Arthurs memories of RAF Cardington: 

“C H A P T E R 15

I Join the RAF and I am Posted to Cardington ….


The next morning at 8.00am I left the family home, after a tearful goodbye with my mother, and went to the corner of Moorfield Road and Bolton Road to catch the bus to Manchester. This was where I had caught the bus over the last ten years, on my way to the office and all sorts of things went through my mind - Was I doing the right thing? Or was I making a big mistake? It was then I remembered what my future would have been if I had stayed and I knew that I had made the right decision. I made my way to the Recruiting Office in Peter Street, and from there I travelled down to London with five other eager young men in their 'teens and early twenties, accompanied by a middle aged man in RAF uniform. On either arm, just above his sleeve were three interwoven letters 'PPR', which at a distance resembled a coat of arms, such as worn by a warrant officer. They stood for, we were informed, 'PAID PENSIONER RESERVIST', and it was he who acted as a travel courier with us on the journey.

We boarded the train at Piccadilly and I remember how during the journey , the poor man was bombarded with one question after another about life in the RAF. "Where were we going to now? How long was the training at the Recruit Depot? How long before we got leave? Had he served Overseas? What were the prospects for promotion?" These and dozens of other questions bombarded the poor man, right, left and centre. He must have been quite used to it and didn't mind in the least. He told us that he was doing this trip twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays. We were going to West Drayton in Middlesex, but he told us that this was only what was termed a Reception Depot and that we would only be there for one whole day and that we would be leaving for the Recruits Training Depot on Wednesday.

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