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Peter Williams has kindly written this account of the 2009 reunion
held over the weekend of 8th & 9th August 2009.

  On a glorious sunny morning to the rousing strains of the RAF March Past and the Great Escape, played by the band of 63 (Bridgnorth) Squadron ATC under direction of Bandmaster Cpl Mike Briggs, 70 or so veterans marched sprightly down the High Street to St Mary's Church for a Service of Thanksgiving for the 70 th anniversary of the camp's formation. The Parade was led by Flt.Lt.(VTR) Sue Briggs and the salute was taken jointly by the Mayor of Bridgnorth, Cllr Malcolm Griffiths and Wg.Cdr.J.W. Stanfield of RAF Cosford.

In her address the Revd Angela Rogers, who in her youth had witnessed the farewell parade in the 1960's, compared Service life to that of belonging to a vast family that showed close ties one to another. An example being the empathy shared with those who serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. To the tune of Eric Coate's Dam Busters march we sang "God is our strength and refuge. "Since this was a morning of Holy Communion there followed the Act of Eucharist during which Alan Causon rendered a solo "Arm Arm Ye Brave!" from (Judas Maccabaeus) by Handel. The Service concluded with a prayer of blessing and the National Anthem. Following the Service we walked the short distance to Castle Hall where the Mayor had arranged light refreshments for us before we dispersed.

The previous evening in the Community Hall, the Mayor, Councillor Malcolm Griffiths, gave his keynote address, whereby in light hearted manner he spoke about the bonds that once existed between the Camp and Town of half a century ago. He raised a laugh or two as he "embroidered" around the edges claiming that at times the bonds of friendship appeared very strong between recruits and the young female residents of Bridgnorth.

Meanwhile life at camp continued it's rigorous pace and competition was keen amongst those wishing to win a trophy known as the Drill Cup We were pleased to have the cup displayed amongst other items of general memorabilia including uniform of the day. It had been a long search to find the cup as Peter Williams explained but it eventually ended at RAF Halton. His appeal to the Deputy Chief of Staff there was answered promptly and sympathetically so no time was lost in getting it to the National Service Parade and our re-union. We have to thank Cpl Briggs for his co-operation in making arrangements for it's release with the stores of the Officer's Mess at RAF Cosford.

As a reminder of the ups and downs of the search, a caption competition was held inviting comments for an illustration of a lady bearing aloft a chalice in protective fashion. The Mayor judged the entries and chose one that fell into line with his own rumbustous remarks earlier.

Acting on behalf of Gwynne Chadwick, Peter announced the re-opening of the web site that can be accessed on

The meeting gave an opportunity to learn of the attempts to create a new memorial stone for RAF Bridgnorth. Negotiations had taken place with the Officers of the Countryside Unit at Shire Hall who are responsible for the site but talks had slowed due to the difficulty in finding a source of funding.

Finally, our thanks go to Mike and Susan and the cohort of ATC members who combined to make both the social evening and the Church parade a success Next year's event will take place over the weekend of 3/4 July, The Bridgnorth re-union will be organised by Su Briggs in Mike's absence.
Peter Williams August 2009

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