2013 NEWS

Christmas Party for OAP's

Members of the Thetford Branch enjoyed helping out with RAF Honington staff at the Xmas Party for OAP's from the local community held in the Sergeants Mess. The photo shows Vanessa, a member of the Thetford Branch and Josh the Station Photographer from RAF Honington enjoying the occasion. The party was organised by WO Bob Hargreaves the Community Relations Officer and member of RAFA Thetford. A great meal was enjoyed by all, with music from the Station Voluntary Band, raffle prizes and bingo, called by Bill Laidlaw.

 

Christmas Party for OAPs

 


 

Bridgham Remembrance Service - Sunday 10th November 2013

The photo shows members of RAFA, RBL and USAF at the Bridgham Remembrance Service carried out on Sunday 10th November 2013

 

Bridgham Remembrance Service - Sunday 10th November 2013

 


 

East Wretham Remembrance Service - Wednesday 6th November 2013

The East Wretham Remembrance Service for the Czech, Slovak and Polish airmen buried in the Commonwealth War Graves at St Ethelbert's church was carried out on the morning of Wed 6th November. It was exceptionally well attended with representatives from the Czech, Slovak and Polish Embassies in London, Lady K Fisher the Queen's representative in Norfolk, the Town Mayor of Thetford Stuart Wright, Chairman of Norfolk Council Hiliary Cox, RAF Honington personnel, a very smart turnout from the Standard Bearers from the RAFA, RBL and 1109 ATC (Thetford) Sqn, Dave Harper the bagpiper, and Tom Milford Director of Music from the Honington Voluntary Band as the bugler. Many personnel from RAFA and the local community made up an excellent turnout. Rev'd Helen Jary from the Cloverfield Community Church conducted a lovely service, first at the War Memorial and then down at the War Graves.

The churchyard and graves have been kept in an immaculate condition by John Kitson. David Fitt and his team then gave everyone a great cup of tea/coffee cake in the Town Hall afterwards, along with a number of speeches carried out during that period. Thankfully the weather was kind to us yet again, but with the very low cloud base the planned fly past had to be cancelled.

 

East Wretham Remembrance Service - Wednesday 6th November 2013

 


 

RAFA Theford & District Branch, The RBL at Stanton and Air Cadets from 1109 ATC Thetford Sqn, Honington Visit - Friday 18th October 2013

Members of the Royal Air Forces Association Thetford & District Branch, the Royal British Legion at Stanton and Air Cadets from 1109 ATC (Thetford) Sqn visited RAF Honington for the day on Friday 18th October 2013. The day involved a presentation on the history of RAF Honington by Mr Ray Towler, followed by the Graduation Parade in the Jimmy James Hangar of Trainee Gunner TG 1/13 RAF Regiment. This was followed by lunch in the Airmens Mess before a visit to the RAF Regiment Museum. Finally, all personnel visited the Sergeants Mess for tea/coffee and biscuits where John Macpherson presented those that visited with personalised certificates commemorating their day at RAF Honington. The photo shows those who attended outside E - Hangar (Jimmy James Hangar).  Thanks must go to FS Mick Luke and Cpl Vicky Stewart, Station RAFALO's,for the organisation and support throughout the visit.

 

RAFA Theford & District Branch, The RBL at Stanton and Air Cadets from 1109 ATC Thetford Sqn, Honington Visit - Friday 18th October 2013

 


 

Branch Members Lunch at The Terrier - Friday 11th October 2013

The photo shows members of the Thetford & District Branch enjoying lunch in The Terrier in Thetford on Friday 11th October.

 

Mmembers of the Thetford & District Branch enjoying lunch in The Terrier in Thetford on Friday 11th October

 


 

Theford & District Branch win RAFALO Quiz Night for the 3rd Time Running!!

Eight members of the Thetford & District Branch managed to retain the RAFALO Quiz Trophy for the third time running in the Sergeants Mess at RAF Honington on the evening of Thursday 3 Oct 2013. It was a hard fought battle against 7 other local RAFA Branches, but eventually Thetford won by 5 clear points. The photo shows Chrissie McGaw from the Thetford team receiving the trophy from organiser and quiz master on the night FS Griff Griffiths. Thanks go to the CMC and members of the Sergeants Mess for the use of their facility.

 

Thetford & District Branch Win the RAFALO Quiz Night for the Third Time in a Row!!

 


 

Visit by the National Federation of Old Age Pensioners - 2nd October 2013

Visit by the National Federation of Old Age Pensioners (NFOP) to RAF Honington on the 2 Oct 2013. The visit was hosted by John and Ray of the RAFA Thetford & District Branch and took in visits to RAF Regiment Museum, a presentation in the Sowrey Room, lunch in the Airmens Mess and tea,biscuits and coffee in the Sergeants Mess to finish with. A good day was had by all.

 

Visit by the National Federation of Old Age Pensioners - 2nd October 2013

 


 

Battle of Britain Weekend

The Battle of Britain weekend in Thetford with a good turnout on the day by members of the Thetford Branch.

 

Battle of Britain Weekend

 


 

RAFA Shield & Certificate of Appreciation Presented to Mr Len Raven by Vice Chairman Nigel King

The photo shows Nigel King Vice Chairman of the Thetford & District Branch, on the left, presenting a RAFA shield and Certificate of Appreciation to Mr Len Raven of the Bury St Edmunds Branch after his very interesting presentation on Helicopter Operations during the Malayan Emergency 1948 - 1960. The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP). The slides shown by Len was a great insight into the hardships and struggle that the Commonwealth forces encountered during the Emergency. Despite the communist's defeat in 1960, communist leader Chin Peng renewed the insurgency in 1967, it lasted until 1989 and became known as the Communist Insurgency War. Although Australian and British armed forces had fully withdrawn from Malaysia years earlier, the insurgency still failed.

 

RAFA Shield & Certificate of Appreciation Presented to Mr Len Raven by Vice Chairman Nigel King

 


 

The Wolf Brewery Donates to RAFA Wings Appeal

 


 

RAF Honington Families Day - Thursday 25 July

These photos show some of the members who 'manned' the gazebo all day 'Flying the Flag' for the Association and giving support to the Families Day.  A torrential downpour early morning did not bode well for the occasion, but as the day went on the weather turned out for the good and we all enjoyed an excellent day's out.

 

RAF Honington Families Day - Thursday 25 JulyRAF Honington Families Day - Thursday 25 July

 


 

Force Protection Centre Visit at RAF Honington - Tuesday 16th July 2013

The Thetford & District Branch were invited by WO Geordie Patterson to the Force Protection (FP) Centre at RAF Honington on Tuesday 16th July 2013, the photo shows some of the members who attended. All thought the visit extremely enlightening and of great interest, and have promised a further visit in the near future to see further aspects of the Centre. The aim of the RAF FP Centre is to prepare RAF and personnel from the other Services for their Force Protection, supported by integrated and constant research, training design, standardisation and drafting of tactical doctrine. Members had lunch in the Sergeants Mess before the visit and all agreed a very enjoyable day throughout.

 

Force Protection Centre Visit at RAF Honington - Tuesday 16th July 2013

 


 

Branch Lunch at The Terrier, Thetford - Friday 12th July 2013

The photo shows some members of the Thetford & District Branch in the garden of The Terrier in Thetford Norfolk on Friday 12th July after having a most enjoyable lunch. Nigel and Angie, plus Frank and Margaret had to leave early so unfortunately could not make the photo.

 

Branch Lunch at The Terrier, Thetford - Friday 12th July 2013

 


 

RAFA Thetford BBQ - Saturday 6th July 2013

Members of the RAF and RAFA Thetford along with MOD Civil Servants and wives and children from the Community Centre RAF Honington enjoyed a great day at the RAFA Thetford BBQ in The Fox Honington village on Saturday 6th July. The weather was perfect, along with good food and entertainment, with plenty of ice cream for all. The raffle was top notch, and the bouncy castle and face painting went down extremely well with the children. Overall a great success, and something which we can certainly think of for our events calendar next year.

 

RAFA Thetford BBQ - Saturday 6th July 2013RAFA Thetford BBQ - Saturday 6th July 2013

 

(Right) Ray with one of the Name the Bear winners, this one shows the Red Arrows bear winner.

 


 

Thetford & District Branch Members Celebrating Armed Forces Day - 29th June 2013

The photo shows members of the Thetford & District Branch who celebrated Armed Forces Day on the 29th June in the Market Square in Thetford. The Standard Bearer for the day was WO Bob Hargreaves accompanied by a good contingent of volunteers who 'manned' the gazebo for a good 7 hours raising funds for Wings Appeal.  The Branch was supported by the Thetford Town Crier and a member of RAF Honington on the day.

 

Thetford & District Branch Members Celebrating Armed Forces Day - 29th June 2013Thetford & District Branch Members Celebrating Armed Forces Day - 29th June 2013

 


 

Presentation of New Standard to No 1 Squadron RAF Regiment - 25 June 2013 at RAF Honington

The photo shows part of the ceremony for the Presentation of the new Standard to No 1 Squadron RAF Regiment on the 25 June 2013 at RAF Honington. The Reviewing Officer was Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton GCB ADC LLD (Hon) BSc FRAeS CCMI RAF. The Consecrating Officer was the Chaplain-in-Chief The Venerable (Air Vice-Marshal) Ray J Pentland QHC BA DPS MTh RAF. The Parade Commander was Squadron Leader J Rowe MA BA RAF. After the parade all visitors and spectators were invited to the RAF Regiment Museum and later in the afternoon invited to No 1 Squadron Hangar for a capability display and BBQ. A great occasion attended by members of the Thetford & District Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association who felt extremely honoured to be invited to this great event.

 

Presentation of New Standard to No 1 Squadron RAF Regiment - 25 June 2013 at RAF HoningtonPresentation of New Standard to No 1 Squadron RAF Regiment - 25 June 2013 at RAF Honington

 


 

Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) talk given by Mrs Eleanor Wordsworth - 15th May 2013

The photo shows some of the RAFA Members and Service personnel who attended the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) talk given by Mrs Eleanor Wordsworth in the Sergeants Mess RAF Honington on the 15th May,who explained in great detail about her experiences flying Spitfires, Hurricanes and Mosquitoes, to name a few, during World War 11.

The ATA was a civilian organisation that ferried new, repaired and damaged military aircraft between UK factories, Assembly Plants, Maintenance Units (MU), service Squadrons and airfields and transatlantic delivery points thus relieving countless numbers of RAF pilots for duty in the battle.

It was a really absorbing and great insight into the wonderful duties that those personnel carried out in their fight and struggle to help towards the war effort.

 

 


 

Graduation Parade at RAF Honington - Friday 31 May 2013

The photo shows members of the Thetford & District Branch who attended the Graduation Parade at RAF Honington on Friday 31 May 2013. The day was a great success with the standard of drill of the highest order, the Military Band just brilliant and the weather at last quite warm. The next Graduation will be held at RAF Honington on Friday 19th July, any member and family interested in attending please contact the Chairman or Secretary of the Branch so arrangements can be made for seating and lunch.

 

 


 

Branch Members Fund Raising at Santon Downham Car Boot Sale - Sunday 5th May

The photo shows Ivy, Tony and John raising money for the Thetford & District Branch at the Santon Downham car boot sale on Sunday 5th May. The weather was excellent, and the day very relaxing and at the same time we met many friends who visited the car boot sale on this early May sunny Sunday.

 

 


 

The RAFALO's Quiz Night - 2nd May 2013

The RAFALO's Quiz Night was held in the Sergeants Mess at RAF Honington on the 2 May 2013. The evening was a great success with 9 teams from the east Anglia area involved in a keenly fought battle, the eventual winners being the Thetford & District Branch for the second time running. The evening also involved fund raising for Wings Appeal due to sponsorship for Flt Sgt Mick Luke who will be involved in the Al Udeid Air Base Challenge in Qatar, and a raffle carried out during the evening. The evening is one of the popular events in the RAFA calendar within this area. The photo shows the winning team of: Adey, Pete, Terry, John, Bill, Vanessa and Ray.

 

 

 

Bill McGaw, captain for the evening for the Thetford & District Branch, receiving the winning trophy of the RAFALO Quiz Night from Fg Off Tony Donaldson, station RAFALO for RAF Honington

 


 

Cancelled Event

Due to a double booking the RAFA Thetford & District Branch Informal Social/ Fund Raising Evening booked for Wednesday 8th May in the Sergeants Mess at RAF Honington has been cancelled.


The next Informal Evening will be on Wednesday 5th June at the same venue starting at 1930 hrs. Further information can be obtained from the Chairman and Secretary of the Branch.'

 


 

Branch Outing to the Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum - 30th April 2013

 

Members of the Thetford & District Branch enjoyed a day out on the 30th April 2013 at the excellent Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum at Flixton near Bungay. The weather was very kind to us, and with 25,000 exhibits to view covering civil and military aviation in East Anglia from the pioneer years, through World Wars I and II to the present day an early start was necessary. We covered a great deal on our visit, but obviously a second visit sometime would be essential to cover everything, we all found it very interesting bringing back many memories for many of us.

We also enjoyed a very relaxing meal at lunch time in the Buck Inn next to the museum; the food was very good indeed and the surroundings very comfortable with a great deal of chatter going on, to the extent that we were reluctant to move on to the afternoon visit to the museum. But move on we did, finally departing about 1600hrs. A great day out for the Branch with promises to go back again in the near future.

 

 


 

Branch Lunch - Norfolk Terrier - 19th April 2013

 

Members of the Thetford & District Branch outside the Norfolk Terrier after enjoying an afternoon lunch on the Friday 19th April. The next Branch Lunch will be in the Sergeants Mess RAF Honington on 17th May. Those wishing to attend please contact either the Branch Chairman or Branch Secretary so the Mess Chef is aware of how many personnel will attend.

 

 


 

Gardening in the Garden of Reflection - RAF Honington - Thursday 4th April 2013

'Nigel, Frank, John and Ray along with the SWO's Gang spent a few hours on the morning of Thursday 4th April doing a spot of gardening in the Garden of Reflection at RAF Honington. The garden is the responsibility of RAFA Thetford & District along with the SWO's Team, and during late April and May looks a real picture with the blossom tree and thousands of daffodils in full bloom. The garden is located immediately behind the Remembrance area which,in itself, always looks very neat and tidy and very colourful. After the gardening the team retired for a bite to eat and a very hot cup of coffee, it certainly was a cool morning!'

 

 


 

Trainee Gunner Graduation Ceremony TG 3/12 - Thursday 28th March 2013

Members of the Thetford Branch attended the Trainee Gunner Graduation Ceremony of TG 3/12 on Thursday 28th March 2013.  Although quite cold in the Jimmy James Hanger where the Graduation was carried out, family, friends and military personnel really enjoyed a great parade with the Reviewing Officer for the day, Group Captain SE Reeves MBE BEng FRAeS RAF from RAF Leeming.

25 Gunners graduated, which was the culmination of significant effort and achievement on the part of the young men who have qualified to serve in the Royal Air Force Regiment, and earned the right to wear the coveted Corps 'Flash.''

 

Trainee Gunner Graduation Ceremony TG 3/12 - Thursday 28th March 2013Trainee Gunner Graduation Ceremony TG 3/12 - Thursday 28th March 2013

 


 

Paths to Peace Concert - Sunday 17th February 2013

'Standard Bearers from local Branches of the RAFA and RBL attended a 'Paths to Peace Concert' in The Apex Bury St Edmunds on Sunday 17 February. This concert was held for a tribute to the Royal Air Force, performed by the combined Reserve Forces Voluntary Bands of RAF Honington and RAF Wyton, the evening also featured the Honington Military Wives Choir. The event was a great success with a very good audience in attendance. All proceeds from the concert went to the Royal Air Forces Association and Help for Heroes.

 

Standard Bearers from local Branches of the RAFA and RBL attended a 'Paths to Peace Concert



Future concerts will be held throughout the year paying tribute to our servicemen and women of the Armed Forces on the following dates:

1st June 2013 - Tribute to the Army
7th September 2013 - Tribute to the Royal Navy
23rd November 2013 - Tri Service Finale


Further details can be obtained from The Apex Bury St Edmunds on 01284 758000.
Website: www.theapex.co.uk
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cost: £13 per concert

 


 

Branch Lunch - 15th February 2013

The photo shows members of the Branch who enjoyed lunch in the Sergeants Mess RAF Honington on the 15th February. The Branch has a lunch outing once a month in either the Sergeants Mess, The Norfolk Terrier in Thetford and The Fox in Honington village. All members are most welcome to join in. The next Branch Lunch will be held on Friday 15th March in The Fox Honington village at 1200hrs. If you wish to attend please contact the Branch Chairman or the Branch Secretary at least 3 days before the event.

 

Branch Lunch Enjoyed in the Sergeants Mess RAF Honington by Some of our Members

 


 

Nigel King's Retirement Party - 1st February 2013

 

Nigel King's Retirement PartyFriends, colleagues and family gathered in Busby’s Bar at RAF Honington to celebrate Nigel King’s retirement party on 1st February 2013.

 

Nigel arrived at RAF Honington 14 years ago from RAF Marham and took on the role of Quality Systems Manager for a period of 3 years. In order to spread his wings and further his knowledge, Nigel applied for the position of Health and Manager where he remained in post for 11 years. During his time at RAF Honington, Nigel served 14 years and 280 days as a civil servant.

 

There was an excellent turn out to bid farewell to Nigel, including his daughter Nicola and grand daughter Lucy who had flown over from Seattle USA for the occasion.

 

Nigel is Vice Chairman and Treasurer of the Thetford & District Branch and lives in Thetford with his wife Angie.

 


 

Trainee Gunner Graduation Ceremony of TG 2/12 - 25th January 2013

 

The photos show the Trainee Gunner Graduation Ceremony of TG 2/12 on the 25 January 2013 at RAF Honington which is the culmination of significant effort and achievement on the part of the young men who have qualified to serve in the Royal Air Forces Regiment and the right to wear the coveted Corps 'flash.'

 

Trainee Gunner Graduation Ceremony of TG 2/12 - 25th January 2013Trainee Gunner Graduation Ceremony of TG 2/12 - 25th January 2013