RAF Halton Apprentices 74th Entry 1953 to 1956

Two Griffins holding a 74th shield. "Main Point" (Archive 36).

Main Point Newsletter Archived 1st October 2013.

Slim at the Controls of a Comet.

man in a cockpit.

Taken at Bruntingthorpe on our visit. Its a Comet mark 4.
Mike (AKA Slim).

Diamond Geezers Report from Tony Merry.

Photographs by Tony.

People celabrating.

People celabrating.

People celabrating.

People celabrating.

Tony's Report: Celebration dinner at The Three Swans Hotel in Market Harborough.

The 74th Entry arrived at Halton on the 28th of April 1953. Sixty years later, to the day, 21 men and 10 ladies gathered for a celebration dinner at The Three Swans Hotel in Market Harborough. We were piped in by Tom Mulholland (102nd) of the Golden Oldies, who in the company of his charming wife joined us for the meal, after which he entertained us with many of the old favourite tunes. For his efforts, Tom was presented with a framed certificate making him an honorary member of the 74th.

More Photographs from Tony.

People celabrating.

People celabrating.

Cold War Aircraft Collection at Bruntingthorpe.

In the morning most of us had visited the Cold War Aircraft Collection at Bruntingthorpe. The collection, whilst being interesting, cannot really be classed as a museum; the aircraft are haphazardly displayed, without appropriate information as to type etc. The most amazing aircraft on display is the Super Guppy, used by NASA to transport rockets and later by Airbus Industries to ferry Airbus wings from the UK factory to Toulouse.


The weather being rather windy, and there being no facilities for personal comfort, either to take in refreshment or to off-load the extra tea or coffee from breakfast, we drifted off to the hotel after about an hour and a half instead of the planned three to four hours.

[Editor]Another super sucessful reunion reportedly enjoyed by all who attended the Do.
Well done Tony.

Plumbers on Parade with the Guppy.

Andy Anderton writes:
"I expect you will get a report from Tony Merry regarding the Diamond Geezers weekend at Bruntingthorpe. I don't think any group photographs were taken, it was a bit chilly on the airfield!

"It was a great weekend to celebrate the 60th anniversary of us all signing on together, the evening celebration dinner was exceptional and even included a piper to play all the familiar old tunes.

"However, I did get a picture of the armourers (attached) and thought you might like a copy. From left to right they are Graham (Mothballs) Napthen, Michael (Andy) Anderton, Tony Pulford and Richard (Shotgun) Mynors-Wallis.

men standing before an Aeroplane.

Photograph by Andy Anderton.

"Congratulations to Tony Merry for all his hard work to keep the spirit of the 74th alive.


Another Halton Link : A Message from a Welcome Visitor to our Website.

[Editor] Another result for our Website which seems to retain it's high rating on the Internet Browsers. The following is the message from Peter French

The Message.

"I picked up your web page when accessing Fairy Deltas and your reminising re Jetex etc bought a smile to my face. Well as an interesting point my father Sqn Ldr French was in charge of apprentice training at Halton from 1946-1948 when he then retired.

"He actually joined the RAF had his own training as an apprentice at newly opened Halton in I think 1923. So he started there as a boy and finished there running it. We lived in married quarters in Halton Village (The Bothies) . So there you go - Small world.

"I was heavily into aeromodelling and attended Farnborough every year from 1950 to I think to 1957 and was there near the hill when the DH110 of John Derry disintergrated with those tragic casualities. That period was, as we know, the hey day of British jet prototypes and Farnborough was absolute magic for the aerobuff.

"Sad how those great companies dissappeared but that is progress. I was able to afford a Jane's All The Worlds Aircarft in successive years and would spend hours leafing through the pages. I used it to design and make the SAAB j29 (Barrell) to which I fitted a ducted fan using as I recall a Bee diesel.

"Any way your web page took me back to a period which gave me so much pleasure
Peter French."

Non Stop Flight from England to Australia

[Editor] Another helping hand to our many non 74th site visitors. This visitor, Phil Taylor, was sucessfully directed, by yours truly, to the National Aircraft Museum.

The Request from Phil.

" I was actually just reminiscing about past times, My Father Clive Taylor Navigated this Non Stop Flight from England to Australia, I still have his flight Log Books and Signed Photos from the occasion.

"Unfortunately he passed away a few Years ago shortly after attempting to reunite the crew (attached).

"I really was hoping for some thoughts on what I could do with these flight logs and Photos as I would like to donate them to somewhere or someplace where they might be of interest.

"Phil Taylor Group EH&S Manager Indodrill Group of Companies"

Further Information about the Record Flight can be found here.

Eddy Priest: Another Happy Visitor to the 74th Website.

[Editor]This isn't strictly connected with RAF Halton but shows that we do have visitors to our Website who are interested enough to share their stories with us.
Perhaps you came across this chaps father in-law, Chiefy Eric Brewer, in your early RAF days?

"Hi Joe I was fascinated to read your tales of your RAF days Sutton Bridge, my father in-law Eric Brewer used to tell me similar stories about his RAF years spent at Sutton Bridge in the middle 50s as well as many others; Canada etc.

"He too disliked all the parades,duties and inspection but he did get himself into the SnR serving from RAF Colerne. My mother in-law tells me how worried she used to be in the late 50s when he used to take his guys off in an Anson fly to RAF St Mawgan check out a damaged plane have lunch then fly to St Athens check another and be home at Colerne for tea time, he loved the job.

"He told me the sort of job included checking and assessing damage and writing up reports of spares required or if the plane was a write off.
One job he told me of was where a flight mechanic was checking the hydraulics of a Wessex heli using a mercury pressure gauge which he was told to leave outside the fuselage but didn't, it broke and wrote the heli off as all the rivets at the base of the heli exploded when in contact with the mercury.

"He left the RAF as a chief tech in 61 after 26 years service he said he didn't want to but his three children ( my wife one of them) were settled at school in Bath and they did not want to move home anymore.

"Sadly he left us ten years ago at the age of 79 his name was Eric Brewer.

"I hope this tale is of interest to you.
Regards Eddy Priest
Midsomer Norton."

News Items and Stories Needed.

[Editor] Please send me any news items or stories that may be of interest to members of the 74th Entry Association or any other visitors to the 74th Entry Website.

Joe Bosher (74th).


Site Navigation:

World Copyright © Joe Bosher (74th Entry) All Rights Reserved.
Website: 74th.co.uk