Newsletter 2017 – 2


President: Wg. Cdr. John Rush MBE, BA FCIM Ieng Fraes RAF [Ret’d]
Life Vice President: Fred Knox BEM
Chairman: Bill Baker
Welfare Officer: Fred Knox BEM
Vice Chairman: Vacant
Treasurer: Peggy Reading
Secretary& Membership Secretary: Des Stewart
Entertainment Member: Ken Brown
Service Liaison Member: Position Vacant
Partners Liaison Members: Jeannette Stewart & Gillian Williams

General Secretary & Membership Secretary’s Contact Details: Des Stewart, 31 Crossmead, Watford, Herts, WD19 4JQ – Tel No. 01923 461 056; Email:

Dear Member

First of all I must give you all an apology for the lateness of the Newsletter. This is due to a number of things, like putting the minutes I took in a safe place, so safe in fact that I can’t find them! Secondly family concerns have taken quite a bit of our time, has been partially resolved, and hopefully will be fully resolved early next year.

2017 Reunion

The reunion was held at the Appleby Park Hotel, Swadlincote, over the weekend of May 19th to 22nd. Even though numbers were down the reunion was successful as it actually meant that we all managed to speak to each other and have some good conversations, which is the opposite from the norm when more members are attending. Some we win, some we lose.

Saturday was a visit to Marston’s Brewery in Burton on Trent, where we were shown round the famous Albion Brewery described as a ‘Cathedral of Brewing’ and home to Marston’s since 1898. The tour lasted around 2 hours and went on to describe how the beers, including the flagship Pedigree is brewed. Also brewed are Saddle Tank, Resolution, 61 Deep Pale ale, Marston’s Smooth, EPA (English Pale Ale) and Lancaster Bomber. At the end of the tour a buffet lunch was provided and also included 3 half pint drinks of choice. If more drinks were required, they were around £3.20 a pint.

The Gala dinner went off very well, followed by music provided by an IOW Tours musician, Richard Leighton, listed on their books, and used for reunions. The raffle had as usual, lots of prizes, and lasted all of 20 mins. The evening finished around 11:30pm – midnight.


The AGM was held, as usual, on the Sunday at 10:00hrs. As Fred was advised on medical grounds not to travel, not even as a passenger, the Vice Chairman, Bill Baker took the chair.

Fred will still be part of the committee as the Life Vice President and will stay on as the Welfare Officer.

Bill Baker put his name forward, and as there were no other nominations, Bill was duly elected as Chairman. As there were no nominations for any other positions, and all incumbents agreed to stay on, the membership voted them back in

At the AGM it was my intention to stand down from my positions, but seeing the many parts of the country the members had come from, I decided to stay on for another year. However, I did give the Association notice that I will be standing down from the positions of General and Membership Secretary at the 2018 AGM. I took over these positions in 2006, which I have enjoyed doing, but next year seems to be the right time for another person to take over the reins to take the Association forward. Hopefully one or two members are willing to come forward to take over the two positions.

Also on the agenda was the possible merger between the Bomb Disposal Association and KEBAA, and to that end I have had a brief discussion with Paul Steel. Like us they are also struggling with attracting new members to join. The benefits of the merger is that members of will meet once a year, and not twice for those members in both associations. Whether we take turns at organising the reunions on alternative years or disband both, and reform, as one new association needs to be fully discussed by all members of both associations. If both associations want to survive, in whatever form, I think that doing nothing is not an option, as we will eventually just fade away. However, if we do want to survive, all the membership should try to promote KEBAA to the ex armourer fraternity.

I have tried placing adverts in the RAF News, Flypast magazine, The RBL Legion magazine, via our website, on social media and Forces Re United, given out cards and application forms at air-shows to no avail. I have noted on the RAF Armourers Facebook page members bemoaning that these days they only meet at funerals. I placed information about KEBAA and a link to our website on the page and invited people to come to our reunion this year – no replies. It also seems that people are willing to travel locally and meet in small groups rather than going away for the weekend. The last hope is in the Air Mail magazine, but this seems to champion the Armourers Branch of RAFA. Of note is the fact that the Air Mail is the only ex forces magazine to charge to advertise.


Sunday afternoon we ventured into Nottingham for a river trip on the Trent, complete with sandwiches and cream teas. This was a relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon following Saturday night’s dance. The weather was good, the food excellent with the tea and coffee on supply all afternoon. The only problem was that after the trip we had to return to the hotel to get ready to eat more food.

Sunday evening, after the evening meal, there was a musical evening with John Daniels.

Other Items

Congratulations to Bill & Kathleen Baker on celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on 13th July. They also had a surprise card from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. This is on display in a special place on the wall.

Have you applied for your Defence Discount Service card yet? The Discount Service gives discounts on various companies that range from 5% up to 40%. I am not sure if it is an online application only, but family or friends with online facilities can apply on your behalf. You will need proof of your service record and service number.

Age UK Advice Line 0800 055 6112; this is a site for those of us who may require some help but don’t know how or where to get it or if you qualify. For those with access to the net go to: (copy and paste the link into your browser), where you can find out about Applying for a medal; Applying for a Veterans Badge; Befriending services; Benefits help; Debt advice; Pensions advice; What is Joining Forces? Who are SSAFA?


Again for those of you with internet, click onto our website at and on our home page click on the last link, left hand side – Photos of Armourers. There are loads of photos on this site from pre-war, 2nd World War up to the present. There are even some of ours on there, but how they got on there is unkown.

Fred Knox

Fred has been a member of KEBA since its early days and was one of the first non Boy Entrant applicants, and has held various posts on the Committee. His longest position on the Committee has been as the Welfare Officer, and though he couldn’t offer direct help would give you advice to point you in the right direction. Fred was also Chairman of the Bomb Disposal Association, and served as a member on the RAFA Council.

2018 Reunion

You should have received the booking forms for next year’s reunion from Isle of Wight tours for the Aztec Spa hotel in Bristol. We have never been to Bristol before, and thought this would be a change. All other areas we have been to some of our members live nearby and only come for the Saturday evening/Sunday morning so have missed out on the Friday evenings get together and the trip out on Saturday. The Spa is highly recommended; so don’t forget your swimming costumes.

Please do invite any family and friends who you think would like to attend the reunion. It would be nice to see some new faces as well as the familiar ones.

KEBAA Merchandise

The new KEBAA blazer badges (10) have been sent to Keith Reading and will be for sale to those who want them for £18 plus £2 pp.


12x Armourers Ties – Now free
197 x KEBA Ties – Now free
30 x Headscarves -Now free
70 x Coasters –Now free
700 x Car Stickers-Now free
160 x Key chains-Now free
310 x Lapel badge-Now free
9 x Credit Card holder-Now free

Also there are KEBAA wall shields available at £35 plus pp. Not sure at present what the cost of post and packing would be. However, as the shields are hand painted to special order, delivery at present is in the region of 8 to 10 weeks.

Other items for sale include: Jumpers of various colours, with the KEBAA Logo.

If you would like order any of these items listed, please let Keith know, either by email ( or telephone number 01526 323 885.

Treasurer’s Bits

Peggy would like to remind you all that annual subs are due January 2018. You can either pay by cheque made out to KEBA or subs can be paid directly into the KEBAA Account via the following details: Sort code 40 43 01 – Account No 61507257. If you have online banking facilities, it is possible to set up BACS payment directly by using the account shown and making your reference your KEBA Number. If you have to set up the transfer, it takes less than 5 minutes.

Peggy’s new address is 9 Shire Close, Billinghay, Lincoln, Lincs, LN4 4GR

Life after the RAF

Do you have a story to tell?

Here are three photos after I left the RAF, of working on an ITV drama and appearing very briefly on a BBC Drama way back in 1977!


From Mike Halpin: I found this in a local aircraft museum in Blackpool and given its relevance to KEBAA members, thought it might be useful for the newsletter. (The document is included with the Newsletter for all postal recipients and included as an attachment for email users).


St. Barbara’s

Barbara Hargreaves, on 21st November 2017. Barbara’s was so full of life and a lovely bubbly person. She was nearly always the first person on the dance floor at our reunions, and would be dancing most of the night away. Derek Hargreaves is KEBA 367. The family have requested that no flowers, cards or donations and that there will be no funeral as her body has been donated to medical science at Nottingham University, as per her wishes.

Des Stewart
Membership & Gen. Secretary


A little bit of nonsense to bring a smile

WORD PLAY: Clever & Oh, So True.

BEAUTY PARLOR: A place where women curl up and dye.

CHICKENS: The only animal you eat before they are born and after they are dead.

COMMITTEE: A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

DUST: Mud with the juice squeezed out.

EGOTIST: Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation.

HANDKERCHIEF: Cold Storage. 

INFLATION: Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.

MOSQUITO: An insect that makes you like flies better. 

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority.

RAISIN: A grape with sunburn.

SECRET: A story you tell to one person at a time

SKELETON: A bunch of bones with the person scraped off.

TOOTHACHE: The pain that drives you to extraction.

TOMORROW: One of the greatest labour saving devices of today.

YAWN: An honest opinion openly expressed.

WRINKLES: Something other people have – similar to my character lines.

In youth, the days are short and the years long. In old age the years are short and the days long