84th Entry Archives
Since our 50th anniversary in 2009 we have built up a small but respectable 84th Entry Archive consisting of papers and artefacts kindly donated by our members. It is our intention to keep them in our possession until such time as we may want to pass them to a museum or other safe place. If you donate anything yourself then we'll gladly include it in the 84th Entry Archives. The Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare has said they will be happy to accept them when we can no longer look after them ourselves.
With our grateful thanks to each and every donor.
We welcome further donations. Do you have anything you can contribute?
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 themembers’ pages. Some items have been donated to the 84th Entry Archives mentioned above.
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 he could dispose of them as he saw fit.
Locking Apprentice Memorabilia
This photo appeared in the February 2004 edition of the RAFLAA Newsletter with the caption:
RAFA Club Weston Super Mare
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 it’s 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.
It is expected that when RAF Henlow closes in 2019 the RAF Locking artefacts from the Signals Museum will be transferred to them as well. However, Ray Thompson of the Signals Museum (see below) has said that this is no longer certain.
Locking Apprentice Records
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 he 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.
RAFLAA Newsletter July 2017
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.”