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Ex-boy

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Ex-boy last won the day on November 19 2018

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  1. And in Arabic is a Mifta Inglesi, or English spanner.
  2. The QL was also carrying Jerricans. Not right, surely!
  3. I didn’t think the stolly was in service until 1966. Am I wrong? Steve.
  4. My previous posting struck another memory. Between Ballykelly and Derry is a place called Greysteel. During my year in the area (73/74) a gang of youths would regularly pelt any military vehicles going past, from an elevated position to the west of the road. The coaches were regular targets and one evening on of ours was hit by a number of missiles and got to Derry with smashed windows and broken headlights. As it was on a run to the airport, a replacement was sent out and I went along with spare headlights to make the first one roadworthy so I could drive it back to Ballykelly. In the meantime, the police informed us that Greysteel had been cleared and all was well. Guess what? Greysteel was still full of youths and we also got a pasting. There was an almighty thump right behind me and when we got to Derry we found a 2 foot length of scaffold pole embedded in the bodywork (luckily double skinned). A few feet higher and it would have taken my head off. Luckily, there was no other significant damage, so with the police actually clearing Greysteel, the two coaches got through there later with no problem. That was the closest I got to being injured in NI.
  5. I remember going to Derry during my stint at Ballykelly and seeing a ship there which was being used for accommodation. That would have been in 1973.
  6. Back again. If you can imagine it, the pic of me was taken between our unit hangar and a huge (ex-RAF Shackleton) hangar, which was home to the Ballykelly detachment of NI Workshop REME. At this time, a large part of their work was Humber Pigs and in the outside world there was an outbreak of Swine Vesicular Disease. Of course, some wag had put up a sign, with a big spiral and the words: Swine Vehicular Disease. Always humour to be found in anything. Being on an ex-RAF base, there were occasional aircraft landings and take-offs. I watched a Beaver take off one day and was gob-smacked at how it was in the air after using next to no runway. It almost seemed to hop up and was airborne. Enough for now, but I will send more when they come to mind. Steve.
  7. Back to the pics. The third shows a selection of vehicles outside the unit hangar. The very left is another 39 seater and next to it is a mobile library (again used around the married quarters). This veh appears to have been built on an Austin K9 chassis and running gear. The fourth shows a Driver and a locally employed mechanic. I have covered his face, as he was Catholic and even after all these years I would hate to compromise him. The last one is me, now a Corporal, posing again. I will send this, then do some anecdotes in a while. Steve.
  8. Photos sent. I twice tried to attach a summary and both times the text disappeared, so I hope this will be easier. All pics taken at Shackleton Barracks, Ballykelly in 1973/74. The unit was D Troop, 18/26 Sqn RCT. The first shows a group of Drivers, with a variety of vehicles in the background. The second shows a 39 seater coach and a pantechnicon. The pantech was mainly used locally around the married quarters. A surprising number of families accompanied the squaddies. I will hedge my bets by sending more info in another post, as I don’t want to lose it all again. Watch this space. Steve.
  9. I may be able to come up with more anecdotes than photos, as I only found a handful which are of use, which I will now send to you. Steve
  10. Having re-read your original request, it triggered memories of nights out with local girls and visits to Coleraine football club. There were a group of girls at the club who were very friendly and at least one marriage came of it. On an early visit they spoke of a girl they called Tootsie and when I finally met her I was expecting someone with a large chest, but she was quite average in that regard. Of course, the local pronunciation of Tootsie was a bit misleading! Steve.
  11. PM sent, with two pics. Please let me know when received. Steve.
  12. I have been fascinated by this thread from the start, as the way you deal with problems and come up with work-arounds are a revelation. I am in awe and can hardly wait to see the finished product. You are an inspiration: thank you.
  13. Having just posted on a different thread, I will see what I can find for this one. I was never one for taking pictures but I do have a few which may fit the bill. The timing is not great, as I am getting ready to go into hospital early tomorrow for a knee replacement, so it maybe a few days before I can dig anything out. Best of luck with this, by the way. Steve.
  14. It must be remembered that alongside the forces on emergency tours, there were still the permanent units of all three arms doing normal postings and carrying out the mundane work in the background. I was posted to Lisburn, REME attached to 18/26 Sqn RCT, the day after Op Motorman and a year later was sent to their D Troop in Ballykelly, where I spent another year. Most of what the unit did was standard transport work, but there were also some sneaky beaky vehicles. Most of the obvious military vehicles, such as Landrovers and Bedford RLs were in DBG if I remember correctly, but everything else was in civilian colours. We had coaches for the airport run, mobile libraries, chip vans, removals pantechnicons and all manner of cars and vans for general work. Of course, this meant drivers and crews going to every part of the province and being as much at risk as those on emergency tours, and several were killed. I hope their stories will be included in what you are working on.
  15. I have no idea what may have been buried over the years in Bordon, but there were a lot of wrecks, both armoured and soft skin that were used for recovery training and other purposes which may well have been lost or deliberately covered over to save having to move them when no longer required.
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