The Glorious 74th Entry RAF Halton Aircraft Apprentices (The Coronation Entry).

Andy's Story: Page 4.

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Life after Halton.

Andy and family settle in at RAF Wattisham.

Photograph: Head and shoulders picture of Michael Anderton.

[Photo: Wattisham 1982. AOC's Commendation presentation - Andy 2nd from right.]

Family life has always been important to me, but this can often be difficult when serving in the RAF. But sometimes one gets lucky.
Finally I got the posting I had always hankered for, RAF Wattisham, only 10 miles from the house that my mother had sold to me in a family deal. Up to this point I had served more time overseas than I had spent in the UK. But at Wattisham I settled down to 9 years of commuting daily to work from Bentley, a small village south of Ipswich.

I receive AOC's Commendations and Long Service Medal.

I worked in the Missile Servicing Flight, earned several AOC's commendations for my work and was appointed as the Site Supervisor, the most senior other ranks position below the Warrant Officer. I also earned my LS&GC medal during this period. Life was so much like being a civvy, one day, after I had been here for about 5 years, I dropped into my local for a pint on the way home. Several people looked at me and my uniform in disbelief saying "I didn't know you were in the RAF".

But the powers that be wanted to promote me to Flight Sergeant and post me to RAF Leeming in Yorkshire. Pauline and I decided for a variety of reasons, mainly for settled children's education, that I would leave the service and take up a new career.

The big move into Civvy Street.

Photograph: Man with a van looking at a notice in the countryside.

[Photo: Suffolk 1988. Andy civvy, Rights of Way Technician.]

Now not many people need a 47 year old plumber (armourer), but I managed to get a job with Suffolk County Council as a Rights of Way Technician helping to manage 3500 miles of footpaths and bridleways etc. My involvement in this type of work gave me the expertise to start writing walk articles for the local press. By the time I retired in 2000 I had written and had published five books of walks in Suffolk. After retirement I continued with this and have subsequently self published two more books of walks. I still write a walk a month for a local magazine and have recently had an article about a holiday on the canals accepted by Practical Boat Owner magazine.

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Andy Anderton (74th).

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