OtH 2017 – CHAIRMANIC RUMBLINGS

by
Brian Canfer

There is a sad inevitability that we will lose members every year and this year has been no exception, John Coull, arguably the longest-serving Troop ever was given a good send-off as was our President Tom Scudamore,
the last of the wartime Team Leader doctors, whose service spanned back to the bad-old-days before the MRS was formed. I am pleased to advise you that our only other WW2 Troop, Rita Mundy nee Watt, has agreed to
become our new President.
Next year sees a number of anniversaries, not least of which is the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force and with it the creation of the PTI branch who are holding their centenary reunion at Telford in April
(purely because they cannot access a venue at nearby RAF Cosford). More importantly for us, it’s the 75th anniversary
of the formation of the MRS and details of the 2018 combined reunion and commemorative badge are included elsewhere in this year’s OtH.
OtH 2017 sees a departure from most previous editions not only that it continues in A4 format but that for the first time it includes an advert, this gives us scope for more colour photos and makes a considerable saving, that said it is an experiment and as always, your feedback would be greatly appreciated. We live in interesting times, locally the first fully ‘robotic’ crop in the world has just been harvested and the RNLI are experimenting with drones to augment the S in their SAR; the World Economic Forum in Davos are forecasting that 65% of children entering education today will have a career in something that has not yet been invented but to the best of my knowledge no one is forecasting automating MR! Our website continues to bring in a range of enquiries and continues to be a superb day-to-day focus for us, the website team has now doubled and we welcome John Bachelor to the committee as Jim’s deputy. Talking of committees, it would be remiss of me not to thank all committee members for their steady, diligent work and to remind YOU that we are only keeping the seats warm until YOU step up and offer your services for any position, mine included.
And no, that’s not all for YOU to consider – do read, mark and contemplate the article about the bumper joint
OtH 2018 – we really do need YOUR input please.
Best wishes,
Brian Canfer

 

Our New President!

I am delighted to be able to announce that Rita Mundy, who, as Rita Watt, was a member of the RAF Millom MRT from 1941-43, so like Tom Scudamore was involved in life-saving rescues before the MRS was formally created.
Born in Edinburgh in 1922, Rita joined the RAF as soon as she was eighteen, did her basic training at RAF Morecombe, and, as a “Clerk Admin,” was then posted to RAF Babdown Farm, three miles from Tetbury. In 1941 she
was posted to RAF Millom at the southern end of the Lake District where she joined the MRT and stayed with the
Team until 1943. She described life at Millom as generally like a holiday camp, she loved the lakes and the mountains and for relaxation would regularly cycle from Coniston to Windemere. She now lives in Southend-On-Sea, Essex – not known for either it’s lakes or it’s mountains!
Brian Canfer

 

Hints for Budding Authors

(Of articles for OtH, to reduce workload)
By Mick W.

1) Use a compatible format and software. We use Microsoft Word. There’s also a freeware, NeoOffice, which can be downloaded and used in place of Word. Just Google “NeoOffice” and follow the instructions
2) Keep all photos separate from text. We have to publish all colour photos separately in the centrefold. Black and white photos can go in the text but must be sized carefully and never “wrapped.” We prefer to do this
ourselves. Please send all your photos as separate .jpg files
3) Please don’t send .pdf files of material you want us to edit if you can possibly help it. We either have to publish them as photographs of the original text or convert them to Word, a clunky, time-consuming job, often
involving retyping large chunks of text. If you’d ever seen how badly I type – all of three fingers – you’d know never to do this. If all you can get is a .pdf, the best thing to do to help us is to type them up yourself.
4) Get everything to us by the end of August. In a good year we’ll start the paste-up at the beginning of September. It takes about a month to paste-up the journal.
5) Although we know that we need to accept copy when and how it comes if we want to get the best of our members’ experiences and stories, the format editor still reserves the right to issue a good old-fashioned
b*****king to anyone who ignores these suggestions. No whinging if this happens to you. After all, you were in the Royal Air Force.
6) Enjoy the process! We do.

 

75TH ANNIVERSARY BADGE

To mark the 75th anniversary of the formation of the MRS we will be producing a lapel badge for all members and all serving Troops, the design is unchanged and is shown below. If you would like any extra
badges these will be available at a cost of £1.50 each and will be included in your copy of OtH 2018 to save additional p&p charges; that said badges for those attending the 2018 reunion will be available to collect
from me, there.
There’s also the possibility of matching cufflinks at £17 per pair, which includes p&p as they are too bulky to go out with OtH. Orders by 28th Feb 2018 please.
Brian Canfer

 

RAF MOUNTAIN RESCUE BADGES

 

The small pocket badge (A) is 48mm wide x 52mm high and woven. The clarity of this badge is almost photographic, the scan does not do it justice. It is ideal as a discreet insignia sewn on the breast of a sweat shirt, tee shirt, or beret (as used on the RAF MRA berets). It also makes an attractive presentation item when two are framed with the Crest or as a decorative memento mounted on a wall. It is ideal for marking RAF MRT kit (duvets, casualty bags etc) for, say, joint exercises with civilian teams.
The larger embroidered Crest (B) is 75mm wide x 100mm high, and designed as a blazer badge and is worn as formal wear by many RAF MR troops. The advantages over a wire badge is that it is completely machine washable, the detail is much clearer and it costs around half the price of wire alternatives. It can be used similarly to the small badge, even better when framed for presentations or wall plaques.
Prices are £2 for (A) and £6 for (B) plus 65 pence postage and packing with a money back guarantee if not completely satisfied.
Both are available from Tony Dunn, tel 09152 824924 or email tonydunn@supanet.com

Small Crest (A)

Large Crest (B)

 

 

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS:
75th ANNIVERSARY ISSUE OF OtH

Next year’s OtH will be a joint production with the MRS and will hopefully be a bumper edition. To reflect the full 75 years since RAF MR was officially recognised (instead of being an ad-hoc role that most SMO’s
probably dreaded), “we” – that’s the MRA and the MRS HQ staff at RAF Valley – are looking for historical articles – largely the MRA’s job and then some new, up-to-date input from the MRS. So, where do YOU fit in? That’s easy, despite what you might think your experiences, anecdotes and tales are all unique as events are very personal and are remembered in different ways, official reports are just that, and in most cases have been edited, restricted in input and often manipulated even if it was with the best intentions.
What OtH 2018 needs is YOUR story in YOUR words, even better if you have a photo or three to go with it. It does not need to be a hair raising tale of desperate deeds, although they to would be welcome, but how
about “My First Cook” or “My First Search” or “I Learnt About MR from That!” Anything will be welcome.
And NOW is the perfect time to write it, don’t procrastinate or think you’ll do it another day, start it now and send it straight to me or Mick Womersley, hand written, e-mailed whatever – ‘we’ will do the rest. Go on, please.
Brian Canfer.

Striding Edge
By
Chris Duncan

One way of getting to Helvellyn in the lakes,
Is an arête ridge, steep on both sides, no mistakes,
The name is famous far and wide,
In the wet misty peaks that often hide.
Sunshine reveals its beauty and splendour,
From below a gaze at its grandeur,
In winter it is not for faint hearted,
Many should think twice before they get started.
In a saddle below the summit,
Four of us paused before going for it,
As we looked up in wonder and glee,
A biker we did suddenly see.
Descending down this treacherous track,
Sliding beside his bike, without even a pack,
Special peddles he had on his mount to compete,
With useless plastic lumps on soles of his feet.
We watched while standing on a sheet of thick ice,
Wearing crampons, using axes with ropes, should suffice,
How he never slipped over either edge, to plummet below,
Is something I wonder often, I will never know.
We watched transfixed ready to act,
Get our carried rescue gear at the drop of a hat,
When he got to us, slipping and sliding on the ice sheet,
Stunned to silence we were, when he uttered ‘Ay up’ in greet.
Happy and not bothered was he,
Pink as red salmon, not a care to see,
So we watched him go while standing on our ice ledge,
Then we again turned to start up Striding Edge.

 

Of interest? Ray Coles, ex-Masirah troop and Land Rover enthusiast from Weymouth, is currently restoring a Series Rover to replicate the typical colour scheme and accessories used by Masirah MDRT in the 1970s.
See the letters section or for information contact Ray Coles, C/Eng M0XDL, 10 Littlemoor Road, Weymouth, DT3 6AA UK

 

A View From The HillMenthosa
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