Married to Janet. Children: David aged 45 & Carol aged 42. 3
Now living in Lee-on-Solent.
Brian as an apprentice
At CONDOR from September 1950 to May 1953.
Left the RN on the 27th April, 1973.
" As '5s', we did about four months
on HMS THESEUS, part of which was spent painting it for the Spithead
Review before sailing to the Med. - and that was my total sea time. I had
a day on a frigate, returning from a rugby match at Guernsey, and a couple
of hours on HMS ARK ROYAL as the guest of Richard Van Kempen one Christmas
when she was visiting Valetta, Malta. This came in handy later on because
I was able to say: 'ARK ROYAL' when asked what was my last ship!
"As a '4', I spent some time at 'Sleepy Hollow'
(the Aircraft Holding Unit at Lossiemouth) with plenty of time for cricket
behind the hangar. I was then moved to HMS DAEDALUS in charge of Tiger
Moths and the Dope Shop - which was very handy. With a crew of mostly
WRNS, I built a Tiger Moth from spare parts and it was a very satisfying
achievement when it received an Air Worthiness Certificate."
"I failed the first '3s' oral examination because
I could not remember how to turn a taper, and the Examining Board did not
know a lot about Tiger Moths. (I had done an Avon engine course at Rolls
Royce, but did not mention this). Eventually, I was returned to Lossiemouth
as 'Scimitar Trained', because of my Avon course, but before I left
Lee-on-Solent, I had my scheduled draft delayed because of my daughter's
pending birth. As the aircraft activity was virtually at an end, the only
useful job going at the time was as a rum rate for the Chief's Mess. It's
strange the things one remembers because this job only lasted a month.
Anyway, I joined Lossiemouth and was shown a Scimitar - number 610 -
mainly in bits, and I was told, 'That's yours - and by the way, you are
Duty Chief today' (which meant attending to the aircraft on the 'line'. It
was quite an experience as, apart from never having seen it, I had not
even heard of pressure refuelling. It was almost as bad when I had to
'run' one up for the first time. However, with never a faint heart and the
volume on my lap, I somehow got away with it."
"While I was there at Lossiemouth, I was not
cleared for married quarters as I was pending foreign service. I recall
the AEO suggesting that I should volunteer for 803 Sqdn, as he would be
taking it over. I declined the suggestion and my foreign service turned
out to be Malta. I had two-and-a-half very happy years there. Then I
returned to Arbroath as an Instructor. While I was there, I did a week's
youth leadership course at ROYAL ARTHUR and, while enjoying the
hospitality of that Mess decided that I wouldn't mind a spell there. I
recall that President Kennedy was assassinated the day I returned to
Arbroath and not long after that I learned that I was going to ROYAL
ARTHUR and married quarters were already allocated at Chippenham."
"This move turned out to be my final involvement
with the FAA, as I stayed with the General Service until I left the RN.
While I was at ROYAL ARTHUR, I helped to introduce management into what
had primarily been a leadership course. The logical follow-on to that was
for me to join the work-study group at VICTORY (now NELSON). On completion
of the course, I had a short spell at the Barracks and DOLPHIN before
moving to Whitehall. It was certainly a different way of life! It was my
introduction to computers and IBM, as we used IBM's services for a
documentation study. I then returned to the work-study school (renamed the
Management School) as an instructor and while I was there, notice of a
foreign draft came through. However, it was concluded that I would be more
usefully employed where I was than being returned to the FAA as an
'out-of-touch' AA. So that is where I stayed, and I was fortunate enough
to be able to fit in an HNC in Business Studies at Tooting Technical
College. Because MBO became the 'in' thing at that time, I found myself on
several Management Accountancy courses at London and Bristol."
"My first civilian job was with the
Personnel Department at Marconi as a consultant on a job evaluation study,
was being conducted there. IBM was then in the process of moving to
Portsmouth and fortunately took me on - primarily in their Finance Methods
& Procedures Department. It was a good company to work for and I even got
in some foreign time (First Class, of course!). I finally retired at 58.
Having declined one offer, I couldn't refuse the second redundancy package
on offer. It wasn't called 'redundancy' because that was an alien word at
IBM, but that was what it was.
"Since I retired, I have virtually had more sea
time than when I was in the RN. I have certainly seen much more of the
world and enjoyed being at sea, as it has been considerably more
comfortable than being in dear old THESEUS.
"Until very recently, I have been lucky to have
very few health problems, but they appear to be catching up lately. I'm
not completely falling to bits but it feels like it sometimes, and a
wrong diagnosis hasn't helped. I'm getting old, I'm told. True, but it is
not readily accepted. The main problem I have is a wonky knee, which could
badly affect my plans for the next couple of years. You see, I am the vice
captain of the Hampshire, Isle of Wight & Channel Isles Golf Club Past
Captains, and I am due to be Captain next year. We have, amongst other
commitments, 14 matches to play against other counties and the Captain
plays in all of them. Whether I will be able to accept this honour remains
to be seen."