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MT Tales

Tell us your favourite prang story, about the time you drove away from a Vulcan with your hose still connected or the time the snow was so deep you didn't notice the runway markers till they flew out of the T54's chute.


You are here: "Archive 2"

Alexander Scott sent in this contribution

I have been reading some of your "MT Tales" the one of the 410 missing reminds me of a New WRAF driver we had posted to Brize Norton in 1970 she was a nice looking long haired blonde, big chested girl, cannot remember her name, and as usual who got the job of showing her around the section and the Station, The WO said to show her where the restroom was and the coffee/tea bar was. we went in to the rest room to a roar of wolf whistles, to which she up casted, the room went silent then Smithy pipes up and says don't flatter your self love its Scotty (me) we were whistling at. I'm sure that the response could be heard in the middle of the runway .any way I asked her if she wanted a coffee she said yes, I asked how do you like it, she replied the same as I like my men black and strong, 3 months later she was gone, had found her man and was pregnant.

The tale from a few weeks later, she brought a mini back into the section and said that it was not running right, she was told to fill in a defect form cannot remember the number and take it to MTSS which at Brize was over half a mile outside the station on the other side of the road. The duty Sargent told her how to get there, any way it was revealed later when she returned that she was not happy, and was telling the Sargent that the Flight Sargent at MTSS read the form, opened the bonnet, closed the bonnet, gave her the form back, and sent her on her way, when the duty Sargent read the form where it said nature of fault/defect she had written engine missing, the MTSS Flight had written in the action taken column, bonnet opened engine found .

I think one of the best laughs I ever had was during a black top operation in 1971 at Brize, snow had been forecast all day Friday Saturday and Sunday, so on the Friday I was told along with others that I was on black top stand by, so stayed sober all week end, and stayed in as well much to the annoyance of my wife we both being young AND NO SNOW, any way midnight Sunday the call came and out I went. it had been snowing hard for an hour, walked rather than take the car a MK1 Lotus Cortina, any way down at the section, I was told to take the lead vehicle because I knew the airfield due to (me driving 32 seater crew coach with Britania, Hercules, Belfasts and VC 10 crews from home to station and then from the opps room to the aircraft ) so we get the all clear to proceed to the Southern end of the runway and away we go. Now after about 4 hours a VC10 comes in to land, but 15 mins before it arrived and as we were pulling up behind the threshold the SCO arrives with his driver, Flight Sargent Smith From MTSS had drawn the duty straw. he called attention, promptly snapped to attention himself and at the same time saluting the SCO, and falling flat on his back on the ice still at the attention and the salute. none of us could keep our laugh in and neither could the SCO, who then offered his hand to the flight, he then told the flight that while working on blacktop formalities would be dropped as it was more important to have the runway clear than have a salute or risk loosing a blacktop crew but Flight was ribbed for months after, and cartoons went up in the rest room within minutes of it happening .

These were some of the more pleasurable and lighter moments of working at Brize in bad weather as on two occasions we had Sicards with frozen engines and TK ploughs with the same or Sicards with brushes of ice, this was a dirty cold job trying to get the ice from the brushes, till we had an idea to extend the heat nozzle with an aircraft heater tube and play it on the brushes to melt the ice.

Ted Angus sent in this incident

This piece of GSE was a "battery powered self propelled pedestrian operated mechanical handler" for Phantoms and other similar size aircraft. It was being loaded for loan from Bruggen to Wildenrath. They were really heavy as you can imagine, an absolute mass of lead acid batteries inside plus traction ballast. The crane and RL were station vehicles, as he lifted the bell gave a little tinkle ! but they had positioned everything wrong and as he continued it touched the side of the RL.

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A snippet from Ron Mills


First to Cardington for kit out. I remember the Storeman issuing the kit, half did not fit due to my 6ft 5inch tall, and as skinny as a rake body- ha body- Charles Atlas I was not. I was told never mind son, it will shrink or you will put on weight.

Padgate for basic training, and was it basic, first time firing the old Lee Enfield nearly broke my collar bone, I soon learnt to pad my shirt with spare undies. got to the range again and the Cpl there said are you crippled, no I said but I bloody will be if I fire that damn thing again without padding. Two evenings peeling potato's and scrubbing pots. But enjoyed the grub the night cooks put up. I thought the Storeman might be right, I will put on weight. So volunteered for work in the cookhouse a couple of times, had a lot of fun. After that I would volunteer for just about anything, it really spoilt the Cpl's day


Ron Mills (Tiny to my mates ) 
ex SAC MTD/OP joined the RAF 1954 - discharge by purchase 1962.

Now living in Australia (since 1966)

It was at Seletar about 1958, I was Cpl i/c Night Shift when one of the RAF Malaya drivers came to the detail office window and said he had a bit of a problem and would I come and look at it and see if I could sort it for him. It appears that he had been on the early morning pick-up of the Zobits kids from Singapore .He had D.I' d his vehicle before he left and it had required some oil ,now, it was standard practice in these circumstances to put in the oil when you got back for the very good reason that it was dark when he left and nasty snakes had a habit of kipping in the oil store , which was unlit . We went to his vehicle, a Standard vanguard, and he told me that he had put in two gallon containers of engine oil but that the dipstick still showed below the full mark. I asked him where he had poured the oil and pointed to the oil filler pipe and asked him if he had put it in there. Oh No he said I could not get the top off ,I poured in there , where it says "oil level" and pointed to the oil bath air filter ! ! ! ! The engine was full of oil in the carb, combustion chambers and manifold. It was even beginning to drip from the tail pipe of the exhaust where the valves were overlapping open. I told him to put it u/s with engine over-filled with oil, but sad to say the Lads in MTSS were less than amused.

John Johnstone

A few more tales sent in by Brenda Turner .......................

So I am set to pick up Air Chief Marshall Stacey from RAF Wattisham and take him to his house not far from Cranwell. For those who don't know, he was a short stroppy man.  Anyway, before I left MT I found a baby bird that had fallen from the nest (I always had creatures of some sort) not knowing what to do with it, and being in a rush I put it on my head, under my hat...yeah I know strange, but for those who knew me sort of par for the course. So, I pick him up and start driving, the bird, being hungry starts chirping. a lot, so Stacey who I can see in the rear mirror stops reading his paper and is staring at the back of my head...says 'driver, can you hear a cheeping sound', ummmm, 'No Sir' says I, bird is by now throwing a little bird wobbly, and is moving hat is moving...he has crapped on my head and is a noisy little bugger. Stacey says, 'it seems to be coming from your head'.  So I take off my hat and there is little bird, on my head. must admit it looked weird.  Stacey says, 'driver there is a bird on your head' 'oh really Sir,' puts my hand up and says, 'oh so there is'.  Hat back on and drive him to his house. his parting words were. 'you really are very strange' thank you Sir' I says...and left him wondering why.

Another bird Luffenham, had yet another baby bird. who died, so I come up with a brain wave...I would cremate it. (I was pissed) in the sanitary incinerator in the WRAF block (bit strange I know) so I pops the tiny bird all wrapped in paper into the machine and pulls the to cremate a baby bird you need to keep going back and pull the handle. trouble is they are quite flammable....sanitary machine catches fire. block engines and all turn up...find baby bird half cremated, so I have to explain......hmmm

...and for those who have contacted me about the getting arrested episode in Sleaford. the truth....I had passed my coach test, and it was my birthday 22nd I think it's market day and so Dusty Miller lets me finish my coach test in town and I go and meet my fella. (Mo Perry) in the pub, we start drinking grouse and water, gets very silly. ends up the last round was 32 Whisky's, yeah just 2 of us...some time later...Mo has gone into the lounge thinking it was the toilet and pees all up the lounge door, I am dancing on a bar stool, we are kicked out of the pub end up juggling oranges in the street, directing traffic and jamming up Sleaford, top it off by having a sit down in front of a bus and refusing to move, so the police are called, Mo is unconscious (men just can't hack it), I try to get on the back of the motorbike the copper is driving and fall off so does the copper, we are arrested and put into the cells, RAF police turn up, Mo is sent to the Med Centre and then guardroom, I am under close arrest in the WRAF block, some really quiet knitting circle WRAF is guarding me, I wake up and find blood all over the pillow and on my face, (had tried to escape and go to the disco), she very warily asks what I have been arrested for, murder I says, she cries and demands that someone else mind me, I think this is hysterically funny....MT WRAF put in charge of me and we end up drinking, in the morning OC WRAF can't understand why I am still pissed, anyway, long story shortened, am charged, formal warning, fine and a shed load of Jankers and that is the truth of it all for those who have asked, oh and yes!! it was me that put the for sale sign on the green of the RAF College and put my bra on the flagpole the day before Queen's passing out parade, Oh God!! I sound like a bit of a mad sod.....quieter now, honest

Dave Berry sent these three............

RAF Northolt about 1981, Dave Probert, Stu Humphrys, Sean Snoddy and myself all throwing a Frisby about in the Naafi beer garden, the Frisby went on the garage roof so up jumps Dave Probert to get it down, walks along the "corrugated roof" and throws said Frisby back down, then falls through corrugated roof onto a car in the garage. Now being honest drivers Sean Snoddy clambers up to help him back out and to pull debris off said car and there would be no evidence of us being there. As Dave was getting back on the roof it all collapsed in again, so still being honest drivers we left it and done a flyer.

Monday morning I was talking to Sgt Jack Frain when the under secretary of states driver comes in the section and tells Jack that the garage roof where he kept the car has caved in on the car and done a lot of damage to the bonnet.

Off pops Jack to take a look and comes back saying "someone has been tap dancing on the roof "and promptly asks me if i saw anything over the weekend, "no said I" just as there was a phone call from the station police asking to see Berry, Snoddy, Humphreys and Probert about another incident in the beer garden (Involving Chedder, yes you were there Ched) and why were we on the roof, anyway Jack puts two and two together and Dave Probert admitted to it, he was charged and was duly awarded one days Jankers, As he was stood outside the guard room waiting for his inspection the rest of us feeling sorry for him, as you do, were standing at the Naafi window opposite waving our pints and cheering him on, but he kept smiling.

Northolt again about 1982, Maggie Thatcher was flying out of Heathrow and Northolt's CO Group Captain Dixon had to see her off every time she did this.

The CO's Driver at the time got up at 04.30 for a 05.00 start so he was in a slight rush, off he pops to the MT section no time for a cup of tea but takes a long glug out the bottle of Milk sitting on the fridge, then promptly spews it all back up again, some idiot had filled the milk bottle up with the white detergent that we used to use, so after a few large cups of water the driver jumps in the car and shoots off to the CO's house gets there and needs to puke again, but had to go out to the main road as he didn't want to mess up the CO's drive, in the meantime out comes the CO,  sees car but no driver and phones MT, the driver comes back and has to explain to the CO what had happened, the CO just laughed at him and off they went to see Maggie off, with the driver managing to hold the puke in.

On arrival the CO goes into the VIP lounge and the driver goes behind wall for more pukes, when the driver went into the drivers area all these civilian VIP drivers came up to him and took  the 'mick', The CO had only gone into the lounge and told Maggie and her cronies about the pint of "milk" who in turn had told the drivers, yes it was hide in the corner time and no Maggie did not send ME a get well soon card.


Bell Inn, Wildenrath, MT bar where many a wild night was had and we had a curry night for a change, all the regulars were there Big Jim Matthews, Andy (Bert) Sims, myself, Brummie Dunn, Russ Fenton, Nev Everett, Roger Mill, Mick Whitby, Mick Bartley a few fitters and plenty of others, out comes the Curry and Rice and every body tucks in, very nice it was as well but we just couldn't eat it all.

As the night goes on we were all getting wobbly legs as you do and the 'micky' taking started,  it was the fitters who started it honest, there they were all sat in a row under the windows and very pretty they looked too.

This banter between the drivers and fitters went on for a while but there is only so much a Jock will take before he blows his top, and Big Jimmy Matthews had had enough, his face went red, his eyes darted around looking for the container of Curry and for his size he was over to it like a fleeting Gazel, stooping down he picked it up on the move and passed it on but kept the container (excellent rugby move), the contents ie the curry flew through the air and we all looked on and gasped before we laughed as it came to land all over the fitters, not to be out done Andy (Bert) Sims was up like a shot, he took a flying dive whisking up the Rice container and in one foul movement the rice was heading for the fitters as well, as Andy was shouting " YOU GOT THE CURRY HAVE THE RICE AS WELL BEERRRT", it landed all over the fitters as well, we waited for the punch up to start but it never came, the fitters just laughed and every body had a good time.

In the morning it was another matter, Tony Mills (OCMT) had heard about it and wanted Jimmy and Andy there and then ,but WO MT had decided he would deal with it as he was the MTO, this put Tony Mills nose a bit out of joint, they were both dealt with, they had to clean up the bar and were each banned from there for 6 Months, after just over a Month they were allowed back in, MT justice was done.

A few tales sent in by Brenda Turner .......................

Great site....I am Brenda Turner, was Brenda Williams, Brenda Ellen (Nth Luffenham 1976 - 78), Brenda Louise (Cranwell 1978 - 1984)

I have seen Andy Bunston's name on the list... so an Andy Story... We had all been drinking home made wine... I think at Bill Shaw's house, all very pissed and drinking till late. Next morning we had a really big visit, Andy is driving two Lady something or others, anyway he's feeling very ill, so unable to stop the line up of cars, he says excuse me to the two Ladies in the back, takes off his hat and throws up while driving, putting the hat under the seat... true class!! 

Or, does anyone remember when the crew room at Cranwell was supposed to be haunted? two WRAF drivers had the crap scared out of them while on night shift... heard scratchy noises.... so the blokes take the mickey... next night shift the blokes all tear arse downstairs scared... heard noises.. so WO Thorougood asks me if I would see if I heard anything... OK says I.... could've heard noises I say.... next thing we're up on forklifts poking about the roof... Padre comes and says prayers (I kid you not) the crew all moved beds back downstairs... how brave!! 

Or yet another one...... While on exercise (Viking Warrior) in Denmark, I had to take an RVT across to Esberg.... parked up in the hotel, only to be dragged, pissed from a Danish nightclub because the Greenpeace people had painted ban the bomb slogans all over it in pink paint and were trying to push it into Esberg harbour... had to drive through Denmark and down to Gutersloh with a pink RVT.... girl power !!
I thought the MTO was going to have a fit when I pulled into Gutersloh MT......

Dear Bill and Ian,
I would like you to put another story on drivers tales for me please.
my name is John Claxton ,I was an MTD from 1975 till 1984, during this time I drank many a NAAFI dry, smoked 30 a day and fought anyone that got in my way. I'm not proud of this but it happened. when I finally applied to purchase my discharge, the MT W/O told me there was an 18 month waiting list and it would cost me £700. I still applied anyway. when s h q got my application they called me up for an interview , I was told if I had £230 in the bank I could clear and leave now. I said I didn't have it, they said don't worry we will take it out of what we owe you. They sent me for a career interview that day, the Education Officer said what are you going to do in Civvy Street?. I said I am going to be a Gynaecologist [I can't even spell it] she said that's unusual, why? I said I have been working with
****s for 9 years I might as well carry on. I was told to clear and leave the camp. In other words I was a bad lad. I became a long distance lorry driver, and hated it. Living in a cab with no rate ones wasn't for me. I got into double glazing, started my own business in 1987 am now getting on ok. I met a good woman who managed to get me under control .I gave up smoking in 1994 gave up drinking [totally]in1997 and became a born again Christian in 2002 ,was baptised last October, and stood up and gave my Testimony on Saturday morning in a Swaffam church to local businessmen. Two of these men came up to me afterwards and said that they would have to change there ways. I felt very pleased that I have helped someone instead of hurting someone. This was a good feeling ,and now I would like to help you. if you have problems in your life and want someone to speak to, someone who knows where you are coming from ,give me a call , don't forget I've been there . Phone me on my mobile or text me and I will call you back ****** ******* no catch, no cost.

John Claxton

Once upon a time a long long time a go [well Laarbruch 82- 83 ish] my leg still in plaster after leaving the Mally window with out the need of any safety gear {see John Claxton`s letter} Claxo returns to camp after being deployed to Jever where 2 or 3 Tornado`s the RAF's all new all weather a/c had been hit by lighting hence a crash site. We go to the Mally for a quiet beer or 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 whatever, two 16sqn flems walk in and start giving John some verbal, he explains that he only wants a quiet pint so f- off, on leaving the drinking hole [and I mean hole] we are followed by the 2 flems after more verbal from them John drops both giving the biggest the best seeing to I have ever witnessed, as we walk away, well me limp {crutches} I who had done nothing [ honest ] walks back to the guy laying on the road minus teeth and claret put my crutch in his throat and say "don't ever mess with M. T." remember lads we are the best don't let he b*****d`s grind you down.

Colin Rippon

Hi Guys

I have just found your site and was reading John Claxton's story of when MT had a HUGE punch up with about 50 rock apes in the Mally Club bar at RAF Laarbruch. I remember it well, as I was Miss Mally on duty that night. What a night, all the bar staff were terrified and I hadn't worked there myself for long. I do remember getting a big bunch of flowers from the WO MT on the Monday morning to say sorry, and I still have the leather purse PJ brought me back from his Bavarian holiday!!!

Best wishes

Jenny Harrower, Jenny Smith as was.

Cliff Lowe sent this in,

Everybody must have their own memory of square bashing (or the first eight weeks) we were all issued with  pint china mugs , so my memory was standing 'by my bed' when the Cpl drill instructor did a check, his question to me "there is a brown stain down the bottom so it's not fit to drink from, is it airman?", "no Cpl" " right, tap it on the wall.  "NO!! from here", he shouted (about 25 feet away), a new mug cost me 2/6 from the Naafi.............................Read on here, there's more funny tales from Cliff

From John Claxton former MTD 75/84  I could tell a 1000 tales of my days in the RAF, here are a few. 

Night shift Nth Luff
1977, Duty Cpl Dave Anderson sent Jimmy Walker to D I a 3 Tonner for a job .

Its 3.00 in the morning and I am under the 3 Tonner , Jimmy checks the oil and I grab him, he screamed so loud I thought the whole camp had heard. Jimmy never did nights again.

Beer call Laarbruch 82, 30 or so MTD's on the tables singing with there trousers and pants round there ankles, (Cpl) Colin Rippon keeps singing the wrong words, so I pushed him, He fell out of the window breaking his leg. 
We resumed the beer call in the Med Centre. Well Colin you now know who it was , sorry mate.

Laarbruch 82 26 sqn rocks return from the Falklands. A couple of drivers had been good lads and entertained there wives while they were away. Anyway about 50 rocks bounce into the Mally club, and about 20 drivers bounce out. If I remember rightly THROUGH the wall between the Mally and families club. We held our heads high though didn't we lads ?
More of them ended up in med cent than us (maybe its because they ended up fighting 1sqn rocks as well) Or was it my secret weapon?  my right leg,
 in a plaster cast from a parachute accident. The next day I woke up without my cast , I had kicked so many of them they smashed the cast off.  Anyway it was a good laugh, remember? Phill Tetley, Bunny Hall, Ron Williams, Mitch Mitchel, Jeff {baldy eagle} Sheild , Dave Cardus, Taff Cummins, plus several more who's names

escape me. 

John Claxton

Hi Bill and Ian
Looking through some of the stories about prangs reminds me of many accidents and cover ups over the years, in MTSS it was always a laugh to take the Mick out of the drivers when they used to come up to the hangar, tail between their legs to see if we could sort anything out. I have quite a few accidents (usually in the workshop) to my credit, but I won't spill the beans on them.
This particular night, sometime in 92 or 93 I think, 3 cars at Henlow were stolen from the MT Hangar by 'Persons Unknown', I can't remember all on duty but I think Ian Beedles was there. Needless to say the cars were all badly damaged and scrapped. As I remember, one of the Montego's was the CO's the other was the AOC's and the Escort was the MT run around. First I knew about it was the next morning, sneaking into MTSS to do a back hander on a civvy car, and being confronted by the Flight Sgt, and a load of Special Investigation Branch Police! The desperately trying to explain what I was doing at work so early on a Sunday morning.

Mark Burrell

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