It was the summer of 1967 and I was in the processing section, in the ‘Factory’. 58 Sqn had just delivered some F52 magazines for processing. We had already warmed up the Type 12 and I went into the darkroom to transfer the film from the magazine into the cassette. The film was unloaded and spliced onto the leader. Lights out and proceeded to wind the film. Suddenly, in the darkness, I found myself being dragged down by the throat! I instinctively panicked, and flicked the light to the loading box on. My tie had got trapped between the spring loaded drive, I quickly disengaged myself and turned the light back off. This probably only took about 3 seconds but it was long enough for several feet of film to be ‘re exposed’! After completing my task I exited the darkroom to find that there were no NCO’s about to report my ‘near miss’ and being a typical teenager, promptly forgot all about it! Anyway, about 2 weeks later, Sgt Jim Stuart , our boss came in and started asking questions! Apparently, it was assumed to have been a camera fault but the repair bay had been unable to come up with any answers so fingers were now pointing at us. I should have kept quiet and left the APFRAS guys puzzled! Instead, I owned up, was charged and fined £5, over half a weeks pay at that time. I didn’t see the APFRAS report but I bet there was no mention of health and safety or concern that I had nearly been chocked to death by my tie!
My second story was a few years later, September 1975. I was on detatchment with 13 Sqn from Luqa, to Masirah. We were haveing a games night against the Turtle Club. After playing all of the usual games, crib, dominoes etc, it was drawing even. The decider was a game of darts, 1001, with about 20 guys in each team taking turns to throw 3 darts, Eventually both teams got down to a double 1. Neither team could get the elusive finish. After roughly 160 throws I finally got it! There was uproar and 13 Sqn were so elated the guys grabbed me and proceeded to throw me up in the air. I was halfway up when Lance White grabbed me and pulled me back down rather harshly. What everyone had failed to notice in their euphoria was that a rather large ceiling fan was spinning rapidly just above my head. It could have put a damper on what had been a great evening, although I doubt I would have known much about it! I therefore probably owe my life to Lance.