Civil Service Retirement Fellowship

PUBLISHED: 14:54 30 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:06 06 May 2010

Squadron Leader Ray Wood entertained the Shefford group this month, bringing out memories for those who had worked at the Henlow. Starting with the Doomsday Book, Ray brought the audience through to living memory via the 1603 plague and John Bunyan stuck

Squadron Leader Ray Wood entertained the Shefford group this month, bringing out memories for those who had worked at the Henlow. Starting with the Doomsday Book, Ray brought the audience through to living memory via the 1603 plague and John Bunyan stuck in a bog where the Bird in Hand is now. Opened on April 1, 1918, the Station Crest pre-dates the founding of the Royal Air Force. In the 1920's the base made and maintained aircraft and engines. The Pickle Factory and the Parachute Testing Unit made the complex a mass of industry by 1925. The famous railway line joined Bedford and Hitchin with the Oxford - Cambridge line and most of the country. The Henlow HATS Theatre was formed, starring many famous actors and actresses performing on its stage, it is open in a restricted form today. WW2 saw Spitfires and Hurricanes maintained and since then many units and agencies have been housed there. Lately, Thames Valley Police helicopter has joined the Gliding Squadron flying from Henlow, which also trains Air Training Corps personnel. The History of Henlow book is available and is being updated next year. Dennis Davis thanked Ray Wood and presented him with a bottle of wine. Pam Goodwin, wife of the late Commanding Officer Alan, who awarded Ray his Commission there, announced the groups birthdays for the month and those who are hospitalised. The November 21 meeting will be the Christmas Draw, with members asked to bring prizes.


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