71st Entry Return to their Spiritual Home
April 1955 saw the graduation of the 71st entry and 60 years almost to the day they returned to celebrate their annual reunion.
The tried and tested itinerary for our reunions swung into action on Friday April 24th with ‘Meet and Greet’ at the Holiday Inn Weston Turville and by teatime the last arrival had checked in. An informal dinner was planned for the evening and it wasn’t long before the ‘Catch Up’ procedure commenced.
Saturday this year had been left free for members to enjoy some of the local attractions and get into holiday mode. Waddesdon Manor proved to be a popular venue. Returning to the hotel for an informal dinner and continue with the ‘Catch Up’.
For our excursion this year a plan had been made to spend a day at our ‘Spiritual Home’ RAF Halton.
For some of our members this was to be their first visit since graduating and many of the ladies had never seen or visited RAF Halton. Poor suffering souls have heard so much about Halton but now perhaps they can understand why we are so passionate about our formative years and the friendships made during the three years of good, solid training.
10.30hrs Sunday morning we were welcomed into Halton House by Min Larkin. Over a cup of coffee Min gave a very informative talk on the history of Halton House, which included mention of the film and TV production teams that visit from time to time. Downton Abbey and the Kings Speech being just two in recent years.
In recognition of Min’s help and support we presented him with a 71st Commemorative Plaque which was manufactured by Malcolm Taylor.
Our party split into to two groups for a guided tour of the house and at a predetermined time we departed for a church service at St George’s. Malcolm Taylor read the lesson and Peter Cunningham gave an address covering the 71st Entry’s association with the church, the design and installation of our stained glass window. The dedication of our window was particularly poignant as the service was carried out by one of our entry members, the Reverend Frank Hutchings.
This venue gave us an opportunity to view all the stained glass windows and have the statutory photo call at the Tribute.
After a finger buffet we were marshalled up to the Henderson Square to spend time in the Trenchard Museum and the new James McCudden Heritage Flight Centre (No 2 wing mess). Those of us that visit these sites frequently remarked how they are developing between visits. Excellent and well worth a visit.
We returned to the hotel. ‘Booted and Spurred’ we were ready for our Gala dinner in the Broughton suite
We departed Monday morning after agreeing to meet again in the near future with thoughts in our minds of the Triennial in September 2016.
Geoff Munge Entry Rep: