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4136301 Ronald F. Opie.

Ron seen above during his training at RAF Chigwell wearing his best blue uniform.

The Association sadly reports the death of Ronald "Ron" Opie (1953 -1984) on Friday 1st February 2019.

Ron's funeral took place on Tuesday 19th February 2019 at Wallingford and secondly at St. Mary's Church, Hitchin, where he was intered with Margaret, his late wife.

2529236 Stephen Champion De Crespigny.

The Association sadly reports the death of Stephen "Champ" Champion De Crespigny (1952-53) on Saturday 18th May 2019.

Champ's funeral service was held at 12-00hrs on Tuesday 18th June at St.Deny's Church, Kelmarsh, NN6 9LY followed by a cremation service at Kettering Crematorium.
There was a meeting to celebrate his memory at Kelmarsh Hall after the services, refreshments were available.
Condolences can be sent to Alexander, Liz, grandchildren Adele, Thierry, Alex, and Caroline and long term dear friend of Tanya via e-mail :- or by post to Coachmans Cottage, Kelmarsh Hall, Kelmarsh, Northants, NN6 9LY.

2731795 Fred Holden.

The Association sadly reports the death of Fred Holden (1954-64) on Sunday 10th March 2019 following a fall on Friday 8th March 2019.
Fred's funeral took place at 11-30hrs on Wednesday 27th March at All Saints Church, Market Place, Market Weighton, YO43 3AL.
Following the service there was a meeting in his memory at the Bay Horse Inn, Market Street, YO43 3AN.
Condolences can be sent to his wife Jill and his family at 7, Northfield Road, Market Weighton, YO43 3DJ.

Tactical Communications Wing and 90 Signals Unit Memorial Service.

The annual Rememberance Service took place at the TCW & 90SU Memorial, located at the National Memorial Arboretum on Thursday 25th July 2019. The Ceremony remembered those members of the Unit(s) no longer with us and provided an opportunity for friends and colleagues past and present to pay their respects.

As in previous years, the families of those who are named on the Memorial were invited to attend as were those retired members of the RAF who served on either the TCW and/or 90 SU since leaving the service. Stones were dedicated to those who have died whilst in service since last years service and also to those who have died following their retirement from the RAF.
The event was followed by an informal social gathering at the George Hotel in Lichfield.

4185426 Dennis "Frenchie" Smith.

The Association sadly reports the death of Dennis "Frenchie" Smith (1956-1963) on Monday 21st January 2019.

Dennis's funeral took place on Friday 22nd February at 15-15hrs at the Ipswich Crematorium, Cemetery Lane, Ipswich, IP4 2TQ.

There was a gathering in his memory after the service at the Royal George pub,Colchester Road, Ipswich, IP4 4SR
Condolences can be sent to Dennis's family at 29, Lister Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 5EQ.


Riggers' Open Golf Championship 2019.
Friday 21st June 2019.
Rutland County Golf Club.

This year the event was organised by Dave Crooks and Dave Purvis and followed the usual format.

Following coffee/tea and bacon rolls on arrival (08-30hrs - 09-00hrs) there was a warm up event.
A short course, 6 holes, commenced at 09-30hrs.
There was a lunch break, sandwiches and chips, at 11-30hrs - 12-00hrs.
The 18 hole main course event commenced with the first tee off at 12-20hrs.
Following the main event there was a meal of ham, eggs and chips prior to the presentation of the trophies.

Winner of the 2019 Open Championship with 46 points.

Darren Smith.

Main Event.

Winner - Darren Smith - 46 points.
Runner Up - Ray Hobbs - 41 points.
Third place - Archie Stoddard - 38 points.
The Wooden Spoon - Steve Linstead - 20 points.
Longest Drive - Andy Turner.
Nearest the pin - Andy Turner.
Best Score on the Par 3s - Derek Martin and Darren Smith.
The 2s - Derek Martin and Darren Smith.

6 Hole Competition.

First place - Ray Hobbs.
Runner Up - Archie Stoddard.

A full report on the day's events will be published in the July edition of the Update.

10th Riggers' Reunion.
27th October 2018.
WO and Sgts Mess.
RAF Henlow.

A report on this highly successful event has been posted on the Events Page.


It has been announced that RAF Henlow, the ancestral home of all RAF aerial erectors, is to close by 2023.

Bawdsey Radar Trust.

Saving the World's First Operational Radar Station.

Bawdsey Radar has won Heritage Lottery Fund support for its Transmitter Block project.

Bawdsey Radar was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of 1.4m as part of a 1.8m project to conserve the Transmitter Block building on Bawdsey Manor Estate in Suffolk.
The Transmitter Block was built in 1938 and was a key building at RAF Bawdsey, the world's first operational radar station.
The major site construction work started in September 2016 and was completed by September 2017 allowing all visitors to once again explore and find out about this pioneering radar site.
The 2019 Opening times can be found the bottom of this page.

Change of Name.

It has been announced that as of the 15th November 2013 for "Aerial Erector" read "Communications Infrastructure Technician".

The Defence Discount Service.
The Defence Privilege Card.

The Defence Discount Service was announced by the Defence Secretary on October 7th along with the Defence Privilege Card. The Defence Privilege Card will allow members of the Armed Forces Community to save in stores, restaurants and venues by showing their Defence Privilege Card. This in turn will allow the Armed Forces, their families and Veterans to get recognition within their communities.
The Defence Privilege Card will be a valuable and tangible part of the nation's recognition and appreciation of the Defence Community. The Defence Privilege Card is seen as an important aspect in developing the Armed Forces Community Covenant in local communities across the UK.
The Defence Discount Service is asking businesses across the UK, nationally and locally, to accept the Defence Privilege Card as a discount card and reward the Defence Community with discounts within their stores. Companies can sign up for free and start accepting the Defence Privilege Card straight away. The Defence Discount Service company area allows businesses to get promotional material that lets the Armed Forces Community know that they accept the Defence Privilege Card.
The Defence Privilege Card has now been launched by the Prime Minister David Cameron.
The Defence Privilege Card is available to Serving Armed Forces - Regulars and Reservists, their Spouses/Partners, Veterans, Cadet Forces, MOD Civil Servants, War/ Service Widow(er)s or Bereaved Family Members and NATO Personnel in the UK.

Members of the association can now sign up and request a Defence Privilege Card which costs 4-99p for 5 years.
Further information and a downloadable application form can be found on the Defence Discount Service Website. A link to the Defence Discount Service website has been put on the Links Page.

Veteran's Badge Latest.

The United Kingdom Forces Veteran Lapel Badge is available free of charge to all men and women who served in HM Armed Forces.
The Veterans Agency, now known as Veterans-UK, has announced that all the earlier qualifing dates have now been dropped.
A copy of the Veterans-UK application form can be down-loaded from their website by using the link on our Links Page.

Bawdsey Radar Group.

Transmitter Block Opening Times 2019.

Every Sunday & Thursday from 11th April to 28th October.
Every Wednesday from 3rd July to 23rd September
Wednesday 23rd October.
Bank Holiday Monday's 22nd April & 6th & 27th May & 26th August.

Opening Times : 11-00 am to 4-00pm with last entry at 3-30pm.

Entry Fee: Adults 7-00. Children aged 5-18 1-00. Under 5's Free.
Defence Privilege card holders 5-00.
Concessions Over 65's 6-00.

Free Parking.


Special Visits can be arranged by E-mail to or by telephone (07821 162879) or by contacting Mary Wain (Chairman) 1, Whitehouse Cottage, Gulpher Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11 9RJ.

Further information can be found on the Bawdsey Radar Group website by using the link on the Links page.


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