Foreword to 'No Cousin of Mine' by John Noakes*, probably the most famous of all the presenters of the Blue Peter programme

*John Noakes and the author were part of a close group of friends who formed part of the ground crew of Number 256 Royal Air Force night-fighter squadron serving as part of the Second Tactical Air Force in Western Germany and share many memories of that period..

A chance meeting in Mallorca, brought Derek and I together again after more than fifty years.  It was very pleasant to meet up and although our paths had never crossed again in civilian life it was nice to reminisce, over a glass or two of red wine, about our time in the RAF and especially the time we had been with 256 Squadron at Alhorn.  At this reunion he made no mention of writing a “book” and as people do when they have shared experiences we merely sat and chatted about those things, which stood out in our minds…a trip down memory lane ….taking us back to the early 1950s.
They say, and I think it was once a book title ”Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be”…..but in all honesty I think I can say having read Derek’s book that  “Nostalgia is alive and well”.
Even for those who weren’t personally involved, it’s a good read and tells a story of those less sophisticated post-war years when the whole world seemed to be looking forward and young Junior Technicians felt anything was possible.
Thanks Derek for reminding me of those days. They weren’t all bad!


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