84th Entry Members’ memorabilia
Over the years since Tony Beard set out the trace our members in anticipation of our 50th Anniversary celebrations our members have unearthed many items of memorabilia and allowed them to be shown on this website. You will find them on the members’ pages. Some items have been donated to the 84th Entry Archives held by Tony Mooney.
RAFLAA 84th Entry Box
When RAF Locking was preparing to close down it gave the contents of the entry box it kept for each entry to the RAFLAA. All the boxes were looked after by an ex-apprentice custodian for some years but the day came when he needed his loft for other purposes. At this point the RAFLAA asked its membership for volunteers to look after the boxes. Tony Mooney volunteered and has been the custodian of the 84th Entry box since September 1999. Tiny Kuhle, Chairman of the RAFLAA, said to him on 18 July 2018 that they had no guidance on what to do with the various entry boxes and Tony could dispose of his as he saw fit.
Locking Apprentice Memorabilia
This photo appeared in the February 2004 edition of the RAFLAA Newsletter with the caption:
The Display Cabinet is now installed in the RAFA Club at Weston Super Mare. All donations or loans of Apprentice Memorabilia would be appreciated.
In early 2017 some or all these items were transferred to The Helicopter Museum, also in Weston super Mare, to be housed in the newly refurbished Control Tower. The Helicopter Museum has kindly supplied the following list of the items it received:
Tony Mooney visited The Helicopter Museum on 18 July 2018 and viewed the RAF Locking Display in the Aviation Room next to the Control Tower. There is a good display of the Station and its association with Weston-super-Mare together with much information and memorabilia about Apprentices including some, if not all, of the items listed above. Tony took some photos of the displays which can be seen here.
The following two photos are copies from the RAFLAA Newsletter for July 2017 published there by courtesy of Tony Horry. The photos were taken at the Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare recently. The items are in the ‘Apprentice days at Locking’ exhibition in the old Control Tower.
The extract below from the same newsletter explains further:
“….. archival material, much of which had previously been held and/or exhibited at RAFA Weston-super-Mare. Treasurer added to the report from Rick and stated that much of this material had been assigned to the Helicopter Museum situate at the former Weston Airfield. The Museum had received some lottery funding and had developed the former control tower as part of the Museum. It was to the Control Tower that much of the donated memorabilia of ‘Apprentice days at Locking’ was now exhibited.
Asked whether it was possible yet awhile to visit the erstwhile Control Tower Treasurer replied that when open the whole Museum included the Control Tower. He added that 91st Entry Member, Ian Davies, was a very active member of the Museum team and had liaised with him on many occasions.”
Locking Apprentice Records at The Signals Museum Raf Henlow
A number of items have appeared in the RAFLAA Newsletter about the Apprentice Records at RAF Henlow. These records, comprising three filing cabinets, were in the care of the RAFLAA and seem to have been first stored in the Serco offices at RAF Henlow about 2001/2. They were moved to the Signals Museum, also at RAF Henlow, a few years later. Further items in the Newsletters report they were to be transferred to the RAF Museum at Hendon and that they were expected to be sent by them to the RAF Halton Museum which had a manned office at the time. At that point the RAFLAA ceased to be responsible for them.
In a conversation with Tony Mooney on 11 April 2017 the Curator of the RAF Halton Museum said that they had not received the items from the RAF Museum.
Tony contacted the RAF Signals Museum by email:
“I’ve been looking at some old RAF Locking Apprentice Association Newsletters and came across your name in connection with the Locking Apprentice Archives which were at one time at RAF Henlow. Can you tell me anything about them and maybe what happened to them?”
One of the Curators, Vic Ludlow (68th Entry), replied:
“There were initially some documents - files, etc - that came from Locking to the Signals Museum, RAF Henlow, and were then transferred by us to the RAF Museum.
There are one or two physical items, such as a board with the 'Band Masters' on, that are with us at present in the Signals Museum at RAF Henlow. However, the Museum has to be closed at the end of this year, consequent upon the sale of RAF Henlow for 'house building'. The RAFLAA has already asked about the items that are with us, in connection with the setting up of the Community Centre in 'the Chapel' at Locking.”
On 21 July 2018 Tony Mooney attended a Veterans’ Breakfast at Jordan’s Mill, Broom, Bedfordshire. There he met Ray Thompson of the 88th Entry who has been a volunteer at the Signals Museum at Henlow for many years. Ray helped pack up the apprentice records in three crates when they were disposed of. They were given to the RAF Museum but sent direct to their storage facility at Stafford. Ray said that the consignment consisted of various lists, including Entry lists and many other records. Furthermore, he said that an inventory was not made.