2017 RAFBEA Annual Reunion Report
Another year has flown by and its reunion time again! This year numbers were down again, not
surprising as we are an ageing membership organisation with the youngest members from the 51st
entry now touching or past 70 years of age. Unfortunately this trend will continue whether we like it
or not but 103 members did gather at Harper Adams University to join the reunion weekend.
A few boys arrived on Thursday evening as they were playing golf in the RAFBEA Open the following
morning. On Friday afternoon the majority of boys arrived and were soon billeted in the refurbished en- suite accommodation before returning to the reception area to meet and greet old friends with a cup of
tea, coffee and biscuits. On Friday evening a number of boys took advantage of the free mini-bus service to the local pub for a meal whilst others stayed on campus for the traditional Friday group dinner after which it was into the bar next door for a few bevvies!
Saturday morning saw many taking part in the organised activities, the ever popular quiz was well
received with two new young ladies delivering the questions and by all accounts giving as good as they got! Sadly the bowlers got rained off when a short sharp shower hit the green. Saturday morning at the movies in the university theatre saw a number of boys watching The Unseen Films of the RAF ~
circa 1963. The film was a compilation of Boy Entrant and Apprentice trade recruiting films that was
filmed at all the Boy Entrant training stations, it certainly brought back distant memories from those
swinging 60’s! Senior Boy Jersey Heys played his highly humorous recording by an ex-RAF pilot of life as an Air Traffic Controller at Birmingham International Airport. During Friday afternoon and Saturday morning young Arthur Barnard sold hundreds of raffle tickets and at the same price as they were 5 years ago! Arthur doesn’t believe in inflation so everyone purchasing tickets got a real bargain!
Sincere thanks to all boys who kindly donated items for the raffle. And special thanks to Jersey Heys
who donated the star prize ~ a fabulous holiday in Jersey. By midday virtually all attendee’s had
arrived in time to tuck into a hearty lunch.
The Annual General Meeting took place in the university theatre after lunch, a copy of the minutes of
the AGM can be found in the members area of the website. Following the AGM the raffle was drawn
which raised a magnificent sum exceeding £700.
The highlight of the weekend is the reunion dinner which was attended by the new RAF Cosford
station commander and OC No 1 School of Technical Training plus 18 Engineering Students, 2 Trainers and the Station Warrant Officer. Also with us was Honorary Member Gary Fletcher who comes down from the Lake District where he lives every year. All the trainees were split up & seated at tables with the boys so conversation was varied and interesting. The Lovettes, an all girl group provided entertainment after the dinner and then it was into the bar for a nightcap or two. All guests from RAF Cosford thoroughly enjoyed themselves as did all attendees.
Sunday morning saw two thirds of boys making their way to RAF Cosford for the annual Battle of
Britain Parade and Service followed by a super lunch in the Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess.
Next year is RAF 100 ~ Centenary Year so it would be good to see as many Association Members as
possible at the 2018 reunion. As will be appreciated our reunions cannot go on indefinitely so whilst
you are reasonably fit and able why not make a date in your diary now for September 7th to 9th at Harper Adams to celebrate the RAF Boy Entrants Association and the RAF’s Centenary. It will be a very special reunion with a few surprises so do your utmost to attend. Full details including costs will be in the March 2018 Newsletter.
RAFBEA Reunion Secretary.