Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Fleet mini reunion Sunday 3rd June 2018

Another Fleet lunch will be held at The Lismoyne Hotel on Sunday 3rd June 2018.
As before it will be a set menu to preorder (and prepay) but if you would like to know more then please get in touch with me on membership@prs-wilhelmshaven.co.uk  and I will get the details sent out to you.
All are welcome whether a TWA member or not and of course partners are invited too.
Please note Norma needs to pay the hotel and give in orders by May 3rd so anyone still debating - can they please make their mind up!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tempus Fugit


Roger's photo evoked so many memories and emotions. It conveys things words never can. We started the same day. My room must have been next door because I had the same view. The date was around 15 April? I recall writing my recollection of the train journey to Wilhelmshaven for the Blog several years ago. I append it below in case anyone missed it :

'I've barely been in Germany three days. My mother was up late last night packing my suitcase and sewing the badge onto my new blazer. A bird with its arse on fire. Hardly an auspicious start.

The train releases a sinister hiss of steam briefly startling me as it swirls around our ankles. Recovering, I return to the milling sea of strange faces. People who have been apart over Easter greet each other excitedly. Girls, giggling in small groups. Boys, admiring new cricket bats. Younger boys, running up and down the platform pausing to pick their noses. All I can do is watch, consumed by a feeling I don’t belong here. There must be over a hundred people. Parents herding a miscellany of offspring all wearing the same uniform. Sapientia ex igne, with luck I’ll be able to avoid Latin at this new school.

 Scattered across the platform a sea of suitcases, each carrying a coloured tag. Mine has a yellow triangle and a number ‘H24’ – I hope it doesn’t mean I’m going to a death camp. Loud, condescending English voices, you could be in Charing Cross or Paddington instead of the Köln Hauptbahnhof. A girl redolent of a Moroccan puff adder announces she’s a prefect and pushing out her chest starts to harass the young boys who have started a high jump competition with the suitcases. Overhead the sun filters through the glass canopy and you can see the twin-fingered outline of the Dom. Someone in an army uniform issues instructions. He's a Movements Officer. The Army clearly believe fighting men should keep their bowels open.  Either way we are ushered onto the train. We hang out the window, but it’s clear my old man wants to get back to work.

More steam, the doors slam, the train shudders and accompanied by much waving we pull slowly away. More steam and the sweet smell of sulphur. A minute later the train rattles and bangs as we cross the Hohenzollern Bridge over the Rhine. Someone says we regularly attacked it during the war and the RAF used the spires of the Dom as a bomb sight. Suddenly, I feel very alone. Two people in my carriage briefly adopt me and tell me what to do. They’re in the lower sixth. But they’re at pains to explain they’re in a different house. Somewhere called Collingwood. They explain they have 'O' levels. I’m in 3B. We have nothing in common so I stare at my feet. It’s not as though I’ve got a window seat. The train trundles on across Germany for the best part of an hour. It’s like watching paint dry. God knows why they couldn’t have left me in England. I think of Sandra back home. I feel like a bit player in some Greek tragedy. Most of the girls I’ve seen so far on the train make the notion of plain seem deliriously exciting.

Unexpectedly the door opens with a crash and someone my age shakes my shoulder. He explain he's in my house and tells me to join him. Grateful to abandon the tedium of the Collingwood lower sixth I follow him down the corridor. In the new carriage, everyone wants to look at my guitar. Someone produces a packet of johnnies. Apparently in Germany they’re called gummi something or other. There’s much laughter and we head down to the toilet. Three of us manage to pack in and we fill the gummis with water. Soon they’re the size of a small pig and it takes two of us to control the wobbling mass. ‘We’re passing through a station any minute,’ someone shouts. The train hurtles through at sixty miles an hour. We heave the giant water bomb out the window. It explodes in a mass of spray drowning the startled faces. Laughing we rush back to our compartment. As we pass the girls in the next carriage I notice some of them look low light passable. On second thoughts, one of them is as fit as a butcher’s dog.

Suddenly, PRS doesn’t look too bad after all.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

60 years ago this week

Exactly sixty years ago this week  I caught a train from Munster Hauptbahnhof to Wilhelmshaven  with several hundred other blue & white uniformed kids to to begin my first term at PRS.  The picture is the view from my first room in Drake boys on the Fliegerdeich. Seems like yesterday!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

have a great weekend...

          ...happy Easter all the same!...