Chris’ story: only slightly abridged by DJ
What do I know about my big (shorter) (only) brother?
He went to "Upper Grade" school as we all (except Mum & Sue) did. He worked (probably while still at school) for Tancock's the butcher on Butchers Hill. He went as a "Brat" to Royal Air Force Hendon/Holton. The first I really remember was that he was posted to RAF Fassberg (Jeermany) where he grew his "Jimmy Edwards/Blue job typeTache" that he would twist one side as he went into Saunders Post Office at 'aylands and the other side when he came out! (I wonder if my son, Herb "The Poser" has the same gene?)
On thinking about it, memory playing it's usual tricks, I think it would have been earlier when he came home on leave (in uniform) I would go clumping around in "The Wilderness" in his "Bulled Boot's" and No1 (I would assume) hat and one of the old man's "Souvenir" rifle's, a Martini, I think) and he never moaned. (This would be before the "Tache" I think). You might have heard about the Bike. He drove home from Jeermany on it (had made a dual seat as they were still separate driver -pillion seat's in the main). He had this "Smelly Cheese" secured to the seat, Camembert I think, nice now but then "Smelly"! Naturally he used to bring his "Duty Frees" home and of course I'd pinch the odd packet and impress the lads with Senior Service. He never said owt, but then I did used to stand with a lit cigarette in my mouth and he'd shoot it out with his air rifle - if you can't trust your brother, who can you trust?. Not sure if he went anywhere else before being posted to RAF Thorney Island from where he went with the helicopter's (I think on HMS Victorious) to Christmas Island for the "Tests". He flew back via San Francisco and on the flight was Zsa Zsa Gabor of whom he didn't form a good opinion. Not sure when he met Mary (she was RC and it wasn't until his death that we, or at least me found out that he had "Changed Step" and become a "Left Footer") who was a nurse at Newport. (As a callow youth of fifteen or sixteen and onwards 'til the last time I saw her, I thought she was a "Tasty Bird"). Shame about her going on about the "Irish problem" which blighted his promotion after being commissioned. (as I understand). As a (naive) lad I used to think it interesting when she'd go on about her grandfather's cottage in Ireland with the bullet holes. When I joined the mob and was on guard in Aldershot (open camp), armed with a pick helve and warned to be on the alert for the IRA trying to get to the armoury, I started to think differently.
I'm not sure at what stage he was at RAF St Mawgan, but it was when he had his bike, as he came off one Sunday night chasing back down there after the weekend and he dropped it to avoid hitting a cow that appeared on the road in the fog.
Probably my proudest moment with "My Brother" was when they were still living in a flat in George Street, Ryde opposite the York Hotel and I called in on my Friday afternoon off and Pete was home (Doing the ironing and that was a shock) and I lent him five bob because he was skint. (The shame that marriage can bring). I was probably only earning three or four quid a week then, thirty bob to "Me Mam" or for the lodging's when they moved over to the Mainland. I was only getting a fiver until I joined up at eighteen. It was a small token for what had gone before and came after!
They would have gone to Singapore before I joined up in '60 as I put in for a posting to Singapore or Malta - Barb & Jack (AKA Nunk as in the Navy Larks, we called each other Nunk). No deal UK or Jeermany, so I went to Jeermany.
I think it would be RAF Finningley after that (V Bombers and all that stuff). I think, without looking that I have a picture of Mary with Tim and "Little Pammy" at their gate as I was leaving on one occasion, on my facebook list.
After he was commissioned, not sure if he then went to RAF Linton on Ouse or if there was somewhere in between. (I went to Aden when they were at Finningley and after I came back met Roni and thing's changed dramatically in my life).
I think that at Finningley he was a Chief Tech and finished as a Flight Lieutenant but not sure.
After I came out of the mob and was "Back on the road again", driving as a civvy, I used to stay with them when the were living at Poppleton, Yorkshire and I think he was at Linton!
He was at RAF Kinloss, Jockineseland! Was that before Thorney Island?
I know he finished up at RAF Hawden ( think that's the spelling, but could be Houghden) up Chester way! Tim (The Second Senior Bridle of our line with the name "Bridle" with no prefix's and of the blood for the purists) still lives up there!
He was intending to move and retire in OZZ. We, 'im and me 'ad this big chat when we were out there for that "BIG BASH" in '94! After we'd done the 'anging rock "stroll/strole/meander" and were taking a "small" libation to help the recovery after the climb and the shock of Brian's (Sue's) declaration that the "Koala" was the most dangerous haminal in the world!
Oh, the bike was an Ariel, probably 350 as was quite the norm (as kicked over by "R" Barb into the rose bush) originally a hand change (as you'd be aware on the tank) which he converted in Jeermany to a foot change! When he went "Swanning off" to Christmas Island, he left it in the coal shed with instruction's for me to "Kick it over now and then". Suez crisis-no money-not much juice in it! Ah, borrow the odd bottle (of petrol not TVO) from the tractor at work and get it out of the shed to be sure it would still run, It was probably then that I acquired my dislike for driving bike's, our drive wasn't very long but I struggled with the machine but never shot out into the road and it has to be said that I was a bit "Slender" back then (farmer gave me some gaiters to wear with my 'obnail boots, I had to pack them with newspaper to stop them flapping, there it's out!), but I didn't bend it (the bike) when I dropped it on the odd occasion.
Pete’s trade as I recall was Electrical, jet fighter's in Jeermany, Westland Whirlwind's Thorney Island - Christmas Island and probably St Mawgan. After Commissioning and was at Linton, he was Transport Officer. Don't know after that.