Branch No.1159
Branch Charity No.1070716

 

R.A.F.A. Dedication

"In friendship and in service one to another, we are pledged to keep alive the memory of those of all nations who died in the Royal Air Force and in the Air Forces of the Commonwealth. In their
name we give ourselves to this noble cause, proudly and thankfully we will remember them."

Christmas 2017

The Branch Annual Christmas Dinner was once again a great success.  As always, it was very well attended. The food was tasty, the entertainment was brilliant and members were given an extra treat when Santa arrived and gave out chocolates. The raffle consisted of about 50 prizes including table centre decorations. Some table centre decorations were later delivered to members who, due to ill health, were unable to attend, along with favour boxes.


Tables set ready for our members to arrive

 


Father Christmas giving out chocolates with member Val Elmes looking on


A delighted member receives his chocolate from Santa

Events 2018

 11th February 2018
Several members of the branch attended a memorial service at Aldenham to commemorate the life of Peter Kemp who died in February 1918 aged 19 years. Our standard bearer, Geoff Elmes paraded the Branch standard and Chairman Trevor Hayes laid a wreath at the altar.


Wreaths laid at the altar


Dignitaries at the service. Branch Standard bearer Geoff Elmes
 back right in the photograph.

March 2018
RAFA Halton branch invited our members to a St Patrick's Day veteran's lunch in March, cooked and prepared by Assistant Branch Support Officer Kevin and his helpers.
 
Photograph shows members enjoying the lunch.

March 2018
John Dicks (Wings Organiser) arranged our first Wings collection of the year at Asda Watford in March. We were lucky enough to enlist the help of serving member and member of the branch, Rob Cooke and two of his colleagues. Over £1600 was collected which was an amazing total.



Member Rob Cooke receiving a donation from a young contributor.


Serving members from RAF Benson helping with the collection.


Serving members and Veterans side by side behind the merchandise table



Branch Wings Organiser John Dicks at the end of a long day of collecting.

March 2018
Six members of the Branch Committee attended the Area Conference in Peterborough in March.
For the sixth year running, the Branch was presented with the Area Small Branch Efficiency Award.
The photograph shows Branch Chairman, Trevor Hayes, receiving the award from Area President Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin.
May 2018
At the Branch social evening in May, members enjoyed a buffet supper to celebrate the 100 years of the RAF. The buffet was followed by a talk by Denis Kelly entitled "The Man Who Ate His Boots" which was very interesting.


Trevor Hayes, receiving the award from Area President Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin.


Members enjoying the buffet.

May 2018
Two members of the Branch Committee attended the RAFA Centenary Celebration of the RAF at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire in May. The weather stayed dry and warm and it was a beautiful and very well attended service. Tea and cake was served in a large marquee following the service after which attendees were free to enjoy walking around the many wonderful memorials at the Arboretum.


Standard bearers getting in to position before the service.


The service was shown on large screens for those at the back of the audience.


During the service.

June 2018
Member John Newell volunteered to decorate and drive his car with RAF flags and bunting in the procession for the Abbots Langley Carnival on 10th June on behalf of the Branch. It was a great day and John enjoyed driving in the procession.
 

 
June 2018
On behalf of the Branch, Trevor Hayes, Chairman and Treasurer, and Pat, Social Secretary and Welfare Officer, attended the funeral near Portsmouth of Barry Furness who had been a great supporter of RAFA for over 40 years. Our Branch standard was carried to form a guard of honour by Clive White of RAFA Halton Branch. The reception was held after the funeral service at Fort Nelson. Photos show the poppy display that is touring the country and is currently at Ft Nelson

                         

June 2018
Branch members were invited to attend a guided tour of the Warner Brothers Studios in Leavesden in June. Sixteen members enjoyed a very interesting and informative tour starting with a video presentation by Managing Director Dan Dark with a question and answer session, followed by a walking tour of the studios and a buggie tour of the back lot. We travelled down the old runway which was a real treat. We appreciate that this was a privilege as the Studios do not normally offer tours to the public. Although offered, it was decided that we would not visit the control tower as the stairs are very steep and it was only considered appropriate for the very strong and able bodied. The tour was followed by a delicious lunch at the local Barracuda cafe where we were joined by two more of our members who were unable to make the tour. In all, a wonderful day.
   


Branch members at the Warner Brothers Studio, Leavesden

 


The back lot tour in the Batman buggies


Lunch at the Barracuda cafe, after the tour.

June 2018
Branch standard bearer, Geoff Elmes, along with several branch members, attended the service of dedication in the Memorial Gardens, Abbots Langley, of a Poppy Memorial made by member Frank Rouse, to commemorate the Centenary of the end of the Great War, the 100th Anniversary of the RAF and the Lions Club.

The photograph shows Geoff with the Branch standard. Frank is second left.

June 2018
Branch Chairman Trevor and wife Pat were once again privileged to be invited by the Commanding Officer to attend the Annual Reception and Sunset Ceremony at RAF Henlow in June. As in previous years, it was a most enjoyable evening with good company and entertainment. The fly past this year was by a Dakota. Photos below were taken during the ceremony.
     
July 2018
Branch Chairman Trevor Hayes and Branch Secretary Bob Sheminant had the great honour of being selected to be presented to HRH the Duke of Kent at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on 13th July. The Duke shook hands and spent several minutes chatting with each of the seven selected veterans. The RAFA provided a Veteran's enclosure at the air show offering indoor and outdoor seating and refreshments for veterans and guests. A most enjoyable and memorable day from start to finish with a very impressive air display with participants from several countries.


HRH the Duke of Kent chatting to Branch Chairman Trevor Hayes, with Branch Secretary Bob Sheminant looking on.


Branch Secretary Bob Sheminant chatting with HRH the Duke of Kent.

RAF Benson Families Day. July 2018
Our serving member, Cpl Rob Cooke, very kindly invited members of the Branch to attend the annual Families Day at RAF Benson on 26th July.
18 members attended and had a lovely time on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year.
There were flying displays, classic cars, static aircraft and a military wives choir, plus a number of trade, food and charity stalls.

Seat in Kitters Green in Memory of David and Edna Francis
A seat has been placed in Kitters Green in memory of our dear friends, David and Edna Francis, by their family.
David worked tirelessly for just under 50 years for the Branch. He served in every capacity on the Committee over the years, latterly as Chairman and President.
Edna, an ex Land Army girl, was Branch Social Secretary for 26 years and fully supported David over the years.
David was also a very well respected Commanding Officer of the Watford 2F Squadron ATC for many years. The Squadron headquarters is named after him as a fitting tribute for his hard work and dedication.  
             

Saturday 1st September Sixteen members of the branch attended the Families Day at RAF Brize Norton. It was a superb day with entertainment including a Scottish bagpipe marching band, RAF Police dog demonstration, children's motorcycle display team, various fly pasts including a spitfire and hurricane, and ending with the RAF Falcons Parachute Team dropping in to the arena. There were numerous stalls, a fun fair, live music on stage and a static display of aircraft and classic cars.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day with great weather. A good time was had by all.

   

 

Events Summer 2017

Four serving members of the RAF assisted the branch with the Armed Forces Week collection at Asda Watford for The Wings Appeal in June. The sum of 1192.98 was collected on the day.

 

 
Branch members were joined by members of the Abbots Langley Branch of the Royal British Legion for a fun quiz night in July. There were 5 rounds of questions and a couple of extra questions with spot prizes in between rounds which had participants up on their feet, as shown in the picture below. There was a buffet at half time and everyone had an enjoyable evening. Paul from the RBL was an excellent "Quizmaster" and made sure that everything went smoothly.

 

Wings Organiser John Dicks and Chairman/ Treasurer Trevor Hayes are pictured at the Bedmond Village Summer Faye. The branch held a bric a brac stall with Children's tombola and also Wings Merchandise. It was a cold day and not as well attended as previous years but volunteers had a good rapport with the customers and raised 81.55 for the Wings Appeal.

 
On Monday 31st July, The Royal British Legion held a service to commemorate the Battle of Passchendaele. The service was held at the Abbots Langley war memorial and was well attended. Several members of the Abbots and Kings Langley RAFA branch took part in the service and a wreath was laid on behalf of the branch by Chairman Trevor Hayes. Pictured below is Branch standard bearer, Geoff Elmes, alongside standard bearers from the RBL. The second picture shows the wreaths, crosses and candles on the memorial after the ceremony.

   

Twenty five Branch members enjoyed the annual afternoon tea held at the beginning of August. The weather was very kind once again and the occasion was bathed in sunshine. Following the tea, there was a raffle with a prize for everyone. The raffle raised 62 for the Wings Appeal.
 
 

 Green Token Competition

Our Branch Wings Appeal Organiser, John Dicks, recently accepted a cheque for 200 towards the Wings Appeal from Asda, Watford, for taking part in their Green Token Competition.
The photograph shows John with Asda Community Manager Beverley and Store Manager, Francesca. The branch is grateful to everyone who placed their green tokens in our RAFA box.

 

 

Forces Day Lunch 21st June 2016

Members of our branch attended the Annual Forces Day Lunch organised by the Royal British Legion at the Manor House Sports Centre, Abbots Langley. A roast beef dinner was followed by a choice of delicious desserts. Musical entertainment was provided by Maurice Saunders and several members graced the dance floor for some good old rock and roll. There was a bumper raffle with a host of excellent prizes. Our thanks go to the RBL committee for their excellent organisation of a most enjoyable afternoon.
Photo's show some of our members at their tables and the RBL and RAFA standard bearers in front of their standards.

 

Branch trip to the Poppy Factory

15 branch members and friends attended a tour of the Poppy Factory in Richmond on Monday 20th June. After a delicious lunch, we were given a very interesting and informative talk about the history of the factory and the significance of the poppy. This was followed by a walking tour of the factory where ex service personnel and their dependents work tirelessly to produce every poppy and wreath used at every ceremony and relevant occasion throughout the year.
The staff were both charming and friendly and stopped to chat and answer our questions. We each made our own poppy to take away with us and were allowed to help ourselves to a handful of the heart shaped petals used in the Albert Hall at the Remembrance Service. It was an enlightening experience and enjoyed by all. Photographs show our group inside and outside of the Poppy Factory.

 

 South East and Eastern Area Conference 2nd April 2016

Branch Chairman and Treasurer, Trevor Hayes, (right) and Deputy Chairman and Standard Bearer, Geoffrey Elmes, (left), were presented with Area Presidential Certificates by Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin (centre) at the South East and Eastern Area Conference at Bracklesham Bay on 2nd April 2016.
Sir Roger also presented the Small Branch Efficiency Certificate to Branch Chairman, Trevor Hayes at the Area Conference.
The branch is immensely proud to receive this certificate for the fifth consecutive year.

 

  Royal Air Forces Association, Abbots and Kings Langley Branch 10th March 2016

Branch President, 92 year old David Francis DFC, was recently awarded the French Legion Of Honour Medal for his part in the liberation of France in December 1944.
David was presented with his medal by Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin KCB, President of the Royal Air Forces Association, South East and Eastern Region, at the Branch social evening on 10th March. David was Branch Chairman for many years.
He was also Officer Commanding of Watford 2F Squadron Air Training Corps for over 20 years and the present HQ building is named after him.
Members of the branch, family and friends, representatives of the ATC and members of the Parish Council attended the presentation and congratulated David on his most prestigious award.
Photographs show David receiving his award and afterwards with Sir Roger Austin, Chairman of the Council Steven Giles -Medhurst and RAFA Branch Chairman, Trevor Hayes.

Photographs taken by Tim Perkins, Clerk of Abbots Langley Parish Council.

 

VJ Day Commemoration at St Lawrence’s Abbots Langley

A short service of commemoration of the 70th VJ Day Anniversary was held at St Lawrence’s Church Abbots Langley on 15th August 2015. Members of RAFA Abbots Langley and the British Legion were present and wreaths were laid by Pam Lewis and John Rose. The service was led by the Reverend David Warner.

 

Annual BBQ

 

On 31st July, Pat and Trevor Hayes very kindly hosted a BBQ for members of the branch in their beautiful garden in Gypsy Lane, Abbots Langley.
The weather stayed fine for us and we enjoyed a splendid meal and a very convivial gathering.
The pictures below show members relaxing and enjoying the occasion.
Once again, very many thanks to Pat and Trevor for all their hard work in preparing for the event and for allowing us to enjoy their garden.

 

 

Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary Commemorations

A group from RAFA Abbotts and Kings Langley Branch attended North Weald, a former Battle of Britain station,
on 12th July for a Salute to the Few sponsored by RAFA. The event was a big success despite the weather attracting large crowds.


Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin Takes the Salute at North Weald


Standards are Paraded at North Weald

 

RAFA Abbots Langley Visit to RAF Henlow Open Day on 29th July 2015

On 29th July 2015 a party of members from RAFA Abbots Langley attended an Open Day at RAF Henlow kindly arranged by Pat and Trevor Hayes. The weather for the day was rather unsettled but there were periods of sunshine to brighten things up and there were some really enjoyable air displays by real and modern aircraft as well as a very wide range of stalls and activities. There was much to do and everybody had an excellent day in an RAF community that is clearly a happy and productive environment.


RAFA ladies enjoying the bracing summer weather!


Drummers and Band of the Duke of Lancaster’s
Regiment performing on the airfield.

 

RAFA and RBL Games Night on 9th July 2015 at the Manor House Social Club

RAFA Abbots and Kings Langley hosted the member of the Royal British Legion Abbots Langley Branch to a Games Night on 9th July 2015.Both teams and their supporters started with a leisurely drink before getting down to a keenly fought contest involving darts, skittles and dominoes.
At mid evening break a magnificent buffet provided by members was enjoyed.At the conclusion of the evening the result was a diplomatic draw but the real objective had been to enjoy each other’s company and this was certainly achieved.

 

 North Weald 75th Battle of Britain Anniversary Commemoration
On Sunday 12th July, five members of the branch attended the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Commemoration at North Weald Airfield. The weather was dull and cloudy with just one short sharp shower of rain which temporarily disrupted the flying display, but otherwise, it was a most enjoyable day. As well as the flying display, including the spitfire and hurricane from the B of B Memorial Flight, there were static displays including the Hertfordshire and Essex Air Ambulances, classic cars and bikes and historic military vehicles and re- enactors. In the arena performances were given by local dancing groups, a massed ATC band, the Epping Forest Pipe Band, judo and acrobatic mountain bikes.
The arena was full at the sunset ceremony. There were representatives of the RAF, the RAFA, the RBL, and the ATC. The salute was taken by Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin KCB President of the RAFA, South East and Eastern Area.

 
The Sunset Ceremony

 

Armed Forces Weekend
Pictured below are John Dicks, our new Wings Organiser, and member Don Mead, who, along with 6 other members of the branch, collected an amazing 2293.23 for Wings over the Armed Forces Weekend at Asda, Watford. Beverley, Communities Manager at Asda, was delighted with our result and has featured us in the Asda Communities website. Well done John and his team. A fantastic result."

 

Annual Area Conference 2015
Eight members of the branch attended the Annual Area Conference at Potters in Norfolk in March. It was a most enjoyable weekend with a range of very interesting and informative speakers. Certificates were presented to branches for various achievements. Pictured below are Branch Treasurer, Trevor Hayes receiving the Small Branch Efficiency Certificate and Pat Hayes, Honorary Welfare Officer and Social Secretary receiving the certificate for achieving over 10,000 collected for Wings, presented by Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin, RAFA President for the South East and Eastern Area. Geoff Elmes paraded the Standard on behalf of the Branch.

 

Royal Air Forces Association Abbots and Kings Langley and Royal British Legion Abbots Langley Joint Games Night

On the evening of 2nd March ten members of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Abbots and Kings Langley Branch joined the Royal British Legion (RBL) Abbots Langley at the Trowley Rise Working Men’s Club for a joint games night. The visitors were made very welcome by Pam Lewis and her members and after settling in quickly got down to the serious business of competing for the challenge cup held by the RBL. There were some keenly contested matches involving darts, cribbage, skittles and shove ha’penny. Some members learnt knew skills whilst others displayed hard earned lifetime experience.
At the interval for the excellent refreshments provided by members, the teams were running neck and neck and all depended on the final game of cribbage. The RAFA team played to the occasion and won by a single point.
The cup was kindly presented by Councillor Chris Lloyd, the Chair of Three Rivers District Council who had joined us for the evening (see photo above).
Members of the RBL and RAFA were all agreed that it was a really enjoyable evening and look forward to the next joint meeting.

 

Branch Visit to RAF Halton

A group of 17 members from the Abbots and Kings Langley Branch RAFA had a most interesting and enjoyable visit to RAF Halton recently. Included in the visit were Halton House, the Trenchard Museum and the recently opened James Mc Cudden Flight Heritage Centre. The house was magnificent and the guide, Trixie Brabner, was most informative and knowledgeable. A very welcome tea break was followed by a short car journey to the Trenchard Museum. The guide there informed the group that it was male dominated and there was not much to interest the ladies. The ladies had to disagree with that statement as there were a wealth of interesting items to hold their attention. The visit ended with a short walk to the new Heritage Centre, with the flight simulator being the "icing on the cake" and several members took to the controls. All in all, a fantastic place to visit."


Member Pam Grey in the Trenchard Museum

Branch Chairman John Rose on a personal guided tour
in the James McCudden Flight Heritage Centre

Branch Treasurer Trevor Hayes at the controls of the Chipmunk Flight Simulator in the James McCudden Flight Heritage Centre. (and he did manage to land safely)
 
Members and friends at RAF Halton House
 
 

An Honours Award Evening was held on 18th December 2014 at Watford Grammar School for Boys to recognise the excellent efforts of the cadets of 2(F) Squadron ATC, Leavesden, throughout the year.

During 2014,the cadets raised a very impressive 2390.70 towards the Wings Appeal total for the Abbots and Kings Langley Branch of RAFA. The majority of this sum was raised during three days' of collecting at the ASDA store in Watford. As a thank you, and in recognition of their efforts, Branch Chairman, Group Captain John Rose OBE, presented certificates of appreciation to 17 cadets, some of whom are pictured, with John. He also presented trophies to the three cadets who raised the greatest individual amounts. The recipients of these were Flt Sgt Zandes, Cadet Donnelly and Cadet Selvakkumar.
As a token of appreciation, a cheque for 500 from the Abbots and Kings Langley Branch RAFA was presented, by John, to 2(F) OC, Squadron leader Simon Cooper RAFVR(T), to purchase equipment for the Squadron which was gratefully received." This was raised by holding a coffee morning in the village and a "Bring and Buy" sale.


Cadet Donnelly and Cadet Selvakkumar. (In the centre of the picture).


Cheque Presentation

*****

RAFA Abbots Langley & Kings Langley Branch
2016 Committee

Chairman: Trevor Hayes  2 Gypsy Lane, Hunton Bridge, Kings Langley, Herts, WD4 8PR.
Phone 01923 331975. E mail. trevor.hayes3@ntlworld.com
Public relations officer: Pat Hayes  e mail: pat1950hayes@gmail.com

RAFA Patron HM The Queen
Registered Charity Number 226686

Copyright RAFA Abbots Langley & Kings Langley Branch  2010

Email: info@rafa-abbots-kings-langley.co.uk

WebDesign Ray Donn