216 Parachute Signals Squadron Guestbook

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Alan Hogg | alan~DOT~ hogg2~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Whilst we are discussing various odds and ends I am wondering why we have the reunion on a Bank Holiday weekend? some of you travel a good deal further than I do so should we perhaps consider moving the date so as to avoid travel on one of the busiest days of the year?
Tuesday 24 May2016 - Pateley Bridge

barrie hamson | sam-nigel ~AT~sky~DOT~com
trying to locate army friend who served in 216 royal signals parachute brigade ellis barracks his name kevin lewis
Monday 23 May2016 - ellis barracks formerly from birmingham uk

Webmaster comments   Can any of you old boys help Barrie

Ray Duffy | ray~DOT~duffy1~AT~ntlworld~DOT~com
Good to see all the support for the OCA. I have been keen from the start to keep it a free service. At the moment we remain quietly solvent from the monies raised from the raffle/auction during the reunion. I don't think we should invoke a charge unless we find it absolutely financially necessary. Looking forward to seeing everyone at Barnsley.
Monday 23 May2016 - York

Alan Hogg | alan~DOT~ hogg2~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Happy to pay a subscription although, as I understand it, there could be sufficient money generated at the reunion to cover all or some of the costs of the website, postage etc. It would be helpful to know current levels of expenditure (website, postage,expenses for Robin's Barnsley recce etc

However, what would we do if an OCA member doesn't want to pay or ceases to pay in the future? do the others subsidise them so as to avoid losing members
Sunday 22 May2016 - Pateley Bridge

ian kendall | iankendall~AT~sky~DOT~com
I agree 100% with Taff Finn.
Saturday 21 May2016

Mick (Taff) Finn | exparasig~AT~hotmail~DOT~co~DOT~uk
Food for thought. I do not know if this will go down well however, it appears as if we are having some problems with the RBL branch, but no problems with The OCA (or so it seems), except for the cost of maintaining the website etc. If the RBL branch was to close would there be any mileage in paying a small membership fee to the OCA instead. This could be for the cost of the maintain the website, expanding it if it is felt necessary and any other expenses the committee feel worthwhile. Just a thought. See all you old and bold next weekend
Saturday 21 May2016 - Cardiff

Webmaster comments   Certainly worth a discussion Taff. I would be prepared to switch my subscription from RBL to OCA and maybe expand the OCA activities.

Norman Horton | norman~DOT~horton3~AT~ ntlworld~DOT~com
Hi lads, cannot once again make Barnsley as having my prostate op (TURP) on the Monday. Hope to get to Caythorpe in September Have a good weekend, Norrie
Friday 20 May2016 - Darlington

Stan Stanley | maddison135~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Donations of Raffle prizes for the reunion dinner would be gratefully received. I will be in the foyer area most of Friday and Saturday. Look forward to seeing everybody next weekend.
Friday 20 May2016 - Hereford

Dave Ramsay | daveramsay~AT~aol~DOT~com
Hi Keith, I check the site regularly and feel that it is extremely valuable in keeping me up to date with the OCA and Squadron news. I left the Squadron in 1958, a time when you were not provided with any contact information and few people had home telephones. As a result, it was not surprising that only a few tried to keep in touch with their former friends by letter, often only finding that contact tended to dwindle away.
As years past by I often wondered what had happened to my old friends and whether the Squadron was still operating, if so how had it developed in technology and weapons etc. and how nice it would be to make a return visit. Some fifty years past by before, thanks to the internet and the 216 website, I discovered the OCA, the amazing Caythorpe re-union weekend and finally was able to meet up with some of those that I served with in the mid-fifties.

Keep up the good work, the website is very important to many of us, even if we do not always appear to show our gratitude.
Thursday 19 May2016 - Hythe Kent

Webmaster comments   Appreciate your support Dave - Thanks

Lynn & John Bailey | Baileylynn874~AT~aol~DOT~com
Hi Keith ditto to that Mr Campbell some of us not media virgins check often too, mainly to keep up with you guys that drop off the grid occasionally. It's always nice to see everybody's news. Reunion soon lovely. Keep going!
Thursday 19 May2016 - Hereford

Webmaster comments   Thank you both - look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.

Ian Campbell | iansue216~AT~gmail~DOT~com
I check the web site 5 times a week with slight trepidation as (much as we may think not) we are getting slightly older. Without your hard work and knowledge Keith, we social media virgins would have no means of finding out how everyone was doing, you have produced something that I can show the grandkids as to what real comradeship is all about. Keep up the good work.
Wednesday 18 May2016 - Scotland

Webmaster comments   Thanks for your kind comments Ian. I look forward to seeing you and Sue at the reunion.

Gus Emery | kenemery~AT~btopenworld~DOT~com
Keith, I think you have your answer regarding the website. It's marvelous what a conversation between Alan and I has sparked off. I also am not on social media. Looking forward to Barnsley Gus
Monday 16 May2016 - Hampshire

Webmaster comments   Good for you - thanks Gus.

Rex couch | Rexcouch~AT~talktalk~DOT~net
I check the web site most days and agree with others that is the only contact I have with the OCA. Keith, you do and have done a brilliant job, thank you.
Sunday 15 May2016 - Birmingham

Webmaster comments   It's a pleasure

Dave Jackson | davepjackson~AT~btopenworld~DOT~com
Well guys that's makes 4 of us!!
Sunday 15 May2016 - Aldershot

Webmaster comments   Maybe 5.....

Bob O'Hara | bobnmau~AT~hotmail~DOT~com
Keith, I log in at least a couple of times a week, always look forward to the messages.
Sunday 15 May2016 - Cheltenham

Webmaster comments   Thanks for the input Bob

Bill Braniff | william~DOT~braniff~AT~gmail~DOT~com
4
Saturday 14 May2016 - Great Yarmouth

Gus Hartley | gushartley~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Good One Mick, me too so that makes three of us, Gus
Saturday 14 May2016 - Darwen

Webmaster comments   Any more .......

Mick Granitza | m216granitza~AT~hotmail~DOT~com
I access the site about 5 times per week. A very good way to keep in touch seeing as I am the only person on the planet that is not on social media. Your hard work appreciated.
Friday 13 May2016 - Scotland

Webmaster comments   You and Me also - thanks Mick

Bernie McDonough | bbgonebiking~AT~hotmail~DOT~com
Try to access website at least 3/4 times a week. All your time and effort much appreciated.
Wednesday 11 May2016 - West Sussex

Webmaster comments   Thanks Bernie, much appreciate your input.

Stan Stanley | maddison135~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
The reunion is fast approaching (27-29th May). Have just returned from Barnsley having finalised arrangements with the hotel. The hotel has requested final numbers for the reunion dinner by the 17th May, therefore, if any of you have not sent in your proformas please do so by the 16th May together with your cheque. If there are any of you not sure whether you have sent it please don't hesitate to contact me and I will check the current list.
Looking forward to seeing you all in Barnsley
Wednesday 11 May2016 - Hereford

Dick Hudd | dickhudd~AT~outlook~DOT~com
Keith, I applaud you for all your hard work which enables old comrades to still have contact with each other. It is a vital part of the OCA
Wednesday 11 May2016 - Sidcup Kent

Webmaster comments   Thanks Dick - much appreciated

Sid James | garybirgit~AT~hotmail~DOT~co~DOT~uk
I check the OCA site at least once a week Keith. It certainly serves a purpose of keeping people in touch. You have done a great job.
Tuesday 10 May2016 - Cider Country

Webmaster comments   Good to hear from you again Sid - Thanks

Wee Mac | macdonald508~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Keith , like all the other guys I have a look at least once a week. keep up the good work. Awwrrabest
Monday 9 May2016 - Scotland

Webmaster comments   Thanks Wee Man

Chris White | chris~DOT~debs~AT~hotmail~DOT~co~DOT~uk
Can someone cut and paste Stellas message onto the 216 facebook page
Monday 9 May2016 - Llanelly Hill

Dave Jackson | davepjackson~AT~btopenworld~DOT~com
Hi folks. I access the website at least 3 times a week ( when I have Internet access) and find it the best source of information on what's happening with airborne brethren and their families and events. I feel we would be loosing the best means of staying in touch if the website was too close. Keith you have done a tremendous job as webmaster and your fine efforts are appreciated by all of us. Best regards Dave(Jacko)
Monday 9 May2016 - Aldershot & Spain

Webmaster comments   Much appreciated Jacko

William Braniff | william~DOT~braniff~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Farewell to my old tent Cpl. Bombhead was an inspiration from 2 Bde to us Sprogs. Could the piccie of his 100th descent be put on the site? Would do wonders in the context of the present uncertainty.
Sunday 8 May2016 - Great Yarmouth

Webmaster comments   Do you have a photo Stella

Stella Parkes | stella~DOT~parkes~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Just to let you know that NetherAvon did us proud today and jumped with Bombhead Mitchell's ashes. It was a perfect day and extraordinary sight to see them stream out and disappear across the Wiltshire countryside. It was Dad's 100th drop on what would have been his 87th birthday. Very grateful to all those who helped us arrange this.
Sunday 8 May2016 - Gloucestershire

Webmaster comments   Great news Stella, I'm so pleased it worked our for you and your Dad.

Chris White | chris~DOT~debs~AT~hotmail~DOT~co~DOT~uk
Keith sorry I did not reply to your e mail. Deb's has had a very bad couple of weeks but is a little better now and we hope to get down to Bmth in the week to sort out one or two things.
My thoughts are that if the RBL goes it will be sad but if there is no one to take on the administration then we have no choice. As for the web site, I check it most days with interest and consider it the mainstay of our OCA.
It would appear that most of the younger guys still serving and the ones newly left use the SQN facebook page. I must admit I find this well kept interesting and up todate in a modern different way. There must be a place for both We should keep both there are our ways of communications and cost should not be a consideration.
Unfortunatly Deb's and I will not be able to make the reunion I must consider Deb's and I do not think she is well enough but with good luck and fair wind will make Caythorpe.
Best wishes all. Chris+Deb's
Sunday 8 May2016 - Llanelly Hill

Webmaster comments   Thanks Chris, useful input as always. Sorry to hear you won't make the reunion but quite understand.

Ray Duffy | ray~DOT~duffy1~AT~ntlworld~DOT~com
We do not have contact details for the following ex members Stan Berry, Brian Blackmore, John Grange, Dennis Lappin, Barrie Mills, Fred Payet, Alan Smith, Tom Speakman, Colin Townsend or Mel Townsend. If anyone can help please contact me.
Sunday 8 May2016 - York

Mick (Taff) Finn | exparasig~AT~hotmail~DOT~co~DOT~uk
Keith,
As with others who have commented, I use and check the website at least weekly. It is the prime medium, for me, to keep track on what is happening, reading the messages and to see what is going on or about to happen. It is an invaluable medium as far as I am concerned
Friday 6 May2016 - Cardiff

Webmaster comments   Thanks Mick

Alan Hogg | alan~DOT~ hogg2~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
I think I would agree with Peter that a) the RBL branch probably should close and b) that the website is key to the ongoing success of the OCA (however, my impression still is that a significant number of people rarely look at the site). More generally, I do feel that there should be some sort of backup for the Webmaster and the Secretary (preferably someone who is not yet eligible for a state pension) - if both of these splendid old folks were to go AWOL then I suspect we would have a few problems picking things up.
Thursday 5 May2016 - Pateley Bridge

Webmaster comments   Not sure I want to go AWOL just yet !!!

Brian Earl | bribety~AT~talktalk~DOT~net
Just a thought is there any liason with the lads leaving the Squadron and the OCA about inviting them to join the OCA as given time as we old b******* are gradually dying out they will be the ones to hopefully take over the reins and keep the OCA going.
Thursday 5 May2016 - Ryton Tyne & Wear

Webmaster comments   Hello Brian, I think the short answer is yes, I seem to recall a visit to Colchester a few years back and I think I am right in saying that the OC 2i/c and RSM are invited to our reunions.

Peter Whitehead | peter~DOT~whitehead48~AT~live~DOT~co~DOT~uk
With regard to continuing the WOTG branch of the RBL this will require volunteers to take on the roles as advertised. As I have said in my previous e-mails our branch is no different than many others in finding it difficult to recruit volunteers. Craig, John and Ray, not forgetting Dick, have all done a tremendous job in keeping the branch operating. I fear it is probably enviable that it will will now need to close having run its course. I view the continuation of our website as a different topic completely. It is well put together, Keith maintains its currency and it is the only way many stay informed regarding the Association. The annual outlay required to keep it secure and current is money well spent given its importance as an information conduit.
Thursday 5 May2016 - Bredon, Worcestershire

Webmaster comments   Thank you again Peter for your contribution. As you will appreciate my concern was generated by the lack of inputs regarding the posts we need to fill in the WOTG branch/OCA. The only conclusion I came to was, there was little interest in the RBL or the website was not being used. I completely agree with your last statement, I think the website is a very worthwhile communication aid but as our primary means of communication I feel it needs to be used a little more. It is heartening to see the comments of the last few days.

Gus Hartley | gushartley~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Yes, I regularly check the website
Thursday 5 May2016 - Darwen

Webmaster comments   Good to hear from you Gus - thanks

A Taylor | a-p-taylor~AT~hotmail~DOT~com
I read your messages, just to see if any one remembers my late father and yes someone did and I thank you for that.
Wednesday 4 May2016 - staffordshire

Webmaster comments   Thank you for your comments - much appreciated.

Colin Bradbury | colinbradbury~AT~talktalk~DOT~net
Like Brian I check the website daily, it would be a shame to loose the historical content.
Wednesday 4 May2016 - Knaresborough

Webmaster comments   Thanks Colin - much appreciated

William Braniff
So do I

Keep it brief (LOL)
Wednesday 4 May2016 - Great Yarmouth

Webmaster comments   Good to hear from you Bill - thanks

Chris Brown | 216cbrown~AT~gmail~DOT~com
As one of the younger and not very bold members, I check into the site at least once a week, if not more.
Wednesday 4 May2016 - Africa

Webmaster comments   Thanks Chris, I note you are a big user of your email address, I have just had to increase your allotment in Mb

Alan Hogg | alan~DOT~ hogg2~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
I check the website at least once a week Keith
Wednesday 4 May2016 - Pateley Bridge

Webmaster comments   Thanks Alan

Brian Earl | bribety~AT~talktalk~DOT~net
I can't speak for anyone else but I for one check the OCA website every day.
Wednesday 4 May2016 - Ryton Tyne & Wear

Webmaster comments   Thanks Brian

Keith Weller | keith~AT~keithweller~DOT~plus~DOT~com
Minutes - The minutes of the OCA meeting held at our last reunion can now be found on the Newsletters page.

The agenda for the next OCA meeting is now on the Newsletters page. If you have any agenda items please contact Ray or via the website.
Wednesday 4 May2016 - Worcestershire

Terry Brown | terryvivbrown~AT~virginmedia~DOT~com
I am unable to help with your requests,but I do look at the guest book nearly every day, but there is'nt much activity on it. Wishing everybody well.
Tuesday 3 May2016 - Whitley Bay

Webmaster comments   Good to know you are out there Terry - thanks

Keith Weller | keith~AT~keithweller~DOT~plus~DOT~com
We appear to have received very little interest in filling the vacancies in our RBL branch and replacing Dick on the OCA committee. It prompts the following questions:-

1. Is it there is no interest in the RBL or maybe the website is not used as much as we would hope?

2. Craig is asking the question has our RBL branch just run its course.

3. I guess I should ask the same question regarding the website. The cost is increasing year by year and we are now spending nearly £200 a year on hosting and domain registration. We have no way of knowing how much it is used by you, the only register being the comments received on the Guestbook and the number of photos/articles received for publication. They have reduced dramatically over the last few years. So guys, besides the question posed above I would also like to ask you if you would like the website to continue. We were promoting the website as our primary means of communication but I think we need some positive feedback to confirm it is actually being used.

4. Although I am happy to look after the website for the foreseeable future it would be good to know if there is anyone who might be interested in picking up the reins.

We are grateful for your comments via the Guestbook or if you prefer direct to me on keithweller@216parasigs.org.uk


Many Thanks

Keith
Tuesday 3 May2016 - Worcestershire

Ray Duffy | ray~DOT~duffy1~AT~ntlworld~DOT~com
Further to my earlier message regarding the RBL Meeting at Barnsley. It has been decided to change it an OCA Meeting rather than RBL where we can consider the future of our RBL Branch and whether we have volunteers to take up the vacant posts. All matters put forward by members can be discusses to allow the Committee to take a view on them. The "no AOB" rule means that we will not consider any new issues raised from the floor of the meeting. All Committee members are happy to serve for another 2 years at this time but nominations for replacements can be made provided they are made, with a seconder before the meeting.
Tuesday 3 May2016 - York

Ray Duffy | ray~DOT~duffy1~AT~ntlworld~DOT~com
We will be holding a Legion Meeting at Barnsley this year. It will have to take place just before the evening meal on Saturday to ensure maximum attendance. I would request items for the Agenda please. Also we will be looking for volunteers to take up appointments within the Branch to replace myself as Secretary, John Aspinall as Treasurer and Craig as Chairman. It will be an important meeting as it will decide on the future of the Airborne Signals Branch. There will be no AOB.
Sunday 24 April2016 - York

Billy Haslam | haslam216~AT~icloud~DOT~com
Barnsley 2016 Golf The Marshall Cup.
This event will take place at SANDHILL GOLF CLUB LITTLE HOUGHTON BARNSLEY
S72 0HW on Sat 28 May 2016.
Tee times are from 1100 to 1148. The green fees are £27.50p and are payable on the day to the club. Buggies can be reserved by phoning the club (01226 755079) would you please confirm your attendance by email using the address below. Good weather has been applied for.
Thursday 14 April2016 - Northampton

Peter Whitehead | peter~DOT~whitehead48~AT~live~DOT~co~DOT~uk
I have been reading with interest the various articles concerning our WOTG RBL branch. As a long serving Chairman of my local RBL branch I am familiar with the challenges outlined in the previous articles. I think the WOTG branch reflects the remarkable success of the OCA and that success is based on a specific era.
Welfare is no longer a branch issue as SSAFA and other organisations have taken this on. However, as Craig points out we have beneifitted from our membership of the RBL but perhaps the time has come to review where we are and where we want to go.If this review is to take place at Barnsley this year then I would be very happy to attend. Peter
Wednesday 13 April2016 - Worcestershire

Webmaster comments   Thank you for your contribution Peter. Are there anymore comments from our membership.

Brian Earl | bribety~AT~talktalk~DOT~net
Myself Roger Burrow and Frank Kelly are going to visit the NMA in May before travelling up to the reunion if anyone wants to join us get in touch and I will tell you where we are staying
Sunday 10 April2016 - Ryton Tyne&Wear

Chris WHITE | chris~DOT~debs~AT~hotmail~DOT~co~DOT~uk
I have just read a circulation on facebook relating to and showing the grave of Lt Jim Barry on the Falklands. Lt Barry Royal Signals was killed fighting as a Pltn. Cmd. with 2 Para during the battle of Goose Green. I ask the question. Why is his name not on the Falkland Memorial Stone at Caythorpe Church or his name not mentioned during the service at Caythorpe weekend
Friday 8 April2016 - Llanelly Hill

Webmaster comments   Good question Chris

Keith Weller for Craig Treeby | keith~AT~keithweller~DOT~plus~DOT~com
There are obviously some questions which require addressing regarding the past the role of the Weston on the Green RBL Branch and linked to that what is the best route to support any welfare request.
In answer to Alan’s initial input I would like to provide some background to what the Weston on the Green Branch has achieved but also to recognise that perhaps it has run its course unless others are willing to take up the reins.

In addition to creating funds for the RBL, money has been allocated back to the Branch which we have used to pay for post and admin expenditure, two Standards and associated equipment, standard bearer expenses to attend funerals/ Caythorpe etc, our dedicated tree and memorial plaque at the National Memorial Arboretum and web site admin costs. In addition we had put by a sum of money in the event of immediate welfare needs should they be required.

We have now reached a cross roads; after 12 years in post Ray Duffy as Secretary, John Aspinall as Treasurer and myself as Chairman have decided to retire, without replacements the Branch will need to close. It is reasonable to conclude that perhaps we no longer need to have an RBL Branch but to rely on the OCA to maintain our links as an Airborne Signals community, howbeit with no regular funding scheme to administer it or provide money for other expenses. One other point to consider is that we would have to lay up the RBL Standards, presumably at Caythorpe.

I suggest that a decision needs to be made when we meet at Barnsley and would ask you all to consider:

a. Do we need to continue with the Branch?

b. If Yes, then would you step forward to take on a committee role as Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer?

In order to get a straw poll of feelings I would ask that you make your comments either on the website or to myself (crtreeby@gmail.com) and Ray (ray.duffy1@ntlworld.com)”

Turning to the question of welfare support, the simple answer is that the RBL is not now necessarily the organisation to approach if seeking welfare support. During my time with the RBL almost all Branches had a welfare committee (my patch, Ox and Bucks, had just under 100) and they had recourse to contact me and my staff at the County office for professional assistance and funding. In conversation with an ex County Chairman for Oxfordshire a few weeks ago he said there was now only one caseworker to cover the County with no direct County professional support; individuals are otherwise expected to visit the “RBL shop” in Aylesbury (Bucks) for help.
Regardless of a local Branch I am willing to help in providing welfare assistance and advice using my past experience of RBL and working for the Parachute Regiment.

In the event I would advise possibly discussing the situation with me (see above) and ultimately I would probably expect a SSAFA caseworker to be appointed who, if funding is required, will approach the R Signals Association (topped up by ABF) and possibly Airborne Forces Security Fund. Rarely will RBL get involved, exceptions may be to approach the RBL for debt/benefits advice but local CAB may be just as good.

I hope that helps.
Thursday 7 April2016 - Worcestershire

Webmaster comments   Please take a few moments to answer Craig's questions.

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