After leaving school at sixteen and a half I worked at Chapmans Laundry in Portsmouth before joining the RAF as a Supplier.

I spent a year undergoing my apprenticeship at RAF Hereford, as a member of B Flight Admin Apprentice Squadron, and marched out as a Senior Aircraftman in 1970.

Training was long and hard, and we learnt all about life as an airman, and received educational training, including mathematics, civics and english, as well.

I will never forget our trade instructor, Cpl Looms, or our drill instructor, Cpl Pike. Both of them left an indelible impression on my memory!

The monotony of a year of training was broken only by my two week sojourn to the medical centre quarantine ward with mumps. Apart from the doctor the only visitors I had were a colony of ants who liked to help me eat my breakfast! Oh, and Cpl Looms who insisted on throwing me my trade notes from the doorway so I wouldn't miss any lessons.
Another day in class learning all about stores paperwork.

How on earth we spent a year in there I do not know.

We also had the pleasure of General Service Training and Religious Instruction!

After a while I joined the RAF Hereford Apprentice Band as a trumpet-bugler. Although it meant working Saturday mornings, and extra drill we did get to go to the Royal Tournament. I also played in the fanfare at the local cinema at the preview of the film 'Battle of Britain. We played at various venues including Plymouth Hoe at the Mayflower celebrations. All in all a good time was had by all!
Royal Tournament 1970
RAF Hereford 1970
On 7 Aug 1970 I finally finished my apprenticeship and went on leave.

My first Station was to be RAF Thorney Island.

Back to Top
Copyright 2007 Alan Hutchings All rights reserved.