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RAF reunion weekend

PUBLISHED: 17:57 18 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:38 20 February 2013

RAF reunion weekend

RAF reunion weekend

Cold War veterans from the Royal Air Force enjoyed an emotional, fun-packed and laughter-filled reunion weekend in the Cotswolds to celebrate more than 40 years of camaraderie.

RAF reunion weekend brings band of brothers back together

Cold War veterans from the Royal Air Force enjoyed an emotional, fun-packed and laughter-filled reunion weekend in the Cotswolds to celebrate more than 40 years of camaraderie.

Members of 35 Squadron who formed lifelong friendships when they served together at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus between 1969 and 1971 reunited at Dormy House Hotel, near Chipping Campden, last Friday (July 13).

It was the tenth time the group had met up since leaving Cyprus and the reunion even included a nostalgic visit to Wellesbourne Airfield on Sunday to climb aboard one of the Vulcan bombers the Squadron flew four decades ago.

In total 44 former Royal Air Force aircrew and their wives all in their 60s, 70s and 80s attended the reunion, which included a formal dinner, speeches and toasts in memory of past colleagues. There was also a cabaret evening performed by former Squadron members Frank Hilton, Garth Wensley and Frank's wife Jan.

Former Vulcan Captain Roger Frampton, 76, and his wife Mo organised the event.

He said: Weve had reunions in Scotland, in East Anglia, at three RAF stations around the UK and even returned to Cyprus three times and I think this weekend proved one of the most enjoyable it all went absolutely perfectly at The Dormy.

The friendships that we formed while serving together are deep rooted. We truly became a band of brothers and our wives a band of sisters, so its always great fun whenever we get together.

As well as arranging the reunion at Dormy House Hotel, Mr Frampton contacted Wellesbourne Airfield in advance to enquire about seeing the Vulcan.
Everyone at Wellesbourne was very welcoming, he said. We owe particular thanks to Charles Brimson, President of the XM 655 Preservation & Maintenance Society, and his team who gave up their Sunday to accommodate us.

When we arrived three young ATC Cadets brought flowers to Yvonne Hepburn, the widow of our old boss Group Captain Keith Hepburn, who was a Commandant of the ATC Cadets for two of the UK regions. Sadly, Keith died 19 years ago and much of what we do by way of reunions is a tribute to his memory.

It was a lovely gesture and it was a very emotional moment, particularly for Yvonne.
He added: Each Vulcan had a crew of five and two of my own crew were at the reunion, so it brought back plenty of memories for the three of us. We decided we could still start her up and get her airborne, given a bit of practice!

David Field, general manager of four-star Dormy House Hotel, said: It was a privilege welcoming the Officers of 35 Squadron and their wives to the hotel, and our staff absolutely loved meeting them all.

There were so many great stories being told that it was impossible not to join in with the fun. They have said theyll look to return to The Dormy in two years time and they will certainly be very welcome.

To contact The Dormy call 01386 852711 or visit www.dormyhouse.co.uk for more information.

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