This & That
A page for items that don't or won't fit into any other category !!!

Hello, My name is Natasha Howard and I'm going to Addu Atoll to set up two rowing clubs as part of the Rowing Association of the Maldives initiative to encourage school children on the Atoll, and especially girls, to get involved in the sport. Apparently, rowing used to be very much a part of Maldivian life and this project hopes to re-kindle this. I will be based there for 6 months on a voluntary basis with board and lodging covered by the county council. We have had 7 coastal double boats built in Italy and shipped to Male, where three will stay with the other volunteer, Rachel Loveridge, while the remaining four are sent down to Addu with myself. We will be coaching rowing and swimming to children from the local schools as a means of promoting the range of activities offered at the schools. Rachel is also currently working with the juvenile offenders on their island off Male. 

As I was searching for information about the Maldives, and specifically Addu Atoll, on the internet I came across your site and thought with all your readers connections to the atoll they may be interested in hearing about our project! I was also wondering if any of your members may have photos or pictures of the wooden rowing boats the Maldivians, I am assured, used to use? If so it would be lovely to see them. I gather the art of building traditional rowing boats is dying out - apparently the design varied greatly between atolls. I'm hoping to track a few down while I'm out there. The boats we are taking out are fibreglass - not quite so romantic! 

We have a website of our own with a blog so if anyone is interested they can read about our progress. Of course there are lots of photos and more information about the project and what we hope to achieve while we are out there. The project is very much in it's infancy so any help or advice people can offer would be gratefully appreciated!

I hope you enjoy reading about our endeavours and am really looking forward to leaving in 3 days time and all the new experiences that will be coming my way. If anyone is passing through the Atoll and fancy a spin in the boats or see how we're doing please do get in touch.

Kind regards,  Natasha Howard

Hi, Just looking through some old snaps and came across this one, it is the Radio Gan crew July 64.

Click on Image for full Photograph

I was with SASF Nov 63-64 and was the programme manager for the radio station and lots of the staff were actually SASF.

I'm the one, short sleeve shirt holding a beer on my old mates head.

Took the bride to Gan 2007 so much had changed.


Keith 'Nick" Nicholson 

Hi Phil, hope you are ok and 2011 is not proving too tiresome so far!
I expect you have heard of the death of Dave Cromb (DC) who started the RAF Masirah website at http://www.freewebs.com/masirah/ He passed away 5 December 2010.
With his passing I asked, through the website guestbook, if anyone was taking it on or if I could be given access to carry it on. As I've not heard anything I've started one on Weebly, that I use for the RAF Luqa site and would appreciate it if you could add the link below, with the following bit of text and attached photo of the station crest, to your RAF Gan Remembered website. I have dedicated the site to the memory of DC on the home page.
I've nicked your idea of 'Remembered' for my Luqa and the new Masirah websites, seemed like an excellent name for such websites.
RAF Masirah
"The site for ex RAF, and any other people that may have been posted to, or just visited, the amazing island of MASIRAH. RAF Motto was Al'itimad A'la Al-Nafs = Self Reliance"
All the best
Hello All, 
Hope you are keeping well. Just wanted to let you know of a new RAF website I've created due to the death of the the original RAF Masirah website creator, Dave Cromb, in Australia.
This is back in the 'Good Old Days' when Masirah was one of the less desirable postings but grew on people that actually went there and everyone came to be very attached to the place regardless of the harsh conditions.
There's even a link, in the 'Useful Links' page, to a Pongo signals squadron where there's some great photographs of 603 Signals Group.
Archive material from the original site is there but the photographs are very small if viewed as a slideshow due to having to download them from Dave's site. His original link is http://www.freewebs.com/masirah/ and the photographs can be viewed there, with their comments which I have not transferred.
Happy viewing and, if you spent any time on Masirah, let me know if you would like to post photographs or memories.
I've also got a Middle East Ex-Pats website which I hope will grow and cover all Middle East regions, plus the old RAF Luqa site that I created about a year and a half ago (links below in my autosignature).
If you have a website of your own, or for an association (e.g. TG11) please feel free to add the links to your site(s).

Best Wishes
Dave Rose

David Rose / Gloucester 
Websites & Blog:
My Blog

Catering Staff from the Late 1960's

Photographs from Pete Thornburgh

Dear Friend,

When RAF Gan was nearing its close, a team of experts visited Gan as " Time and Motion Studying Team" I understood this particular study was done to facilitate reduce the staff strength prior British pull out. Head of this team was Mr. Francis Golding who become a very good friend of mine and had contacts till British completely pull out from Gan on 31st March 1976. After that no news of him.

When he was in Gan we (local staff + Pakistanis) through a farewell party to Mr. Danny Hillon (stores supervisor/MPBW.), and this particular team saw invited.
In the party I was forced by my boss to give a short speech. I have tried to refuse but no success. So I stood in front of 20 odd British and was reluctant to speak. When there no way to escape I started saying that " Quiet calm deliberation disentangles every knot" which I learned  from my teacher. And receiving  courage from this quotation of Harold Macmillan I spoke for few minutes.

When Francis Golding went back to UK. he was invited by Julian Amery who married Macmillan's daughter. Francis was unable to attend but he send a note to Mr. Amery (MP) explaining about my quotation. Later I had a copy of  Harold Macmillan's letter to Francis explaining him how this quotation came to light " well once a word launched to the earth  would have travelled all corners of the world is tribute to the volatility of this quotation, which landed to Maldives. Actually this quotation was taken from Albert Sullivan's book which came from Gondoliers.  In  1960 when I was Prime Minister ,time was some what critical so I took this quotation and wrote on a paper with my own hand and stuck on Green Basie Door, 10 down street,  private secretary side. When I felt in 1961, this paper was removed by John Windon, ( now Lord Igroment ) and put it in Petworth Museum"

There might be mistakes, but I have put the way I remember.

If any one knew about  Mr. Francis Golding please let me have his email address to enable me to back up my past.

Hassan Saeed

Hello,  I admire the scope of your site.  I have a fragment of information for your consideration.  I was a pilot with the RAF and had completed two operational tours between '54 and '59, overseas postings both, with 87 Sqn at RAF Wahn and 151 Sqn at RAF Leuchars.  My next job was 12 months Admin at RAF Sharjah.  As the result of a football injury I was medevacuated to UK with a broken arm and considerable consequent nerve damage.  Eventually I was settled into a looooong period of rehabilitation at (Sound the Trumpets!) RAF Headley Court in Surrey.  In '60 the unit was an RAF-staffed hospital and rehab centre but dealt with members from all the services.  It is more than that now.  My treatment was prolonged but all the staff were dedicated, efficient and friendly, as well as being successful.  I returned to active service in '61 and flying duties in '63.  The Wikipedia site will give you more information.

Cheers, Peter Hart 

Hi all, good website.  A lot of familiar names on here. Though due to lack of brain cells I can't quickly put faces to them.
I was serving in SAS Flight in 1974. Living in Block 59. Served from About Jan 74 till October 74. Working in Survival Equipment Section. I worked mainly on my own, my working companion got casuvacedd back to UK. I was a skinny, Ginger haired guy. Well at the start anyway. Then hair got bleached and the ginger never returned! I would love to hear from anyone in Gan at that time.
Currently I live in West Mids.  Perhaps you could find yourself on one of the many photos I have?
Looking forward to hearing from someone.
Best regards, days to do are getting few.

Frank Carrington

Hi there,
I thought you might be interested in this photo of the RAF Transport crews who flew the supplies into Gan from RAF Katunayake, Ceylon while the runway was being built.  My father, Flt Lt "Joe" Douglas is the one in the white flying suit and the plane is a Valetta. He was seconded there from RAF Changi, Singapore for 9 months from August 1958 to April 1959.



Diana Newson
(Nee Douglas)

Don't know if the origination of the "Road Runner" on the tie is known to you?

Anyway, in 1969/70, one of the staging flights had a Flight Lieutenant called Peter Nutt (no guessing for his nick name- behind his back!!!). Peter went to Singapore on holiday and brought back a large number of plain white tee shirts. We then printed on them S  A (a road runner in picture form) S  F across the chest in large black print. I still have one of the original ones. Since then the Road Runner has been the emblem of we poor souls who served our YEAR on that island. 

A funny story followed the beginning of those tee shirts.  One night we had a load of sailors came to the island (not unusual, you say) but this time they actually landed and helped us to swallow a large quantity of booze. At the same time the SASF boys used a bar at the other end of the complex. One of the sailors was heard to complain that it was very crowded in the main bar and it was suggested to him that he would find it more comfortable at the boys bar, to which he replied. I'm not going there it is full of SAS blokes and they are hard nuts!!! 

I see that you have a picture of a football team showing all their trophies. In my time there weren't any trophies and the SNCO`s had a team which everyone nicknamed "Dad`s Army" but the still couldn't beat us.

I have a great deal of memories of this Island and most of them are very good ones. I was single at the time and single men were sent to Singapore for their holidays where the married ones were sent home to Blighty. My holiday is a story on its own.

I hope this is of use to you? You can contact me at the above e-mail address if you want to.


Cheers for now, Sam Brown  Sgt on SASF 69-70

Herewith a couple of photos of RFA Wave Ruler being handed over to Gan. 1970. [Click on Photograph for larger image.]



David Gerrard


I found this slide from my time on Hittadu between, I think, Aug 1959 and Aug 1960.   All I can remember is that a parade was ordered by a departing sergeant and this is what he got !!!



John Mowbray ex J/T

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