We are sad to announce the passing of Ron Chivers on the 16th August 2023
Ron’s career was as follows:
1.Co–pilot on Britannias
2. Fighter Controller at Neatishead (following a glut of pilots!)
3. Co–pilot then Captain on Vulcans (Scampton)
4. Ground Instructor 230 OCU (Scampton)
5. CFS and Manchester UAS (Woodvale) then Exam wing (Topcliffe)
6. Captain and examiner on Dominies (Finningley) then
7. Retired from RAF.
8. Captain, TRE, IRE and Chief Ground Instructor at FRA on Aerial Surveillance department.
9. Retired to gardening and house improvement duties! (Sources: Fred Le Jeune and Bob Alcock)
Fred Le Jeune: Joining FRA, based at Bournemouth, Ron and June bought a house in Ringwood and Ron, as only he could, set about completely renovating it. He was always hugely practical and capable.
Judith and Ron were childhood sweethearts and got married around 1970. They were very close and had two daughters - Rebecca and Elizabeth.
Des Goff: I last met Ron at Hurn about 15 years ago. I was there to fly with FRA on some EW training and I'm not sure if he was actually with FRA as well but at the time he was flying a Dornier twin on some sort of Channel surveillance from what I remember, possibly fishing fleets I think...too early for 'small boats' in those days!!
Dave Heath: He was TOTALLY unchanged from those Cadet days. That laugh of his was unmissable as well as unchanged. I don’t think I ever saw him in anything but a buoyant mood even in the darkest days of the years at the College.
One horror story he told me was when he was driving back from seeing Judith in the early dawn (they later married) he would be so desperately tired that he would drive with one wheel either side of the cat’s-eyes on a straight section. He could close his eyes, and when he veered off the centre line he felt the bumps of the cat eyes and he’d look up. How he survived the cadet days I’ll never know.
RIP Ron - you were fun to know
Stevie Green: He was very much as others have described him. We got to know him and Judith when, after Oakington, we held at Cranwell ostensibly to fly the Varsity for the Nav Sqn prior to our OCUs. In reality OC Secretarial Sqn stole us to organise the Queen’s visit in 1970 (?). I always felt his heart was in sailing. He sailed all his life with Judith when she was able and I believe passed on this gift to a daughter. Fabulous guy, most generous and hospitable, I shall really miss one of the originals from our days in the south brick lines.
Peter Hoskins: Very fond memories of Ron with his infectious and irrepressible sense of humour. Always ready to find the funny side. I have a memory of when we were at 5 AFTS Oakington learning the dark arts of asymmetric flight on the Varsity. Ron quickly earned the sobriquet “Double Hush Ron” for his unerring ability to identify the wrong dead engine. Of course he got the hang of it, although we reckoned he was posted to Britannias since he was less likely to get into trouble with four engines.
Stevie Green: Yes and I well remember his QFI chastising Ron for one such double hush as they walked back into the crew room. “Do that again Chivers, and I’ll kill you” roared his Instructor. Quick as flash Ron’s reply was “Not if I kill you first, Sir!”
Phil Bright: At the 2019 reunion I remember him saying of his time at Cranwell (and whether he had aspirations to rise up the promotion ladder) “ I soon realised that I just wanted to drive the trains, not own the trainset “ !!