''Alright my son!''
I will always remember those words. Always a laugh and a joke and a look back on old times whenever I visited Bourn.
I attended one of the first FIC courses there back in 1979. I was a cop at the time and eventually instructed part-time for a few years. Before us students could do any classroom work we ...ahem... had to build the classroom first. The first 3 days of the course were spent driving tractors to and fro to collect the various bits of secondhand hand temporary building and then toil away into the evenings putting the thing together, using begged, stolen or borrowed farm machinery.
I remember my first lesson with the incorrigible David Hughes, a giant of a man in huge shorts who, as we taxied out, sipped his tea between instructions and abuse. The aircraft at the time was 'IE', a C152 Aerobat (which had an impressive Nav central stack, until you realised it was a full size colour cut out from a magazine !). David asked me to stop alongside the car park, he opened the door and his big Labrador Gemma hopped in, sat on his lap and put her big paws through the spectacle column. Hanging up his tea mug on the seatbelt hook, we proceeded to do some general handling, seemingly oblivious of the dog, whose large panting tongue prescribed a perfect rotation as we did the first of many rolls.
we would then get back for lunch, only to find that a significant proportion of my sandwiches, packed up for me by Gerry at The Red Lion ( Caxton 602 - I can even remember the phone number!) where we lodged, had been largely scoffed by Gary and Lindsay but kindly kept a few back for David and I.
I remember the heat, flies, endless swatting and, I have to say, running out of clothes after the classroom building, followed by hints and the production of a big bottle of deodorant in the cockpit.
David and Gary died some years ago unfortunately.
Lindsay soldiered on relentlessly and was always pleased to see me whenever I was able to fly in. They put on a concert for the locals many years back. Lindsay, aka 'The Great Lindso' dressed up in a classic leopard skin over- the shoulder strongman outfit, stick on moustache, wig et al, proceeded to put on a hilarious act lifting a 'very heavy' dumbell ( 2 black-painted beach balls on the end of a wooden pole!) and whirled it around his head.
Lindsay, you will always be fondly remembered. We will miss your stories and your ability to find humour in everything.
I regret I will be overseas on the 3rd but will raise a glass and shed a tear for a Diamond Geezer. One of life's greats.
To the obsessed - 'get a life'.