No 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron
Reunion 2019 - in front of the famous Black Buck Vulcan XM607
Out of the DV Window
The surfeit of summer sport - Ladies’ World Cup Footie, Wimbledon, Henley, Tour de France, World Cup Cricket, British Grand Prix, World Cup Netball, Test Match, et al - sorry if I’ve missed any - wasn’t enough to detract from the political conundrum hanging over us like dank nimbostratus. In the last edition I indulged in idle conjecture, wondering who might emerge from Westminster’s corridors of power to lead us out of the Brexit shambles. Well, now we all know. My house-warming card is winging its way to Boris at Number 10. But whither Brexit? Like you, I remain as uncertain as ever.
Over the years this Association has progressed at a gentle pace into the digital age. We do now have our own Twitter page, in addition to this website, edging us ever-closer to the fringes of the woke. During discussions at the last General Meeting, the suggestion emerged that we could make better use of email to communicate quickly and cheaply with the membership. In order to do so, members are asked to contact the Secretary with their current email addresses so that the Association’s Handbook can be updated.
It was further suggested that we could save money by emailing the newsletter to members. Whilst a good idea in principle, we would, of course, need a comprehensive database of members’ email addresses; there is also a technical issue to be overcome. Editions of the newsletter in its present format and containing a lot of colour photographs, tend to end up being of a file size in excess of the maximum for most email inboxes. There may be a way of compressing the document and I will seek advice on how best to do it. In the meantime, anyone with internet access can easily find past and present newsletters on our website.
10 - 12 may
This year’s reunion took place over the second weekend in May and was centred upon RAF Waddington. Once again we are indebted to the Station Commander, Gp Capt Tom Burke, for welcoming the Association so warmly and putting so many station facilities at our disposal. He even gave up a precious Saturday afternoon to join us in the Nettleton Room of the Operations block to deliver a most interesting brief on the station’s present-day role.
We have been experiencing a steady reduction in membership numbers as our WW11 members pass on. However, there are still very many aircrew and groundcrew from the Vulcan era, who will be known to you as individuals, who are not members of the Association. If each of us were to contact just one of those people and encourage them to check our website and consider joining the Association, we could reverse the trend and bolster the membership. Please resolve to do something now!
15 - 17 may
Further details will appear on the page linked to the button below as soon as arrangements can be confirmed and, as in previous years, timings and a transport schedule will be included in the Secretary’s welcome packs.
Sqn Ldr Colin R Lamont (ret'd), Dec 69-Jan 72.
Michael Anthony Tomlinson (Tom) Dec 69-June 72.
Change of Address
The following members have changed their addresses:
Please see the Members’ Handbook, or contact the Secretary for details.
The Secretary’s Scribble
Updating Changes of Address. A small but increasing number of newsletters are making their way back to the Secretary after the Post Office has been unable to deliver them. Please remember to update the Secretary on any change of address, or change of circumstances.
Email Addresses. The Secretary would be grateful if members would advise him of their current email addresses so the membership handbook can be updated. This information will be used only for membership purposes and will not be disclosed to third parties.
Membership Fees. Despite rising costs, the membership fee remains a modest £10 annually. A small but dwindling number of members are still contributing much less than that and the Secretary would be most grateful if cheques, standing orders or direct debits could be updated to reflect the current subscription. Membership fees are due by the 1st of November.
Membership Push. To reinforce the Chairman’s plea, please encourage your old Vulcan mates to join the Association. We really do need an infusion of new members, whether from the Vulcan, or any other era.
Brocklesby Park Monument
On 3rd March 1945, when returning to Waddington after a raid on Ladbergen, crews were ordered to disperse because of intruder aircraft. Sadly, a Ju88 intruder shot down Fg Off Ryan's aircraft over Brocklesby Park, south of Grimsby. All of the crew died in the crash.
A monument to the crew was erected in the Park and next year some Australian relatives of Fg Off J J Ryan will mark the 75th anniversary of the sad loss with a commemorative visit to the monument on 3rd March 2020. They will welcome members of our Association to join them at the commemoration. Further details will be given in the next newsletter.
Jack Ryan (front row, second from the left) with other Bomber Command air and ground crew
President: Air Commodore S A Baldwin MBE
Chairman: Group Captain J Laycock (Ret’d) BA
Secretary: Squadron Leader H M Horscroft (Ret’d)
9 Church Lane, Eagle, Lincoln LN6 9DJ
Telephone: 01522 868 653
Editor: Squadron Leader P J Leckenby (Ret’d) MBE