11th RAFHAAA TRIENNIAL - 2010
Narrative provided by Chips Woods
On Saturday 25th September, it was a mild autumn day for the 2010 Triennial gathering of Halton Apprentices and a new format meant there was no nostalgic walk down to the Airfield, a thing we hated in our time but relished in our later years.
Our day, therefore, started with a visit to some 1st World war trenches situated behind Airframe workshops. Recruits had worked for a long time on this system and they discovered that they had been used for training the Army in preparation for action on the western front in the Great War. It was a grim reminder of the futility of trench warfare. A more scientific dig is scheduled for next year (2011) and it will be interesting to read a broader account in the Halton magazine. Click here to read a short article on the RAF website and don't forget to follow the link at the bottom of the page to take a more detailed tour.
A leisurely stroll up to Henderson square and the hustle and bustle of greeting friends from other Entry’s in the drill hall, a far cry from the windswept parade grounds of the fifties. Not for to-days recruits the pleasure of hoisting a .303 rifle above their heads and doing a punishing circuit of the square.
Outside the skirl of the pipes could be heard as the golden oldies entertained with the old marching tunes. In next to no time it was lunch. Again a culture shock, there were choices!! Not the two choices of "take it or leave it", but real choices.
After lunch a visit to the Museum which seems to have added an enormous amount of memorabilia since our last visit. Can larger premises be found to house more items and also allow a more comfortable visit, as it can get very crowded?
Finally the sunset ceremony, with backs straightening and arms swinging and bands playing once again we marched on to the parade square for this very moving moment. The march down the hill was an anti climax, some of the old timers went to church and some finally made it to Airfields to enjoy a welcome pint; but most just drifted away.
Will we meet again in three years?
Note: Unfortunately, I have no images from this Triennial to show you . If you have some good quality photos of the event tucked away and are happy to have them put onto this website, please get in touch.