RAF News Edition 1541, 29 July 2022

Page 1

The Forcesit' e favourer pap

WIN

Bio of Spitfire Woman l See page 19

R'n'R

Big-star movies to win

Friday July 29 2022 No. 1541 70p

l See R'n'R p5

––

Future-proofing the Royal Air Force

l See pages 16-17

MTB

Good run in Euros

Gunners training Ukraine fighters

l See page 27

BMX

Pocket Rockets

l See page 29

Hockey

Sgn Ldr in World Cup

Simon Mander

RAF GUNNERS are instructing the first of an estimated 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers to be trained in the UK. Brize-based II Sqn RAF Regt are among 1,050 British service personnel deployed at military bases across the country. RAF Force Protection Commander Air Cdre Jamie Thompson said: “The RAF Regiment has huge experience

l See page 31

training partner nations and finding and fixing threats to airpower.” The training will give Ukraine’s latest frontline volunteers combat skills including weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics. The Government has procured AK assault rifles for the training and will issue recruits with personal protective equipment, clothing, and field kit.

COMBAT DRILL: II Sqn Gunners join Army units brought in to train Ukrainian frontline fighters. Inset above, Army chief Sir Patrick Sanders talks to Ukrainian volunteers


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P2

I’ve had an influx of emails from people reaching out for support”

If you’ve played the game, you’ll nod your head and chuckle. If rugby’s new to you, you’ll shake your head in disbelief”

I have played hockey for 40 years” Sqn Ldr David Oatley, who is about to represent England in the Over-50s World Cup in South Africa See page 31

Flt Lt Khym Pascoe, who has launched the RAF Eating Disorders Network See page 5

Former England legend Martin Bayfield is joined by old friends and foes on his Rugby Greats UK tour See R’n’R page 3

UK weapons pledge

RAF News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Editor: Simon Williams Email: editor@rafnews.co.uk Features Editor: Tracey Allen Email: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk News Editor: Simon Mander

THE UK will supply scores of artillery guns, hundreds of drones and hundreds more anti-tank weapons to Ukraine in the coming weeks, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has revealed. The move marks a step up in British support as Ukraine fights to repel Russia’s brutal invasion. More than 20 M109 155mm self-propelled guns and 36 L119 105mm artillery guns will soon arrive from the UK. Counter-battery radar systems and more than 50,000 rounds of ammunition for Ukraine’s existing Soviet era artillery will also follow, said Mr Wallace. The UK will also send more than 1,600 extra anti-tank weapons in the coming weeks, along with drones, including hundreds of loitering aerial munitions. So far 6,900 NLAW, Javelin, Brimstone and other anti-tank weapons – as well as 16,000 artillery rounds, six Stormer vehicles fitted with Starstreak anti-air missile launchers and hundreds of missiles – have been sent to Ukraine. The UK has also supplied

maritime Brimstone missiles, multiple launch rocket systems, 120 armoured fighting vehicles and sets of body armour and over 5,000

night vision devices. Mr Wallace said: “The scale and range of equipment we are providing demonstrates the strength of our resolve. Together

with our international partners, we will ensure Ukraine has the tools to defend their country from Putin’s illegal invasion.”

This Week In History

Sports reporter Daniel Abrahams Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk Tel: 07966 429755

1955

Supersonic ejector

FG OFF Holland becomes the first RAF pilot to eject at supersonic speed when he abandons his Hunter F5 over the North Sea at Mach 1.1.

All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues Tel: 07482 571535 Email: edwin.rodrigues@ rafnews.co.uk Subscriptions and distribution: RAF News Subscriptions c/o Intermedia, Unit 6 The Enterprise Centre, Kelvin Lane, Crawley RH10 9PE Tel: 01293 312191 Email: rafnewssubs@ subscriptionhelpline.co.uk

TANK BUSTER: British Army launching Javelin anti-tank missiles during training on Salisbury Plain. Inset left, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace

1940

Stirling arrives

THE RAF’S first four-engine bomber, the Stirling, enters service with 7 Sqn at RAF Leeming.

1981

Chinook arrives at Odiham 18 SQN is reformed at RAF Odiham as the Service’s first heavy transport helicopter unit operating the Chinook HC1.

Extracts from The Royal Air Force Day By Day by Air Cdre Graham Pitchfork (The History Press)


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P3

News

30 years of RAF tech training ARTWORK showcasing more than 30 years of RAF technical training has been unveiled at Cosford. The paintings follow a well-known piece by Michael Turner at Halton of a No.1 School hangar at the Buckinghamshire station in 1990 with apprentices working on Gnats, Jet Provosts, Jaguars, Wessex helicopters and Hunters. The two new portraits by artist Phil Hadley capture technicians repairing the Tornado and Hawk airframes of more recent times. And despite three decades of change one man features in both sets of artworks. Former RAF instructor Colin Ashcroft can be seen in a white dust jacket leading four uniformed trainees near the Jaguars in the Halton painting and in his current role as a civil servant training manager at Cosford in the two new paintings. Mr Hadley said: “To be asked to produce not one, but two paintings, for such an important RAF station is an incredible honour and privilege for me.

NEW ADDITION: One of the impressive Cosford paintings

THE WAY WE WERE: Halton artwork from 1990

“I’m proud of the continuing association I have with Cosford and its people.” The paintings demonstrate the strong relationship between the Guild of Aviation Artists and the Midlands base, which hosts sketch days throughout the year with many of the resulting works ending up adorning its walls.

Cosford Station Commander Gp Capt Gareth Bryant said: “It’s always a great day when you get new art to hang on the station. These two pieces by Phil brilliantly capture the essence of some of the training that takes place at Cosford and will hang here for many years to come.”

Eco oil rig for Brize Norton

A GREEN scheme to recycle waste aviation fuel devised at Brize Norton is to be expanded. The idea of breaking down oil and other liquids using microbes to capture the by-products for alternative use could be adopted across the Service. The concept is the brainchild of Cpl Hayley Woodhall and Cpl Drew Coulton and won the RAF100 Engineering competition. Northern Engineering Solutions has been contracted to further research and develop the project by designing and building a rig at the Oxfordshire airbase to break down spent fuel held in storage, eventually rolling it out to deployable locations and multinational air bases.

R E W O P Y PADD

BATTLE OF BRITAIN GREATS: Gp Capt ‘Paddy’ Hemingway with BBMF’s Mark Sugden and a Hurricane; below, at the Irish Air Corps celebration. Inset left, Paddy with Air Marshal Sir Rich Knighton; and, inset top, Paddy in WWII days

THE LAST known surviving Battle of Britain pilot Gp Capt John ‘Paddy’ Hemingway was reunited with a Hurricane fighter days after celebrating his 103rd birthday. The Dublin-born veteran won the DFC in July 1941 for his bravery and during the the famous battle destroyed two German bombers despite

being shot down five times himself. He also took part in the Allied invasions of Italy and Normandy later in the war. He was guest of honour at the Irish Air Corps’ centenary celebrations where he was wheeled out in front of the legendary World War II fighter to hear the roar of its iconic Rolls Royce Merlin engines.



Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P5

News In Brief

Typhoon nets £2.35 billion radar upgrade Simon Mander

TECH CHALLENGE: Students completed space-related projects at JET camp

Space Cadets heading for St Mawgan STUDENTS FROM five schools will be heading to a residential space camp at RAF St Mawgan after coming top in a national competition. The winners of the contest, run by youth charity the Jon Egging Trust, will get a VIP tour of the Spaceport where the UK’s first satellite launch will take place this autumn. Youngsters will take on a robotics and rocket propulsion challenge at the launch site, and get the chance to complete a surfing adventure at Cornwall’s marine conservation areas. The competition is supported by Virgin Unite, Virgin Orbit, Spaceport Cornwall and RAF St Mawgan. All schools who entered will be invited to take part in a virtual space seminar in September, hosted by the brains behind the satellite launch.

Qatar Gunners

SECURITY: RAF Regt Qatar team

IN A recent story about crime fighters in Qatar (RAF News, 1539) we stated that a team of RAF Police officers would be joining staff already deployed to the area. It was a fourstrong team from the RAF Regiment. We are happy to correct this error.

TYPHOON FIGHTER jets will be fitted with the world’s most advanced radar as part of a £2.35 billion investment, defence chiefs have confirmed. As previously reported in RAF News, the state-of-the-art European Common Radar System or ECRS Mk 2 will allow the aircraft to simultaneously detect, identify and track multiple targets in the air and on the ground. It will also give pilots the ability to suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming and hit targets whilst beyond the reach of threats. Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: “These technological enhancements will maintain the cutting-edge capabilities of Typhoon and help underpin the development path towards the Future Combat Air System.” The work ensures the Eurofighter can integrate additional capabilities and weapons later in the decade to counter emerging threats until 2040 and beyond, until it is replaced by Tempest. The investment will also see Typhoons get the latest mission computer and cockpit interface, an improved navigation system and signal-jamming technology. ECRS Mk2 is being developed by Leonardo UK in Edinburgh and Luton and integrated by BAE Systems in Warton and will be

NOSE FOR TROUBLE: The ECRS2 radar system allows pilots to track multiple targets and jam enemy air defences

delivered into service towards the end of the decade Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston,

said: “The ECRS Mk2 radar is a transformational upgrade for our Typhoon aircraft, and a step change in capability.

“It will ensure Typhoon is ready and able to protect our skies into the future, in the face of fast-evolving threats to the UK and our allies.”

‘I struggled with anorexia - I know there are many others’ Tracey Allen

A FORMER PTI who was struck down with anorexia as a teenager has launched a campaign to help other Service sufferers secretly struggling with life-threatening eating disorders. Flt Lt Khym Pascoe was diagnosed at the age of 14 and admits she sometimes still struggles with the illness. An estimated 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. There are no official figures for the number of sufferers in the Armed Forces, but Flt Lt Pascoe says she has been inundated with calls for

help since launching the RAF Eating Disorders Network earlier this year. Khym, who now works as a Medical Support Officer, said: “It was evident that a support network was required due to the influx of emails I received from military personnel reaching out for support.

I’ve had an influx of emails from people reaching out for support

“They just wanted to be heard, and sharing your struggles with

someone who has walked the path is a relief. I still struggle on occasions when life is challenging. I’ve witnessed people in my old trade with disordered eating, it’s more common that we think. “Military personnel may be reluctant to talk about their experience of having an eating disorder because of the stigma. “It’s a mental health disorder with the mind telling us we don’t deserve to eat, or a way that the individual feels they can control something in their life. It can’t just be switched off by a medical professional telling us we need to eat.” l For details contact: Khym. Pascoe548@mod.gov.uk.


Are you thinking about your next career move?

Do you have experience on fast jet or naval operations? We at BAE Systems could help shape your future career. Working in partnership with Military Veterans organisations, we can make the transition from life in the Forces into a civilian role a lot easier. You will work alongside our existing teams in Saudi Arabia to deliver against our customer requirements and become an integral part of our overseas organisation. In return we will provide a competitive benefits package, including free accommodation, utilities and travel allowance. For further details on your future career, come and see us at:

• Golf hotel in Woodhall Spa on Tuesday 6 September 2022 (1300 – 1800)

• Solberge Hall in South Otterington, Northallerton on Wednesday 7 September 2022 (1300 – 1800) General information can be found on our website www.saudicareers.co.uk or email us at ksar.jobapplications@baesystems.com

baesystems.com


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P7

News

Doggy paddle

40.3º

Pooches beat the heat in British bake-off ROYAL AIR Force military working dogs found time to chill out as the mercury passed 40ºC on the hottest day ever recorded in the UK. Coningsby was officially named as the nation’s hottest spot, with a sizzling

WORLD FIRST: Gp Capt Hackett with Ikarus C42 powered by synthetic fuel

Fuel tests lift NetZero bid

MAJOR NEW research into the mass production of sustainable aviation fuel is to get underway as the RAF seeks to become the world’s first Green Air Force. A new study will provide data to prove the scalability and efficiency of synthetic technology developed in partnership with Zero Petroleum that could revolutionise the way fast jets are powered while ensuring their cutting-edge capability. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston said:“This ground-breaking collaboration points to how we will crack the NetZero challenge and the leading role the RAF and UK science and technology can play in that.” The move follows the world’s first 100 per cent synthetic flight in 2021 by an Ikarus C42 microlight aircraft flown by Gp Capt Peter Hackett. The next phase involves producing more fuel for certification and testing leading to squadronscale manufacturing capability. Synthetic fuel is made by extracting hydrogen from water and carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide using energy generated from renewable sources like wind or solar and could reduce the RAF’s reliance on global supply chains and improve operational capability by reducing the need for resupplying.

afternoon reading of 40.3ºC. Honington search dogs Dexter and Coco, pictured right, and Brize hounds Reggie, Susie, Belfast and Eva, pictured left, kept their cool as temperatures surged across the UK.

Protect and swerve SHADOW

UPGRADE: The RAF’s new Boeing Wedgetail AWACS and Shadow surveillance aircraft will receive enhanced defensive suites under latest programme

Simon Mander DEFENCE CHIEFS have teamed up with industry to protect future RAF aircraft. Dubbed Team Pellonia, after the Roman goddess who drove off enemies, the collaboration involves the Air Force working closely with experts from Leonardo, Thales, and Chemring Countermeasures to ensure aircraft crews can respond to emerging threats with life-saving speed and agility. Chief of Staff Capability Air Vice-Marshal Lincoln Taylor said: “Survivability is at the

heart of the UK’s operational independence. “Team Pellonia will provide the best possible protection for our people and capabilities, ensuring that UK Defence and industry investment is perfectly aligned as we develop the next-generation of capabilities.” The announcement builds on other partnership deals signed by the three companies with the MOD over the last 12 months. Leonardo already provides integrated defensive suites for Typhoons and the majority of the UK’s helicopter fleet, with many of the systems incorporating electronics from Thales

and Chemring Countermeasures. The team also delivers protection for the RAF’s Shadow surveillance force and the new Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning aircraft, with systems on other types expected to be reviewed in the coming years. Defence scientists will act as technical partner to the team throughout the entry into service process to ensure military advantage now and into the future. All systems will comply with the Nato Defensive Aids System standards to maximise their export potential.



Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P9

News

PM Boris on a high with Typhoon Simon Mander PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson revealed how he took over the controls of a Typhoon jet during a training sortie with the RAF. Speaking at the Farnborough Air Show, he also made a humorous dig at Top Gun star Tom Cruise, who caused a sensation with a surprise visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo, by claiming a fight between the RAF’s frontline fighter and a USAF F15E Strike Eagle would be a ‘walk-over’.

“I pushed the stick up and right a bit and did a barrel roll...we started to pull a few Gs

The Prime Minister was in lyrical form after the experience quoting lines from World War II pilot John McGee’s famous poem High Flight. Mr Johnson said: “With the help of Wg Cdr Paul Hanson I took off from Coningsby straight up like a vertical firecracker. “We slipped the surly bonds of earth as Magee puts it, and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings, we flung that eager craft through

TOP FUN: Mr Johnson described his flight in a twoseat Typhoon as ‘absolutely stunning’.

footless halls of air and generally put it through its paces, I can tell you. “The Wing Commander said to me ‘do you want to have a go,’ and I said are you sure, it seems very expensive to me, we only have 148 of them and they cost about £75m a pop and he said, ‘don’t worry you can’t break it,’ and I thought oh well famous last words. “I pushed the joystick right over to the right and we did an aileron roll and then I hauled the joystick right back and we did a fantastic loop the loop and then I did a more complicated thing called a barrel roll in which I pushed the stick up and right a bit and we started to pull a few Gs, as they say.” The PM was on a routine training flight from the Lincolnshire station

– one of two RAF Quick Reaction Alert bases that protect UK air space – home to two frontline Eurofighter squadrons and a training station for fighter pilots. Mr Johnson said: “I was absolutely stunned by the Typhoon because it is now more than 25 years since I first flew a fast jet. “I flew a F15E Strike Eagle and I remember sitting in that cockpit and looking at wires and I thought this really isn’t so different from a Sopwith Camel “When I went up in a F15E the Strike Eagle seemed to me to be the last word in strength and power and aggression but compared to the Typhoon, according to the RAF, it would be motionless and defenceless.”


Royal R oyal a Air F Force orce N News ews Fr Friday, iday, JJuly uly 29, 2022 P10

News

Just what the doctor ordered

PIONEER: P IONEER: Dr Suki S ki SSira Suk ira will wiill serve with with BrizeBrizeserve based based No. No. 4626 A romedicall Aer Aeromedical Evacuattion SSqn qn Evacuation

or fiirrst ffo l ne fi Frontli i t Suki pharmacis

Simon S imon Mander Mander MILITARY MILIT AR RY LIFE is the b best est me medicine dicine for for the R RAF’s AF F’s first fiirst ever ever p pharmacist. harmacist. IIn n ci civilian vilian life liffe 36-year-old 36-year-old Fl Fltt L Ltt SSuki ukii Sira Sira spends spends h her er d days ays prescribing prescribing for for a group group of of London London GP p practices. ractices. IIn n unif uniform form she she is is on on standby standby to to fly fly anywhere anywhere in the the world world to to provide provide healthcare healthcare for for British British Service Service personnel personnel aafter fter sig signing ning up up w with ith Brize Brize i N Norton-based orton-based N No o 4626 A Aeromedical eromedical E Evacuation vvacuation Squadron. Squadron. SShe he ssaid: aid: ““I’ve I’ve always always had had scinatio on w ith aaviation viation a fa fascination with and felt felt quite quite attracted attracted to to the the and military. military. It It was was aalways lwaayys tthe he RAF I was was more more dra awn to, to, RAF drawn and eeventually ventually I decided decided to to and take tthe he plunge plun u ge and and have have take not not lo looked oked back back since. since.” Fl Fltt Lt Lt Sira Sira is is no no new new recruit tto o tthe he A ir F orce. recruit Air Force. She sserved erved for for two two years years She with 4624 Movements Movem e ents with Sqn w hile completing completing Sqn while her m edical degree, degree, then then officer officer i her medical training, before bef efore moving moving to to her her training, pioneering new new post. post. pioneering SShe he ssaid: aid: i ““II tthoroughly horoughly en njoyed officer officer i ttraining raining aand nd enjoyed

you tend you tend tto o le learn arn a lo lott aabout bout yyourself ourself at at Cranwell. Cra nwell. I made made some some ffriends riends ffor or lif life, fe, aand nd iitt wa wass a rreal eal p privilege rivilege tto o ggraduate raduate ffrom rom there. there. Being Being in the the medical mediccal reserve reserve iiss sslightly lightly dif different ffeerent tto o tthe he ci civilian vili l an world, world, bbut ut yyou ou are are recognised recognised for for what what you you ccan an do, do, and and there there iiss sstill till that that sense sense of of ccamaraderie. amaraderie.” ““I’m I’m sstill till new new to to myy job job in 4626 SSquadron, quadron, bbut ut es essentially sentially tthere here iiss a n need eed for for a pharmacist pharmacist tto o ooversee versee tthe he set-up set-up of of a hospital hospital staging staging unit, unit, which w hich ttreats reats personnel personn nel bbefore effore Aeromedical A eromedical Evacuation, Evvacuation,,” she she said. said. RAF R AF Medical Medical Services’ Services’ mission mission iiss tto o en ensure sure personnel p ersonnel aare re m medically edically ffit it tto o go go wherever whereverr they they are are needed n eeded and and offers offer e s lots lots of of rroles oles ffor or doctors, doctors, s dentists, dentists, nurses, n urses, p paramedics aramedics aand nd medical m edical support support officers. offiicers. 4626 E Executive xecutive Officer Offfiicer Sqn Sqn Ldr Ldr Craig Craig Staniforth Stanifforth said: said: “The “The recruitment recruitment of of an an RAF RAF military military pharmacist pharmacist is is a great great step step forward forward in the the development developmen nt of of the the operational operational capability capability of of RAF RAF Medical Medical Services. Serrvices.”




Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P13

News In Brief

AGREEMENT: UK and Republic of Korea will collaborate on Space projects

Tempest takes off

Space pact BRITAIN AND Korea have agreed to cooperate in spacebased defence measures. Under the terms of the deal both countries will integrate their capabilities as defence partners, share operational knowledge and collaborate on exercises, training and personnel exchanges. Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, said: “The UK and the Republic of Korea share the same determination to ensure that space is there for the benefit of all. “I look forward to the deep cooperation between UK Space Command and the ROKAF that this arrangement will enable.” The arrangement contributes to the bilateral framework for closer cooperation agreed by the Prime Minister and the Korean President at the recent Nato summit in Madrid.

6TH-GEN: A prototype of the Tempest Future Combat Air System could be airborne in five years according to UK Defence chiefs

Simon Mander BRITAIN’S FIRST flying combat air demonstrator in a generation is set to take off within the next five years. The BAE-led project is designed to test the technology and design of the RAF’s Tempest Future Combat Air System, due in service by 2035. Engineers leading the design, test, evaluation and build process will use new digital technologies such as synthetic modelling to demonstrate how they will slash the time it takes to deliver and upgrade the complex combat aircraft. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “I

am delighted that the UK, alongside Italy and Japan, are working on similar combat air journeys together. Our work with Japan and Italy on cutting-edge technology like this shows the benefit of our alliances across the world. “The design and development of the demonstrator aircraft represents an important milestone, showcasing the success and talent of our engineers, programmers and software developers.” Tempest was launched in 2018, in response to the Combat Air Strategy that set out the importance of Britain’s air sector in ensuring the UK

retains choice in how it meets its defence needs and delivers the successor to Typhoon. BAE Systems Chief Executive Charles Woodburn added: “We recognise our responsibility in providing trusted sovereign combat air capability. “We’re partnering with the UK’s highly motivated and skilled supply chain to accelerate the innovation of the nation’s future air power; integrating new technologies so the Royal Air Force and its allies can stay ahead of our adversaries. “The demonstrator is an exciting once-in-a-generation opportunity providing experienced and young engineers alike a chance to contribute to an endeavour which really matters to our national defence and security.” WALLACE

BEN

Chinooks boost NATO Baltic Battlegroup AWARD: FS Sheared was named mostoutstanding NCO by NATO chiefs

Simon Mander

NATO honour for Gunner Ian

CHINOOKS HAVE deployed to Estonia as Britain backs up Nato’s enhanced forward presence in the Baltic region. The Odiham-based helicopter force arrived to support troops from the 2 Rifles and Royal Welsh Battlegroups and showcase the aircraft’s combat capabilities to allies. United States F-35s, French Mirage 2000s and Belgian F-16 jets are also operating from Amari air base as part of the Nato Air shielding mission. Officer Commanding Aviation Task Force 3, Wg Cdr Paul Butler, said: “The Chinook Force relishes

NAPLES-BASED GUNNER FS Ian Sheared has been presented with a top Nato award for his role supporting Afghan refugees airlifted to Kosovo as the Taliban swept to power last year. He received the award for Most Outstanding NCO for helping move more than 800 evacuees who worked with Coalition forces during the conflict in Afghanistan on to permanent homes in Alliance countries.

the opportunity to work alongside Nato and take part in the essential training being conducted by the enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup.” The mission will also give 27 Sqn crews experience of operating most effectively in the region, Wg Cdr Butler added. Chinooks are the workhorses of the battlefield and can transport up to 40 troops or 10 tonnes of equipment and travel at speeds of up to 300kph. In the coming months the aircraft – the largest in the RAF’s helicopter fleet – will take part in joint exercises with Portuguese Marines and French troops in Lithuania, Estonia and Finland.



Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P15

You’re hired.. Simon Mander RECRUITERS ARE celebrating the RAF’s latest fourth-place ranking in this year’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list. The three Armed Services led the way, with the Army topping the table, the Royal Navy coming second, telecoms giant BT third, followed by the Air Force. The annual table was devised by the Department for Education to independently assess the nation’s top employers based on the number of apprentices they employ, their diversity and the proportion of them who successfully complete their training. Chief of Staff Training Air Cdre Simon Harper said: “The RAF is proud to be recognised as fourth in the Top 100 Employers List. “Apprenticeships are central to our training philosophy to develop highly skilled, committed and motivated Aviators and having one of the UK’s top schemes allows us to continue to attract the high calibre of people we need.” The RAF’s fourth place is six places higher than in 2020 and puts the service well above leading blue chip UK giants including BAE Systems, Ernst & Young, Greene King and Iceland Foods. Air Force apprenticeships date back to 1920 and today most new entrants go on to gain professional qualifications. There are currently 4,500 RAF apprentices across 24 programmes and in 2014 Ofsted graded the scheme ‘Outstanding.’

News AR Grace Morris, Cyberspace Communications Specialist, Bour ne, Lincolnshire

“ opThpoe RArtuFnigivty esto mtraevethleas well

as gain qualification not be able to earn s I would Street. I enjoy learnon Civvy and working with teing about and my apprentices chnology hip right on the cutting put me edge

AR Amy Dennis, Technician (Mec Aircraft Medway, Kent hanical),

e been interested in “ enI’vgin eering since leaving

school at 17. It is ve on and no day is ev ry handser the same. I love the family cultu the bonds that you re and other people. The fribuild with have made will stay ends I with me for life

AR Alex Naugha Apprentice, Defelty, School of Photog nce raphy

“buI’vet nealwveayrshalovd edthephchotanogceraphy Former Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “It is a fantastic achievement to be listed as one of the country’s most outstanding apprenticeship employers. “Apprenticeships offer people

of all ages and backgrounds the chance to gain the experience and skills needed to hit the ground running in their chosen career, while delivering the skilled workforce businesses need to grow and thrive.”

to turn my hobby in long-term, stable ca to a RAF has also allowedreer. The meet new people an me to relationships. There’sd build chance to play spor also the representing the RAts and I am F in InterServices hockey

French Connection

CHARITY CRUSADER Cpl Hayley Court braved scorching heat to complete a leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The 622 Sqn Reservist, pictured right, who set up the Healing Military Minds charity, carried the ceremonial baton on the Yorkshire and Humber stage of the event which has clocked up 90,000 miles across routes in all 72 Commonwealth nations.

BRITISH AND French jets simulated dogfights over the Mediterranean to hone their fighter pilots’ flying skills. Typhoons from Cyprusbased 903 Expeditionary Air Wing supported by a Voyager tanker engaged in what is known as ‘dissimilar air combat training,’ with Rafales stationed in the Middle East as part of Exercise Brigand. 903 EAW’s Wg Cdr Mark Frazer said: “This activity remains fundamental to furthering both nations’ interoperability goals. “In addition to some very valuable flying, the operation sends a strong strategic message that we remain in the Eastern Mediterranean as a member of both the counter-Daesh mission and other Nato operations, ready and able to work seamlessly with our partners.”


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P16

Feature The hyper-war era

Future-proofing th Way in Warfare review to build on space and AI tech while aiming for NetZero by 2040

T

HE RAF is launching the biggest review of its combat capabilities for 30 years as the UK and Allied nations prepare for a new era of hyper-war, driven by space-based platforms and military artificial intelligence. Announcing the Way in Warfare programme Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, said deeper collaboration and integration across Nato and the rapid development of new technology are vital to maintain the West’s advantage. Speaking at the annual Air and Space Power Conference this month, he said: “Our leading edge is reliant on both technology and concepts, so our way in air and space warfare must be led by both. “We will examine the resilience and redundancy across our force, learning from our history, and from the thinking, concepts and operational postures of our allies, and our potential adversaries too. “Agile Combat Employment will enhance our resilience and increase our flexibility through irregular employment and deployment to unconventional and austere bases. “It embraces Direct Force Employment, the flexible, unpredictable employment of our forces in air and space, designed to generate uncertainty in the minds of adversaries, whilst demonstrating capability and resolve to our allies. “All of that will depend on a new approach to Air and Space Command and Control, which in turn depends on battlespace connectivity, and that functioning, interoperable, digital network is one of the most important technological challenges we all face.”

T

he war in Ukraine and growing concerns over hostile Chinese and Russian activity in space are fuelling the drive for closer military and technological collaboration. Sir Mike (right) added: “Interoperability doesn’t happen by

accident, and it cannot rely on systems integration alone: it is a result of the hours of training we do together, the investment decisions we make as a collective, and the time we spend learning from each other. We are stronger together. “To maintain our leading edge, we must be ready to understand, decide and then act faster, with even greater precision, lethality, and in more places around the world simultaneously than we do today; and we are going to have to do it sustainably too, in terms of both resource and the environment. “Our aircraft, spacecraft and systems must integrate seamlessly across all operational domains to allow the transfer and exploitation of information, rapid decision-making and timely delivery of effects.”

Agile Combat Employment will enhance our resilience and increase our flexibility through irregular employment and deployment to unconventional and austere bases

A

t the vanguard of the RAF’s drive for technological supremacy is the Future Combat Air System, based around the sixth-generation Tempest. However, the increasing use of AI and machine learning could undermine trust in the military, Air Marshal Johnny Stringer warned. Speaking at the conference he said: “With AI we are still at the stage where people ‘feel’ rather than ‘think’ about it. Most of that feeling in relation to the military is negative. “We are almost blind to the effect of AI in our daily life but we must be transparent in how we see AI being used and how our algorithms are developed and the safeguards against

bias that we apply. We must ensure people have confidence in this and in us. “Being guided by the moral imperative is essential. How we fight reflects who we are, why we fight reflects the values we hold dear. “I wonder if Russian aircrew returning from another mission of wanton war crime-level destruction against Ukraine are happy with what they see in the mirror.”

o es Q Brown Jr, Chief (left to right) Gen Charld, Chief of Space Opera : CE EN ER NF CO on GLOBAL Gen John W ‘Jay’ Raym Sir Mike Wigston; and

O

ther projects include the development of swarming drones squadrons designed to overwhelm enemy defences. The RAF’s 216 Test and Evaluation Sqn and the Rapid Capabilities Office have tested five drone types in 13 trials with different payloads and control systems, demonstrating what Sir Mike described as an ‘operationally useful and relevant capability.’ But CAS warned that the drive for the technological edge and operational superiority should not be at the expense of the environment and climate change. The UK’s top airman has committed the RAF to achieving NetZero, a decade ahead of the national target of 2050 set by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and joined more than 30 air chiefs from across the alliance to sign a commitment to climate change collaboration. Sir Mike added: “We must understand how our people, aircraft, equipment, critical resources and supply chains will need to adapt to operate in a climate-changed future environment. “It is about operational resilience in a climate-changed world. It will take decades and we need to start now. “The RAF is already thinking about operating beyond fossil fuels. We have some genuinely exciting synthetic fuel programmes, one of which earned us a Guinness World Record last year for the first 100 per cent synthetic fuelled flight. “The climate change collaboration is the first such agreement on a global scale from the Armed Forces and signals our commitment to play our part to tackling this daunting transnational challenge.”

AIR CHIEFS: Global power talks with Allies


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P17

he Royal Air Force THE WAY AHEAD: Tempest Combat System

MAINTAINING AIR POWER: F-35 Lightning and Tempest prototype

Air Chief Marshal of Staff, USAF; CAS, Space Force ations, United States

We must understand how our people, aircraft, equipment, critical resources and supply chains will need to adapt to operate in a climatechanged future environment”

LITTLE AND LARGE: Drone swarm and RAF Chinook


We're here for the trials and trrbulatio,ns, the worri,es and unknowns, the unanswered questions and to ,give you 'thie support you need. Learn more now abo,ut our support for serving perso:nneI, visit

ssafa�org.uk/moreforyou

�r';.,ed Forces ssafa charity Regulars I Reserves I Veterans I 1Families.


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P19

Feature

By Tracey Allen

GOWER POWER

PAULINE GOWER: Signed photo given to First Officer Jackie Moggridge and kept proudly in her ATA archive for many years (courtesy of her daughter Candida Adkins)

Story of the leader of WWII Spitfire Women P

AULINE GOWER was an inspiration for women in aviation. She gained her pilot’s licence at the aged of just 20 and set up the first female joyriding business in 1931, with engineer Dorothy Spicer, taking a total of 33,000 passengers flying and clocking up more than 2,000 hours. Pauline went on to lead the inaugural women’s section of the Air Transport Auxiliary, the civilian organisation founded in World War II that took over the task from Service pilots of ferrying RAF and Royal Navy aircraft between factories, maintenance units and frontline squadrons. Many of the organisation’s members were female, known as the ATA girls, and included such pioneering aviators as Molly Rose, Mary Ellis and Diana Barnato Walker. Pauline was the trailblazing leader of the ‘Spitfire Women’ – a sisterhood of brave young women who flew Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancasters in very dangerous circumstances to the frontline. Now poet and author Alison Hill has written a biography of Pauline Gower, to be published in September by The History Press (thehistorypresss.co.uk). In her introduction to the book, Maggie Appleton, Chief Executive

of the RAF Museum, describes Pauline as a ‘true pioneer of flight’, and a ‘standard bearer’ whose ‘indefatigable determination, laced with charm and diplomacy’ ensured success for the women’s branch of the ATA and achieved equal pay for her women pilots. But Pauline’s life was tragically cut short and she died in 1947 aged just 36. The book starts with a quote from her: “For me, aviation is topranking among all the careers open to women. More than that, I would say that every woman should learn to fly. Psychologically, it is the best antidote to the manifold neuroses which beset modern women.”

B

orn in Tunbridge Wells in 1910, she was the second daughter of Sir Robert Gower, long-serving MP for Gillingham in Kent and his wife Kate. Her father gave her a Spartan two-seater aeroplane with a Cirrus III engine as a 21st birthday present and she set up in business with Dorothy, initially running an airtaxi service in Kent. In 1932 she joined the Crimson Fleet Air Circus summer tour – six years later she published Women With Wings, her account of pre-war flying and air circus summers with Dorothy. In 1938 Pauline – the first woman to be awarded the Air Ministry’s

Win!

WE HAVE copies of Pauline Gower, Pioneering Leader of The Spitfire Women by Alison Hill to win. For your chance to own one, tell us: How many women pilots did Pauline Gower recruit to the women’s section of the ATA? Email your answer, marked Pauline Gower biography competition, to: competitions@ rafnews.co.uk or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by September 9.

BRAB’S BEAUTIES: As the press called them, following a visit from Lt Col John Moore-Brabazon, Minister of Aircraft Production. Left to right, Rosemary Rees, Margaret Cunnison, Honor Pitman, Constance Leathart, Jackie Sorour, Lois Butler, Patricia Beverley, ‘Brab’, Barbara Wojtulanis, Pauline Gower, Ann Douglas, Anna Leska, Winifred Crossley, Lettice Curtis, Audrey MacMillan, Audrey Sale-Barker (Photo courtesy of Candida Adkins)

Second-Class Navigator’s Licence two year earlier – was appointed Commissioner of the Civil Air Guard, a scheme to train a reserve of British pilots. On January 1, 1940, she was authorised to form the women’s section of the ATA and recruited the ‘First Eight’ pilots to much press attention. In June 1945, three months before the ATA was wound down that September, Pauline married Wg Cdr Bill Fahie. She became pregnant the following year but suffered poor health throughout her pregnancy and sadly died from heart failure after giving birth to twin sons Paul and Michael, who survived. Michael Fahie’s tribute to the mother he never knew, A Harvest of Memories: The Life of Pauline Gower MBE, was published in 1995.

A

lison Hill said: “Michael sent me bound copies of letters that formed his research from August 1992 to May 1994. What struck me

SCRAMBLE: The First Eight, January 10, 1940 at Hatfield. Left to right: Pauline Gower, Winifred Crossley, Margaret Cunnison, Margaret Fairweather, Mona Friedlander, Joan Hughes, Gabrielle Patterson, Rosemary Rees and Marion Wilberforce (Photo courtesy of Tunbridge Wells Library)

as I read the rich correspondence between long-lost family members and friends, and from fellow ATA pilots… was the enthusiasm, respect and warmth with which they all remembered Pauline.” During her time as Commandant of the women’s section of the ATA

Pauline recruited 164 female pilots. The book includes a chapter highlighting the successes of some contemporary women pilots, particularly members of the British Women Pilots’ Associations. Alison said: “Pauline would have been proud of them all.”


By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen Medallists Worcestershire Medal Service Ltd Worcestershire Bromsgrove

Specialists Sp ecialists in Orders Orders,s, Decorations and Medals

Suppliers of replacement and miniature miniaature medals. mouunting in Court and Ordinary Orddinary Style Medal mounting M Medals displlay. framed for display. For all your medal relat related ted needs including the su supply upply of ribbons, ribbons storage cases items. ca ases and other related item ms. Medal Manufacture B Bespoke Manufactuure

Worcestershire W or o cestershire Medal Serv Service vice Ltd Street, Sidemoor, Sidemoor, Bromsgr rove, B61 8LL 56 Broad Street, Bromsgrove, w .worcmedals.com www m www.worcmedals.com Tel: 01527 835375 8355375 email: email: sales@wo orcmedals.com Tel: sales@worcmedals.com


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P21

Feature

Photographers’ amazing legacy to RAF Museum RARE IMAGERY recording the history of military aviation in the 20th century has been donated to the RAF Museum. Three significant collections by renowned photographers, some bequeathed before the Covid-19 pandemic made receiving them impossible, could finally soon go on public display. Among them are spectacular pictures of iconic jets now consigned to history including air-to-air shots of a 55 Squadron Victor tanker refuelling two 29 Squadron Lightnings and a closeup of the cockpit of a 54 Squadron Jaguar. Other forces also featuring are the Soviet-origin Sukhoi SU-27 Flanker fighter and a USAF C-29A. And for thrill seekers a Valleybased Hawk T1 trainer of a type once flown by the Red Arrows is captured, as is its 1930s predecessor the single-seat Arrow Active biplane – one of the earliest British aerobatics aircraft ever built. Museum spokesman Ajay Srivastava said: “The first collection was acquired before lockdown. Richard Winslade worked with historic aviation organisations, including the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Royal Navy Historic Flight. “The second collection was offered just before lockdown but couldn’t be collected before travel restrictions were imposed. “Richard Wilson was one of the foremost aviation photographers of his generation, learning from the masters, such as Charles E Brown, and taking their place when they retired. “Richard, like Brown, was awarded the CP Robertson Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the person considered to have made the best contribution in presenting the work of the RAF to the public. “While we were waiting for an opportunity to collect the Wilson collection, the Rentoul and Wakeford collection was offered to us by Tom Wakeford’s widow. “The collection is far larger than the other two combined and is more varied in its content. Tom was a semi-professional aviation photographer, author and magazine editor. “The subject of his books included the Panavia Tornado, Operation Granby and the RAF 75th anniversary. He worked closely with Ian Rentoul, whose photographs are included in the collection. “The RAF Museum is grateful to the families of the photographers.”

Warden headed for Old Arrow Active s hi in e os nr Pe N: Desmond COLLECTIO WINSLADE

, by Richard Wilson refuelling Lightnings of 29 Sqn TANKER: Victor of 55 Sqn

HERCULES: XV215, Wakeford Collection

F Flying Training School, RA HAWK T.1: Aircraft of 4Wilson d har Valley, 1983, by Ric

SU-27

: Farnb

orough ,

1990,

Wakef ord Co lle

ction

WINSLADE COLLECTION: BBMF’s Spitfire PR.XIX with Tornado F.2 en route from RAF Coningsby to Abingdon, 1985

keford collection

C-29A: USAF, 1991, Wa

54 SQN: Jaguar T.2 cockpits, Wilson Collection

MAIN IMAGE: Lightning F.1A of 56 Sqn, by Richard Wilson



Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P23

Gp Capt Reg Jordan, DFC, AFC Obituary

Liberator bomber pilot’s long-range missions to Burma G

ROUP CAPTAIN Reg Jordan, who has died aged 98, was 21 and the holder of the DFC when he completed a tour of operations as the pilot of Liberator bombers flying long-range missions over Burma. He later became one of the RAF’s leading flying instructors. He joined the RAF in January 1942, as soon as he was 18, and trained as a pilot in Canada. After returning to England, he trained on bombers before being sent to India to learn to fly the US-built, four-engine heavy bomber the Liberator. He arrived at the beginning of 1944 and, after completing the conversion course, joined the recentlyformed 356 Squadron, which was based at Salbani, 60 miles west of Calcutta, tasked with attacking targets over Burma, Siam (Thailand) and Malaya, some sorties more than 14 hours long. Jordan and his 10-man crew flew their first operation together on September 24, 1944, when they attacked the railway repair shops at Maymo, 30 miles east of Mandalay. Short of fuel on the return flight, Jordan had to make an emergency landing at a forward airstrip still under construction.

DFC: Jordan held top honour at just 21

B

y mid-October 1944, Jordan had flown just a few missions when he found himself leading a formation of four aircraft to attack the port at Moulmein in southern Burma. Cloud covered the target, so he led his formation to low-level to make visual contact and the outcome was direct hits on the port facilities, despite facing heavy anti-aircraft fire. On November 2, due to a faulty engine, Jordan had to delay his take-off for a night attack against the Makeson railway workshops on the outskirts of Bangkok. Approaching the target after the main force had bombed and departed, his Liberator came under heavy anti-aircraft fire, but he pressed on. When the bomb-aimer released the bombs, the appropriate indications appeared on his panel. However, nothing was seen and the crew became suspicious that the bombs had failed to release. By the time this was confirmed, the bomber was 100 miles from the target on its return flight. Jordan immediately turned back to make an attack knowing that his fuel state would be critical for the return to base. The second attack was successful, despite another barrage of anti-aircraft fire. Jordan and his engineer calculated that they had insufficient fuel and they nursed the bomber’s engines for maximum fuel economy before landing at Chittagong with the fuel tanks almost empty after a 14-hour flight. On Christmas Eve, Jordan took off to attack the railway sidings at Phulang Thuong, 35 miles east of Hanoi, a target 1,300 miles

1946 he left the RAF but rejoined in April 1949, and began training at the Central Flying School (CFS) as a flying instructor. In May 1950 he left for Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to be an instructor at No 4 Flying Training School. In December 1952 he returned to CFS, where he joined the staff training future jet flying instructors. Assessed as an exceptional instructor, he was awarded the coveted ‘A1’ category. In November 1954, Jordan joined 25 Squadron flying the Meteor night fighter. On promotion, he transferred to 219 Squadron as a flight commander, this time flying the single-engine Venom night fighter. Jordan missed the added security offered by the twin-engine Meteor. After a spell in command of a ground radar unit, Jordan returned to CFS to command the advanced squadron in the Standards Flight. It was his responsibility to lead a team to RAF flying units to assess the level of instruction and ensure that the high standards expected were being maintained. In addition to visits within the UK, the Standards team made annual visits overseas to RAF units, and also to foreign air forces where they were invited to perform the examining function. Jordan’s appointment gave him ample opportunity to fly a wide variety of the training versions of modern fighters. He was involved in investigating the characteristics of the Hunter aircraft during an inverted spin, and the actions necessary to recover to normal flight.

O

from his base. After crossing the Irrawaddy River, the flight was over mountainous country before he let down over the Red River when the target was identified and attacked. Short of fuel on the return flight, he was once again forced to land at Chittagong before refuelling and returning to his base, 18 hours after taking off.

I

n April it was announced that Jordan had been awarded the DFC. The citation

made specific mention of his two attacks in October when he, “attained excellent results in most difficult circumstances… having displayed outstanding initiative and the greatest determination to complete his missions successfully.” When Jordan was rested from operations at the beginning of May, he had flown 35 missions. After leaving the squadron, he became an instructor on the Liberator. In November

n leaving CFS on promotion to wing commander, Jordan was awarded the AFC for his command of the Standards Flight. He spent the next two years in the Air Ministry assessing the capabilities of Soviet air defence systems before returning to a flying appointment as the station commander of RAF Manby, near Louth, the home of the College of Air Warfare and the School of Refresher Flying, the latter giving him ample opportunity to remain in flying practice. Jordan arrived at HQ RAF Germany in November 1967 in charge of air plans. His priority was to draw up the outline plans for the introduction of the Harrier, Jaguar and Buccaneer aircraft. During the following three years, his team devoted a large amount of time preparing for Harrier operations, and plans had to be made to secure the major airfields against air attack by building hardened shelters, and siting air defence missile sites. In February 1970, Jordan decided to take early retirement. He accepted a post as an aircraft sales manager with the Manchester division of Hawker Siddeley Aviation and its successor organisations, duties which involved extensive travel overseas.


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P24

Motoring

Kia Sorento 4, 1.6 HEV T-GDi Auto AWD, £48,840 otr

7

th

heaven

TIM MORRIS Motoring Correspondent

HEV, version combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 44.2kW drive motor and 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, while the PHEV can be charged by plugging the car in. This will give you a range of around 35 miles without having to fire up the combustion engine at all. Four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox come as standard, whichever version you choose. Outside The new Sorento certainly looks the part and there have been a number of subtle changes since the previous generation. The wheelbase has grown by 35mm and the car has got bigger in every respect. It’s wider, taller and longer than before, with sharp lines. The trademark tiger-nose grille and chunky front bumper give it a bold looking nose, while the rear lights catch the eye. The bits that you don’t see are

Pros l Plenty of space l Real 7-seat versatility l Massive boot l Simple to operate l Well-equipped Cons l Pricey compared to rivals l Not the most economical hybrid in class l Gearbox not particularly quick-witted l Acceleration lag from standstill Verdict The Kia Sorento is an oldschool, seven-seat, SUV redesigned to survive in 2022. The HEV offers a hybrid powertrain that’s as economical as a diesel, without having to plug in. It’ll haul lots of people and kit but it’s not so big that it becomes clumsy. The cabin’s immensely practical and beautifully crafted so it feels expensive. And it is expensive, priced at a level that matches rivals such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Mercedes GLB. Then there’s Kia’s stonking 7-year warranty.

Sorento’s 7-seater with 7-yr warranty THESE DAYS, the powers-that-be don’t want us using dependable diesels and have declared war on the good old SUV with high taxes. Cars like Kia’s Sorento have therefore had to evolve to survive. However, instead of simply rolling over and taking it up the tail-pipe, as the founding fathers of the SUV might say, Kia has found a way to keep a diesel option on the market by using its substantial expertise in the field of electrification. This is the first time that electrified powertrains have been available in the Sorento and you can choose from a 2.2-litre CRDi ‘Smartstream’ diesel engine that produces 199bhp or 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, with self-charging hybrid technology that produces 226hp. CO2 emissions have been dropped to 158g/km for the selfcharging hybrid, with the diesel edition kicking out just 176g/ km. The self-charging hybrid is capable of delivering 40.9mpg on a combined cycle, with the diesel managing 42.2mpg. The Hybrid Electric Vehicle, or

Kia Sorento 4, HEV

even more impressive. You won’t spot the rear wiper for example because that’s neatly hidden within the rear spoiler. This is just one detail that helps to reduce the drag. The body is stiffer than before and Kia has been busy fine tuning the aerodynamics underneath the car to reduce road and wind noise. Inside SUVs used to be simple bits of kit inside too and Kia has hit the right balance between simplicity and modern tech. All the regular climate functions, including the heated and vented seats, are easy to find, as are the audio controls. Everything else is run on a wellplaced touch screen that’s also easy to operate, by modern standards. Top spec cars also have cameras all around the car that make parking a doddle. One interesting feature is that, when you indicate, a wide-angle rear view from the

corresponding wing mirror camera pops up in the instruments. This is handy for blindspots on motorways, or spotting cyclists in jams but the angle somehow irritates the mind because your brain expects to see a forward-facing view that matches the direction of travel. You’ll either love it, or hate it. The interior is generally a very nice place to be. The hexagonstitched seats are beautifully finished and the doors are softly trimmed. The ambient lighting is also bang on, so it even looks good in the dark. In true SUV style, originally designed to accommodate largerframed Americans on hunting trips, the front seats are big enough and comfortable enough for long runs. The middle row of seats give loads of legroom in their rear position, while the third row provide that extra versatility. The cabin is littered with power points,

lights and vents, and the seat-fold system is super-easy. It’s even got an intercom system so that third-row passengers can hear the driver. Clever. On The Road The Sorento is pretty nippy for a full-sized SUV. 0-60 mph takes 9 seconds, which is respectable but not as quick as an Audi Q5, or a Land Rover Discovery Sport. The delay between pressing the throttle and the car actually moving is a bit irritating but it’s not the worst in this class, by far. As you’d expect from an SUV, it’s not a thrilling car to throw around winding roads but it’s always composed. The self-levelling rear suspension helps to keep the car flat through the bends when loaded too. The HEV can tow up to 1,650kg, so it retains a lot of that old school practicality. Putting its ability in context, cars such as the Toyota Highlander can tow 2,000kg, so it’s not a heavyweight, but capable. Off-road, it behaves well and chugs along like a proper SUV.




Follow us

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P27

@rafnewssport

Sport

Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk MOUNTAIN BIKING

Euros success for Sarge in Enduro World Series Lochhead battles symptoms experienced after Covid bout Daniel Abrahams

RAF RIDERS: Thrills and spills at famous course in Innerleithen, Scotland

Riders defy Gravity FOLLOWING A successful opening round of the IS MTB Racing series the Service’s mountain bike riders made their way to Innerleithen, Scotland for round two. The world-famous course provided a host of thrills and spills for the Inter-Station Gravity MTB Racing series. Flt Lt Tom Chambers (MOD Abbey Wood) said: “The race day track was a step up in technicality and pushing riders to their limit whilst trying to thread the needle through the tight and twisting Innerleithen downhill tracks. To top it all off, the weather was glorious throughout, a real Scottish treat.” Team rider SAC(T) Robert Nijhuis (Odiham) added: “The riding here was incredible, and the standard of RAF Gravity

riding has come forward leaps and bounds, and these stages have been another step in that.” Race day saw the riders move to Innerleithen Forest where they would make two runs of the challenging track in dry, dusty conditions, making braking difficult. After two tough rounds Sgt Andy Lochhead (Lossiemouth) took top spot, with Fg Off Rory Graham (also Lossiemouth), a seasoned racer, second. Following a messy first ride, Graham produced a solid second run. Coming home third, RAF Downhill rider Cpl Gareth Hernaman-Wood (Brize Norton) ensured a great day for the team. l Follow them on Instagram @ rafgravitymtb.

SLOVENIA, AUSTRIA, and Italy were the latest pit stops for Enduro World Series mountain biker Sgt Andrew Lochhead. Having secured a respectable 12th in the opening Masters 35+ EWS rounds, the RAF man was hoping to push on in his first professional European forays of the year. As it was, he maintained top 20 positions throughout, despite a series of crashes and the impact of long Covid. He said: “When I contracted Covid, I couldn’t breathe properly for months, and my heart rate was doing crazy things. I was basically out of the game for six months. “During this time, I really struggled with my mental health. It’s taken me over a year to get back to full health, although I’m not 100 per cent yet, and it has a huge impact on my riding.” It did once again in the Prostages of Lochhead’s Slovenia ride, as pins and needles, a side effect he has experienced since suffering from the virus, made holding the handlebars extremely difficult. He also had a spill in practice on stage three, which saw him go over his bars, injuring his knee and cracking his front wheel. Despite his handling issues, Lochhead came 11th in the Prostage race, and 19th in the full race the following day, meaning he was 14th overall. He told RAF News: “The Pro race might have been the hardest race I’ve ever ridden. Considering I was unable to hold the bars properly I know I could do better, but there has been plenty of learning.” Round three at Canazei in Val di Fassa, Italy, saw Lochhead taking on an extremely fast and challenging course, but despite it being ‘insane’ in places, he came home 11th, half a second off 10th in the Pro-stage race. This was a finish he repeated in the full race the following day, despite again experiencing handling issues. Currently sitting in 11th place in the series rankings overall, Lochhead now has an enforced

LOCHHEAD: Getting back to full fitness on Euro circuit, below

break from the sport due to the next rounds being in Canada and America, destinations outside his funding remit.

He said: “Next round for me is in Switzerland in September, plenty of time for me to work on upper body strength and stamina.”

Would you like to see your sport featured in RAF News? Send a short report (max 300 words) & two or three photographs (attached jpegs) to: Sports@rafnews.co.uk


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P28

Sport

Follow us

@rafnewssport

Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk

ULTRA-RUNNING

Going the extra mile Pathfinder March and NOMAD Ultra provide stern tests for personnel

POLO

Ham helps polo players to bring home the bacon THE FUTURE of RAF Polo was given a highprofile shop window at Ham Polo Club against the August Ham Polo side. The match and day, designed to raise funds for the Service set-up, saw the RAF side of Flt Lt Georgie Harwood, Sqn Ldr Ellie Hoogewerf, Wg Cdr Ed Whitechurch (RAF Polo Association chair) and Matt Thake narrowly win 7-6.5. The teams battled it out over four chukkas in a nail-bitingly close contest throughout, full of endto-end action that could easily have gone either way. The crowd was mainly made up of newcomers to the sport and RAF team sponsors August and Masraf London. A RAF polo spokesman said: “Most RAF players do not come from a polo playing background. Indeed, some have never sat on a horse before trying the sport. “Many would never have dreamed of trying polo or would not have been able to afford to. It is events such as this that help us to continue the journey, making polo truly inclusive; accessible to all ages, ranks and job titles. “After attending a three-day Foundation Course, the next step for a budding RAF polo novice is to have lessons at their local club. A number of polo clubs around the country offer a reduced military membership, so that we can nurture talent and enthusiasm without cost to the individual becoming too much of a limiting factor for them. “Several neighbouring clubs to RAF stations hold courses throughout the summer season [May to September]. "Leadenham Polo Club, in Lincoln, five minutes

MILES & SMILES: SAC Youmash Rai tackles the NOMAD with Cpl Tom Ashford (inset top)

TOP SURREY VENUE: Ham Polo Club

from RAF Cranwell and Tedworth Park Polo Club, Hampshire, 10 minutes from Boscombe Down, both offer courses from Foundation, Novice up to Intermediate and Improvers Levels. “So, we would call on any personnel interested to come and have a go if they want to try something different, exhilarating and addictive; no previous horse-riding experience required.” l For further details email: Eleanor. Hoogewerf845@mod.gov.uk, or follow the association on Instagram and Twitter @ RAFPoloOffiicial.

SERVICE ULTRA-RUNNERS blazed a one-two after taking part in the Pathfinder March and NOMAD Ultra events to kickstart the summer. Cpl Ian Aherne (below) completed his longest constant running ultra-race to date when he took on the 46-mile Pathfinder event. Starting at RAF Wyton, the race gave him a chance to experiment with his pacing and practise his navigational skills. The pairing of Cpl Tom Ashford and SAC Youmash Rai participated in the NOMAD 50-mile ultra run around Derbyshire. The circular route follows the Derby Nomad trail and was the perfect run for the duo, who have been training together since 2020. Ashford struggled middistance because he didn’t consume enough calories but rallied to finish strongly in a time

of 11 hours and 20 mins. He said: “My top tip for anyone considering an ultra race is to start slow and eat lots.” Rai blitzed the course in a formidable time of nine hours and 48 minutes. He said: “I have found that surrounding myself with the right people, running without music and getting outdoors, rather than treadmill running, has helped. “I have been taking on more outdoors trails, pushing myself on the days I didn’t feel like running, and it has all added up. It has worked wonders for me today and I am sure it could for anyone else wanting to try the sport.” l For more information on RAF ultra-running email: Thomas.Phillips113@ mod.gov.uk or caroline. maynard-burrows393@ mod.gov.uk.


Follow us

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P29

@rafnewssport

Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk

Sport

CYCLING

Fitness firmly on the radar for 78 Squadron cyclists 78 SQUADRON, Swanwick Military (home to RAF Area Radar), has become the location of the Service’s newest road cycling club. 78CC (78 Cycling Club), is the brainchild of Sgt Steven Barrett who wanted to encourage personnel back into social events and to develop fitness after ‘a challenging two years.’ Club member Sgt David Barker said: “After receiving a hugely positive response Steve [Sgt Barrett[ acquired 10 road bikes through

BEMBRIDGE, IoW

the RAF Central Fund, which allowed the most novice of riders among us to join in. It’s fair to say there has been a positive uptake by

all ranks embracing the opportunity.” The blistering summer weather has seen the club training on the hills around Portsmouth and the South Downs before circumnavigating the Isle of Wight. Sgt Barker said: “The island provided us with challenging coastal roads and daunting hills, but there was also a fantastic platform to develop our force on the historical site of RAF Ventnor, but only after a brutal climb to the top.

“As a team we all felt a sense of pride whilst we took time to reflect on the past; briefing each other on the RAF at Ventnor and the development of radar on the island.” Later this year the club will be doing the challenging Mach Loop ride, which will see the team – in its black and yellow kit – taking on the impressive set of valleys in a 13km ride east of Barmouth in west-central Wales. l Follow RAF Swanwick on Twitter: @78SqnSwanwick.

We have lift-off

BMX

Daniel Abrahams THE DYNAMIC BMX duo of Sgt Matt Haywood and Fg Off Chris Leary hit the blast-off button at the Runnymede Rockets track in round seven of the sport’s South Regional Series. The pair came home with a first in the Veteran B Final – Haywood on his 20in cruiser – before coming eighth in the 24in cruiser Vets B final. It was Haywood’s first race since being injured at the Glasgow National event.

Leary continues to greatly improve in his debut season, taking the podium with a third in the 30+ Masters class, finishing ahead of Royal Navy and Army riders. Round 7 of the South Regional Series is also a qualifier for the British Championships and provided plenty of thrills at the popular Surrey track. The RAF team now move on to round 8 in Bournemouth, the venue which also hosts the National BMX Championships in August.

THE RACE IS ON: (clockwise from left) left ICE factory rider Gary O’Brian just edging Sgt Matt Haywood into the first berm in Rnd 8; Haywood down the back straight in the lead, B Final; Haywood gets airborne performing a 'cross-up'; and Fg Off Leary down the back straight MAIN PHOTO: WALLY YOUNG, WALLY'S BMX PHOTOGRAPHY OTHER PHOTOS: BILLY WRIGHT

Would you like to see your sport featured in RAF News?? Send a short report (max 300 words) & two or three photographs (attached jpegs) to: Sports@rafnews.co.uk


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P30

Follow us

Sport

@rafnewssport

Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk

RUGBY UNION

Challenger walks away with trophy WINNERS: Spitfires celebrate and, left, injured captain Cpl Jedd Evans (2nd from left) lines up with teammates

Sergeant signs off from Spits in style despite team losing captain to injury THE RAF Spitfires ended their season in tournament-winning style, despite losing their captain to a shoulder injury in the first pool game. Cpl Jedd Evans was put out of action in a bruising encounter with The Bowling Team early on in the prestigious Sevens event in Canada. Despite facing a field of the North American country’s top sides and visiting outfits, it was Sgt James Challenger who lifted the trophy after his final game for the Spits. The Service side went on to win the costly opener 17-5, despite losing their leader. Up next was another physical encounter, this time against Fijian side Veiysana Warriors. They proved unsuccessful in powering the RAF men out of the game and were beaten 19-14. The final pool game saw the only two unbeaten teams come face to face, as the Spitfires faced the Certified Lover Boys. Three tries within the first 90 seconds from the Spitfires put the Lover Boys on the backfoot. The Spits then dominated throughout for a 32-7 win. Spitfire spokesman Flt Lt Michael

Hutchinson said: “Injuries made team selection a challenge, but we rotated players where we could. “Having beaten Bowling again, this time 31-12, we were ready for our final bow. “Unfortunately, by this point we had sustained three tournamentending injuries and had one player fly home shortly after the semifinal, so our incredibly strong squad of 12 with two reserves was by this point eight with two reserves.” He added: “Nevertheless, with the knowledge that there was only 14 minutes of the season left and with every individual wanting to put a shift in for their mates, we were ready.” In the other semi Veiysana Warriors lost to the Certified Lover Boys, which set up a final that had the home fans in full voice. A strong start from the Spitfires put two quick tries on the board, but the Lover Boys came back to make the score 14-12 with only a quarter of the game left. Digging deep the Spitfires battled all the way to the end, securing a game-winning try late on, for a 17-14 victory. l Follow RAF Rugby Sevens @rafrugby7s.

Would you like to see your sport featured in RAF News? Send a short report (max 300 words) & two or three photographs (attached jpegs) to: Sports@rafnews.co.uk


Follow us

Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 P31

@rafnewssport

Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk

Sport

The Cape crusader HOCKEY

Sqn Ldr Oatley's going for gold in South Africa Daniel Abrahams

THE WORLD will be enough for Service hockey star Sqn Ldr David Oatley… if it comes in the shape of the FIH Over-50s World Cup in South Africa. Oatley, who has an extensive career in Service hockey, will form part of the England team taking part in the event in Cape Town from September 30 to October 10. Hoping to improve on his last world cup bronze medal won in Barcelona in 2018, the full time regular has the small issue of a European warm-up event tournament in Bilbao, Spain before that. Oatley said: “I have played hockey for 40 years, captaining school and county teams and playing regional level too, along with Euro events and World Cups – and these two will be another huge personal highlight.” The Aerosystems Engineer Officer has played for the RAF’s men’s seniors since 1993, captaining the team between 1996 and 2005, as

well as coaching the seniors from 2006 to 2008. Having returned to the RAF in 2015, he has continued to raise the profile of the sport in the Service. He said: “In 2011 I gained selection to the England Over40s squad – winning International Masters tournament in Singapore tley (right) and the European Masters HONOURS: Oa tournament in Germany, I just know this has a huge impact on the Service game.” The successes continued in 2012 when he was a gold medallist at the inaugural FIH Hockey Masters World Cup in Canterbury, beating Australia 3-1 in at the World Cup in Barcelona. the final and getting on the score sheet. Oatley added: “I am being fantastically Next up he won Silver and Bronze European supported by the RAF Central Fund and Championship medals, followed by that Bronze BAES Sports Grant to help me compete

ENGLAND STAR: Oatley on the attack

in this year’s tournaments, for which I am incredibly grateful.” l Follow RAF Hockey on Instagram @ rafhockey.

ANGLING

West is best for top pairing Verney and Beardsall

5

WE GOT EIGHT, MATE: WO Jason Verney and Sgt Glenn Beardsall

WEST LONDON was wonderful for Service anglers WO Jason Verney and Sgt Glenn Beardsall, whose eight-fish haul saw them take round three of the season’s pairs event. Thorney Weir in West Drayton offered a variable setting as the pairs fished among sunken barges, and secluded bays in sunny conditions, and it was FS Lee Wharlton and Cpl Liam Rawcliffe in peg 10, who were the first on the scoreboard, landing three fish and recording 58lb 10oz on the weigh sheet. FS Matt Hunt and Sgt Tony Jones in peg seven hooked two carp, while Sgt Gary Harrison claimed a new personal best, a stunning common at 25lb 9oz. As the sun dipped Wharlton and Rawcliffe had built up an early lead with a carp of 27lb 4oz added to their tally in the afternoon. An overcast morning greeted the anglers the next day and Verney and Beardsall hit their straps, rocketing up the scoreboard with 55lb 13oz in catches. Only 10lb 5oz split third and fifth place and, just after midday, Sgt Tony Jones slipped the net under a 21lb 7oz mirror, taking them into second. Further catches peppered the day and during the evening Mr Mark Jarvis and WO Richard Cook landed five fish in just over three hours, taking their total to 119lb, to put them within touching distance of first.

EARLY LEADERS: FS Lee Wharlton and Cpl Liam Rawcliffe

Wharlton also saw his chances of a bonus biggest fish point ebb away as Mr Emrys Sampson landed an immaculate common weighing 27lb 5oz. Jarvis and Cooke landed further fish as the final hooter saw Verney and Beardsall finish first with eight fish weighing 156lb 12oz, Cooke and Jarvis second with seven fish weighing 119lb 4oz and in third Hunt and Jones with six fish weighing 116lb 9oz.

pages of the best of RAF Sport action


Visit us at RIAT and the Farnborough International Air Show

DECISIVENESS THROUGH DATA

Providing concise intelligence across the connected battlespace

INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED

Collins Aerospace’s SCi-Toolset streamlines the production of actionable

• Supports NATO EPIE and U.S. BICES intelligence sharing frameworks

intelligence and facilitates its immediate dissemination around the connected battlespace – ensuring timely and informed decision-making. Built on a real-time coherent intelligence picture. Built on data- and sensor-agnostic systems, SCi-Toolset provides a true understanding

• U.K. STANAG 4559 CSD Edition-4-compliant intelligence product library

• Supports the U.K. Royal Navy’s participation in the NATO Response Force

of the battlespace, regardless of theatre or domain.

collinsaerospace.com/sci-toolset

© 2022 Collins Aerospace

66p ISSN 0035-8614 30 >

9 770035 861037


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 R'n'R 1

Win!

R'n'R

Win top titles on Blu-ray and DVD p5

Drama at Lord's – p4



Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 R'n'R 3

R'n'R JAMES HASKELL

LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO

MATT DAWSON

Tall tales from rugby legends F

ORMER ENGLAND international Martin Bayfield starts his 12date Rugby Legends UK tour on September 24 at London’s Alexandra Palace Theatre, which goes on to visit venues from Edinburgh to Exeter. At each show he will to take the stage with former players to reveal never-heard-before stories and fascinating insight into the sport. Joining Martin on stage at different venues will be a variety of World Cup winners including Lawrence Dallaglio, Matt Dawson, Phil Vickery and Ben Kay, along with the likes of Brian Moore, James Haskell, Jason Leonard and Sean Fitzpatrick. Martin said: “This is the game I want to celebrate. The game of my youth, the game that became my family, the game that took me around the world and opened the door to so many unexpected wonders. “If you’ve played the game, you’ll nod your head and chuckle. If rugby is new to you, you’ll shake your head in disbelief. It shouldn’t

ENGLAND GREAT: Bayfield in playing days

work, but it does, and that’s why I love it so much. “Joining me on this journey down Amnesia Avenue will be some great names from the game – players who have made their mark, but perhaps, more importantly, players who for me have added the colour and the chaos.” In Bedford in 1975 a 5’4” eightyear-old Martin was finding himself

useless at every sport he tried, describing his attempts at football as ‘woefully poor’ and cricket as ‘dangerously poor’. It would all change when a coach threw an odd-shaped ball accompanied by the wise words, ‘Hey, shorty, you’ll like this game’. Forty-seven years later his passion for the sport has not diminished; now a top commentator for the sport with a successful TV and film career alongside motivational speaking work, he still relishes his playing career during the early years of the game, when internationals ran out alongside the club stalwarts and legends rubbed shoulders with the well-meaning incompetent. l Go to: myticket.co.uk for tour details and to find out which special guests are appearing at which venues. More guests are to be announced.

Tubular Bells 50th cinema tribute

F

OR ONE night only, on Thursday September 22, cinema audiences across the UK can enjoy Mike Oldfield’s iconic Tubular Bells album, live in concert, alongside a stage show – to celebrate the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking record’s release. The concert was filmed at London’s worldfamous Royal Festival Hall over three nights and incorporates the original music with modern dance, performance and acrobatic feats. It also includes performances of Moonlight Shadow, Mike Oldfield’s biggest single hit, along with Summit Day, from his Guitars album, and The Gem, a new work by musical director Robin Smith. Tubular Bells was originally placed on sale in May 1973, as the very first album released by Virgin Records. Initially, it was a slow burner, but once its

opening theme was featured on the soundtrack of the notorious The Exorcist movie, its sales, and its reputation, soared. l Go to: tubularbellsfilm.co.uk to book tickets.

MARTIN BAYFIELD: The former England lock forward is still a big-hitter

Pals help Chris 'see' the world

C

HANNEL 4 have commissioned Open Mike Productions to produce a new comedy travelogue series starring comedian Chris McCausland (above). ( With the working title of The Wonders of the World I Can’t See the four-part series takes blind Chris across the globe to explore some of the world’s most iconic, unforgettable world landmarks, but in a new way that discovers things the ordinary traveller might miss. Chris lost his sight gradually due to a genetic condition called retinitis pigmentosa. In each episode the reluctant traveller will be joined by a different special celebrity guest as his travelling companion. As well as providing a humorous ‘audio description’ of their surroundings for him, the celebrity companions will do their best to prove to Chris that there’s much more to visiting these places than just what they look like, by engaging their other senses. Will they manage to convince him that it was worth getting off his couch after all? He said: “I hate flying, don’t function in the heat, and can’t eat anything weird. If I’m honest, I just wanted to do Gogglebox. But thanks to Channel 4 and Open Mike for having more faith in me than I do.” Phil Harris, head of entertainment and live events at Channel 4, said: “I’m excited to build on Chris’s scenestealing appearances on The Last Leg and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown with this new adventure.” Locations and comedians taking part in the forthcoming series will be announced in due course. Chris has been performing stand-up since 2003 and is now a regular face on TV. He has also made multiple appearances on flagship comedy shows including Have I Got News for You, Would I Lie to You?, QI and Blankety Blank. l Chris is on a national tour with his stand-up show Speaky Blinder that runs until May Blinder, 2023. Go to: chrismccausland. com/tour/ for details.


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 R'n'R 4

R'n'R Theatre Stumped

Lord's and then online

'PINTER': Played by Andrew Lancel

Good Lord's, actors taking over at home of cricket

The Art of Menswear V&A

Style's alwa vogue at V& A

T

HE PROSPECT of portraying the Nobel-prize winning playwright Harold Pinter, a legendary name in theatre, is, admitted Andrew Lancel, ‘daunting’. The versatile actor, singer and director, whose roles range from evil businessman Frank Foster in Coronation Street to Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, revealed that playing Pinter in new play Stumped is also ‘a challenge’ – but one that he relishes. The play, by Shomit Dutta, is a two-hander co-starring Stephen Tompkinson (Drop The Dead Donkey, Wild At Heart) as Pinter’s good friend and fellow Nobel prize-winning author Samuel Beckett. The two titans of theatre were both huge cricket lovers and players. Described as ‘darkly comic’, Stumped celebrates the men and their love of the sport. Beckett was a cricketer before he Lancel, who’s also well known wrote the seminal works Waiting for playing DI Neil Manson in The for Godot and Endgame and was Bill, said: “Both Beckett and Pinter listed as a first-class player in the are heroes to me. I like playing real cricketers’ almanack Wisden. people but when it is somebody Pinter, whose work includes so famous, so revered, it’s quite The Birthday Party and The daunting. Homecoming, referred to cricket as “We love cricket in our house ‘the greatest thing that God created.’ and the play is directed by Guy Hailing from Lancashire, it’s no Unsworth, who I have wanted to surprise that Lancel, (a massive work with for years, so Stumped Everton FC supporter) is a ticked all the boxes for me. It’s keen cricket fan himself. a fascinating piece and very, He explained: “I was very funny. Playing Pinter quite good at local level but is a challenge, but it’s a good village cricket in Lancashire problem to have.” is a very high standard, very Stumped may well be competitive. I got a ball scoring a world first – it will in my eye when I was be streamed live from a kid, I still have Lord’s, the venerated the scar, and that ‘home of cricket’ in perhaps made me north London on wobble a little bit at the crease over September 10, then the years. I was available to view online for a year. always a bowler.” How would he Lancel said: describe Pinter, “I’m not sure that who was also a play has ever an actor and been beamed live screenwriter? from any sports Lancel said: stadium before, it “He was a man just adds to the whole of many layers, atmosphere. Lord’s is inson eccentric and a the third character in the pk m To ': T 'BECKET maverick in more show really.”

Fashion

ways than one. The word legend can be overused but I think he was a legend, and unique.” Although he’s directed a Pinter play, Ashes To Ashes, Lancel hasn’t yet acted in one of the great man’s works. “It’s definitely an ambition to appear in one,” he revealed. “I don’t know of anyone else who’s played Pinter, it’s about inhabiting, not impersonation. Stephen and I were talking about that – when someone’s so loved and so known you don’t want to make them a caricature.” Lancel said he still gets recognised as his characters from The Bill and Corrie, and as well as those long-running soaps, his wideranging career has encompassed musicals, playing Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein (seven times) and numerous stage appearances. There’s one ambition he’s yet to fulfil however. He said: “From an acting point of view, I would love to do a play in New York,” then added, “From a personal point of view, it would be to see Everton win the Premier League.” By Tracey Allen l Go to: originaltheatreonline. com for ticket details.

MONG THE exhibits in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s current exhibition Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear is a portrait of Royal Flying Corps pilot 2nd Lieut Gilbert SM Insall, who was decorated for gallantry in World War I. The painting, by Edward Newling, shows Insall wearing a leather flying coat with a fur-lined collar. The exhibition explains that the design protected aviators from the cold and, like the trench coat worn by Army officers, soon became a civilian fashion. The show, which runs until November 6, is ‘the first major V&A exhibition to celebrate the power, artistry and diversity of masculine attire and appearance,’ said a museum spokesperson. “It traces how menswear has been fashioned and refashioned over the centuries, and how designers, tailors and artists – and their clients and sitters – have constructed and performed masculinity, and unpicked it at the seams,” the spokesperson added. Fashioning Masculinities features around 100 looks and 100 artworks with contemporary styles by famous designers and rising stars displayed alongside historical treasures from the V&A’s collections and loans. It includes looks by Harris Reed, Gucci and Raf Simons, paintings by Sonfonisba Anguissola and Joshua Reynolds and outfits worn by former One Direction star Harry Styles, Billy Porter, Sam Smith, David Bowie and Marlene Dietrich. Claire Wilcox and Rosalind McKever, the show’s cocurators, said: “Masculine fashion is enjoying a period of unprecedented creativity. It has long been a powerful mechanism for encouraging conformity or expressing individuality.”

and not just t dapper ex-1D

FORTY-FIVE designers from more than 20 countries are featured in the V&A’s landmark Africa Fashion exhibition, on until April 16, 2023. More than 250 objects are on display and many of the garments on show are from the personal archives of iconic mid-20th century African designers Shade ThomasFahm, Chris Seydou, Kofi Ansah and Alphadi, marking the first time their work is being shown in a London museum. Its senior curator, Dr Christine Checinska, said: “Our guiding principle for Africa Fashion is the foregrounding of individual

THE V&A has announced it is to stage a major new exhibition dedicated to the work of pioneering fashion designer Gabrille ‘Coco’ Chanel, from September 16 to February 25, 2024. The show will chart the evolution of Chanel’s iconic design style and the establishment of the House of Chanel, from the opening of her first millinery boutique in Paris in 1910 to the showing of her final collection in 1971. Featuring more than 180 looks, seen together for the first time, as well as jewellery, accessories, cosmetics and perfumes, the exhibition will explore Chanel’s pioneering approach to fashion design.

AFRICA FASHION: Models holding hands, Lagos, N Fashion Week

African voices and perspectives. The exhibition presents African fashions as a self-defining art form that reveals the richness and diversity of African histories and cultures.”


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 R'n'R 5

Edited by Tracey Allen

ays in &A…

the famously D star Harry

ORNATE: Silk British waistcoat, 1730-35, French design © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Competitions

Burn After Reading (15) The Outfit (15) Out on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD from August 1 (Dazzler Media) On Blu-ray now (Fabulous Films Ltd/ Fremantle Media Enterprises)

Win!

Gym staff blackmailers get Burned J

STYLES OUTFIT: By Alessandro Michele for Gucci 2019. © Jamie Stoker 2020.

OEL AND Ethan Coen, the Academy-Award winning duo behind No Country for Old Men and The Big Lebowski, direct an all-star cast which includes George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and John Malkovich in Burn After Reading, an outrageous spy comedy about murder, blackmail, sex addiction and physical fitness. Released in 2008 the movie was a huge box office hit, grossing more than $163 million from its $37 million budget and receiving nominations at both the Golden Globes and British Academy Film Awards. When a disc filled with some of the CIA’s most irrelevant secrets gets in the hands of two determined, but dim-witted gym employees, the duo are intent on exploiting their find. But since blackmail is a trade better left for the experts, events soon spiral out of everyone’s and anyone’s control, resulting in a non-stop series of hilarious encounters. We have copies of Burn After Reading on Blu-ray up for grabs. For your chance to own one, tell us: Who directed Burn After Reading? Email your answer, marked Burn After Reading Blu-ray competition, to: competitions@rafnews.co.uk or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by August 12. ACADEMY AWARD-winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) stars in the gripping thriller The Outfit, as expert

DRESSED TO KILL: Nikki Amuka-Bird is a gangster in The Outfit

tailor Leonard Burling who must outwit a dangerous group of mobsters in order to survive a fateful night. Set in 1950s Chicago, the cast also features Zoey Deutch (Set It Up), Johnny Flynn (Operation Mincemeat), Dylan O’Brien (American Assassin), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Old) and Simon Russell-Beale (Mary Queen of Scots). RAF News has copies of this suspenseful and stylish film on DVD to add to your collection. To enter the competition, simply tell us: What is the name of the character Mark Rylance plays in The Outfit? Email your answer, marked The Outfit DVD competition to our competitions address above or post it to the RAF News address above, to arrive by August 12.

Theatre

Only Fools and Horses The Musical Theatre Royal Haymarket

Les joins Only Fools mayhem C

Nigeria, 2019 by Stephen Tayo, courtesy Lagos

Key pieces on display will include outfits created for British model Anne Gunning (later Lady Nutting) and Hollywood stars Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich. Based on the Gabrielle Chanel Fashion Manifesto exhibition organised by the Palais Galliera, Fashion Museum of the City of Paris, it will be re-imagined for the V&A and feature rarely seen pieces from the V&A’s collection, alongside looks from Palais Galliera and the Patrimoine de Chanel, the heritage collections of the fashion House in Paris. Director of the V&A Tristram Hunt said: “As one of the most successful fashion houses in existence, Chanel owes much to the templates first laid down by its founder Gabrielle Chanel, over a century ago. We are delighted to be partnering with Chanel and the Palais Galliera on this exhibition, which provides us with the opportunity to explore the origins and elements of this

CHIC: Some of the Chanel styles on show © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

enduring style and to display littleknown historic Chanel garments from the V&A collection.” l Go to: vam.ac.uk for further details.

OMEDIAN AND actor Les Dennis is to join the cast of the smash hit West End show Only Fools and Horses The Musical from October 3, starring as loveable Grandad. The critically-acclaimed show is extending its run at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket for a further three months, until January 7. Based on John Sullivan’s classic television series – and featuring cherished material from it – the musical is written by John’s son, Jim Sullivan, and comedy powerhouse Paul Whitehouse (The Fast Show, Mortimer &Whitehouse: Gone Fishing), who played Grandad when the stage show first opened. It reacquaints fans with loveable rogues Del Boy and Rodney, and features many of the popular TV characters including Raquel, Cassandra, Boycie, Marlene, Trigger, Mickey Pearce, Denzil and Mike the Barman. It has been seen by more than 600,000 people since it opened in the West End in February 2019. Dennis stars alongside Tom Bennett (Del Boy) and Ryan Hutton (Rodney) as the Trotter family take a trip back to 1989, where it’s all kicking off in Peckham. Dennis said: “I am so excited to be playing Grandad. Like everyone else, I would tune in weekly to watch the hilarious exploits of the Trotters and would laugh and cry in equal measure. It was both funny and touching. “Jim Sullivan and Paul Whitehouse have written a wonderful show that beautifully recreates that feel-good era of British comedy. I can’t wait to join the hugely talented cast and be a part of it. Lovely jubbly!” l Go to: onlyfoolsmusical.com for more information.

TROTTERS: Rodney (Ryan Hutton), Del (Tom Bennett) and Grandad (Paul Whitehouse) – soon to be replaced by Les Dennis, inset


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

You can email photos for announcements on this page to: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk

Deaths IBBETSON John ex-Chief Technician Electronics, aged 79, passed away on July 7 in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital after a long battle with sepsis. John served at RAF Coningsby, Binbrook and Coltishall with tours in Cyprus and Germany, finishing his RAF career at the Ministry of Defence. A devoted family man, John will be sadly missed by his wife Carole, daughters Janette and Lindsay together with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. John’s funeral took place at Cromer Crematorium, Norfolk on July 28. Donations please to Alzheimer’s and Dementia UK.

Peter Lewis LEWIS Peter James (Pete) 233, Sgt, aged 82. Died July 5 in hospital as the result of a car accident and subsequent Covid infection. Joining the RAF in Swansea, he went on to serve in RAF Germany, Prestwick, Singapore, Malta, GRSS Henlow, CIO Swansea and 12SU Cyprus, finally being discharged while at St Eval in Cornwall. After retiring from the RAF to Germany in June 1989, he worked as a storeman at RAF Gütersloh under the RAF and then the Army before his final retirement from service in April 2005. He will no doubt be remembered as a gregarious character, with a love of football and motorsport, and always

ready to banter in defence of the RAF. He is survived by his wife, Heidi-Barbel (Barbara) and three daughters, Dagmar, Renate and Natasha, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, who will all miss him dearly. RAVEN Michael, Service number 4035304, Senior Aircraft Engineer, passed away peacefully in his sleep aged 91. He served with 615 Squadron at RAF Biggin Hill as an engineer between 1952 and 1954. Sadly missed by partner and the rest of the family. SAVAGE Dave FS Pers Admin; formerly 45th Entry Administrative Apprentice, (David Johnston) of Musselburgh/Prestonpans. Died peacefully at home on July 11, beloved husband of Isabel, loving father of David and his partner Carol, doting grandfather of Rachel, devoted Great-Grampa to Esme. The funeral service was held at Seafield Crematorium on July 28. No flowers were requested but online donations can be made to the RAF Benevolent Fund, if desired, in Dave’s name.

Seeking I was stationed at Stanmore Park from 1968 to October 1969 and was known as SAC Christine Warrington. I moved to RAF St Mawgan in October 1969, where I was employed as a civilian at the camp. I am seeking news of JT Roger (Ginge ) Summerfield/ Somerfield who was on detachment at Stanmore Park where we met. He was training on the Nimrod Simulator at Borehamwood. It would be good to hear from Roger, who was a very good friend. I am also trying to locate Bob Somerville, who was on detachment from Marham

to Binbrook between 1967 and 1971. I attended Bob’s wedding in Belfast. Please contact: christineacaley@ gmail.com. LOOKING for any members of the 47th entry TG19 Hereford 62-64. Any still about? Please contact Jim Cummins on: Carol_ cummins@aol.com or: 01302 532865,07517 416702.

Reunions A reunion dinner will be held in Ramsgate on Saturday, September 10 for all military and civilian personnel who served or trained at RAF/ DFTDC Manston. A short memorial event will also take place the following morning at the Spitfire Museum. For further information please email Andy Callander: A n d r e w. c a l l a n d e r 1 2 2 @ gmail.com THE RAF & Defence Fire Services Association was formed in 1995 and would like to attract new members of all ranks, serving and retired. The annual subscription fee is £16 and for that you receive three Association magazines a year called the Flashpoint, to which members are invited to contribute their stories. We meet for a reunion and AGM once a year. For more information and how to join visit the website: rafanddfsa. co.uk. The RAF & DFS Association also has close links with the Museum of RAF Firefighting, visit: firemuseum.uk.

Cyprus Remembrance Our next Service of Remembrance for the 372 men who died in Cyprus, – 69 of them while serving with the RAF, during the 1955 to 1959 Cyprus Emergency – will be held at 1200 on Sunday, August 14, at The National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire. For more details please email Les Smith at: cyprusveterans@gmail.com

RAFAA Association IF you trained as an RAF Administrative Apprentice (or are related to one) we’d be delighted to welcome you to the RAFAAA. Our aim is to promote friendship and general wellbeing among our veterans, via social gatherings and assorted activities, as devised by an elected committee, and a regular newsletter. Please see website: rafadappassn. org or contact Membership Secretary on: 07866 085834 or Chairman on: 01933 443673.

Catering Association RAF Catering WOs’ and Seniors’ Association (RAF CWO & SA): all serving or retired TG19 WOs or FSs and all former Catering Branch Officers are invited to join the RAF CWO & SA. We meet twice yearly. For more information please email: davescott10@hotmail. co.uk

Tribute to 'Voice of Golf' and exGunner Alliss FORMER COMRADES remembered ex-Gunner and ‘Voice of Golf ' Peter Alliss at a thanksgiving service at the University of St Andrews. The event, the day before the start of this year’s Open Championship at the nearby Old Course, was the first time many people had the chance to pay their respects to the veteran broadcaster – who died on December 5, 2020 – due to the pandemic. Alliss served his National Service with the RAF Regiment from 1949-51, mostly at the Gunnery School at RAF Watchett. A former golf professional, he became widely regarded as the best-known British golf broadcaster, hosting 140 procelebrity golf programmes. But he never forgot his time with the Corps and retained personal contact as Honorary President of its Golf Society and as a guest of the Officers’ Dinner Club. His funeral was a private family affair, held under Covid conditions, and in 2021 a stone was installed in his name in the Corps’ Memorial Garden with a dedication service attended by his widow Jackie. She invited Gp Capt Jason Sutton to the thanksgiving

VETERAN BROADCASTER: Peter Alliss served his National Service with the RAF Regiment and maintained links with the Corps

event to represent the Commandant General and Wg Cdr Martin Hooker on behalf of the Executive Council that runs the garden. Gp Capt Sutton said: “The service was quite spectacular and achieved all of its celebratory and tribute aims. “The Alliss family plan to attend the Annual Corps Memorial Commemoration Service in 2023, the first time that the wider family will have the opportunity of viewing the Memorial Stone.”

Assoc RAF Women Officers

Squadron marks landmark anniversary

ALL WRAF and RAF Women Officers are invited to the Association’s Annual Reunion Luncheon at The RAF Club, 128 Piccadilly, London on October 22. New members always welcome to join. Email: suearnold474@ gmail.com for further details.

2620 SQUADRON (County of Norfolk) RAF Regiment marks 40 years since the formation of the squadron and 20 years since its deployment on Op Telic. The squadron intends to hold an event at RAF Marham in the form of a family day and evening function and a visit to the RAF Regiment Heritage

How to use our service There is no charge for conventionally-worded birth, engagement, marriage, anniversary, death, in memoriam seeking and reunion notices. For commercial small ads contact Edwin Rodrigues on: 07482 571535. We cannot, under any circumstances, take announcements over the telephone. They can be sent by email to: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk. Please note that due to the coronavirus pandemic we are currently unable to accept notices submitted by post.

Important Notice The publishers of RAF News cannot accept responsibility for the quality, safe delivery or operation of any products advertised or mentioned in this publication. Reasonable precautions are taken before advertisements are accepted but such acceptance does not imply any form of approval or recommendation. Advertisements (or other inserted material) are accepted subject to the approval of the publishers and their current terms and conditions. The publishers will accept an advertisement or other inserted material only on the condition that the advertiser warrants that such advertisement does not in any way contravene the provisions of the Trade Descriptions Act. All copy is subject to the approval of the publishers, who reserve the right to refuse, amend, withdraw or otherwise deal with advertisements submitted to them at their absolute discretion and without explanation. All advertisements must comply with the British Code of Advertising Practice. Mail order advertisers are required to state in advertisements their true surname or full company name, together with an address from which the business is managed.

Centre is also planned. The event will be held at 2620 Sqn on March 31, 2023. If you wish to attend then please email the ProjO: philip.lister513@mod.gov.uk. This is unique for 2620 Sqn and for all other personnel who have served with or alongside the squadron in the UK and on operations all over the world.

Battle of Britain memorial service

THE ROYAL Air Force commemorates the Battle of Britain each year at a service in Westminster Abbey. We would very much like to hear from the widows, family descendants and any other family members of those who participated in the Battle. We are seeking to improve our knowledge of this unique demographic and to offer places at the formal Battle of Britain Thanksgiving Service, this year on Sunday, September 18, and in subsequent years. If you are a family member, or know someone who is, please write to: Mrs Michèle Small (RAF Ceremonial Office, Bentley Priory Building, RAF Northolt, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6NG), providing details of your relationship to your relative who served in the Royal Air Force between July and October 1940 and your email address and a contact phone number. Additionally, for the purpose of allocating tickets, please send your full name, home address, date and place of birth and passport or driving licence number. This information is also required for any additional guests who wish to attend the service with you.


Royal R oyal Air F Force o ce N or News ews Fr Friday, iday, JJuly uly 29, 2022 202 22 R'n'R 7

R'n'R R 'n' nR Your Y our u Ann Announcements ouncements

You Y oou can em email ail photos photos ffor or ann announcements ouncements oon n tthis his pa page ge tto: o: tr tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk acey..allen@rafnews.co.uk

Call to Call to join join new new MERT ME RT Club Club

Britannia Br rit itanni a a gets geets fresh frres e h look look A HISTORIC HISTORIC aircraft airccraft has b been een ggiven iven a ffresh rreesh llook ook aafter fter a ssuccessful uccessful aappeal ppeal rraised aised the funds ffor or the th he last last re emaining ex-RAF ex-RAF Bristol Bristol remaining B riittannia to to have haave a muchmuchBritannia ne eded repaint. repaint. needed B rian Wetherley, Weetherley, ffrom rom Brian tthe he B ristol B ritannia XM M498 Bristol Britannia XM498

Preservation Preservation Society, Society, raised raised £8,500 for for the the appeal appeal to to spruce spruce u up p tthe he ext exterior erior o off tthe he aircraft – b mpletin ng ttwo wo aircraft byy co completing sponsored wa lks of of 999 miles miles sponsored walks each. each. K nown aass ‘the ‘the Whispering Whispering Known Giant’ because because o tss q uiet Giant’ off iits quiet exterior noise noise and and smooth sm mooth exterior

flying, flying, the the B Britannia ritannia jjoined oined RAF RAF service service at at Lyneham Lyneham with with 99 and and 511 SSquadrons. quad drons. RAF veteran veteran B rian, a RAF Brian, retired Wg Cdr Cdr and and former former retired Britannia pilot, pilot,, said: said: “I “I first fir i st Britannia fllew a Britannia Britannia in 1959 19559 while while flew serving on on 99 Squadron Squad dron – serving hence wa lking 99 miles. milees..” hence walking

SSince ince 1997 XM498 XM4498 has has been been kept kep e t as as a static staticc di display splay at at the the C Cotswold otswold A Airport, irport, formerly R AF K em mble, in formerly RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire, aand nd lo oked Gloucestershire, looked after by by tthe he P reser e vation after Preservation Society. Society. Go to: to: xm496.com xm496.ccom for for Q Go more inf formation. more information.

MILIT MILITARY TAR ARY personnel personnel F Force orce P Protection rotection and and nurses. nurses. w who ho ssaved aved co countless untles l s li lives ves SSqn qn L Ldr dr P Pascoe ascoe ssaid: aid: ““The The i in Afghanistan Afg fghaniistan rrescuing escuin i g club's club's b' aaim i iiss tto im op provide rovide id a p place lace w wounded ounded comrades comrades from from where where past past m members em mbers ccan an tthe he ffrontline rontline o on n C Chinooks hinooks reconnect reconnect w with ith co colleagues lleagues aare re b being eing in invited vited tto o jjoin oin a and and share share ttheir heir ex experiences xperiences uniq unique ue club. club on a capability bility that that had had a IIt’s t’s h hoped profound und impact i pact on im on tthe he ggroup ro patients, ents, medical medical w will ill reunite reunit advances vances c aand nd tthe he fformer ormer R RAF AF morale morale l o off aall ll on on Medical the he ground. ground.” Em Emergency ergency Planned Response activities T e a m include nclud de a ssailing ailing members regatta, egatta, a a fformal ormal w with ith old ol dinner nner at at The The IN ACTION: f r iends, Victory ory Services Services MERT team celebrate Club in London, London, ac achievements, hievemen and a familyy festival fes e tiva v l and and a p preserve reserve ttheir heir cclinical lin nical and and march march p past ast tthe he Cenotaph Cenotaph o on n o operational perational knowledge. knowledg d e. Remembrance R emembrance SSunday. un nday. F Founded ounded by by Sqn Sqn Ldr Ldr SShaun haun P Pascoe ascoe aand nd SSgt gt R Robert obert Q G Go o tto: o: mertclub.co.uk, mertclub.co.uk, SShenton, henton, membership memberrship iiss em ail: inf fo@m o ertclub.co.uk. email: info@mertclub.co.uk. o pen tto o aall ll who who served served on on o rite to to The The ME ER RT C lub, open orr w write MERT Club, MER RT helicopters helicopterrs from from c/o T ake P oint T ra r ining, MERT Take Point Training, 2006 to to 2014 in Afghanistan Afgghanistan B-FO B, N orth P arade, B-FOB, North Parade, in cluding aaircrew, ircrew, p ilots, F almouth, C ornwa w ll, TR11 including pilots, Falmouth, Cornwall, do ctors, p aramedicss, m edics, 2TF doctors, paramedics, medics,


Royal Air Force News Friday, July 29, 2022 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Crossword

Su Doku

No. 321

No. 331

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the seven letters in yellow squares to find an RAF term

Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 6. See 12 Across 7. Mined round tough material (5) 9. Company right to start funding island (5) 10. See 22 Across 12. And 6 Across. Egyptian leader upsets our warrior to storm plane (11,7) 14. RAF aircraft to command the world? (11) 18. Lure mob to assemble at station (7) 19. Commanding Officer encountered original jet (5) 21. Accountant sent Ted back to RAF youngster (5) 22. And 10 Across. Bob trolls guild about RAF fighter (7,7) Down 1. Poet next to Reagan (5) 2. Originally tired, having enervating, frankly loathsome urinary infection (3,3) 3. Intimidate milk-producer (3) 4. Break the law in pursuit of money (6) 5. Oppose Diana’s award at end of controversy (7) 8. The French left just Julie involved in unarmed combat (2-5) 11. After ‘Othello’ makes comeback, I join queen: it’s more spacious (7) 13. No-hoper…but was involved (4-3) 15. Everyone involved in gamble on artistic performance (6) 16. Blowing your own trumpet, for example: nothing is malicious to start with (6) 17. The bird, the girl’s at work (5) 20. Polar kayaking involves this boat (3)

Solution to Su Doku No: 330

Solution to Crossword No 320: Across – 6. Archaic 7. Tudor 9. Folly 10. Wallace 12. Vice-Marshal 14. Lossiemouth 18. Skipper 19. Chard 21. Tiara 22. Best Man Down – 1. Argon 2. Chilli 3. Air 4. Bugles 5. Conceal 8. Paragon 11. Get Even 13. Cockpit 15. Superb 16. Tahiti 17. Dream 20. Ben RAF word – Aviation

Aerial acrobatics for Katie & Simon NEW ALBUM: Simon and Katie

V

IOLINIST, COMPOSER and Grammy Awardwinning sound engineer Simon Goff and multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Katie Melua have unveiled their collaborative album, Aerial Objects. It’s available digitally and on CD now and will be out on vinyl on September 2. The album features previously released singles Hotel Stamba and Textures of Memories alongside new tracks Tbilisi Airport, It Happened, Aerial Objects and Millions of Things. Simon has worked with some of the world’s most acclaimed musicians, including Academy Award-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttir on the scores for Joker and Chernobyl – both earned him Grammy Awards.

Katie has released eight top 10 UK albums across a 20-year career including the huge hits Closest Thing To Crazy and Nine Million Bicycles. Her latest LP, Album No.8, came out in 2020 to great acclaim and the accompanying Acoustic Album No.8 was released in 2021 featuring contributions from Simon on Remind Me to Forget and Maybe I Dreamt It. Katie said “On Aerial Objects, our two artists’ worlds have merged to create a new space: Simon on the violin, analogue processing and synths, coming together with my world of traditional records rooted around the pop song.” l Go to: simongoff.com and katiemelua.com for more information.

Theatre Review Six

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Fit for a queen Six of the best for audiences with this sassy show

S

IX THE musical is as bright and sparkly as the jewels on a queen’s crown. It’s a great idea for a show – the story of Henry VIII’s six wives, but presented like a pop concert, with each of the queens telling her story in song and competing with each other over who has been the most badly treated and should therefore be leading lady. It’s been a huge success on tour and in the West End and the audience when I saw the show at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre loved every minute. It was a sellout – on a Tuesday night – and the crowd couldn’t get enough. Created by the talented young duo of Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, Six is a Hamilton-style

TUDOR THEME: Previous touring cast members of Six in full flight

musical featuring R&B numbers, hip-hop rhymes and even a couple of ballads. Each of the talented and diverse cast, backed by all-girl band the Ladies In Waiting, has a powerhouse voice and they blend beautifully when harmonising. It’s sharp, funny and lively with fabulous costumes featuring spangly takes on a Tudor theme, spiky headdresses and glittery footwear. The cast execute Carrie-Anne Ingrouille’s slick choreography perfectly throughout the 80-minute, no-interval show. The queens perform together so

seamlessly it might seem slightly unfair to mention anyone in particular for special praise but, for me, Chlöe Hart as Catherine of Aragon and Jennifer Caldwell as Anne Boleyn lit up an already electric stage with their sassiness. And the soulful vocals of Alana M Robinson as Catherine Parr were highly reminiscent of superstar Lauren Hill. The tour continues until July 2023 – well worth catching if you can. l Go to: sixthemusical.com for a full list of tour dates and venues. Review by Tracey Allen 4 out of 5 roundels