No 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron
Vulcan XM655 at the former RAF airfield Wellesbourne Mountford.
Out of the DV Window
Those with a keen eye and an ear to the ground might have noticed that the Association now has its very own Twitter page:
This is due in large part to the efforts of Jacquie Marson. The tentative dipping of our toes into the murky waters of social media became a welcome diversion from the depressing 24-hour rolling news on Brexit. I was desperately trying to come up with some amusing observation on the subject, but soon gave up the attempt. It’s just that as I put this edition of the newsletter together, I can’t help wondering who might be brave enough to emerge from the woodwork to untangle the convoluted mess. I wonder where we will all be by the time this drops through your letter boxes.
The advent of 44 Sqn’s Twitter page has already generated quite a lot of interest and a couple of items in this edition of the newsletter are the direct result of ‘followers’ posting their stories and photographs.
However, back to the present. With or without the EU, one certainty is that the next reunion is almost upon us and, although some details have yet to be confirmed, I will set out below as much information as I can at this stage.
Reunion 10 - 12 May 2019
The committee met recently to make arrangements for this year’s reunion, which will take place over the weekend 10 - 12 May 2019. The opening event, the Meet and Greet, will be in the Officers’ Mess at RAF Waddington on the Friday evening, starting at 7.30 pm. There will be a General Meeting on Saturday afternoon at RAF Waddington and the annual dinner will again be held in Waddington’s Officers’ Mess. On Sunday a service of remembrance will be conducted at Dunholme Lodge Farm by the Reverend Adam Watson. As last year’s lunch at the Carpenter’s Arms, Fiskerton, was judged to be an enjoyable way to conclude the annual reunion, it has been decided to repeat it this year.
Members travelling from afar are asked to make their own accommodation reservations wherever they choose. The Secretary has approached Damon’s Hotel (telephone 01522 887733) and secured rates of £60 per room for Friday night, rising to £80 on Saturday and dropping back to £60 on Sunday night. Alternatively, the Ibis Hotel (01522 698333) will charge a total of £143 per room for a stay of two nights. These rates are given for guidance purposes only and, whilst we cannot guarantee them, it will help to mention your attendance at the 44 Squadron Reunion when making a booking.
The outline programme of events for the 2019 reunion appears below. Further details will appear on Reunion 2019 page 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.
Friday 10th May
As ever, the reunion gets underway at 7.30 pm with a Meet and Greet in the bar of the Officers’ Mess at RAF Waddington. Coaches for the return trip will leave the mess at 11 pm.
Saturday 11th May
There are no planned activities on Saturday morning. The station commander has invited us to visit the operational area of RAF Waddington. We will meet at the Officers’ Mess car park at 1 pm. Our coaches will then take us through the main gate to a meeting room, where we will be briefed on the roll of the station. Following the station briefing, we will hold our General Meeting. We will then be able explore other parts of the station in groups escorted by Waddington personnel. The annual dinner will be held that evening in the Officers’ Mess at RAF Waddington. Members should assemble for drinks in the bar at 6.45 pm, to be followed by dinner in the dining room at 7.15 pm.
Sunday 12th May
On Sunday morning transport will ferry members and guests from their hotels to Dunholme Lodge Farm for a memorial service at 11 am. We are hoping the Participation Committee will look kindly on our request for a Lancaster flypast over the Dunholme Lodge memorial site at the conclusion of the service. Such a request is, of course, heavily dependent on weather, aircraft serviceability and other RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight commitments. The final reunion event will be a farewell lunch at the carpenter’s Arms, High Street, Fiskerton, Lincoln, LN3 4HF.
The following members have changed their addresses:
Please see the Members’ Handbook, or contact the Secretary for details.
The Secretary’s Scribble
Undeliverable Mail. 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.
Membership Fees. Despite rising costs, the membership fee has been held down to 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 standing orders or direct debits could be updated. Membership fees are due by the 1st of November.
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