Poppy Prize

I’ve recently been reminded of an incident from about 23 years ago. I probably think of this every year around Remembrance Day because it makes me chuckle.

As a teenager I was involved with the Air Cadets, or rather the Air Training Corps as we were then known. My loyalty lies with 309 (Sawbridgeworth) Sqn of the ATC as that is where I spent a lot of my time from age 12 1/2 (not officially) to around 30 [with a couple of breaks]. I attended the 25th anniversary meal of the Squadron being formed and next year I’ll be attending the 30th anniversary!

During 1990 I did the usual house-to-house collection for my squadron around the town of Sawbridgeworth for the poppy appeal. We normally did this on parade nights the few weeks before November 11th. This particular year I also happened to be dating a member of 1096 (Bishop’s Stortford) Sqn and for a laugh I joined her squadron on their door-to-door collection as their parade night was different.

So, it turns out that I won some sort of trophy at 1096 Sqn for collecting the most money for their squadron. Even now it makes me chuckle. I guess simple things please simple minds. I can’t remember if I ever got a trophy or prize but I definitely won their competition.

Also, the estate where I was collecting was home to a Squadron Leader from the Wing Staff. I can’t remember his name (probably Ian, but that’s not a great deal of help), I’ll get in touch with some of my close friends, they’ll remember. Anyway, I was going through the process to get my Staff qualification and part of this required an interview. This Sqn Ldr was meant to interview me and so when I knocked on his door and he recognised me we held the interview there and then. I passed the examination.

Perhaps there’ll be more dim and distant memories recorded here soon!