Arrived in Gan November 74, and after around 2 weeks decided I liked it so much I would sign on for an additional 4 months. Backfired a little when the blokes that had arrived with me legged it and I still had 4 months to go, but no regrets. Remember being frogmarched on arrival to the OC 6 SU's office for a 'pep' talk courtesy of WO Bert Geekie who was my WO in Masirah - he reckoned I had left under a dark cloud - I said that I was a reformed character and that my past was all behind me. I kept this up for 2 weeks until I stopped a fan with my head in the 180 club. Word got around and I was summonsed to OC 6 SU'S office again and the one-sided conversation went something like this:
I hear you have been stopping fans with your head Shipperley
The problem Shipperley, is that people are going to try and emulate you, and we don't want a load of little Kojak's running around do we?
At this point my eyes flick up to the top of the OC's head which is smooth and shiny - he registers this and jocularly says:
I hope you don't think that I have been stopping fans with my head Shipperley!!
Think his name was Fltlt Sawyer by the way.
Turns out he was right, a few weeks later a large Cook decided to have a go at the one in the Marine bar. He stood on a stool and just thrust his big head straight into it, the whole building shook and he came down like a giant redwood on to a table with bottles on it, the last I remember is him being wheeled away face down on a 2-wheeled trolley to the med centre with slivers of glass sticking out of his back.
Big party when a Navy ship visited, the Stn Cdr caught me p--sing up Laurie Salvoni's leg (he was on orderly corporal) the CO was dropping the ship's captain off the jetty in his car - He wound his window down an said to Laurie "that man there has character". Several weeks later we have a Gan fair and to generate a little cash Hodgy reckons that I should be in the "stocks" and everyone would pay to lob custard pies at me. The CO rolls up, pays his money and says to Hodgy "heap it up Corporal". Luckily, he was a lousy shot.
Bad day at black rock during the CSE show - Charlie williams the comedian reckoned "we're taking over you know" I shouted abuse at him (I'm not racist, honest) and all hell broke loose, I was evicted forcibly and attempted to hit the OC MCU with a flying bicycle. Spent the night in the guardroom following by a charge of threatening and abusive behaviour - ruined the night for a lot of blokes - after 30 years it's time I said sorry.
Sorry for what??
If you're talking about the Charlie Williams gig I think you deserve one of these - - for saving the rest of the audience from that Barnsley dumplin' ( KNOWARAMEEYANOWDLUV )
Your old mate.
Can't fault the bloke really - bumped into him walking round the Island and when I told him about my punishment he got his wallet out, cannot recall the amount or if I accepted it
It would have been a coin mate and not a big one either.
They're tight buggars in Barnsley, did you know that there are no kettles in that part of the country, I've worked in Barnsley for short spells (Thank God) and 'can you get a cup of tea' - not without either shaming them by asking for one or going out and buying one.
Your old mate,
We're not tight buggers in Barnsley we're friendly folk wi a smile on us face. Charlie Williams was from Donny any road.
Shipps, you're a POSB old git at the best of times, I'm sure you had a thing for Mac the Postie.
The OC MCU, a really nice bloke of Indian sub-continent persuasion, died a couple of years ago. I had the pleasure of writing to his family - now in South Africa, and sending them a large photo of all us MCU wallahs at the "Grand Pulling-Out" in '76. Still got it if anyone is interested, along wth a few others.
Frog racing in the MCU yard - ahh there's a thing.
What I've been after is the 365 day guide to Gan - aka the Gan chuff chart. Had stuff on it like ....
Day 243 - Sun definately going backwards now, very depressed. etc etc....
Met with Bill 'don't you dare beat me at squash' Edwards in Riyadh in '83 he's still playing and a nice bloke (for a Groupie). After spaking him at the aformentioned sport he remembered (or so he claimed) me AND one Nobby Shipperley. Then again who wouldn't? I learned all about fan stopping from you Nobs, a rare a most useful skill put to excellent use in places such as Jeddah, Al Khobar, Dubai and most famously the Royal Yaught Club in Hong Kong where I claimed no less a scalp as the club president himself. 3 stitches I believe. I do it now too but for the headaches.
All the best.
You've got me here Dave, what's the surname?? I did bump into Group Captain Edwards in a reunion in London maybe 1 or 2 years after the place closed - bit vague and not surprisingly there was'nt exactly what you would call a rapport between us. He'd wanted me off the island after the CSE show fracas, but I did think I caught the hint of a smile playing on his lips when he looked at me, or was it a grimace. I'd like to meet him again, now that I've grown up a bit and he could explain what saved me from 28 days in Cyprus. On the fan stopping front, my exhibition days are over but I have a lasting legacy in the shape of a balding pate.
i remember the fan scenario too well, I first came across it in Masirah, 1966, down the boat club. the guy I first saw doing this was believe it or not, the camp MO! Never tried it myself, too ******* or maybe not ****** enuff. That, along the dance of the flaming arseholes and bombers did a lot to help my 12 months go by, that and too much Tiger. Cheers, Willie.
Hi Nobby, you were sitting right behind me at the show and I remember you yelling at Charlie that you were the "Senior Man." I can confirm to other readers of the post that you said nothing racist at all. We siggies were right behind you, until you got lifted when it went all quiet around you for a bit. I got the comedian with the glasses to my show on Radio Gan on the overnight shift and we had some more laughs. Wish I could remember his name. Peter something or other so I guess he did not become as famous as Mr. Williams was. To the best of my recollection no offence was taken on the night by anyone around me and you then became the subject of gossip for days afterwards so no apology should be needed.
I saw far worse than that when I worked for NAAFI in Belize when some members of the MT unit there started throwing cans at the acts they did not like till the comic came back on. Mind you they were all pongoes there. Take care mate hope you are well.
Hello John, merry Christmas and all that. Actually that incident was tame compared to what happened one night in the Blue Lagoon. Maybe you heard about it, Hodgy and I and been over to the Sgts Mess - he had been playing the piano and I had been singing, if you can call it that. Anyway, there were aircrew present and they invited Hodgy and I over to the Blue lagoon for late drinkypoo's. I was already plastered and the situation was'nt helped by the fact that the Lagoon manager hated my guts - he was always chasing me off from hanging over the Blue Lagoon fence supposedly chatting to the kids, but actually leering at the women. This aircrew officer talked him into letting me in and then they got out the cochinelli/brandy and things went downhill fast. First of all there were two female Aqm's sitting between Hodgy and me - he was all suave and smooth personified but I informed the one next to me that I wanted to shag her senseless, overhead by the Lagoon manager, who then tried to throw me out. He was placated again by this aircrew captain and we all sat down again. Next though, I started to vomit, I managed to swallow it about 7 times, but pressure was building as evidenced by my grossly inflated cheeks with a thin jet emitting at something like 300 psi. The manager who had been growling at me all night saw what was happening and jumped to his feet, just as i burst forth all over the carpet. All hell broke loose, with the captain trying to stop the manager from punching my lights out. There were fists flying everywhere as we worked our way to the door, I got out unharmed, but Hodgy was taking all the punches protecting me from a hammering. Needless to say, I never stepped into the Blue Lagoon again until the day I left.
Sounds like a typical good night out Nobby, any chance of repeating it in Glasgow?...Gerry reckons youre a dead cert to do something similar.
Quiet as a mouse now Rod, although Gerry will be doing his level best to get me going at the end of March. I can't wait for the day, even though I don't know many of the people that will be there. I've used Christmas to have a few practice sessions and I found it was 4 or 5 pints before I started slobbering and slurring. I will be on my best behaviour in March. I'll be deliriously happy due to my retirement commencing on the same date - so it's a bit of a dual celebration. Really looking forward to it, see you then
Nobby you hero. Mick the Medic here..next bed Tengah transit block Singapore Tour and SMC Gan Sep 74 to Jun 75.
I have dined out on you for over 30 years mate and still cant help chuckling over many a scrape. You may recall that I blagged my way onto the footie tour of Singapore (rugby player but medic with large supply of condoms). I dont recall if you were with us THAT night in Boogie Steet when we ended up sitting under the tables as the Kai Tais and US marines exchanged pleasantries with the Black Watch or if you came to Bukatima later, I may have been a little tired by then. I was also a witness at the CSE, you were framed mate...best laugh I had on the Island other than when Jim Smith the Radiographer tried to hold my hand during the Exorcist!
Hello Mick, good to see you about. I have vague recollections of the football trip, but I can't remember you playing football at all. Can't imagine that I would miss out on a trip down Bugis Street. I remember walking down one of the streets off of Bugis and passing a dark doorway this hand snakes out and starts caressing my plums. I stood and enjoyed this for several minutes and then a car passed and the headlights shone onto this 80 year old wrinkled krone squatting in the door way with her gnarled hand on my todger and she was cackling like an old witch. My love of being fondled also cost me 50 singapore dollars in Bugis, as I arrived my mates and I were surrounded by kai tai's and they are running their hands all over us - I knew they were blokes but after 8 pints of tiger they look bloody gorgeous, anyway one of em lifted my 50 bucks so that was my short time johnny out of the window that night. Another night in Bugis and I'm separated from my chums and end up sitting with a couple of mateloes - we get ****** and a couple of hours later these two are exchanging meaningful glances, next minute they start gobswapping across the table from me - I was only 18 at the time and could'nt believe it. On Gan, we're having a bit of a do, you can picture it, beautiful night and sunset and I am sat talking to a snco who will remain nameless, I am having one of the few serious conversations during my time out there and we notice that everybody has moved on to the barby area and we are last to move. We're walking down the verandah of my block and this snco slips his arm under my armpit, lifts me physically off the deck and sinks his tongue down the back of my throat, my head is rotating and I am in deep shock - he must sense my lack of response and lowers me to the ground and we continue walking and talking as though nothing has happened. Hodgy in the exalted rank of corporal had his own room at the end of the block and I was always trogging down to see him, I caught him unawares one day in a flagrant act of self abuse. I could'nt believe the speed he was going and when I burst in, his hand slipped off and he nearly knocked himself out. Years later, he admitted towards the end of his tour that he had started to dread the sound of my flip flops coming down the verandah as it meant that I would be dragging him out on the pee again. We're still close mates and are going back to Gan in May.
Good to hear from you Mick.
Ah Nobby the good old days. Lets start in Glasgow with some good new days and nights. Maybe we can create a few "new" stories for the grandchildren. !!!!
Caanne wait to sleep with you in our room... Again !!!!!
Thirty years can change a man. !!!!
See you in Glasgow and will put some directions on this site when I get back from holiday on 22nd.
I don't think you'll fancy my frankenstein **** Gerry, after 5 hip operations it looks as though its been removed and sewn back on again.
I've got a Mountain rescue reunion this weekend at Hope in the peak district which will prepare me nicely for Glasgow.
Shame to hear about Ron Taylor, I was looking forward to meeting him after reading all his ditties these last few months.
Speaking to Larry on the phone last night and asking him for tips on my trip back to Gan in May and he was querying the lack of meeting arrangements for Glasgow.
Enjoy your hol's
Your Nob xxx
Hello Nobby & Co. its ok my shorts, socks and chuka boots have dried out now, u are known in my circles as slasher shipperley!!!
amazed to note this site is in existence (thanks webmaster) and even more that folks are returning to the island for visits, thought you would have had enough of the place!!!
found completely by accident after somebody searching for me on google asked "why was a guy ******* over my leg in the Indian Ocean!" what the f.... I says - searched and sure enough there it was and the memories came 'flooding' back!
keen to hear from you all.
I also note about the Blackpool reunion next month - does anybody have an idea of expected attendance numbers? Was meant to be elsewhere those dates but willing to change if needs must, flexible as ever - it was that that got me into so much ruddy trouble on the island!!
Since leaving the RAF I regularly visit Sharjah, Muharraq (Bahrain) and once to Masirah back and forth to Kuwait over the next couple of weeks (all on business) suppose life is treating Linda and I ok at present - long may it continue'inshallah!!'
lets hear from you guys - always pick up emails while away.
warmest regards to you all.
I have a picture of your pit (next to mine..I should have been given a medal) at Tengah on the football tour circa Jan? 75. Other than various empty Tiger bottles, lying there is the only pair of shreddies you took for the weeks tour. You may recall that I handed out 'sheaths personnel protective aka forget me nots' and penicillin on the nightmare Britannia journey into a force ten all the way to Singapore. Where you with us in Boogie Street the night the riot started with the Blackwatch and the USS Enterprise matelots?
I was sat 4 seats away from you at the CSE show with Bunny Bowring from the Med Centre..what a fooking night that was.
Cheered me up no end this has...Mick
Thanks Mick, now everybody in the world knows that I was a grubby little git. Actually, I change my underpants once every other week now. I do remember Bugis Street, but I was too busy fondling the Kai Tai's to notice the Black Watch - funny thing is I can't remember the football - which is why we were there of course. How did you manage to get on the tour in the first place? I don't remember you being twinkle-toe'd and fleet of foot.
Can this be the Laurie Salvoni I knew from Stanbridge way back in 1965? Ex 51st Entry sprog?
HI there, yes tis I, - dont owe you any money do I?
seem to recall collapsing on your new electric guitar one night when sloshed - is that the same SAC Dunlop?
Plus - was it you who was with me when I smashed my newish mini van at the lights in Wolverhampton? if so you will hear from my solicitor!! oohhh that hurt!
Well I wasnt Wayne Rooney but I did a bit on the wing..the fact I was the only medic didnt do me any harm and after the game against the ANZACS under lights at Tengah my career took a nose dive big time. I actually ended up playing Rugby (my first love) for the rest of my career captaining Halton and Wegberg to amazing mediocrity..
Im now Chief Exec of a Software company but still remember my nine months with great fondness..well most of it.
Hodgy remembers you well Mick, he reckons you had the biggest calf muscles on Gan after him. Perhaps we ought to arrange a mini-reunion sometime - whereabouts are you now anyway?
I had another bolt from the blue last night, a certain George Lavery has e-mailed. He might have been slightly before your time as he was there from sep 73, an irish chap almost as good looking as me and one of the old bustling type centre forwards at football. He's retired and lives in Ireland now, but I am going to try and entice him over for a visit. He says he remembers you as well Lawrie (who doesn't) and wants me to pass your contact details on to him, ok?
Hi Folks, greetings from Kuwait - just arrived, but thank gawd only here for a few days, yes by all means pass on my details,I have answered Willie Dunlop with a direct email but I really am having probs trying to put faces to names and vice versa, poor old bugger!!!!
here till Thursday then back to UK for a few days and then guess what - yep back to Kuwait for a week, will I never learn!!!!
Also saw the name Dunlop on the Aden Veterans Association or similar, help me out please guys!!
please keep in touch folks. kindest regards
If you're having trouble putting a face to my name Lawrie, think Brad Pitt or George Clooney and you won't be far off. George Lavery has sent me a recent piccy of himself, browned off that he still has a full head of hair although it look a little snowy. I have a motley collection of snaps from what looks like a 5-a-side do and taken with a kodak brownie - Dennis Regan is on there with Ian Desotto. The snaps of you and I involved in drunken capers are in black and white *** greyscale and probably won't scan too well. The one where I am pulling down the back of your underpants will probably affect my Civil Service security clearance if posted - Phil Stansfield is in the background along with the bearded Dermot whatshisname.
G'day there Lawrie
You may not remember me, but I am Willie Dunlop's partner in crime (tiddly tuesday parade)
On D watch Stanbridge with Ron Egleton, Monty Staddon.
Sounds like a great idea, I live in Surrey but work all over Europe and I'm often in our Birmingham Office. Send me an email to email@example.com and we will organise something, it would be great to re-live things over a beer or three.
Hi Ron, Willie and Brad Pit (alias Nobby)
you always were iffy with the truth Mr Shipperley. likewise lots of black n white snaps, but always sloshed on them, anybody would think thats all we had to do on the island!!!!!
Phil Stansfield was bumped into on a cross channel ferry a few years ago, he is (or maybe was now) a prison officer. (his address available if required)
Ron, the name - as ever - is familiar, not too long ago I could rattle names off, however, having some senior moments just lately - but still have a full head of hair!! (thought I would get that in).
I know that the blackpool event may not be everybodys idea of a good venue but we must get together shortly to share stories and have a good laugh at our ridiculous, crazy but enjoyable antics. Due back in UK on Thursday morning so I must be 'humpers' tomorrow!!!!
Right Lawrie, have sent 3 incriminating photi's to Taff Small for promulgation on the site - dunno how long that will take. You are holding a tankard in one of 'em, so I assume its your gozomy do. We're all a--eholed and it looks like we've split more beer than we consumed. This could spell the end of your company!!
You will also be humpers on Thursday night!!!!
We did the same systems course at Stanbridge
Does that help ??
good grief you guys must have INTEL processors for brains, yes I do remember doing the systems course and the name is embedded in my little grey cells, no doubt we will meet up one day and discuss, what are you doing emailing at this time of day anyway??
at least here in Kuwait its 0930 (doing a training course) in true mid east fashion the delegates have dispersed for a 15 minute breakfast - one hour ago!
Those piccies I referred to earlier are on the site now Lawrie, under the 74-75 grouping - I have just sent some more in, so they should be up shortly. Not too many scenic shots in my portfolio apart from a few aerial's
Shipperley my son nice to see you finally got around to posting some pics on the site. Notice you managed to get old Derm in one or two of them. wonder what happened to him. also the guy with specs in a picture with yourself. i think he was out in Hong Kong when i went for a couple of weeks R & R BACK IN 75 bu cannot for the life of me remember his name