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That over, we were sent off to our various trade training establishments, in my case, the RAF School of Firefighting and Rescue at Sutton-I arrived at Sutton on the 15th January 1958; on Course Number 336 as I recall.
All of these activities were contrary to Standing Orders of course, but the job had to be done.
These had to be serviced, checked, laid out, and lit before any aircraft could take –off or land at night.
The flares had a finite life of course, limited to the amount of kerosene, so they couldn’t be lit until you knew how far away, in time, the landing aircraft was.
I had led a pretty free and easy life before the RAF beckoned, and virtually unsupervised as my mother had died on my 7th birthday.
I had survived the ‘school of hard knocks’ with little trouble, and as a consequence loved the ‘square-bashing’ routine of Wilmslow, and couldn’t really have any sympathy for those who found the life tough. I had always laughed at adversity, having lived it for most of my life! A further complication in my case was that, having signed on for only five years, a number of trades were ruled out.