The Life & Times of John Wheater(Farnborough, Wokingham, Bristol, Toronto, Farnham) .

John Wheater 16Jul24 (this page updated 11Jan05)

Details of People in the Photos

This is a summary of what I remember about the people in the photo on my RAE page. Names are listed from left to right, back row to front row.

PW Hall

KW Bateman
Keith. Good-looking fellow, bit of an artist, did drawings of Jean Simmons etc. Came to Avro Canada, pally with ?Robinson there.

BJ Beele
Brian. Chosen to go to Imperial College, lucky sod. Flew with University Air Squadron etc. Phoned me in 2000 about the 50th re-union. Married while at Farnborough.

DA Barnby
From Scunthorpe, had a 350 Matchless (Ariel?) on which he & I once went to Silverstone.

DG Jacobs
Jake. He & CR Stephens (Steve) shared a room at the Grange, whence mock homosexual sound-effects would emerge. I met him briefly at IBM Hursley, where he was working, when I went for an interview.

DR Rees
Dai. Conducted our choral turn at the Grange Hostel Christmas Fest. The programme included Ar Hyd y Nos, We Run 'em In, and Goodbye. Rugby player.

JM Smith

RE Robbins
Ricky. Started off on the degree course, but failed part 1. He & I both got thin results envelopes, denoting a problem; when I opened mine he expressed disappointment that I merely had to retake fluids while he was inexorably relegated to the HNC stream. Came to Avro Canada, bought an MG. Shared my flat for a bit after Enid went home. Came to see me in 1961 in London, with Merijke, in my bed-sit in Maida Vale, when I was working as a turner before going to Vickers.

CR Stephens
Steve. He & DG Jacobs (Jake) shared a room at the Grange, whence mock homosexual sound-effects would emerge. I met him briefly at Vickers, which he joined not long after I'd started programming.

RD Walter
Walt. Had his own car, an Austin 7 special. Some connection with Colin Chapman of Lotus. Shared with Bill Coles in A-block at the Grange. My room was nearby, and he & I had some sort of argument once, which ended in him tipping my bed up (with me in it), and Bill restraining me from revenge; luckily, as Walt was a strong person, bien dans son peau, unlike me. We exchanged an email in 2000, he expressed an enthusiasm for motorcycling.

H Price
Harry. Nothing further.

JD Wheater
Si informationem requiris, circumspice.

JH Barnes
John Barnes. Thought a bit of an ass, but later in life did well academically I believe; met him at the last reunion. Had a motorcycle, which he rode notoriously slowly; when he had a minor accident, Derek Mills said it was because he was going so slowly he thought he'd stopped, and got off.

WA Coles
Bill. With Mike Bartram and Dave Faddy, a particular friend. Met him briefly at some computer thing, when he was working at Warton.

MR Bartram
Mike. With Bill Coles and Dave Faddy, a particular friend. Came from Brockenhurst, where he had some legendary friends known as 'the lads'. Could do clever cycle-speedway things on his push bike. Good-looking chap; we thought, after seeing Captain Horatio Hornblower, that he looked like Gregory Peck, particularly in the rain.

DJ Mills
Derek. Another strong character; played in a jazz band; irritated the vice-principal, Taylor-Cooke, by declining an Outward Bound opportunity for which he had been chosen.

TR Fuller
Bob. Something of a friend, he visited our home in Wokingham once. Joined the Engineering branch of the RAF. Met him, in uniform, at the first reunion at the Queens Hotel. Killed soon after on his motorcycle, no other vehicle involved.

JF Farley
John Farley. Achieved distinction as a test pilot. Famous for having a battery of remedies and pills of various sorts. He & I exchanged the odd letter after he joined the RAF as a pilot; I asked him how he'd passed the medical (as Fred Wild & I did) in view of all those pills. His reply was that they'd all worked! Saw him at a couple of reunions, where he was of course rather lionised.

GT Golesworthy

JE Toplis

JH Streets
Johnny Streets. A legendary character, expert on motor cars. Bit of a tearaway?

AJ Brooks
Tony. Aeromodeller, good engineer. I remember him doing his drawing confidently, under Urfie Ham, when May and I were struggling. Met him at the last reunion; lives here in Farnham I think.

AJ Cole
Alan. Not much more. Think he too joined the RAF on a short-service commission.

Miss JE Radley
Joan. Curiously, not much else. The only girl. Did she go out with Jerry Gott for a bit?

DM Waters
Dave. Had a Morris 8.

J Gott
Jerry. His brother Brian was an apprentice too, a year or two ahead. Met him at the last two reunions. Exchanged an email or two about the 2000 reunion.

RD Peggs Esq. MA
The principal.

RJA Armstrong Esq.
Digger. Had some sort of admin connection with the apprentices, occupied an office inside the Establishment. Got an OBE not long after I left. Had himself been an RAE apprentice in - I think - 1914. Could that be the case? He certainly lived to be old, and attended the 1995? reunion at the age of about 90.

FJ Wild
Fred. He & I went to RAF Hornchurch for aircrew selection, in 1954? We were both accepted as suitable for training as a pilot. I should have gone in for it too (odd how the stammer didn't show itself), but developed an ear infection. Fred didn't go for it though, but did join the RAF in the Engineering branch and, I believe, retired as a Group Captain.

JH Anderson
Nothing. Or was it he who got a TR2 with his accident compensation money?

DJ Faddy
Dave. With Mike Bartram and Bill Coles, a particular friend. Not impressed with the Farnborough training, he continued studying I believe at Shrivenham, and then I think did well in the Civil Service. Met him at Selborne in 1994? when we were in a play in which I played a small part as William Cobbett. I was really pleased, but I don't think he was, though he did I think join the Cobbett society, and told me about the reunions, where we met a couple of times.

J Rowe
Joe. Nothing else, except that I bought my first motorcycle from him, an Enfield 150cc 4-stroke, for 6.

John Wheater - John.Wheater@gmail.com

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