The 2016 Triennial Reunion

Video Of the 2016 Final Parade at RAF Halton

Attendees included John Bates, Dave Bowman, Geoff Burton, Chas Challinger, Barry Chamberlain, Richard Clayton, Tony Fletcher, Barry Hathaway, Graham Hemes, Dick Hla, Steve Hughes, Ken Hulse, Taff Jenkins, Paul Jenkins, Del Lloyd, Tony Nordberg, Chris Prior, Dave Shannon, Rex Walton, Johnny Wildman and Keith Worsley.

Another fine day for this, the 12th and possibly last Triennial Re-union in this format. Some members brought along partners who were - for the first time - invited to join in and see what Halton was all about. Because of the late decision by those in charge to continue with the reunion (which had been very close to being cancelled) not all facilities were open for viewing. No block rooms, nor the BDF (Burton Drill Facility) in particular, were open, but the Tank was. This proved to be a very popular meeting place! It was muted that the next Reunion may well be at RAF Cosford where No1 School of Technical Training has now relocated.

There was some discussion about a smaller "multi entry" reunion in the future based on the time when we were in 1 Wing. Chas Challinger will no doubt circulate details to determine interest as to when and where such a reunion might take place in due course!

Anja Wildman & Taff Jenkins in Trenchard Museum Golden Oldies

Duplicated notice on several Henderson Mess Doors........ Several suspect attendees


The 50th Anniversary of Graduating from RAF Halton

The 50th Anniversary of our Graduation from RAF Halton on 16th December 1964 was celebrated at The White Hart Hotel, Lincoln on Saturday 7th March 2015.

Those who attended were John Bates & Carol Edmunds, Dave & Yvonne Bowman, Chas & June Challinger, Barry & Heather Chamberlain, Richard & Beryl Clayton, Jim & Jenny Cunningham, Tony & Norah Daniels, Jon & Sue Dickens, Ian French, Dave & Viv Gough, John Gregory, Fred Hart, Barry & Tina Hathaway, Graham & Dawn Hiner, Dickie & June Hla, Steve & Joan Hughes, Ken & Sharon Hulse, Bob (Taff) & Patricia Jenkins, Dell & Marilyn Lloyd, Tony Nordberg & Jan Lewis, Chris & Beryl Prior, Pete & Suzanne Turnbull, Rex Walton & Christine Parker, Johnny & Anga Wildman and Keith & Sue Worsley.

We awoke to a bright Saturday morning announced by the bells of Lincoln Cathedral - a stone's throw from the hotel. At breakfast we learnt that Fred Hart had felt pretty rough during the night and had driven himself to hospital where they suspected he had a gall bladder problem. He was released by the specialist on Sunday morning but was quite miffed at having missed the main events!! Dennis & Irene Cumming were also scheduled to attend the anniversary celebrations but unfortunately Dennis had recently undergone surgery, had been released early then re-admitted yet again to hospital. They still managed to meet us briefly at the Petwood Hotel, Woodhall Spa - Former Dam Busters (617 Squadron) Officer's Mess for a spot of lunch. We bade Dennis & Irene farewell as we left by coach for our main event - the visit to RAF Coningsby and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. This visit was absolutely exceptional and after a mug of tea and a slice of cake in their crew room we then entered the main hangar and were able to get really close to each and every aircraft which was a real treat. The main hangar doors were open as the DC-3 was outside for an engine run to diagnose a mag-drop problem. This engine run just added top the day's highlights. Sadly missed were re-union stalwarts Geoff & Di Burton, Tony & Di Fletcher, Dave & Angy Shannon amongst other 'Absent Friends' unable to attend. They were remembered and toasted later that evening. Just before the meal we were treated to a few tunes from a couple of pipers and a drummer from the Golden Oldies. Later on Rex Walton joined the musicians and performed admirably on the side drum. The meal itself was excellent and we subsequently retired to the bar to enjoy a few beers at Geoff Burton's expense! This was totally unexpected, very kind and appreciated by all. Most folk had retired before lights out as age has started to take its toll!! All in all a really nice and well organised week end and a huge vote of thanks was extended to Chas Challinger and especially to June Challinger who had put in so much time and effort into ensuring everything went smoothly. Once more pictures start to arrive they will be posted here for all to see.

The 2013 Triennial Reunion
Attendees inlcuded Geoff Burton, Tony Fletcher, Chas Challinger, Barry Chamberlain, Keith Worsley, Rex Walton, Dave Bowman, Steve Hughes, Del Lloyd and Taff Jenkins

Our Banner is unfurled! The text states DIDI DIE DIDI DEN (Try it out loud) Geoff Burton, Tony Fletcher & Chas Challinger outside the BDF
Barry Hathaway and Del Lloyd with the new Banner. The "motto" is a response to an oft asked question at reunions such as this!

The 50th Anniversary Reunion Ludlow
The 50th Anniversary of Enlisting as Aircraft Apprentices into the 100th Entry at RAF Halton was celebrated at The Feathers Hotel, Ludlow on Saturday 14th January 2012.
Attendees inlcuded Andy & Kay Gutteridge, Barry (Baz) & Heather Chamberlain, Bob (Taff) Jenkins, Barry (Bootsie) & Tina Hathaway, Brian Goodfellow, Carol Edmunds, Chas & June Challinger, Chris & Beryl Prior, Dave & Angy Shannon, Dave & Marilyn Crowe, Dave & Viv Gough, Dave & Yvonne Bowman, Dell & Maralyn Lloyd, Dennis & Irene Cumming, Ed & Tsao Mills, Frank & Marlene Snelders, Geoff & Di Burton, Graham & Dawn Hiner, Graham & Shirley Hemes, Ian French, Jim & Jenny Cunningham, John Bates, John Mather, John Stephens, John Wildman, Jon & Sue Dickens, Keith & Cheryl Rann, Keith & Sue Worsley, Ken & Sharon Hulse, Rex Walton, Steve & Joan Hughes, Tony & Di Fletcher and Tony & Norah Daniels. While the ladies had a guided tour of Ludlow (including the castle), we had a trip to Cosford in a vintage coach to look round the Cold War museum, including accessing the 'behind the scenes' areas where aircraft were being refurbished prior to going on public display.
The Questionnaire
May 2010 - Good responses have been received and we are now approaching 30 up-to-date contacts. More statistics will appear here in due course. Meanwhile John Mather has suggested that we challenge the 100th Locking lot to a golf tournament or go-kart race. This sounds a good idea - any takers? Our official entry rep for all matters relating to the HAAA and general entry information is Steve Hughes. You can reach him on
The 2010 Triennial Reunion
This is the big one and this year marks the tenth in the series. The date is Saturday 25th September. There is plenty of information on the HAAA website - - and there are significant savings for those who are not already members to join the HAAA at the same time as booking their slot at the 'do'. We already have five takers for the 'block experience' (see the Reunion report below) and are looking for more. It's the cheapest accommodation you'll find anywhere around Halton! Contact Denis O'Brien, who is the HAAA office manager. You can get him on or call him at the apprentice office or 01494 762482. Thanks to Barry `Boots' Hathaway for forwarding this update. 100th Entry e-mail addresses If you are an ex-ton then you can avail yourself of a 100th entry e-mail address for a modest sum. Access can be via Microsoft Outlook or similar programmes or you can use the webmail function of our site host Price is £2.00 per year per address. To set this up please contact

The 2007 Triennial Reunion

Well what a great time we had. A number of returning ex-apprentices of various entries had opted to stay on site in the block and an interesting experience it proved to be. The block allocated on this occasion is opposite the main gym and is apparently used for visiting teams so has been divided into one-man rooms. All was perfectly adequate (if low on the luxury stakes) but, most importantly, very cheap. The cost was £25 including dinner on the Friday night (in what was 1 Wing mess), two nights of kip (Friday and Saturday) and breakfast on Saturday. Those that wanted it could get breakfast on Sunday in the old 3 Wing mess for about £2. The grub was fine and meeting some of the young people being trained was an enjoyable experience - they're really just the same as we were except that most of them seem to be girls. The best encounter was two we met marching alongside the square carrying tins of paint... yes, they were on jankers and yes, they were going to be painting the kerbs around the square! Nothing changes!

Later on Friday evening we accepted the kind invitation extended to RAFHAAA members to drink at the officer's mess. Our brave little band of live-in ex-100th brothers was thrilled and delighted to find a round comprising 3 pints and a short to be less than four quid. We paid the price for this later when, having been the last to leave (that's a euphemism for being chucked out), we struggled to work the coded gate lock at the end of Polish Avenue. Just as we were beginning to contemplate the long walk round Del Lloyd managed to pick it open (wonder where he learnt that) and all was well.
On Saturday morning an ex-102nd type turned up dressed in all his apprentice gear and blew Reveille and the 60 or so of us staying in the block marched (quite well as it happened) up to the mess for breakfast. No pipe band though. The day at the airfield and later at workshops and schools was, as usual, great. Meeting old mates and cracking jokes just made the time fly by. By the time we assembled for the march up the hill to the sunset parade we numbered about 14 so, given that a number of the hard core members from previous years hadn't made it (you know who you are!), we should be targeting 20 to 25 attendees in future. Del was even so overcome that he volunteered to make us a banner for 2010. Brian Goodfellow was able to give us all a quick course on the two static aircraft on display, especially the Gnat in the Trenchard Museum, which is also interesting to wander round. He knows his stuff does Brian.

Here's my list of who was there with apologies for omissions and errors:- Barry 'Boots' Hathaway, Del Lloyd,Brian Goodfellow,Steve Hughes,Nigel Dalston,Keith Worsley, John Bates,Tony Nordberg,Rex Walton,Ken Watts,Dave Bowman,John Stevens and Steve ???,
So, is it good going back? In my view the answer is 'yes', but nowadays mainly for the purpose of meeting of up with old mates. It's good to see the various areas and especially St Georges now there are so many entry stained glass windows to view (ours in pride of place by the way, thanks to Geoff Burton).To immerse yourself in aircraft, and especially those of our era, you really need to go to Cosford and the Cold War museum. For all that Halton still has a feeling in the air that strongly reminds you of three, broadly speaking, enjoyable years at a very formative time in life.Let's see if we can get a good turn-out for 2010.


Left to Right
Alf Felstead, Al Brunger, Keith Rann, Frank Snelders, Del lloyd, Ken Hulse, Dave Shannon, Roger Marshall, Graham Hemes, Jim Cunningham, Ian French, ??(partially obscured), Graham Hiner, Brian Goodfellow, Dick Hla, Jon Dickens(rear), Tex Ledsham(centre), Stan Game(front) Steve Hughes(rear), Barry Hathaway, Geoff Burton


Left to Right
REAR: Al Brunger,Chas Challinger, Tony Fletcher, Dave Shannon(partially obscured), Steve Hughes
CENTRE: Dave Crowe , Dick Hla, Tex Ledsham, Roger Marshall, Del Lloyd, Ian French, ??
FRONT: Graham Hemes, Stan Game, Barry Hathaway