How it all began...

Back in January 2002 I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email out of the blue from Roger Miller just to say "Hi" and renew acquaintance. Not only was I pleasantly surprised, but also relieved to learn that he wasn't chasing some long lost debt! However, after several email exchanges we thought it would be an idea to arrange some sort of 204th Entry reunion..... and thus was born the idea for this web site.

As things progressed we realised that a reunion would take time to organise, not least in tracking down everyone, and a good target date would be September 2005 which would be the 40th anniversary of that momentous occasion when we all boarded the waiting buses at Wendover Station for the very first time.

We then had the good fortune to be somehow contacted by Chris Curtis, which meant we now had a "leading light" from each trade: Roger (engines), Chris (airframes) and me, Mike Jackson (Elect/Inst).

It transpired that Chris also had experience in organising fairly large social events and was very willing to take on the mantle of "organising secretary" for the now up-and-running 204th Halton Reunion Society.

So now the task began -- how, in early 2002 do we go about tracking down 100 or so people who hadn't met each other for 36 years? Indeed, would they actually welcome being found? (unfortunately a few didn't!!). Obviously the internet played a major role -- when the 'net works well it's a marvelous tool.

Chris worked with someone who knew someone else who worked with an ex Halton apprentice; who in turn used to work with an ex-204 member... and so the chain began. In early November 2002 Chris and I met Dave Rundle for lunch at Wokingham. We all enjoyed this get together immensely, each recounting memories that were long forgotten by one or other of us, and it fired an enthusiasm to spread the 204th gospel with even more vigour. In fact Dave eventually got so good at rooting out members that we (affectionately) nicknamed him the "Witchfinder".

Group photo Feb 2003By February 2003, the date of our next meeting, we were also joined by Tez Whelan, Rae Herries, John Hodgson and Richard Utting (shown here); and our "discovered" membership had swelled to something approaching a dozen.

Fuelled with success we just knew this venture was about to take off so, as he showed such great mathematical acumen over settling the bar bill we put forward Rae as the Society treasurer. He of course was elected unopposed (except by himself!) but no amount of kicking and screaming had any effect. Then he turned around and demanded a fiver from each of for for 'subscriptions' (there's always a down side when giving someone power!). So, as with all things worthwhile in life, we now had a committee. Chris (Secretary), Rae (Treasurer), Dave (Membership), Mike (Web stuff)... I wonder if all organisations began with such grandiose self-appointments?

For the record the photograph shows L-R: John Hodgson, Tez Whelan, Heather Whelan, Carole Herries, Mike Jackson (me), Rae Herries, Dave Rundle, Nessa Curtis, Richard Utting, Chris Curtis.

"Where was Roger?" I hear you ask....... Good question indeed! Well, we've all met the guy who comes into a peaceful room, starts an argument, and then exits leaving those left behind to continue. Well THATS ROGER!
Seriously; Roger had other fish to fry and was quite happy to let the rest of us get on with it while taking a back seat himself. But let's not forget that none of this would have happened if it wasn't for Roger lighting that initial touch paper.

So, the 204th Reunion Society is now well and truely established. Was it worth it? You bet your life it was!

If you're an ex 204th member who's stumbled across this site by accident please come and join the party!