Under Training


Until the end of 1965 the RAF College, Cranwell, was dedicated to developing cadets destined to fly. Engineers were trained at  the RAF Technical College, RAF Henlow.

For financial reasons the two colleges were combined and, for obvious reasons, the Technical College was closed.

The 1964/65 cadet entry at Henlow was 13 Entry (cadets having identity numbers starting '609') and they joined 91 Entry at Cranwell. (Flight cadets had identity numbers commencing "608" at that time. To ensure that the engineers arrival was carried out with panache, 13 entries cars drove round the orange twice, parked on the parade ground gravel and the new arrivals trampled over the sacred carpet.

The College Warrant Officer looked down from the rotunda and bellowed: "Gentlemen, this is the Royal Air Force College. Please remove your cars and report to your squadrons". Abashed, the engineers retreated. The following morning, 6.30am, 13 Entry were treated to an hour of hard drill (since the squadron regiment NCOs could only accept top quality work - which they got). After that the Technical Cadets became Flight Cadets quite seamlessly. The College was one.

Ken Shell and Dave Pollard have tried to identify the cars (for the record):

"The white car in the foreground is Pete Henderson's Renault Gordini Dauphine, next to it is Morris 8 Cindy owned by Ian Smith and previously by myself (Ken Shell).

Not sure about the white car directly behind Cindy but the next one is Dick Bowler's 2 seater Austin 7. Next to that is Bert Slack's MG TF. Can't remember who had the Minor convertible but think the next one could be Charles Pratley's Austin Cambridge. Not sure about the rest but the final car in this row I think is a Sunbeam Talbot 90. The MG in the foreground I am sure is Ian Mitchell's MG TD".

Pete Summers

HANSARD 08 December 1966

Volume 737