After cycling in that 1950 high summer's heat, right across the island from one end to the other, he also stood accused of being late!I was born at 4am, he still had to finish his duty, and didn't arrive till 13.30.
He recalled arriving at Liverpool Docks to be confronted by the sight of a ship, so massive it seemed to a 20-year old that had never been near the open sea let alone aboard a ship, it were bigger than a block of flats.
For conscripted 'erks', who remained in the UK, or were posted to some of the world's trouble spots, like Berlin, Korea and Malaya, and later Cyprus and Suez, life wasn't anything like so comfortable.
And always time to muck about with someone's engine. Considering his trade, I think some may have taken a dim view of a rookie airman snapping away at anything he liked. The few that I have don't tell any particular story, other than they give a sort of rough view of life for one groundcrew tradesman in the RAF in those years immediately after the war, and especially for those posted to Malta.
Fortunately, I had managed to go through some of them with him some time before, and so got him to identify many of the places and aircraft, though not many of the faces. He was fortunate enough to have a camera in those days, and even more fortunate to have been able to have it with him and take so many 'on camp'.
This small selection of photos is part of the collection that I inherited after dad died in 1997.
The Med might be the calming mill-pond for today's summer holidays, but in winter it can be as cold and as rough as the North Sea. Only 5 years after the end of the war, with Valetta still largely in ruins and bomb damage everywhere, it is surprising that they enjoyed it as much as they did.The RAF had several craft down there, one of which was a very ancient and leaky steam pinnace ! An idyllic holiday destination now, Malta in 1950 wasn't quite so pleasant or funny. She complained, when I was born up at the Military Families Hospital at Mtarfa, that dad didn't take her any flowers!Norman Haywood, of Coleorton near Coalville in Leicestershire, joined the RAF in 1948, and signed on for 10 years in order to get into his chosen trade of Radio & Radar Technician. which moved around quite a bit, but in 1948 was at Cranwell. Access to which was by bike down the lanes, through the villages, and over to the bay, and thence launch and small RAF craft of varying descriptions out to the Sunderlands moored in deep water.Aircraftman 3501380 was inducted at Cardington and did his square bashing and basic training there, before being sent to No 1 Radio School at RAF Cranwell for trade training. The road shown is still there, and that corner now boasts a large 2-storey secondary-school type building of the 70's. As he often said, he thought he'd joined the Air Force, not the bloody Navy!There's some interesting RAF links at the bottom of this page. See further down for photos of HSL 2625, the Air-Sea-Rescue launch dating from 1943, upon which he had many a hair-raising ride. Some wag, returning spiked from the NAAFI, must have tripped apex-over-elbow in the dark outside the billet one night, and so they decided they needed a light out there. Ironic therefore, that he should find himself posted to Hal-Far, which serviced the radios and radars for the seaplanes down at RAF Kalafrana.