Back in March I received a letter stating the following “Air Commodore P Squires request the pleasure of the company of Mr S Mullis & Guest at the Sovereign’s Annual Reception to be held in the College Hall Officer’s Mess, RAF Cranwell.”
Why we got such an invite, I have no idea, but it would have been rude to refuse wouldn’t it??
So, suitably suited n booted, Julie Mullis & I travel up to Lincolnshire to enter the hallowed gates of Cranwell for the first time. So many of those invited were donning their chains of office from the various towns they represented in the county, after they pulled up in their snazzy sports cars etc., which they parked near to our grey van!!!
As we entered via the West Wing, the true splendour of the building became obvious. We were escorted into the Officer’s Mess and onto our hosting officer, the Deputy College Commandant, Group Captain Sean O’Connor. Sean was the gentleman who was unable to attend our AGM early this year, something he promised to rectify next year, if we still wanted him!!!
Air Commodore Peter Squires was doing the rounds & I had great pleasure in having a passing conversation with him. Also present at the reception was Ailsa Gough, our Area Director, whom I had met for the first time just a month previously plus Rachel Huxford, RAFA’s Director of Marketing and Fundraising.
Plenty of nibbles plus liquid refreshment were being served to the 150+ guests in the mess by the college stewards. Following a “short” speech by the Air Commodore, everyone retired, through the main college entrance, to watch the college band close the evening with a “Beating of the Retreat” and “Sunset Ceremony”. It had been hoped that there would be a flypast by a Spitfire of the BBMF but gusty winds unfortunately prevented that.
Cranwell Visit 8th June 2017
All in all a superb evening was had by all. The icing on the cake was an invite by Group Captain Sean O’Connor for a branch visit to the college in the future, an invite hopefully enough members will want to accept.
Photo shows Julie Mullis with Squadron Leader Dawn Colley