I’m sure you will agree fifty years is a long time.
6th January 1971, the swinging sixties had ended and it appears had good music. Clive Dunn was number 1 with “Grandad”. In the news, the appalling incident at the “old firm” game when scores of fans lost their lives was still in the newspapers.
In Bedfordshire a 16 year old was on his way by train to literally start a new life in the Royal Air Force as Admin App L8001465 Spurs RN. (Yes, the RAF did believe in child labour).
A year at RAF Hereford taught me a lot. Not all to do with becoming a SAC Clerk Sec. The most useful things I came away with was the ability to type and of course learn to play music for the masses.
I have read a lot about alleged bullying at military training establishments. I can honestly say that I never saw any behaviour by the Staff which even by 2021 standards could be deemed as inappropriate. Yes, I did have to run round the Square with a SLR above my head being shouted at by Sgt Rudge with a couple of other miscreants for some long forgotten mistake on the drill ground. Our two RAF Regiment Corporals (Cpl Friend was one I can’t remember the name of the second), did exactly what you would expect, turn a disparate group of 16 year olds into a cohesive military unit.
I passed by my Apprentice training and went to RAF Biggin Hill in January 1972. Although I did not appreciate it at the time I was beginning to be exposed to the building blocks which which were starting to shape me, Leadership, Duty, Teamwork and the necessity to walk towards the fire when everyone else is running away from it.
Although the RAF was not my main career I am grateful for the direction it set me on.
I wonder if a SLR would be useful in my current role?