DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

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Foureyes
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DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by Foureyes » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:00 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59R3BhpiTBw

Worth watching if not seen before. Some interesting young chaps about half-way through!!
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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by Katharine » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:11 pm

One girl too, with a younger DR West than the one I knew!
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by Foureyes » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:38 pm

Katharine,
Oooops! Sorry about that. Actually, I did see the lady to whom you are referring (note the grammar!), but she was so much taller and older looking than the boys that I assumed she was a teacher.
I don't normally feel sorry for Princess Maragaret but I did on seeing this, with all those hands she had to shake!
David

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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by Chris T » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:45 am

Great film, which I had not seen before. Thanks.

Two of the three “interesting young chaps” are William(?) SHREEVES (BaA) at 4 min 17 sec, standing on the right of someone I recognise, but whose name I’ve forgotten and at about 7 min there’s curly haired Martin(?) TWITCHIN (MaA).

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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by brian walling » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:00 am

I hadn't seen this newsreel clip before, but very glad to see it now!

I remember well in 1955 watching the film itself at CH in Big School -- I think before it went on general release, thanks to arrangements kindly made by Barnes Wallis. This was in summer, when we usually didn't have school films due to the light nights, and although Big School was specially darkened with windows drapes the film was quite hard to see at that time.

Twitchen, one of the CH boys (the one with curly hair) who is seen at several points in the clip, was John G Twitchen in my house, musician (oboist) and composer, who later became a Music Grecian and, I believe, spent at least part of his career in the BBC.

Interestingly, I don't recall from the 1950s that we as Twitchen's contemporaries were particularly aware that he had lost his father in action in the RAF, but it does connect with the fact that he was one of the prime movers in a campaign against compulsory membership in the CCF. He was excused from joining the CCF when he reached the required age -- due, we understood, to pressure from his family who were said to be 'pacifists'. This all finally makes sense. His efforts at CH eventually (while I was there) resulted in the formation of the so-called Public Service Group (PSG), an alternative to the CCF, which did lightweight maintenance and repair work around the CH estate on the weekly CCF afternoon. CCF members could quite easily opt out of the CCF in favour of the PSG. The master Tim Law organised and ran the Group, passing on his own wide 'handyman' experience to PSG members. I often wonder what happened to the PSG? Did it fizzle out? Did it have a useful existence for a number of years until the CCF stopped being compulsory?
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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by jhopgood » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:20 pm

PSG was certainly there when I was but I had no idea one could opt out of CCF.
I did the 3 years in the CCF then worked in the library classifying books.
I did not think about it at the time but it must have been one of the PSG works.
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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by Katharine » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:46 pm

Foureyes wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:38 pm
Katharine,
Oooops! Sorry about that. Actually, I did see the lady to whom you are referring (note the grammar!), but she was so much taller and older looking than the boys that I assumed she was a teacher.
I don't normally feel sorry for Princess Maragaret but I did on seeing this, with all those hands she had to shake!
David
David, there was a young girl seen a few times with the boys in Housey. She had an RAF presentation badge, just as the boys did. Looking on was the older lady - my headmistress DR, in long dress and with flowers pinned to it. DR seemed to be in charge of both the boys and the girl.

Would these have been the very first RAF presentees? I think we had one every year.

My niece was a later RAF recipient, my brother, still alive, having served in the RAF all his working life.
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by Foureyes » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:50 pm

Katherine,
I wrote a booklet on the RAF Foundationers Trust so have the info:

The early Hertford RAF Foundationers were:
1951. MARSHALL, Diana May.
1952. SELLICK, Pamela Jean.
1953. ONLEY, Elizabeth Anne.
1954. DENZEY, Vyvyan Irene.
1955. SCOTLAND, Vivian Jane.

The first entry (i.e., Diana Marshall at Hertford and Robert Craig, William Shreeves and John Twitchin at Horsham) entered the school in January 1952, but thereafter the annual entries were in September, usually one girl and three boys, except for 1959 when there were two of each. The girl/s in the May 1955 Pathe film clip could, I presume, have been any of the five listed above.

Concerning the film premiere in May 1955, there were so many people wanting to attend that there were actually two premieres, if that is not a contradiction in terms, on successive nights. The first was attended by Princess Margaret, the second by the Duke of Gloucester. My booklet has pictures of some CH Foundationers being presented to Princess Margaret and of others to the Duke of Goucester so I presume that they were split between the two nights. I also presume that Flecker and DR attended one each and took charge of the combined C.H. contingent on each occasion.

Pub Quiz Question. Apart from different diameters, what was the one very significant difference between the boys' and girls' badges?

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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by Katharine » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:20 pm

Thanks David, I remember Elizabeth Onley, swimmer and violinist, the name Vyvyan Denzey rings faint bells but no memory of Vyvyan Scotland.

I’m surprised you say two girls in 1959, I can only remember one. It was the year I started, I think her name was Pamela Henson. She sat next to me at Great Tower Street but got her place as an RAF Foundationer rather than as an Almoners’ Nominee.
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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by postwarblue » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:46 am

CH had a liaison with 617 Squadron. On 6th July 1954 I and other members of the RAF section of the CCF were flown up (and back, in a Varsity) from Dunsfold to Binbrook where 617 gave us each a 15 minute hop in a Canberra, perched on some sort of jump seat. In those days for a 17 y o that was really good-oh.

The same summer (I think) Gordon van Praagh, who had also organised a trip to Dunsfold to see the world air speed record breaking Hunter (now at Tangmere with OB Teddy Donaldson's earlier world record breaking meteor) took a party up to Broooklands where we met Barnes Wallis in his drawing office.

I hugely enjoyed and benefited from being in the RAF bit of the CCF but had to endure a year in khaki first, practicing the Lying Load among the wormcasts on Big Side.
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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by Foureyes » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:57 am

Katherine,
To fill in the gap:

1956. BUTT, Lesley
1957. CHERRY, Angela Jane
1958. TEMPLER, Susan Margaret
1959. HENSON, Pamela Elizabeth AND TOMALIN, Penelope Jean
1960. COOKE, Sheila Jane
etc, etc.

According to the Roll I prepared and published in 2003 and which nobody challenged at the time, there were definitely two Hertford RAF Foundationers in 1959, as named above.
I observe that you sidestep the Pub Quiz question!

Postwarblue
When researching for my 2003 booklet I discovered that there were frequent, possibly even annual, visits to 617 Sqn from both Hertford and Horsham, cetainly in the 50s and 60s. The latest picture I found was of seven girls edging up to some very smart and manly RAF officers in 1971. Although not an RAF Foundationer myself, I always admired the scheme, researched the first fifty years and helped organise the reunion in 2003. Over the years 2004-2010 I tried very hard to inspire a renewal of the links between 617 and the school, but there seemed to be a definite reluctance on the part of the school, I never knew why. I have to admit that the fact that 617 had moved from East Anglia to north Scotland did not help, although it never seemed to me to be an insuperable obstacle.
617 Sqn is currently reforming and will be based at RAF Marham from 2018 onwards, so I hope that the links will be re-established.
David

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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by Katharine » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:33 pm

Thanks David, I bow to your superior knowledge! Pamela Henson was in my year, the other girl wasn't.

As to your pub quiz question, are girls nowadays still protected from such obscene (!) sights? Are the current plates identical? Now the school is coed, presumably girls don't have to be protected from the realities of life, as we were! Does that answer your question?
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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by Foureyes » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:08 pm

Katherine,
You obviously know the answer! It has always made me laugh that DR should have ordered such an 'adjustment' to the original artwork. In any case, the scale of the girls' badge was so small that the offending object would have been all but invisible. As far as I know the boys' and girls' plates are now identical.
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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by sejintenej » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:17 am

jhopgood wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:20 pm
PSG was certainly there when I was but I had no idea one could opt out of CCF.
I did the 3 years in the CCF then worked in the library classifying books.
I did not think about it at the time but it must have been one of the PSG works.
I remember that there was the opt-out option but thought that it applied to Quaker (and similar religion) family pupils.

After Cert A I was in the first Civil Defence unit - 2 platoons - which taught very wide ranging skills and I have had to use that knowledge in real life ever since (well, up to five days ago).
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Re: DAMBUSTERS AND C.H.

Post by Avon » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:42 am

By the time I was at CH the opt-out was colloquially known as Bocker Squad and I’m not sure it retained its noble origins, seeing as scouting (provided you could endure the scoutmaster) was on offer to anyone who didn’t want to wield a gun. It was more a sort of smoker’s collective.

In the RN section I didn’t get a gun and could smoke too, when Chief Bradley wasn’t looking.

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