3rd April 1961

April 3rd 1961



Right now on this hot dusty day the Platters are singing ‘Only You’.  Spring is in the air and all that.  Everything would be near perfect if only I was sitting in the back garden of ** Parsloes Avenue with you.

These past few days have been pretty good.  All us lads have been sun-bathing, playing cards, swigging beer and in general having an easy life.  Saturday we had a little game of football but the lads soon packed up because they thought it meant too much running around in the heat.

My mate Mick has been writing to a girl in Canada.  He found her address in an American magazine and has been writing for a few months on a pen-pal relationship.  Anyway her recent letters have become very romantic.  In her last letter she wrote that she intends to fly over to UK as soon as Mike is posted back there, which will be in another 5 months.  This girl is 5’9” tall, perfect figure, has own car and plenty of money.  According to what he says she has recently bought nearly £300 worth of clothes in preparation of her meeting him.  She has blonde hair and is a figure skating instructor aged 25.  She sounds just perfect for him doesn’t she?  There is only one very big snag to all this – Mike has a wife and daughter in Birmingham.  This guy has problems but the only person to blame is himself.  He started it all.

He explained his problem to me for my advice.  I am beginning to consider myself the Local Advice Bureau for lonely airmen.  I told him to write back saying that he was either married or was going to marry a girl at home – this depends on what he has written to her before – and that he wishes to discontinue their pen-pal relationship forthwith – dead sharpish mate!  Not forgetting to add the nice-knowing-you line.     ps must find out her address!

You were dead lucky Miss Brown.  Oxford were yards ahead and going strong when their no.6 gave in.  How lucky can you get?  Seriously though – and it is serious when I lose money every time.  The vast sum of 2/6d is hereby enclosed for your retention in lieu of present, one Christmas, (air force language).

I don’t think your father could have received his (my) card on the exact day because I didn’t post it til the morning before and as you know it takes a couple of days at least.  Still, he must have it by now and he probably thinks a certain SAC is being crafty.

We had a Messing meeting last Wednesday.  It was more than interesting from my point of view because I was in an argumentative mood to start with.  The president opened the meeting by saying how disgusted he was with the airmen because there was only 3 of us present.  Next he said that no complaints about the food should be put forward because the new ruling states these should be entertained on the day of complaint to the Catering Officer.  Having opened the meeting by ’attacking’ us he settles back in his chair very well satisfied.

After the minutes were read SAC Blake was called upon to open.  Guess I kinda shook them a bit by my first question which was ‘how often does the C.O. visit the Mess?’  Not kidding you darling, but the four officers very nearly hit the roof.  They were licked because he doesn’t and Queen’s Regs. says he should.  After umming and ahing etc during which I defended my question with success it was agreed to mention it to the C.O. but I was requested not to press this question on to the minutes.  Having made my point I agreed to this.

The whole point of the CO visiting means an even higher standard of catering possible.  Just like everybody would work hard if your boss were to stroll through your office.

My next question was a personal one and it was well brought out.  It happened like this.  The night before this actual meeting the Orderly Officer for the day had been walking around the mess at tea-time.  Just before he asked our table (of people) I had tested my mug of tea to find it was stone cold.  The tea had only just been drawn from the urn, so it was pretty obvious that some idiot had made the tea with cold water or something like that.

Anyway, when he asked me I told him the tea was cold.  He was almost rude about it, he said ‘well, go and tell them yourself then.’  This annoyed me somewhat  because he had just asked me ‘any complaints’, which was his duty and he now failed to take any action.  He obviously didn’t know I was a rep. but he will soon.  I dislike his type of NCO.  His attitude was quite unnecessary and out of order.  Anyway I brought the matter to light and it was agreed that he was out of order.  This is what is called ‘dropping him in it.’  but the whole point is he is the very type that sends many a poor little airman marching to the Guardroom every night.  He will probably have his ears pinned back by his superiors.

After one or two further points I concluded by thanking the Staff for the recent improvement.  Reckon they will be glad to see the back of me.

Soon after the meeting I couldn’t find my reserve pair specs (idiotic Blake) so at lunch time I went to see the Catering Officer to see if he had found them after the meeting.  He immediately had four men searching for them and wouldn’t hear of me leaving before I had a cup of tea.  No, it wasn’t poisonous, very nice, in fact.  What a charming chap he is.



Have been to a C.S.E. Show since writing that last sentence.  Wish I hadn’t gone now.  It was really shocking – terrible.  More like a poor man’s Workers’ Playtime.  None of the ‘jokes’ are worth repeating so I won’t bore you with them.  The singer tried hard but I think she should take up typing or something.  Still, it’s all life’s rich pattern.

I hope you had a fair ol’ Easter dear.  I only wish I could have been there with you.  Still, not long now.

All my love


Letters from Alan Week 14: 1st - 9th April 1961

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