little time. The school mail, with its letters postmarked from the four corners of the earth, bears witness to that”. “

Mr. Evans was a very old man when I last saw him. He would catch the last bus once a week after going to the RAFA club. We hadn’t met for many years and when I approached him he looked at me for a short while and then grinned, “My boy, you are now a man indeed”. He then called me by name, no mean feat for a man who had so many kids pass through his hands. I would always get on that bus with him once a week, just to make sure that none of the nastier folk ever hassled him. I would pretend I had missed my stop and travel out to the village with him. We both knew I never missed my stop but it was never spoken about.
Anyway, I’m going off in different directions now.
BTW, I still have a recurring nightmare where dad is shaking me awake and telling me to hurry up and get dressed as he’s been posted and we have to move in a hurry.
When we were in Gib I was wandering around and heard an almighty commotion coming from a ground floor flat. The boy of my age was screaming at his parents, begging them not to send him back to boarding school. I remember going to my little hiding place and wondering why I was never sent to boarding school and how nice it must have been to be around the same people year after year.
I went home and asked mum about this and was told it was because they loved me too much. Dear old dad had overheard and came charging into the sitting room. I fled out the door, onto the balcony and dropped onto Queensway. I took off up the rock to some old disused military buildings and stopped there for two nights, too scared to go home. I was nine.
There’s an RAF family lives just down the road from me. I’ve lived here eight years come December and I’ve watched their kid grow up as he’s walked past the house on his way to and from school.
That kid doesn’t know how lucky he is to have grown up in an age where we have lost so many RAF stations.

As I've said, some of us thrived on it and some of us didn't.
Ouch !
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Re: I can't find the original post

Postby bill » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:41 am

Martin wrote:Lots of friends got sent to nice exotic sounding locations such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Cyprus. Where did we get ?


That first line brought back a memory from my period in the R.A.F.

After basic training,and a short leave,most of us went straight to which ever camp for our trade training.Some lads though had a period to wait until their desired trade training course started,so they would be posted around the country to various stations.

One guy looked at the notice board ,then I heard him say "Where the f**cks Machrihanish"? Though the pronunciation was way off, I knew where he meant. :lol:
I know my Summer'll never come
I know I'll cry until my dying day has come
Let the Winter roll along
I've got nothing left but song
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Re: I can't find the original post

Postby Martin » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:34 pm

At the time dad got posted to Machrihanish my little girlfriend of the time got sent with her family to Ballykelly. Nobody arouind us had heard of either. My other friend at Newton was off to Hong Kong, which of course everybody had heard of.
Just out of curiosity Bill, where did you do your basic training ?
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Re: I can't find the original post

Postby bill » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:10 pm

Basic training for me Martin was at R.A.F. Swinderby,Lincolnshire.
I know my Summer'll never come
I know I'll cry until my dying day has come
Let the Winter roll along
I've got nothing left but song
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Re: I can't find the original post

Postby Martin » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:22 pm

I wondered if it might have been Swinderby. So many blokes went through that place.
I managed to get a walk around there a couple of years before they bulldozed it. I'm not good when it comes to video stuff and this is all I got, hopefully it may bring some nice memories to mind........



I think the only thing left on that side of the road is a J-Type. Across the road is now the new village of Witham St. Hughes ( I think).
A couple of pics for you, taken in a hurry just before it got flattened.....

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v242/ ... c31995.jpg


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Ouch !
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Re: I can't find the original post

Postby bill » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:48 am

Hi Martin,I too had a look at the old place a few years back.I was doing a delivery to Lincoln so took a detour.Brought back many memories.I was there June /July 1966.

Quite a lot on you tube,including a passing out parade,I think from 1989.
I know my Summer'll never come
I know I'll cry until my dying day has come
Let the Winter roll along
I've got nothing left but song
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Re: I can't find the original post

Postby Martin » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:11 am

I used to get taken there a lot in 1966 when dad was stationed at Cardington, seems he knew someone there. Please tell me you weren't a tall, thin young man who had an anoying habit of throwing us kids up in the air and then pretending to drop us on the way down. That Scots guy is my enduring memory of Swinderby
I've seen the vids on Youtube, they make interesting viewing.
Ouch !
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Re: I can't find the original post

Postby bill » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:26 pm

In 1966 I was tall/slim and Scottish. 8)

In 2013 I am still tall/Scottish but not so slim. :roll:

And no it was not me. :lol:
I know my Summer'll never come
I know I'll cry until my dying day has come
Let the Winter roll along
I've got nothing left but song
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Re: I can't find the original post

Postby Martin » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:36 pm

Phew ! Thank whatever for that. I was getting quite worried that you may have been the one throwing me up in the air.
I know what you mean about not being quite so slim, whoever it was back then would need to have bloody strong arms to do so now !
Ouch !
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Re: I can't find the original post

Postby four eyes » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:33 pm

Martin wrote:But I know someone here said something about the ghosts of all those RAF kids. Well, that's gnawed at me since I read it, so I am going to post something that I posted somewhere else that deals with us "ghosts".


"I’d like to say about a chance meeting on an internet website to find that friend who might have been, who probably was if we could remember each other.
He’s clinging to me because I’m the first ex-RAF kid he’s talked to that knew him. I’m reaching out to him for the same reason but also feeling a little resentful that he’s not the guy that we both knew, the guy we went to catch lizards with, and swam with, and fought the navy and army kids with. We both know there was another kid present when we knocked about with our mutual friend but neither of us remember who he was. We now have come to the conclusion that he is my "other kid" and I am his "other kid".
But it is good. It is the first time in all these years that I have heard someone refer to things as “OUR strange childhood”.
You have no idea, unless you’ve been there, how important it is to hear someone say that.
So, after growing up for fourteen and a half years in 13 different “homes”, eight different schools in nine years and a whole lot of nasty stuff thrown in the middle of it, I think, well, I don’t know what I think.
We have left footprints in so many places, not by choice, but yes, our ghosts will probably run around those places long after we have gone. Probably looking for some form of stability.
I spoke to an ex-RAF guy last year who spent eleven, yes, ELEVEN years in the same place, oh how some of us would have killed for that.
To all those who mock the RAF kids who wandered through their lives. To all of us who fell asleep in a car only to wake up in another strange location, another "home", and to start as another “new kid” at yet another school, or even another country, we have survived, we are survivors. Some of us thrived upon it and some of us didn’t.
A psychiatrist acquaintance once said I would be surprised at the amount of ex-RAF kids that went through his door. I told him I wouldn’t. He also told me that in the 1980’s folk started to notice just how many flawed people had been created but never to expect an apology from the powers that be as the government could not afford the compensation.
I learnt never to expect anything off anyone except shit, but an apology might be nice for an RAF childhood, for all those of us it didn’t work for."

lets be honest some of those RAF kids were funny,they put up with a lot of shite too.Some of them were even missed when they left.We should start a spot for them to post in with their then and now photos so we can see what became of them!
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