I worked for BCAL from 1981-1988 - started in Reservations and then moved to CRC - best job I ever had ! - I ended up moving over to BA at LHR/Waterside and worked in Revman / Pricing and then sales - spent 2 and a half years in Singapore which was good but then came back to the UK - I left BA last August and taking a gap year or two while I work out what next to do! Would be great to hear from anyone who knows me
Glynne and Alison Tucker (nee Randall)
What a great website, we've only just been informed about it. I joined BUA in 1970 in Passenger Services and survived the merger with Caledonian Airways. In 1972 I transferred to the Ramp to become a Load Controller and then a Redcap. I'm still working at LGW for BA as an Aircraft Dispatcher. Ally joined BCAL in 1974 as a secretary for Ken Wolstenholme in the Sports and Special Events Department and transferred to the Ramp as a Load Control agent in 1976. For the following three years she shared a house in Crawley with 2 BCAL air hostesses, Biddy Geoghan and Linda Martin. We have some great memories of BCAL and look forward to hearing from any old friends.
Pippa Turner 12/07/10
I joined in March 1977 and still flying on BA jobshare up till this day - 33 years later!, but just not the same!! From those great days when we used to go to Map Patel's camp in Zambia on Lusaka trips, I continued helping him until 2005 when they sub-let Lufupa Lodge, Shumba Bush Camp and Kafwala, so I decided to start my own small safari bush camp in the Kafue National Park in 2006. Myself and 2 Zambian partners run it (I am there every 4 weeks as am on jobshare) and would be very happy to hear from any old BCAL mates. Anyone wanting to come on safari from BCAL, will get the BA staff rate for old times sake! Have a look at the pictures on www.kafuecamps.com or just drop me a line for a chat.
Pat Turpin July 2005
Sadly Pat passed away in July 2005. Although she had not enjoyed the best of health for some time, Pat always maintained her spirit, cheerfulness and wonderful sense of humour. She was a dear and very loyal friend, Janet Edland [nee Hagate]
Pat's original entry
I Joined Caledonian in 1966. Worked with a great bunch of people and have many very happy memories. People I remember include, Ellen Flynn (nee Latimer), Gordon Pragnall, Norman Craven, Collette Wilson, Claudette Law, Tom Morman, and Frances who married Jimmy Stevens.
Joy Twigg (Nee Smith)
Just found out about the site - it's really good. I joined BCAL in 1972 and flew until 1986 leaving as CSD with baby no. 2 on the way. Loved flying and had a wonderful career. Lots of memorable trips and parties! I'd love to hear from any ex working colleagues.
I worked in Passenger Services at LGW from 1977 - 1982 and have some great memories. Moved out of the airline industry in 1983 but remained within the travel industry in various forms. I moved out to Dubai in 2005. Love to hear from anyone who remembers me.
Tony Roper Sadly we learn that Engineering's Tony Roper passed away early in 2011.
Linda Roscoe (nee Houston)
I worked in passenger services at JFK in the seventies but probably most people would know me as Tom Houston's wife. He was in Ops and/or Station Manager in New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, then at Glasgow and finally in Lusaka. We divorced a few years ago and I have since remarried. However, I made a lot of friends over the years and still keep in touch (amongst others) with John Harrison, Anna Reilly in YYZ, Mike Kidd who lives in San Hose, CA and I also bumped into Rohan Alce. It never fails to amaze me what a small world it is. I am now living in Spain.
What a great Company BCAL was...still miss those wonderful days...worked in Passenger services at LGW and moved to the ticket desk until that sad day!!!...Lots of happy memories. My father George also worked at CLAT and also my uncle Dave.....for me it was a real family airline....would be great to hear from anyone who remembers me!!....I am still at LGW with BA.....Flight Connections and Sales.. Best Wishes...and what a great website!! Lee
Ruth Rose (Nee Lazenby)
My name was Ruth Lazenby (then Roberts, now Rose) joined B-Cal as junior stewardess in September 1978 left in June 1986. Was on Ab Initio with Sue Carne, Leonora Giannandrea, Mark Wilcox, Bill McNab and more! Was lovely to see how many people have joined and remember quite a few names - Tony Roberts in Crewing, Graham Crewe, Phil Sinnott, Janice Friend, Avril Milne etc. Still keep in touch with Brian (Our Brian) Clarke from Liverpool who now he knows about the website will probably put in his own entry. Now own and run a Bed and Breakfast near Southampton with my (latest husband!!) and two daughters and small son. Would love to hear from anyone who remembers me!
Jacqui Ross (Now Huxford)
I flew for B-CAL from 1971 to 1975, it really was the best time ever, I have many happy memories. I married Syd Welch in 1974 (Ground Staff) but we later parted company, Roy Dodd was the best man. I remarried but my husband died 5 years ago I have 2 children and live in Wales where I worked in a school as a Careers Adviser, until recently, the students were very impressed that I used to be an Air Hostess and it gave me a lot of 'Street Cred'. I am now the Careers Adviser for children with Special Needs for Powys, I am still in touch with Mauren and Mike Booth but would love to hear from anyone who was around 71/75. Especially anyone who came to my wedding in Lincoln in 1974
Les Ross BCAL Apprenticeship 1973-1977. Great web page
John Rouse 07/01/14
It is with sadness we learn that John passed away early in the New Year. Our sincere condolences to John's family, friends and former colleagues. John worked in BUA Load Control as a Supervisor and later moved over to Ops Control as Ops Duty Officer. After retiring he lived in Spain before returning to the UK.
‘Rousey’ was one of the many real characters of BUA Load Control. His quips were legendary - one of the more memorable (and repeatable) ones I can recall was his oft-stated remark whenever he needed a ‘comfort break’ was “If anyone wants me, I’m in twap 2” recalls Jon Theobalds.
John first joined the Royal Navy (possibly to do National Service). He claimed that most of his time was spent playing football at which he became very proficient, eventually playing for the RN at the top level !
His father, Ted, worked for Transair at Croydon and it seems that John joined him there (prob circa 1958-9) and with several other long time stalwarts from there moved to Gatwick in 1960 at the very beginning of Freddy Laker’s BUA to Load Control doing loadsheets for the burgeoning airline. He rose to become a ‘two ringer’ supervisor, then moved into Operations as Duty Officer. Within BCAL John was eventually placed on the overseas stations list, serving in Lusaka, Zambia and on his return to LGW was made a ‘GOCON’ (Gatwick Operations Control Officer). After the demise of BCAL John worked for Gambia Airways (circa 1980-82), helping to promote tourism to the West African country.
Moving to Spain in his retirement, John enjoyed proximity to Dave and Cherry Perkins, and Dave Ridgway, creating a small ex BCAL ‘enclave’ around the Torrevieja region.
He returned to the UK some 5 years ago but slipped ‘off the radar’ and he enjoyed his own company living in a retirement home in the Crawley area.
Thank you for this opportunity to rekindle those happy days working with BCAL. I began in May 1975 with MT as a transport driver and soon after I was lucky enough to be chosen to drive the Mobile Sales Unit under secondment to the publicity department for a few years, which meant that I got to meet and work with so many truly wonderful people from UK and European out stations. It did not take me long to realise just how great BCAL was as it was all the staff that I met that made it great they were just awesome, this was BCAL at its best and I soon felt that I belonged here. I suppose my claim to fame must surely be my experience at one of the many Golfing Lions events that I had to attend, when I witnessed Sir Adam, Brian Barnes and several others including heads of states on stage performing that well known rugby song, "swing low sweet chariot", with the appropriate gestures, now!!!, Sir Adam swore me to secrecy about that "so,,, DO NOT TELL ANYONE I TOLD YOU OK. Thank you Sir Adam, God bless you and thanks for allowing me into your BCAL family.
Peter Rowe (From Irene Rowe)
Peter was originally a Red Cap at LGW then EDI. Peter worked for Saturn and American supplemental for a while - then after we got married (Peter's friend and best man was called Tony Realff); Peter then went into airfreight where he stayed until his death in 1993. We spent two years in Kuwait in Airfreight.
As for me, I worked in the city office of BUA in Glasgow - then transferred to flying at Gatwick with BUA in 1968. Left to go to fly for BOAC about the merger of Caledonian and BUA. I was a Miss Scotland for BUA and attended the BUA Ball at Derry and Toms Rainbow Room I recall in about 1967 or 1968 - what memories! Our eldest son is a Senior First Officer with BA on 747s; Peter would have been so proud. His brother is in admissions for Universities and very much like his Dad!
Very good website ...brings back old memories. Worked for BUA from Sept 1969, then BCAL after merger and finally for BA after take over. Now working for BAA Gatwick.
Eddie Rumsey 01/06/13 updated email
Joined Caledonian Airways in late 1969 based at Gatwick as a loadmaster on Britannia's 312/314 aircraft also on B707-320C's before finally working in load control British Caledonian. Moved to Monarch Airlines where I spent the remainder of my aviation career. Retiring after 28years in their service. Based in Berlin,Canary Islands and finally became their base manager in Manchester.
I often reflect on my years based at Gatwick and consider it a privilege to have worked with so many wonderful people and such a great airline. Now retired and living on the west coast of Scotland, enjoying life but unfortunately playing golf badly.
Like so many of the entries on the site I came across this following an article in the National Press and what memories it brings back, so many names I remember, Bunny Mason, Capt Hack, Finlay Jones, Peter Nettlefold, Mike Pettit, Lyn Povey, Roy Sexton, Tony Cocklin, Colin Stovel and especially Pino Torricelli at Glasgow where we were both young Traffic Officers in the late 60's with BUA. I moved to PIK to help start the trans-Atlantic scheduled flights as a Duty officer and also spent time overseas on relief duty as Station Manager in Bahrain and Tunis and was just about to take over at Nairobi when I was made redundant in the big cut of 1974. However that never took away my love of BCAL and aviation and they were indeed the times remember not just with a smile but a big grin at all the memories and all the wonderful colleagues I worked for 7 years. Changed professions and went into HR now work for an International construction consultancy and get to fly round our world wide network but no airline does it the way BCAL did. Kind regards to all who may remember me.
Andrew Rusack Worked for Caledonian/BUA in Edinburgh
Brian Russell Joined Cale LGW 1969. God we had some fun didn’t we? Homesick for all those wonderful days and people. Overseas since 1980. Now in Canada.
With BCAL from 1973 to 1988 at Gatwick and overseas - delighted to find out about the web site as I have been trying to find out about any reunions. I spent the time since leaving BCAL in the Caribbean and am now back in the UK so would love to hear from any former colleagues. BCAL was the best!
John Rutherford 26/07/14
Started in the Ramp in 1968 and went on to work in Operations and after the so called buy out with BUA did Operations, Ramp and Catering.Made redundant from XL Airways in 2008 and worked part time as night porter in a local hotel. Retirement has now arrived (07/2014) and all things be equal I will go and live in the Pacific North West USA, where I have some business interests. Always remember working from the South Pier and then across to the North, happy days.
John D. Ryder
It is with sadness we hear that Captain Ryder passed away peacefully on Thursday 25th October 2012, our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends at this difficult time. John's service was held on 12th November at the Surrey & Sussex Crematorium.
Rachel Sadler I was a member of Cabin Crew - British Caledonian Airways - Just the best
Monika Sait (now Fidgeon)
BUA Portland House 1966-1969. BUA Dusseldorf 1969-1970, BUA /BCAL LHR Interline Unit 1970-1978. Still in touch with Joanna Grant, Jan Shorts, Heather McConnell from LHR days.
Chrissie Samuel (nee Garcia)
What a super surprise! A site just for BCAL and to honour Sir Adam Thomson; wonderful idea, well done. Yes, I remember all those trips to South America. Garlic chicken on the beach in Las Palmas, spinach in Rio! I was a stewardess from 1969 - 1984. Working on six different types of aircraft, including the Vickers Viscount in 1969 as a temporary job and stayed for 15 years!!! Anyone remember those days? Lizzy Lievens - now Johnson and Rowena Cherry say hi - both living in the USA. Those were great days and it brought a smile to my face just remembering. Thanks. BCAL was the BEST! I can still get into my kilts!!
Mel Sanders 11/02/13
After serving 9 years in the RAF working on such aircraft as the Jet Provost, Argosy and the Vulcan bomber I came to Gatwick in early 1967 and joined Transglobe Airways as a ramp engineer working on Britannias and Canadair CL44s after the demise of TG at the end of 1968 I joined Caledonian Airways in early 1969 working along side a great team of engineers the likes of Taff Jones, Gerry Mulhearn, Pete Aplin, George Cooper, Tom Scott, Paul Milne, Charlie Hilton, Ian Barber, Jimmy Steven and many more. I remember the great times on the Hadj in Benghazi and Jeddah, 4 day crew training trips to Seville, Prestwick and Shannon, and many trips down route on AOGs.Whilst on a course at Toulouse for the Airbus A310 we had the opportunity to spend many hours on air tests on "Whisky Tango" doing stalls, engine shut downs,and maximum altitude flights,what an experience!
After the merger with BA the spirit seemed to go out of the airline, I managed to get early retirement at the end of '97, after a year i missed the buzz and friendships made at Gatwick so joined Das Air Cargo as a part time ramp engineer teaming up with many ex. BCal engineers working on 707s and DC10s, four of them ex BCal aircraft converted to freighters; Das Air folded in April 2006 so retired again. For my sins I'm now chairman, treasurer and chief bottle washer of the BA retired staff association at Gatwick where most of our members are ex.BCal, I'm also on the committee of 2530 (Uckfield) Squadron of the Air Training corps and I help out at the annual Shoreham Battle of Britain airshow, so I'm still involved in aviation in a small way.
Roy Sanders 01/04/13
Similar career to my cousin Mel, RAF to Civil Aviation. Went to BOAC in 1969, too much like the RAF so left and joined Dan-Air. Three great years flying Comet 4s with the start of the international tourist and charter flights, the perfect apprenticeship for flying jets and seeing Europe before it was spoilt by tourists. To expand my horizons to the rest of the world I then joined Donaldsons Airways to fly B707s as Dan-Air decided to operate the B727. A new experience dawned flying all sorts of loads from animals to passengers with freighters, hadjs and with other airlines. During that period I was fortunate enough to meet some of the greatest hand-on flyers I have ever had the privilege to be crewed with. Real aviators and pioneers of jet aviation who I was pleased to have as my mentors whilst travelling to parts of the world, not visited, even today by major carriers. Before joining BCal, a short spell and new experiences with Iraqi Airways visiting east communist satellite countries behind the iron curtain before it was open to the western airlines.
BCal, it's all been said before, but for me it was 15 years of great experiences and fun with a growing major airline and meeting some of the loveliest and charming ladies one could ever wish to know. Not to leave out some of the most unforgettable male characters who donned the BCal uniform who also made life so interesting. Fun flying, great routes, a new aeroplane and training on the DC10 at Dallas followed with more fun. Unfortunately all too good to last?
Back to BA (new name for BOAC) and only 6 places below on the seniority list where I was years before. Nothing had changed, same complaints from the crews about their life being controlled by BA, Managers only interested in protecting their own self-preservation by producing non-thinking robots. Enough said, just please to now be retired. I believe having one of the most fascinating times with some of the best airlines in British aviation from the birth of mass jet transportation discovering the world before it was spoilt by tourism.
To the many people, too many to name individually, who have made my life one of most wonderful experience both good and bad to you all. Thank you for the memories.
Joined as avionics apprentice in 1974 and stayed until 1980. Most enjoyable 6 years I ever had! Be good to hear from anyone in my year and anyone else that knows me. I well remember Ron Gunner and Arnie Shead … awesome but effective! What about Buck Ryan - such a great man. Never got a ghoster (but didn’t really want to either!). My one regret is not commandeering of the blue/yellow overalls - I really liked them for some strange reason.
Tony Sanderson-Miller 30/06/15 New Entry
I joined BCal in March 1978 as an Instrument Mechanic and left in 1990 as an Avionic Supervisor going to Haeco in Hong Kong for two and a half years, and then on to Perth, Australia. The people at BCAL were some of the best in the business and it's sad to see so many have now passed away. I will always have fond memoirs of my 12 years at LGW.
John Sartain (Engineer) 12/04/15
Sadly we learn that John, aged 65, passed away over the weekend 14/15th March 2015, our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and former colleagues at this time. John's service was held on 17th April and details can be found here. John Remembered.
Paul Sawyer 01/10/10
Came across site when browsing one Sunday afternoon, I have spent the last 4 hours very enjoyably reading entries from people who I knew, so I thought I should add my own. Worked on the ticket desk at Gatwick for many years, having joined from another airline. Decided to wean myself off of shift pay and plentiful overtime and joined sales and marketing at Caledonian House. First Interline sales exec, then special development exec, pricing & commissions manager, anyone remember all the under the counter deals and paybacks we had to do to get around IATA pricing, it’s laughable now.
Then sales Manager - Europe, left to join Alan Dellar at Jetset, just before the takeover. Spent 10 years running a tour operator for someone else in Liverpool, but living in North Wales. Still live there but run my own tour operator from offices in the grounds, specialising in walking holidays. Married to Debbie (nee Green), we met when both on secondment to Heathrow from Gatwick, she was on Airlink. We have one son. Disappointed that I missed the last marketing reunion, hope to make the next one! Would be nice to hear form old colleagues.
I came from Germany and I was at BCAL as a volunteer 1979. I had the opportunity during my language-study in England to "have a look in"! I know BCAL as well. This Flight-Company was a "Diamond in the Sky" and all Members are based at LGW. Everyone who worked for BCAL they were very proud! (Me too!). During my short-time (2 weeks) I learned different ways to work.
Some workplaces I looked in on were Ticketing & Sales, Cabin Crew Recruitment Department, Crew Planning Department, Check-in, Catering and the Maintenance Department. I never forget the man (I don`t know his name) from the Crew Planning Department, he was very proud to work for BCAL. He was "wonderfull" he "talked and talked" and the time went very quickly. Really, I never forget these times! I learnt lots and took good memories of this legendary airline home.
Jim Scotland 20/03/15
Wow, what fantastic memories, joined BCAL in 1975 at EDI in PAX Services, then moved to LGW Ticket Desk in 1979. Stayed there through thick and thin (and belive me sometimes it was pretty thin) until the "End". Have worked for many airlines since but nothing compares to BCal. Have recently returned to my roots and I am working for BMI at EDI. Still miss the old days, remember Saturday mornings on the Transfer desk!!! I wish we could all be Caledonian Girls again.
I worked in the Pricing Dept.with David Richardson, Nick Mercer, Peter Barry, Richard Worall, Nick Coleman and Peter Kenworthy during a university placement for 6 months. The experience of working with such a fantastic group of people led me to deciding to return only to be thwarted by the BA takeover. I can’t believe the respect and friendliness shown to a student on a placement. Would have loved a career with BCal but still stayed in the industry which is mainly due to my experiences at Cally House. Great site and I do have a copy of the last fare book sent to the travel agent with a tear in the Lions eye !! Great memories from a short but very sweet experience.
Marion's funeral was held on 24th August 2011. Marion was born in 1935 and was a senior cabin crew member and flew with Caledonian between 1962 to 1965 (ish). Later, and in partnership with her husband (married name Goodchild) and another, went on to be a successful operator in the catering and restaurant business.
Brian Seares 26/04/14 (alternate email here)
I joined B.U.A in 1961 as a flight engineer on the Britannia fleet. I retired in 2001 from Virgin Atlantic. Forty years doing a job I loved. My career took me through Caledonian,British Caledonian, B.A. and Virgin. Great aircraft like the Britannia, B.707, D.C.10 and the 747 classic. Enjoyed every minute with the exception of my time with B.A. (bad attitude). Been retired ten years now and all is well.
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If you would like an entry in the Guestbook, please just email your entry, and I will upload it.
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Updated - 30th June 2015
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Fiona Searle (Now Voice)
What memories - I joined on my 17th birthday and left at the age of 24 - miss it dreadfully. I am now out of the airline industry and working P/T as HR Officer for a stationery supplier. Great website - brought back happy memories. Will try to come to the next re-union
Dave Selby 20/03/15
My father is called David (Dave) Selby and worked for BCal, he was in cargo revenue for b-cal Gatwick anyone remember him? Anyway main reason is he has a set of b-cal cufflinks and is very upset that he has lost one have been searching the internet to see if I can get hold of another set as a present for him...but have had no luck yet! If anybody remembers him or knows where I can purchase a set of these cufflinks, please drop me a line
Roy Sexton 29/03/14 Worked at Caledonian from 1969 - Nov 1970, then BCal till 1984, worked in publicity with Tony Cocklin.
Sadly we learn that Ron passed away recently in Brighton, our condolences go out to his family and friends. Ron was with BCal for many years at Gatwick in G.P.U. Ron's service is to be held at the Surrey and Sussex Crematorium (near Gatwick) on Thursday 5th May. Ron is survived by daughter, Julie, and his wife, Dot.
Joined as an aircraft maintenance apprentice in 73 and stayed to the end. Went to Wardair and subsequently Canadian Airlines in Toronto; now living in the US. It’s good to see some of the old names again on this site. The photos bring it all back and they really were great times.
Roy Shaw 29/06/13 I was with Caledonian and then BCal for 20 years, cabin crew, as a “chiefie” in the cabin. Now living in Rustington W.Sussex
I joined Caly 1969 before we took BUA over, I worked on config based in the beehive. Then I went onto ground equipement ending up as a ramp supervisor.Then i was belt D.O.for a while, then onto inbound baggage on the IAB that went on until BA took us over. I then co-run speedbird couriers until taking early retirement in 1992, but I enjoyed every day of it.
I worked for BCAL at LGW from 1978-86 in Passenger Services on check in and then on the ticket desk. I've only just discovered this site and have seen many names that bring back memories. We have retired to Brisbane but I still have great memories of working for BCAL. Best wishes to anyone who knows me. Thanks for a great site.
Patricia Sheldon (Gray) 18/03/14
I was on the ground staff at Gatwick and worked in the Clansman Lounge, where it was a joy to come to work. I joined in 1977 and left in 1981 to marry an American and to go and live in Tokyo, Japan. After 8 years we moved to London and then Dubai. I have been in the USA for almost 20 years now and am a US citizen. I have recently remarried (to an Australian) and still continue to travel. I live in Maine, a beautiful State, have my own company and look after my mother, who moved here 4 years ago at age 92!
Dan Shepard Caledonian House in 1986 was an adventure in itself for a young American - the best two years ever.
Captain Rex Shilton
It is with sadness we learn that Rex passed away on Friday 12th June 2009. Our sincere condolences to Rex's family and friends.
Rex was part of the flight crew on BCal’s inaugural 707 flight to Houston on 23rd October 1977; onboard were Adam Thomson and 60 guests, most probably unaware that they had touched Mach 0.82 on some sectors of the route. They were met in Houston by the Prince of Wales, who unveiled a plaque at IAH commemorating the new service.
A friend and former colleague said of him,
"A courteous and kind man of many parts, Rex was always the consummate professional in matters aeronautical and airline business. Rex reached out to many people throughout his life: as former colleagues each of us will have happy memories of times we spent in his company: under training, on the flight deck, in the crew room, in the board room. Deep down I reckon Rex was chuffed to bits when CityFlyer Express registered one of the early Shorts SD3-60s G-OREX in his honour". Daily Telegraph obituary for Rex Shilton
Caroline Short (nee Watt)
Joined BCAL in Jan 1978 as ground crew. Started flying in 1979,our induction course featured in Jane Flies the Lion, where is it now? Thrilled to find the website, long may it continue. Thank you
Judy Sidaway (now McGrath) 04/11/14
Joined BCAL in 1975 as cabin crew and after training was called out to South America! The start of five very happy years work with amazing training which has always helped me to achieve in later life. I recently celebrated my 60th birthday where I now live in Devon, and all the old BCAL memorabilia and photos came out and such wonderful memories were brought back. A wonderful company with a fantastic reputation that can never be replaced.
I was born in Recife-Brazil , during the night ( three-times week) in 70-80's , the 707 and after DC-10-30 became real in Guararapes Airport I did radio annunciation at my house, specially waiting B-CAL....OHHH!!! Good times !!! The crew stayed in Quatro Rodas Hotel (Olinda, near Recife) , at night the stewardesses went to disco ( top of hotel, called Sete Colinas) Best Wishes , Stefan
Roy Sim Greetings to all B/Cal staff who drank at Mr Roy's bar in Tripoli 1976-1981
It is with sadness we learn that Phil passed away on Thursday 2nd July 2009 after a long illness. Our sincere condolences to Phil's family and friends. A friend and former colleague said of him "Phil was a great Steward and will be missed by all those who remember him".
Phil's original guestbook entry:- I worked in cabin crew from 1977 until 1996 by far the best job I ever had. Great website so many memories.
Joe Singpo Joined BCAL Feb '77 till Apr '88 as a ticket desk agt...still at LGW working for British Airways
John Skidmore 08/05/15
We have sadly heard that former BCal Engineer John Skidmore has passed away, aged 80. John's service was held on 8th May 2015 at the Surrey & Sussex Crematorium. Our sincere condolences go out to John's family, friends and former colleagues at this time. John started in 1980 and retired from BA in 1994.
With the demise of BCAL, I stayed in Hong Kong in the late 1980s setting up Peak Aviation Limited with K. F. Ho (who sensibly relocated to Canada before Hong Kong reverted to China). I also established Peak Management Limited a consulting company whose main business interests were in China and Indochina. Both companies were later relocated to Thailand. As a consultant for Air Hong Kong I lived and worked in Vietnam in 1991-2 reviving an air cargo link between Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong's Kai Tak airport that was suspended seventeen years previously because of the Vietnam War. This put me back in touch with ex-BCAL 707s - what joy! After a brief and rather uninspiring spell with United Airlines based in Bangkok, I reconstituted Peak Aviation as a consulting company in Southeast Asia. This company was instrumental in bringing two global distribution service companies to Thailand: Abacus and Galileo-Thailand. I still have an investment in the latter, which is today a successful business entity with offices around Thailand and in Burma run entirely by my son Steven and his Thai partners.
I had brief spells representing the World Travel and Tourism Council and Green Globe in Asia before retiring to the 1st tee at Thai Country Club, a golf course managed by Hong Kong's Peninsula Group. I have been a consultant for Thai Country Club since its inception in 1996. When not chasing a little white ball around manicured fairways, I can be found in my office working on my manuscript which, if successful, will probably go to my grandchildren. And if unsuccessful I will send it to someone I don't like as a Christmas gift. We never forget we have a choice.
Its nice to see so many people looking up this site. I joined BCAL in 1981 in passenger services, couldn't sit still for very long and decided to fly. Became a trolley dolly in 1984 until the "murder" and eventually ended up at LHR as a purser. I'm still flying, part time, things are definitely not the same its just a job now! Moved up to Scotland to get my Caledonian fix. I miss being a Caledonian Girl, the best of times...... Anyone out there who remembers me from passenger services or cabin crew at LGW drop me a line. PS I'm still with Findlay, he is in cargo with BA at LGW
Joined BUA 12th July 1965 as Trainee Flight Watch Officer and survived through the various "mergers" until retiring from British Airways in 2000. Worked in various departments including charter and scheduled service sales ending up as one of the 5 Managers Operations Control...MOCON to most! I still have the SITA message I sent to all route stations that last nightshift before BA took "control" of the Long Haul flying program!! Sad?
Gilly Slade (now Matthews)
Hello, I joined BCAL in 1973 and left in 1984…some of you may remember me, I’m Gilly Slade. (now Matthews, long since divorced but can’t be bothered to change passport, etc all over again ). Of the very many great people I met and worked with over the years, a wonderful and lifelong friend was Ann Westlake. It is with huge regret that I have to inform you that Ann died on August 2nd 2008 at the Royal United Hospital, in Bath, UK. She leaves a husband and two children. She was 53 years old…much, much too young. If you remember Ann, and what a genuinely lovely, funny person she was, please raise a glass to her memory. Thank You.
Jilly Slater (now Newton) 29/01/11
I joined BCal May 77, and it was the proudest day in my life. I flew as cabin crew on both long and short haul and finished my flying at LGW on short haul as a no 1. It was a very sad day and certainly the end of an era. I transferred to LHR 1996 as a Purser onto World Wide then switched to the European fleet and took the option of doing job share which suited me just fine. I finally hung up my pinny Nov 2010. I am most grateful for all the wonderful experiences, so many happy memories and the opportunity to meet such a unique bunch of people. I may have finished my career with B.A but I will always remain a BCal girl at heart.
A C "Sam" Small (Sam remembered)
It is with sadness we learn that Sam recently passed away on 13th March 2011, our condolences go out to his family and friends. Sam was a 707 Captain and joined Caledonian Airways from BOAC in the late 1960's. He left BCal in 1972 to persue his own company and later worked in Uganda. Sam's service was held on the 30th March at Woodvale Crematorium in Brighton.
Captain Alan G. Smith 31/03/15
It is with great regret that we learn that Captain Alan G Smith passed away in the early hours of Tuesday 31st March 2015, aged 90. My sincere condolences go out to Alan's family, friends and former colleagues at this difficult time. Alan flew from 1957 to 1982 with Hunting-Clan, BUA and BCAL. He flew the following aircraft: Viking, Viscount, VC10 and BAC111. Alan Remembered
Diane Smith I have just found you all on the internet, very excited, Hope to hear from you soon (Cabin crew 1975-1987)
Started as an Engineering apprentice back in 1973, stayed until the end. Still at LGW with BA for my sins ! Great to see some of the old names here I will be making contact with some. It really was so much fun working for BCAL it all seems so serious now. If anyone remembers me don't hesitate to get in contact, always willing to go for a drink, maybe do a ghoster( for those who remember what they were!!!) Good site Dave, I knew and worked with your dad Ron once, we went to Canada together when BCAL were buying a B747 from Wardair.
Bill Smithers 20/02/12
It is with sadness we learn that Bill Smithers passed away on 10th February, sadly he had been ill for some time and passed in his sleep; our condolences go out to Bill's family and friends. Bill was Head Porter at the Central London Air Terminal - Victoria; for BUA and BCal too. Bill's service was held at Hither Green Crematorium on Monday 20th February.
Ornella Figà Raanaas 09/05/15 New Entry I joined BCal in June 1980 and went on to BA once BCal was sold
I was with Caledonian from 1976 to 1990 when I was forced to retire. I occasionally see old friends when I fly BA staff travel but now so few and far between. If you do get together I would like to Know. I live in Savannah Georgia and now fly the Gulfstream G5/550
I was a Structures Engineer in BCal's Gatwick Design Office (2 years) under Doug Empleton until BA took over......... stayed for 6 months under the BA regime .......... left to start AIM Aviation R&D in Crawley, providing Virgin amongst others with design support ....... joined GB Airways and left to further own company, Dragonstone-UK, providing Geopathic Stress consultancy
Barrie Rawlins 13/03/15
Joined B/CAL in 1974, made redundant and came back in 1975.Flew as cabin crew till 1988 and had the best times of my life. My wife, Ann (Salt) still flies as a Purser for GB Airways and we keep in touch with many old friends. Anyone out there who would like to get in touch please drop us a line.
Bryan Reburn 23/6/12
Very pleased to have found this site and so many old friends. I joined BCAL in 1972 in Glasgow, moved to Gatwick in 1976 and left in 1988 after the "merger". Having worked for a number of airlines I know that very few matched BCAL and its people. Many names come to mind; Gordon Mason, Reg Goddard, David Joy, Bruce Langham, Mike Platt, Ray Jackson, Tony Pannell, Bill Rothero, Larry Langley and down in South America - Carlos Lopez, Alfredo Healy, Charlie Wegner, Carlos Cervera, Celio Alvin and many many more. HAPPY DAYS. I am retired now and living in Sussex, we have 3 grandchildren, who keep me on my toes !!!
George Reed 01/06/2013
Fantastic years to have shared with you all. All those names in the guestbook, I can nearly taste the InterJet breakfast, best eaten in a redcap van under the centre pier). ps. Angela (Booth) has still not shaken me off. Today, 1st June 2013, is my last day with flybe. I am retired! I have work 4 days a week planned and have kept Wednesdays for hunting….Legally!! I have been in the business a long time, 14 April 2003 was my 44th anniversary in the business, enough! Brill site. Brgds to all.
Shannon Reed (Mr)
BCAL- USA from 1984 up to/through merger joined BA with the merger and was with them until September 2001. After a "hiatus" I am now working for Malaysian Airlines in Los Angeles as Corporate Development Manager, N.A. Call if you're ever in LA. 310-726-6207.
Sara Reed-Purvis I was with BCAL 1977 until the very end. I now live in the USA with my 3 wonderful children, I'd love to hear from some old friend .... what a time we had!!!!!
Alan Reeves 01/12/10
Joined Cally back in 69 when we went self handling at LGW. Ended up spending 18 years overseas with Bcal/BA and could bore most of you with tales of laughter and disaster. Am still in Aviation with DHL and it has been amazing how many of us Cally people there are spread around the world still having something to do with the industry. It is interesting to go through the list of people on this site and how may memories pop up just seeing the names. Good luck to you all. Have now retired and changed my e mail. Caterham 7 kit on its way, retirement here we come...always up for a game if you are short of a partner (15). Alan
Alina Rennie nee Michalska 18/06/15 Updated email
B.Cal flying Staff 1978-1980 and Cargo 1980-1987. BCAL was the best. Would love to hear from any old mates who remember me either flying or on the ground at LGW
Geoff Rhodes 07/05/15
We have sadly heard that former BCal Crewing man Geoff has passed away. After school Geoff went to work for BKS & then Caledonian / BCAL. Geoff's service was held on 15th May 2015 - details can be found here Geoff Remembered
Linda Richards (now Nicolello)
Being with BCAL was the best time I ever had at a job. We really loved the airline and were all devastated when it was purchased by BA. I was in the Los Angeles Sales office since the inception and the close. Love the web site, thanks for your creation. Linda
Bob Rice 01/06/13
Joined in '73. As part of family concern. Dad Jack and I in Engineering. Uncle Don and Cousin Tony in Flight crew rosters. Am a committed "When we" as in when we worked for B. Cal. Still finding reference to the watered down version that BA started up after '88. Though the crews tried hard they could never compete with the real thing. Best memories of watching the crews disembark on a windy day with both hands full. It must have been a man who designed those kilts. From where we sat everything was in perfect working order!!!!!!
Linda Richards (now Hollingsworth)
Would love to hear from anyone that remembers me from those very good old days. I was searching through some interesting photo's only last night....another beach, another bar and another hotel room!
What a wonderful site and reading the comments in the Crew Room so many people seem to agree. We are so lucky to have had such a wonderful time working for BCAL and its predecessors. It was the best job I ever had. Joined in 1973 and worked in the Terrapins in the Advertising and Publicity department with Chris Kewbank, Paddy Langley, Tony Robinson and many others. Stayed in that department through its many changes until I left in 1983 to start a family. Only have really happy memories and some great friends from those days.
I worked for BCAL 1973-1988, in Finance, Charter Sales, Advertising & Promotions, and the Southern Routes (Africa) Team. Great company to work for. Attending Sir Adams memorial service and the recent reunion evening brought back many memories. I have now retired from BA.
Was in BCAL from 1973 to 1987 in various positions in sales and marketing in London, Gatwick, Liberia etc. Left when BA reared its ugly head. Joined a Lockheed company marketing computer flight plans (Dataplan) and a 24 hour flight ops department. Was eventually bought by Jeppesen. Went to AirData in similar situation. Then semi retired to the Institute of Directors in 1994. In December 2002 I fully retired and am now concentrating on my golf, trekking, garden, old cars etc. etc. Too busy to work ;-).
BCAL for me was a lot of hard work, made lots of exciting fun by the challenges it provided and the people I came into contact with, both inside and outside of the company. We all had such a youthful attitude to life. No doubt it was the most enjoyable period of my career. Would love to hear from anyone who remembers me.
Loved every second of working for BCAL, despite a daily commute from Shooters Hill in South East London. Worked in Leisure and Group Sales, where hard work and hard play were the order of the day. Doubtful if you are ever likely to find somewhere as good to work, which is a terrible thing to say as it was my first job!! I have since worked for some great airlines, JAT, ANA, Malaysia, EVA Air, and some really shocking ones.....you know who you are!! Living in Camberley, married, with two children, one at University, the other just starting secondary school, and of course, my lovely wife works for an airline. Love to hear from anyone from LAGS, meet up for a drink and a curry.
Tony Rider 06/09/11 Love to hear from any ex-BCal Engineers...
Thelma Riggans (nee Halse) 08/09/14
Travelling around the world and bringing up 2 daughters, I haven't had much time to catch up on the Bcal web-site! About time that changed and I had my own part in our great avaition history, instead of being an add-on to Walter's entry.
I joined the very new Bcal in Jan. '72 and experienced the start of the horrors in Uganda on the VC10 before transferring to the B707 in August of the same year. From there, I took part in the inaugural New York and Houston Schedule Services and spent so many happy hours in that first class galley!! A marvellous week in Dublin led me to a very special experience on Paddy Zulu and eventually on to the DC10's. My last flight at the end of 1980, was 'by request', back to Hong Kong, bringing back so many happy memories of earlier B707 days!!
Walter and I are now in Dubai… (Walter working for Emirates). Always happy to see ex-Bcal staff and reminisce.
Joined Caledonian Airways in 1966 at Prestwick when we had 1 x DC7 and 3 x Brits. Moved to Gatwick in 1969 and later served in New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Nairobi, Lagos and Freetown. Best days of my life - so far! Then helped set up (and close down) Highland Express back at Prestwick before moving to Sita in Singapore for 11 years and then to Sri Lankan Airlines for 5 years in Colombo before landing in Dubai with Emirates. Still married to Thelma (Halse) who flew for 10 years and 'retired' as a Purser. We have two daughters, Emily and Sarah now both 'over 21' which is a really scary thought! Lots of ex BCAL people in Dubai so why not drop by to see us all?
Nadine Riley (nee Pritchard)
I joined B-Cal in November 1980. Wonderful happy years. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me. I am still in touch with Sue Wright, Liz Mellor, Audrey McCluskey and Chris Carr. Brilliant idea to set up this website
BCAL Pax Services LGW, Commuter Ops LGW, and finally Commercial division in Germany and Scandinavia till BA swooped. Good times and good colleagues. Great site for memories! Thanks.
It was so wonderful to see a picture of the British Caledonian aircraft. It brought back such wonderful memories. I worked at the Houston Airport for years and loved wearing my Kilt. Many Thanks for the Memories. Rhonda
Barry Roberts Barry was formerly a Duty Manager with BCal, sadly no longer with us he passed away 2nd May 2000. Never forgotten by his family and friends.
Tony (Fella) Roberts
Joined Caledonian Airways April 1968 in the ‘Nav Office’ transferred to Crewing via operations in 1969. Left in February 1970 with Stuart Goddard and Geoff ‘Gripper’ Ellis and we all Joined B.U.A. Crewing. ( In 1971 Cale took over BUA to eventually become B.Cal ) With the exception of a six months secondment to Passenger Services, where I proudly wore the Tartan Jacket, I have and am still in Crewing/Rostering/Crew Control with B.A.. I remember those happy days at Gatwick when everyone involved in B.Cal worked hard and played hard, much enjoying each other's company. I remember the days of the ‘Britannia’s’, our first Boeing.707 ‘TW’ affectionately called ‘Teeny Weenie’ followed closely by ‘KA’ ‘Kinky Arthur’, how many of you remember that. I remember George Bellamy who did one of the most spectacular fly-pasts in a 707 at Biggin Hill. So many memories, but I will always remember the day we went down the river Thames on a protest march, there standing on the forward deck of a pleasures craft with the B.Cal pipes and drums playing at full volume behind me. There were people cheering from the banks, women dancing on the balconies as we passed their flats. How proud I was to be working for B.Cal. ‘The Golden age of my Career’, that beautiful Lion emblazoned on each tail plane. Or as I remember what Capt Eric Rowley once said when he boarded his 1-11 one day after it had left the paint shop without the Lion on the tail, ‘ Someone has stolen my Golden Pussy ‘!! At 63 I should be retired but here I am still working along side Nick Crawford and Alan Boyce, also Martyn Gurton, other names from B.Cal’s past. Great website, and if anyone would like to contact me that remembers this OLD ‘Fella’ then please send an e-mail.
Duncan Robertson 01/01/12
I was a navigator from 1966 to 1974. Trained on DC4's on the Zambian Airlift, then on Britannia's. After that flew on VC10's and 707's. I left when the advent of the wide bodied aircraft, navigated by inertial systems, made navigators redundant.
Pauline Robertson (Webb as was)
Just found your fantastic site and would like to say hello to Ab Initio 8 1971. I was with BCal from April 1971 until December 1979 and have wonderful memories of the 1-11s, VC10s (ahhh the Queen of the Skies) 707s and the DC-10. So good to see the names from the past and would like to hear from anyone out there who remembers me (Avril M) . A super airline to work for, never bettered!
Brian Robbins 28/10/12
Hunting Clan in "Traffic" 1957 - 1960 - LAP, Salisbury and Nairobi. Rejoined BUA "Traffic" 1962 at LGW, also worked on secondment in Bathurst (Gambia Airways) and Benghazi (Kingdom of Libya Airlines). Then onto BCAL, eventually ending up in Atlanta where I still live in happy retirement. Keep up the good work, Dave - a wonderful site!
Brian Robins 13/03/15
Just spent the last hour enjoying this excellent website. I joined BCAL in 1980 having come from BOAC/BA via Hoverlloyd. Was living in Toulouse during the merger and remained with BA until 2001. Still in the business but now in consultancy. Would like to hear from any old friends.
Anne Eleanor Robinson
Please can anyone who knows Anne, let her know David is looking for her. I am trying to contact Anne Eleanor Robinson - who joined BCAL in the early to mid 60's.........I understand she became CSD with the airline.....My name is David Turner and new Anne very well - but lost touch...At the time I was employed in radio production work......then moved to British Airways for 20 years prior to my retirement.... Anne was originally from Larne in Northern Ireland....we met in London (Cromwell Road area) around 1959/60........
Paul Robinson An excellent website with some superb photographs
It is with sadness we learn that Tony passed away on 16th January 2005, our sympathies to his family and friends
Tony's Guestbook entry read:
I worked for BCAL from 1972 - 1986 in the advertising and promotions office and the memorabilia featured on your site, I remember producing! I also remember being with photographers taking most of the shots. I have just spent ages remembering so many names and good times. I actually met Barry Prior a couple of months ago. He has not changed at all. I could drop a few names that would mean something to some of you. Where are they: Chris Gilbert, Arthur Jamieson, Mike Booth, Lunchtime Boize, Deirdre Drewett, Sylvia Morant, Cynthia Roberts, Gordon Mason, Richard Havers etc? Without doubt, the happiest time of my working life. I have just found one or two old pieces of memorabilia in my loft when I moved house. My partner in life, Marion Evenden (now Cursons) was also at BCAL for a few years on the ticket desk at LGW). A small world eh? Good luck to anyone from that great time and thanks to Dave for keeping the nostalgia going.
Dee Smithson 28/01/11
I bumped into Martin Harewood who mentioned the BCAL website. Started off in Planning, then went onto Tours, Domestic Routes then Southern Routes. Had a great 12 years and stayed to the bitter end until 1988. Look forward to the next reunion. I keep in touch with Kerry ex Planning, we meet up regularly and have a hoot. Additional news: When my son took his PPL at Shoreham Airport, I hadn’t realised that James Crabbe owned the flying company. What a small world
Flew with BCAL March 77-86 they were great times. Now with B.A. in lounges at LGW since 93. Would love to hear from any one who remembers me. A reunion would be fantastic at LGW count me in, be willing to help get people together there are still a lot of ex cabin crew working at Gatwick.
Chris South 26/4/13
Sadly we hear that Chris passed away on the 24th April 2013. Our sincere condolences go out to Chris's family, friends and former colleagues at this difficult time. Chris worked in BCAL Cargo and laterly as BA Safety & Security Manager at LGW. Chris took early retirement a couple of years ago and, tragically, was soon after diagnosed with motor neuone disease to which he lost his battle this week.
Christine Spencer 21/11/10
I joined towards the end of 1969 and loved the smart blue uniform! I was the last girl to give it up and wear the tartan uniform though I learned to love that too! I left in 1972 to marry an American and lived in Tripoli, Libya until the end of 1979.
I no longer have my roster books and am dredging my memory for names but maybe someone will remember me. I was an Italian speaker and also worked as French and Spanish speaker when they ran out of people who were more fluent. I lived at Pound Hill.
Cabin Crew from 1977-1985. Typed in BCAL to see what would come up and, way hey, so many names, so many fond memories: beaches, bars, hotels, a/c and especially all the wonderful people that made it what it was. Feel privileged to have been part of a unique family not matched anywhere I’ve worked since, led by Adam Thompson, a man with vision and ahead of his time. I’m now living in Vienna and would love to hear from anyone from Ab Initio 3 1977. Lost contact with most except Keith Jackson who sends his love to everyone out there. He promised he’ll get online one day and write his own tribute! Anyone coming out this way, drop me a line. Still surprises me number of punters whose eyes glaze over when I mention BCAL, and no, they’re not thinking of the usurper...(I check to make sure they’ve understood the difference!) Still got my McNab and Huntingdon scarves which I occasionally wear for old times sake!
I joined BCAL around 1981 working on the Ticket Desk at LGW. After spending some time in the training dept. I then moved to the Marketing division at Caledonian House working in Reservation/Distribution. I left at the time of the takeover.
Jean Elizabeth Springett 29/11/13
Sadly we learn that Jean recently passed away in late October 2013 at the young age of 59. Our sincere condolences go out to Jeannie's family and friends at this difficult time. Jeannie used to fly for British Caledonian before heading to Canada and is remembered here. Jeannie remembered
Bill Stace 27/03/15
We are saddened to learn that Bill passed away on 12th March 2015, aged 77. Our sincere condolences go out to his family, wife Maggie, Emma and Mark, friends and former colleagues. Bill's service was held on 7th April 2015 near his home in Cuckfield, West Sussex.
Bill's Original Crew room entry
I joined Transair in 1959 and remained in continuous employment through BUA, SLA, BCAL and BA. I took early retirement from BA, then after a short break, returned to them in a consultancy role for a further 2 years, during which I met with a number of former BCAL colleagues. Subsequently joined GB Airways and yet more BCAL people, and finally retired at 68 (almost 47 years service)
I was saddened to hear of the death of Bill after such a long and dedicated aviation career. My deepest sympathy go to his wife Maggie and the two children Emma and Mark. I got to know Bill well after being posted to Accra to carry out two leave reliefs for him in 1972 and it was during this time that he and his family became friends. This friendship continued when I became Area Traffic Manager East & Central Africa mirroring his position in West Africa. We met up again at Gatwick in the 1980's when I was a MOCON and again during his time with BA and GB Airways. The 'Quiet Man' as he was known was well regarded by the staff in Africa and by all with whom he came into contact. He was a real Professional who set an example that it was hard to follow. He will be greatly missed - Andy Gearystevens
It is with sadness we learn that Barbara Stanworth passed away on 8th June. Barbara was one of Caledonian’s first air hostesses and she rose to be Chief Air Hostess in her time with them. Our condolences go out to her family and friends. Barbara's funeral was held on the 19th June.
Colin Starkey 16/12/13
Joined BCal March 1978 as pilot on Navajo Chieftain. 1-11, A310 and DC-10 followed until unexpected move to BA in 1988. Retirement from BA in 2004 and moved to easyJet where I will reach final retirement in September 2014. BCal was a great company to work for and ahead of its time and only stifled by political interference.
In 1977 I was scheduled to fly to Europe for the first time in my life, at 18. Though my first leg was into Bergen on SAS, I clearly remember taking off behind the B-CAL 707, oggling the livery of the aircraft and it's sleek look. I vowed to fly B-Cal one day as I had heard nothing but great things about the carrier. As fate would have it, I was flying home from Ireland on Aer Lingus, an old 707. The flight was subsequently cancelled due to mechanical problems (707's were never supposed to have those). Some were placed on board a BOAC B1-11 to LHR and connected to a BOAC VC-10 home to New York/JFK. I was one of the lucky ones...I got sent to Prestwick on an EI Viscount (what a thrill) and onto a B-CAL 707. I was the happiest lad alive. The 707 made you feel it as capable of taking you straight to the moon and beyond. I am sorry I did not take the G-registration, I could have matched it to your list. What a fine service it was indeed. Come back, ye, come back ye, the bonnie good airways of Scotland. As always, fly high, fly far, fly safe, B-CAL. The "Lion-king" of the airways. Service like this can only live once....
Referred to you by co-worker Rhonda Rippenkroger-Matthews. Nice to read about familiar names from the past. Still working in the old sales/res building where the last BCAL office was located in Houston. This last vestige of BCAL in the USA will be closing in April 2001. BA subcontracted out the majority of the work until they were able to get their subsidiary in JAX up and running. It seems so long ago that BCAL was in Houston. yet seeing the DC-10 with the BCAL logo is still stirring. I worked in Res in Houston; rate desk, pta desk and well as at the IAH airport with Rhonda and others. There are a few BCAL people remaining; Terri Burrows. former stu. Roberta Brown, Gillian Mckay..to name a few. It was fun at times.
David M Stewart Ex storeman with British Caledonian Helicopters in Aberdeen. I miss the best times of my life when with B-Cal.
Ian Stewart 20/01/11 With BCAL from 1972 -1988. Some of the best times, ever. sorely missed.
Joined BCAL in DFW in 1983 as Regional Vice President. Moved to Houston in 1985 As Vice President of Finance and Administration. Retired and now living in Texas. Travelled back to UK in April 2008 to attend BCAL 20 year reunion. It was great to see so many old friends.
John Stocker 09/11/13
I joined Caledonian in 1970 as an MT driver; one of four under the warchful eye of Gordon Pratley! We were based at Sussex House in Crawley & our "fleet" consisted of a Ford minibus & Cortina estate. Our mission was to transport staff, from the lowest to the highest to and from the airport or further afield. We also covered the early morning pickups of flight staff who required transport for early flights. At the time of the merger between Caledonian & BUA the MT department joined the existing BUA section at Gatwick. This was a much bigger enterprise consisting of trucks, coaches and various other vehicles covering movement of cargo, spares & of course a lot more staff & occasionally passengers!
I was selected as a relief chauffeur to drive Sir Adam Thomson who made my job a complete pleasure; he knew Central London like an A-Z atlas. A fantastic man! I spent 19 years at MT taking a good redundancy packege offered by BA in 1989. I notice many names whom I had the pleasure of being associated with. A most enjoyable part of my working life.
Sadly, Alan passed away Sept 24, 2001 some 13 years after his retirement. Alan worked with Caledonian in New York from 1964 - 1966 then at LGW in crewing/catering until his return to NYC in 1968 as Station Manager. After the merger between Caledonian and British United to form British Caledonian he became Vice President Operations and Customer Service based in New York, moving eventually to the new Head Quarters in Houston, Texas. Alan retired when BCal were taken over by British Airways in 1988. This is a minor commentary on the life of a man who worked in Africa during what we might consider pioneering days and with his long suffering wife Janet, dedicated much of his life to the airline we celebrate on this site. At his funeral there were numerous staff from his operational days and even some from Delta Airlines where his son Neil has enjoyed a successful career. He was a good Manager and friend and I with many others still miss his counseling and advice. Alan will also be remembered for his ability to manage an evening of serious beer drinking and story telling without ever seeming to need the rest room - as such he was held in much regard by those less fortunate who spent much of the evening traveling to and fro. Alan is survived by his wife Janet who now lives in Atlanta near to their son and Grandchildren
Pete Stone 01/11/12
Sadly we learn that Peter has recently passed away. Peter was a Line Engineer for BCal at London Gatwick and was well known by his colleagues, he continued in engineering with BA after 1988. Our sincere condolences go out to Peter's friends and family at this difficult time. Peter's service was held on 31st October at St John's Church, Copthorne, West Sussex.
BCAL Telecoms Manager. What can I say....It was in my opinion the best job I have ever had with a company that I loved and respected along with all the other good folks that worked for it. 20 Years of fantastic memories and incredible job satisfaction ...I often say 20 years with British Caledonian and 20 Minutes with British Airways. I better not get into that .....Anyway it is really good to get back into something that I will always consider to be a big influence on my and my families life.
Colin Stovell (31/10/13)
Sadly Colin passed away on 19th October 2013, and my deepest condolences go out to Colin’s family, friends and former colleagues. Colin is survived by his wife Bev, Lisa, Colin, Darryl and Anthony and 8 beautiful grandchildren and often told them many stories of his time as a BCal Chief Steward.
Colin's crew room entry
Flew with Caledonian for six fantastic adventurous years in the days of DC6'S and 7c's. Later flew on Brits and Caledonians first 707. Be pleased to hear from any other crew who were part of "Cale" in those days. I originally signed guestbook 11/07/01. Flew with original Caledonian Airways from 64 to 68. Have been regularly visiting website in the hope others from that era would log on to 'reminisce'. Only one so far has been John Hughes. Would love to hear from anyone who was part of the original (and best!!) Caledonian Airways.
Dorothy Stuart (nee Martin)
With BCal Glasgow City between 1978 to 1986 working in sales/marketing/press office. Found the website from the link given in the Daily Mail today. Loads of names I remember - Robbie Wass, Bruce Langham, Mansel Dinnes, Pino T and so many more I worked with in Sales and Marketing in Gatwick. Great website - no one planning a reunion for Scotland?
Barrie Stubbs 28/01/11
Left BCAL for Virgin, left Virgin for Virgin. (With Roland Higgins started Virgin's Engineering Training School in Crawley), left Virgin for Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong, (back to training Flight Crew on the 747-200 and in between Ground Engineers). Short 3 year contract. My wife Connie and I lived on our boat for the time in H.K and I retired again to come home with the boat, but it never happened cos Roland asked me to help out with training again so I became a Consultant, (thats a laugh as well !).
Started training Ground Engineers on the 747-200 with M.K. Airlines Ltd. In 2006 M.K. became an EASA Part 145 company and I obtained EASA Part 147 Training Authority for them and lo and behold I am now the training manager for M.K. After around 55 years you would have thought I had enough but its 'boys toys etc', so as long as I can fool them all that I'm useful thats what I will do!!!
Many thanks to Paul Robinson and all the other lads at Virgin who eMailed my son, (David is the Engineering Manager at Logan, Boston, for Virgin) to tell me I have been remiss in looking up this website. Some of the best Engineers I have ever known are with Virgin, well why not, most came from BCal anyway! So thank you all, wish we could meet for a 'few', hell maybe we will, that I would enjoy.
What a wonderful memorial service on Tuesday 5th Sep and to meet all those 'old' faces again. I was at BCAL from 1981-88 ticketing at Piccadilly and CLAT and, as everyone says, they were the best years of my life!
I joined BUA in June '68 when I came out of the RAF, I worked in comms, with Lou Parisi, Ralph Wilmot, Terry Storer, Keith Baker - to name but a few. I retired in Oct 88 - BA had moved our dept up to LHR by this time. Having lived in Horley for 20 yrs - I didn't fancy travelling up there every day!
Then 22 months with 'Air Europe' - they went down the pan early '90 I believe - a lot of us ex-BUA/BCal worked in their Comms Dept. Now spend most of my time in Florida with my wife, Eve - have been here nearly 5 yrs - most enjoyable. Have always been out of the country when you have the BCal reunions - will make it one day.
Mike Swift 17/09/13
I joined BCAL in 1977 and left (BA) in 1995. I flew as a Flight Engineer on B707, DC10, B747, Concorde (did not finish course due to ill-health) and then the last 18 months in SEP. As I have just mentioned I had to leave early due to ill-health, it was a major blow that I never finished my training on Concorde. The company were very good to me and gave me the maximum time they could to try to regain my licence but this was not to be. In 1984, I married Christine Borton who was an Air Hostess with us in BCAL (It is now 25 years later and we are still happily married - with my reputation nobody thought it would last)! My time in BCAL was nothing but fantastic especially the early years with plenty of time down route to enjoy yourself!
In 1995, we moved from Sussex to Devon and bought a holiday complex called Chipley Mill. After a lot of work on the property over the next 2 years we finished up with a holiday cottages/caravan park/soft fruit farm/outdoor toy sales business all set in 12 acres with a stream as the boundary. It was 16 hours a day work but very enjoyable. During this time Christine went through major surgery (3 times) so after 7 years the work load was getting too much especially with Christine's health so we sold up and moved into the local town of Newton Abbot. We have now lived there for 8 years. Christine now works as the senior negotiator for a local building company. Amongst other things I work for UK Athletics as a tutor, I also have my own business as a qualified life coach. I am still very much into sport both participating and coaching. I coach athletics locally and nationally and I am also involved with the Great Britain Bob Skeleton team. We have two children. Zoe is 22 and looking for a job as a graphic designer after gaining her degree in that subject. David is 24 and after gaining a degree from Bath in Sport and Exercise Science, he is now a full time athlete. He is part of the Great Britain Bob Skeleton Team - down a mile long track on a very expensive 'tea tray' at speeds up to 100mph pulling +5g - check out his web site at www.swiftslider.co.uk Although originally head hunted to train for the Winter Olympics in 2014 (Russia) he is now on the short list to be selected for the coming Winter Olympics in 2010. All for now, I will dig out some photos (although some of you may wish I did not) and send them in soon. Thanks everybody for a great time in BCAL.
Sally Symonds (now McCarthy) 10/02/14
It's so lovely to see so many names from BCAL days. I was cabin crew from February 1972 to April 1980 on 1-11s (seat back catering days!) 707s DC10s and on the 747 which we leased when the DC10s were grounded in 1979. Hi to everyone who remembers me. Thank you for some great memories.
Marion Tampin (now Bell) 01/08/2013
I joined BCal Jan 1972 and left Sept 1974. I have very fond memories of flying, all the parties and laughs. I still meet up with Avril Milne. I live in Canterbury and have retired from many years in residential lettings.
Barbara "Lulu" Taylor (nee Baldwin)
I joined BCAL in June 1978 and left in 1982. I live in Claygate with my husband Russell and our two sons Daniel, 23 and Tom, 21. I have been running my own business www.claremontclothing.com for the past 12 years. Whilst on my work travels I keep running into ex BCAL and present BA old friends which is great. I have some fantastic memories of my flying days and a few shocking ones especially of Lagos. If anyone knows of the wherabouts of Elaine McIlroy, Kathy Berridge or Maria Robinson (nee Flynn) I would love to hear from them?
As former club manager of Shoreham school of flying, would love information on good friends, Chris and Gaynor Yardley, also Capt. Eric Rowley. I understand Capt. Ken Honey now resident in Cornwall. Please contact me Colin Taylor
Derek Taylor 11/01/15
Some sad news, Derek Taylor passed away on Boxing Day (26th Dec 2014), our sincere condolences go out to Derek's family, friends and colleagues at this time. Derek was with BUA and BCal and worked as a line engineer, retiring before the BCal/BA merger. Derek's funeral took place on Thursday 15th January at Worthing Crematorium, West Sussex.
I was with CAL/BCAL from 1969 - 1973, spent most of my time based in KL and SIN (where I met Graeme Broadbridge when he was Sales Manager - also an Aussie). I was responsible for In Flight Services and Catering for Far East / Australia during the 12 month contract we had with Qantas.
Murray Taylor 27/12/10
It is with sadness we learn that Murray Taylor passed away on 27th December 2010 in Bahrain, he was just 54 years old.
Murray was very highly thought-of being one of BCAL’s key trainers in Customer Services and therefore responsible for the high standards of customer services we all benefited from during those wonderful days recalls Phil Bowell. Murray's funeral took place on Wednesday 12th January 2011 at Chichester Crematorium in West Sussex
Steve Taylor Ex BCAL Staff 1973 - 1979 Import Cargo Co-Ordinator
Shirley Tebby (nee Trowbridge) 14/03/15
I joined BCAL in 1984 in Passenger Services until subsequently 'BA ed'!! Still at LGW having served a few months/years in training, FMU and supervisory modes. Great airline, great people.
Gordon Tedder 30/10/14
It is with great sadness we learn that Gordon passed away at 18:00hours on 29th October 2014 at his home in Storrington, West Sussex. His son Julian and his daughter Philippa were with him. He’d been unwell for some time. As recently as some 10 days ago he was still planning to attend the 2014 Mortons reunion reunion (26th Oct) but it was clear that this would be no longer viable. Our sincere condolences go to Gordon's family, friends and former colleagues. Gordon Remembered
Dennis Temple May 2010
It is with sadness that hear that Dennis has passed away, he was with BCal Engineering; based at Gatwick. Dennis's funeral service was held at the Worthing Crematorium on the 1st June 2010. Our sympathies go out to his family and friends.
Ron Thaxter November 2004
My Father started back in 1951 with Transair at Croydon Aerodrome through to BUA, BCAL and retired from BA in 1996, though he did some Engineering Inspection work for GB Airways soon after, but then fully retired. He loved his time with BCal, and got to work all over the world. In 1963/64 he did route proving with the VC10 into Africa, 1-11's from Costa Rica, 747's from Canada to engineering acceptance on new DC10's. He enjoyed his work tremendously. He passed away unexpectedly 11th November 2004. I do the site for him and for all the ex-staff, I know my Father loved to see all the names he remembered and the photos, it often led to a quick reminise or two. Dave Thaxter
My 'aviation' career started at the then Victoria Air Terminal (later Central London Air Terminal) in July 1963, and the nearest we got to planes was putting pax on the train to LGW.
By May the following year I'd got to the airport and was delighted to be an Assistant Duty Operations Officer, plotting the aircraft whilst they were down the line. My bosses were Capt Cecil Bebb, (who'd flown Franco out of Spain in their civil war, and 'Pop' Carreras who'd been trying to stop Franco getting out !!) Wing Commander 'Atty' Atkinson was the top Ops boss and he later went with Freddie Laker (BUA's MD) to start up Laker Airways. In February 1966 a new department was introduced called Service Control (Redcaps) and we had a great time dispatching the new 1-11's and VC-10's, back again in the Traffic Dept uniforms. During my time I'd had the opportunity to travel the line on what was conveniently known as 'Ops Familiarisation Flights'. I flew to EBB and NBO and back over a long weekend on a Britannia, then did the West African BR321 route LGW/LIS/LPA (nightstop)/BTH/FNA/ACC(nightstop) and return, on a Viscount. Very civilised. Also flew the VC10 to S.America which was really enjoyable although I couldn't get off in SCL as planned as a coup was underway !! The Canary Islands were regular stops for us as we got 90%'s which equated to 7 quid return - a bargain.
Finally left BUA when the 'big bucks' of Saturn Airways, the US supplemental airline, were offered to me in February 1969. I therefore just missed the Caledonian/BUA merger but feel glad to have been one of the BUA pioneers which led to the big Golden Lion era. I never did fly B-Cal but whilst working in the USA circa '85 my company shipped John Lennon's Mercedes on the 747 freighter G-HUGE. At LAX a couple of years later, I used to see the 707's a lot, and renewed my friendship with Gordon Tedder who was Station Manager LAX for B-Cal at the time
I'm now officially retired but do chauffering work on a 4 day a week basis, just to keep out of trouble. I live in Sandhurst Berkshire and welcome contact with any old BUA folks. Fantastic days with BUA, and many memories, so much so that when Mike Barrett had the idea in 1993 of organising a Traffic Dept reunion, I offered to assist him, and we've organised one every 3 years since, starting in 1994. At one stage we held over 350 names on our contact list and we were delighted to host almost 150 people at our first reunion at the then Holiday Inn at Crawley. Mike has sadly recently passed away (November 2008) and so I shall organise our next get-together in October 2009 which will be dedicated to his memory. Dave has kindly offered the website to announce the details so watch this space.
Keith Thomas 13/03/15 A friend at work told me you are on the net, in my dept, we are all ex BCal, now working for BA
Marjorie Thomas (nee Josephs)
Sadly we learn that Marjorie passed away on 1st April 2012. She passed peacefully in her sleep. Majorie moved from the UK in 2004 and was living with her daughter, Helen, in Virginia in America. She had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for the last 22 years.
Majorie joined B.CAL in the early 70’s and first worked for John Chase in Transport & General Services before transferring to Sales & Marketing to work for James Eadie. Marjorie was also the Membership Secretary for the Wingspan Club. When everyone moved to Caledonian House she went to work for Gordon Davidson before eventually moving to the Interline Department to work for John Patterson. She then married Tudor Thomas and left B.CAL. It was after Tudor’s death that she moved to the US.
Peter M Thompson
I worked for BUA and BCal from 1966 to 1988 all at LGW as Ops Duty Officer/LGW Ops Controller/Manager Ops Control. A very happy and at times frustrating 22 years but the people and the spirit of the whole thing were of legendary proportions
Peter T Thompson
Was with Cally from the Britannia's to the bitter end, the best bunch of people in the world!! Love to hear from old friends! Great to see some more familiar names since my last visit to this wonderful site. Found this site in the first place wondering if there have been any reunions. Does anyone remember "..one more push and we'll be over the hump..."? Well I guess it's all downhill, ( for most of us), now!
Valerie Thompson (now Aldred)
have just discovered your fantastic website. I was a BCal hostie from 1970 -71 and had a wonderfully happy time on 1/11s and 707s. Sadly I have lost touch with all my airline chums but would love to get in touch with anyone who remembers me and, in particular, Sheila Vanson whom I have not seen or heard of since 1977
Brian Thorburn 22/04/15
Sadly we learn that Brian passed away on 21st April 2015. My sincerest condolences go out to Brian's wife Beverley, their family, friends and former colleagues at this difficult time.
Brian's original Crew room entry I joined Caledonian Airways in 1970 and served in engineering at LGW and various outstations. Retired 1993 and have been enjoying myself ever since! Update - 16th Sept 2014. Sadly we learn that Brian is not very well at all and is suffering with Dementia and Alzheimer's; both of which have worsened these past months. Brian has now had to go into a nursing home though Beverly visits often and is able to spend time with Brian; and he is happy in his new home which is good to hear. I am sure we all wish Berverly and Brian the very best and our thoughts are with them.
Jane Thorogood 31/03/15
Sadly Jane passed away on 16th March 2015 after a long illness. Jane joined BCal 1982 as cabin crew. Lots of people will remember Jane as she was a real character, funny, cleaver and kind recalls Joy Old who also says "I will miss her always. If anyone has any photos of Jane from trips etc I'm sure her father Les would love to see them as would I." Jane's service was on 31st March 2015.
After a gruelling interview from Vanda ( good cop ) and Val Cutler ( bad cop ) I joined LGW passenger services in Mar 84. My fellow class mates were Helen Bird, Julie Dear, Joan Kavanagh, Lydia Suttle, Ralph Austin, Dave Basham, Peter Malone, Martin Wills and Trevor. We were trained by Sue Bernadis ( PHU ) and Nick Green ( Check In ) before finally being let loose on the public. I worked for a couple of years in pax svcs before moving to Terminal Control where I remained after the merger. I eventually ended up as a dispatcher for BA which is were I am today. Although my time with BCal was relatively short, I have very fond memories of working for a company whose uniform I wore with pride.
Robin Tilbury I worked for BCAL from Apr '81 until the takeover, now working for Britannia Airways at Luton. Son of Bryan.
Vicki Timms 17/07/10
Hello - I flew for BCAL between Jan '78 and 'The Merger in '88. Stayed on with BA until April '98. I'm well and happy, living in Lincolnshire, working part time as a doctor's receptionist (I'm the nice one!!) and Mum to 2 gorgeous Norwich Terriers. I'm still in regular touch with Mo Abel and Joy Twigg (nee Smith) and if anyone who remembers me would like to get in touch - I'd love to hear from them.
Ray Tingley 17/08/13 BCal crewing 1978-1985. Good to see most are still going, sadly some have passed away. Will always remember the good days.
Have just found this website! Worked for BCal from 1966 to the dreaded merger with BA in 1988. Now retired but loved and still love the airline. Was Airport Superintendent GLA but did overseas relief's in Ghana. Zambia, Casablanca, Nigeria, Jeddah, etc. Missing you all dreadfully. Best Regards to my old friends who will never be forgotten. Had I been younger would have loved to work for BCAL and airlines managed by top BCAL ex-employees such as Emirates, etc. Missing Ray Jackson, Neil Warringer Etc etc. As John Rouse used to say " The Blue and Gold Will Return !" Pino Torricelli
I flew with British Caledonian from March 1984 until 1991, I was a Number 1 with BCal and Purser in the end with BA. I now live in Dubai with my family
I joined BCAL in 1978/Houston/Tours Dept. Worked for David Rushton ( who I will forward this site to in the UK) then went to San Diego as a sls rep working for June Lane out of the LAX sls office. Retired 4 years ago from BA.
Caroline Trinder (now Rose)
Came across this web page by accident, the first thing I thought of was the song ,'If I could turn back time'! Great memories, probably some of the best days of my life as BCAL cabin crew. Now domesticated and married to a BA pilot( someone had to do it!) Thank you for this web site, oh and hello Bob.
Jeannie Trotman (Duncan) 18/01/12
Started in Frankfurt with Maurice Cleaver and four Britannia aircraft, air crew for a couple of years prior to working with Alan Stronach in JFK and YYZ and, finally, with Rohan Alce in ATL. Now 'settled' in EDI, still in touch with Alan, Tim Gibson, Geoff Walford and Keith Aitken but would be delighted to hear from any blasts from the past or join in any reunions. Still miss the good old days
Brings back many happy memories. I joined BUA in 1968 and worked at the London Terminal (CLAT) for many years Left BCAL in 1980 and moved to USA. Now work as an independent travel consultant for a large travel agency, but I miss those early years with the airline. I will try to find some of my old BCAL giveaways etc and will write again.