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Reunion 2022

Testimonials Reunion 2022: Text

May I firstly thank you all for participating in the CA v Cadets Golf on Saturday.  I am sure you would agree that it was a most enjoyable afternoon, even for one like me who did not play that well. Certainly not well enough to help the Cranwellians have some chance of achieving victory over the cadets!

May I also add my personal thanks to Officer Cadet Paul Dickinson in rounding up such an enthusiastic and cheerful bunch of colleagues to help the cadets in winning the competition.  Congratulations to you guys and well done.

I certainly had the privilege of playing with 2 expert golfers.  Well done Paul for finishing the South Kyme course at 3 under par.  That was truly a commendable sporting performance worthy of congratulations from us all.  Gurpal Mann in our threesome also played extremely well.  I certainly felt that I was up against 2 of the best that the cadets could field on Saturday! 

If I might just use this note for a couple of admin points.  Thank you first of all to Paul D in keeping the scores which I omitted to collect at the end of the afternoon.  As we ought to provide some statistics for the Cranwellian Journal as a sort of report on our activities, could Paul remind me of the points scored by cadets versus Cranwellians - just for the record.  Also could Paul let me know who was the overall winner for the prize flight in the Tiger Moth.  This needs to be arranged.

My second note of thanks to Peter Bedford for the photo which made us all look like expert golfers and very ready for the afternoon.

As a final reflection on our excellent weekend may I add how delightful it was to be able to mingle with so many of the cadets at the Cranwellian Association dinner in the evening.  I was particularly delighted to meet so many of the new Cranwell students who seemed very relaxed and comfortable in the company of us oldies.  Of course in mentioning the younger cadets I was surprised to find out that some of you younger looking ones were well into your thirties and some even touching forty!!  Things have changed….

It just remains for me to thank you all for participating in a great afternoon at South Kyme, as well as a great evening in College Hall.  I felt very privileged to have been part of the action at both venues.

Looking forward to next year when I hope we can gather together more Cranwellian golfers.  Good luck to you cadets not just with your training and careers ahead but also with your continuing golf.  Should any of you join the Old Cranwellians and have the opportunity to attend a reunion I shall expect you to join the CA Golf team next time!!

Wally Epton

Dear fellow golfers,
Many thanks again to Wally for his organisation of our game with the cadets, who
obviously had not read the brief about letting us win!

Peter Bedford

Thank you for the golf photo. May I add my thanks to Wally for organising our team. A very enjoyable day and a great Weekend. Already looking forward to next year.

RIchard Johnson

It was an excellent Association weekend. 

Thoroughly enjoyed the whole event.

Hope it all went well from your perspective and many thanks for your hard work in making it happen.

Stuart Downs

I just wanted to say thank you for what was a lovely weekend.

It was very well organised, we felt welcome, and comfortable.

The Officer Cadets were a delight - engaging, and easy to talk to.  They made me feel proud of all the RAF has been and is to come. It was wonderful to see so many of them there, and that they had had to compete for the opportunity to take part in the Reunion!

I felt inspired by the updated photography in the anteroom next to the rotunda's main entrance.  I learnt that AVM Marshall was instrumental in that display and I am sorry that I did not get to meet her at last year's Reunion.  I am now wishing I had also taken photographs of the RAF Astra roll up publicity stands.  They were uplifting and motivating.  Also the oil paintings in the cadets' ante room were marvellous.  Long ago tradition is important but so too is what we are doing now.  The whole of our history is relevant.

I enjoyed the talks during the AGM.  The Space Command one in particular was crammed full of information.  I relished this time to learn more about what is going on in the RAF.  Ambassador Lyne was a treat

Thank you again for all the work you have done.

I look forward to participating with Dad again next year.

Mary Phillips

As one of your appreciative punters a big thank you for all your faultless organisation of the weekend - especially the tact shown to those who keep changing their minds about what car they are using!

Ben Johnston

Please accept my sincerest thanks for a splendid weekend.

There were so many highlights that I felt truly privileged and humbled to be hosted by the College and the Commandant in such a welcoming way. The sunset ceremony, with the band and the Spitfire was a genuinely unforgettable experience.

Although I left the Reserves in 2013, I hadn't been back to College Hall since my time during pilot ground school in 1997. As such there was a slight sensory overload as the weekend brought back many memories from my time at IOT and ground school!

It was a pleasure meeting yourself and other fellow Cranwellians and hearing their stories from their time in the RAF and beyond was both an objective and highlight of mine. Furthermore, meeting the current generation of UAS and IOT Cadets was as enlightening as it was encouraging - it's great to see that the aspirations, enthusiasm and standards are as high as I can remember. Being able to have these conversations with the current intake is important in strengthening the ties between them and the CA.

As the Commandant expressed, the strength of the affiliation to Cranwell tends to come later in one's career. I believe that there is a whole cohort of people that do now have the time in their lives, the interest and the inclination to be involved. My opinion (and experience) is that this comes mid-career when home life, family life and work life are relatively settled.

If a reunion for 2023 is planned it will take priority for me. In the meantime it is my aim to reach out to my cohort (typically in their late forties) in order to foster more interest in the Association with a view establishing an active group to help ensure the longevity of the CA.

Ian Saunders

Phil, To you and all who toiled to give us a great reunion this year thanks!
I thought it was a fabulous event. The combination of a scholarly after dinner address and some amazing and fascinating younger guests, (who were so at ease with we 2 plus generations older members!), contributed to a wonderful Saturday. And as always we were captivated by a splendid musical Sunset Ceremony with perfect timing for an evocative Spitfire fly-past.
Thanks also to the head Padre for the church service on Sunday. His colleague, I know from chatting to him on Saturday, was busy doing 100 miles on a fund rising cycle ride!! I do like cycling but did feel being in Church to be a better option after such a lovely evening. However it would be nice if we could persuade more to come to church too.
Although I share concern over the future for the Association none of the above could be replicated if the venue for the reunion were to be changed. Not can I imagine a more cohesive location that, however long or brief ones stay at Cranwell may have been, is common to all of us who have shared that lived experience. So for me, as I suspect for all cadet cadres at Cranwell, the location of the College is an integral component of the whole success formula for the reunion weekend.
Looking forward to next year’s

Stevie Green

Just a quick note to say huge thank you for organising an outstanding reunion last weekend. It was a wonderful occasion and to be able to meet up with some of my fellow entrants, many not seen since 1970, was remarkable. I have just viewed a video of the flypast and the College band playing - a very moving occasion bringing back many happy memories of marching while at the College - did I say "happy memories"!

I am aware that many of our entry could not make the event due to other commitments but all have said they will make it in 2023 - I think all who were there this year will be back next year!

Thank you again, See you next year,

Chris O’Connell

Testimonials Reunion 2022: Testimonials
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