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.
Michelle “Shelley” Sala 28/07/16
I worked in BCal’s Los Angeles sales office in the early 80’s working directly for June Lane. The office came “equipped” with the best group of people I have ever had the great good fortune to work with (still true to this day!). My heart broke when I had to move away from the area, leave my job and wonderful friends. It was even more of a heart break when I learned that BA was to gain control of BCal. I have been in touch, albeit only a few times, with Angela Morrison who resides in Nairn, Scotland. I am going to send her this link! Until then, if Angela and / or June, Mr. Mackenzie, Linda, Bet, Rosina, Gary, Lynne and T.J. are out there and reading this, I pray you are all well!
Mac Sales 15/02/16
Sadly we have learnt that Mac passed away on 1st Februray. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. Mac would have been known to many; he was originally a BUA porter but became the Head Porter and part of the executive set up. Remembered as a character at Gatwick, he was also a strong negotiator in his shop steward role, one he undertook with honesty and integrity. Mac lived in Bude; Cornwall and his service was held there on 10th February 2016. From Bryan Reburn - Sorry to hear about 'Mac' he was a good friend and always willing to help. RIP.
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
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.
Graham Sanger 23/06/17
Sadly Graham passed away on 22nd June 2017, he had been ill for some time. My sincere go out to Graham's family, friends and former colleagues. Graham worked in BCAL Pensions and later in Station Cashiers. Graham leaves a son and daughter, Paul and Lara. Graham's service was held on Friday 14th July at the Surrey & Sussex Crematorium (map). A gathering to remember Graham was held afterwards at the Crawley Football Club in Broadfield.
Former colleague Will Puk remembers Graham well, "Very sad to hear of Graham's passing, he was one of my first bosses at BCal a really lovely warm open person, a great boss. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
John Sartain (Engineer) 12/04/15
Sadly John, aged 65, passed away over the weekend 14/15th March 2015, our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and former colleagues. John's service was held on 17th April and details can be found here. John Remembered.
Henry Saunderson 22/09/16
It is with sadness we learn that Henry, a Captain with BCal, passed away peacefully on 14 September 2016, following a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Henry (fondly known as Harry) was the beloved husband of Patricia; father of Mark, Clive and William; and grandfather of Christopher and Marina. My sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and former colleagues. Henry's service was held on 27th September 2016, details can be found here Henry 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.
Jürgen Schwarz 01/02/2016
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.
Pete Scott 05/07/17
Sadly Pete passed away, aged 90, on 4th July 2017 after a short battle with illness. My sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and former colleagues. Pete was an Aircraft Engineer / Station Engineer at Gatwick from 1957, before that he worked at Croydon Airport. Pete's service was held on Friday 21st July. Pete Remembered
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.
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.
Roy Seddon 04/11/15
Sadly Roy passed away in late October 2015 aged 89. Our sincere condolences go out to Roy's family, friends and former colleagues. Roy was a Flight Engineer with BUA, British Caledonian and finally British Airways. Roy's service was held on 19th November. Roy Remembered.
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 Ron has passed away, our condolences go out to his family, friends and former colleagues. Ron was with BCal for many years at Gatwick in G.P.U. Ron's service was 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
Sadly Rex passed away on Friday 12th June 2009. Our sincere condolences to Rex's family, friends and former colleagues. 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
Jack Shirvell 17/08/15
I joined BCal forbear Air Charter in 1957 and saw continuous service through BUA and on through to 1985 with BCal. In my time I was a Training Captain on the B.170 Bristol Freighter, Douglas DC4, ATL Carvair, BAC 111, B707 and finally the DC-10. I was also a Flight Simulator instructor on the DC-10 from 1981 to 2012 and I have been a GLCT Committee Member since 1974; a role I am still doing.
Caroline Short (nee Watt) 21/07/15
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) 26/09/16
I joined BCal on AB Initio 2 in May 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 BCal staff who drank at Mr Roy's bar in Tripoli 1976-1981
Sadly Phil passed away on Thursday 2nd July 2009 after a long illness. Our sincere condolences to Phil's family, friends and former colleagues. A friend and former colleague said "Phil was a great Steward and will be missed by all those who remember him".
Phil's original crew room 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
Sadly John, a former BCal Engineer, 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. 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?
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.
Captain A C "Sam" Small
Sadly Sam passed away on 13th March 2011, my 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 2011. Sam Remembered
Captain Alan G. Smith 31/03/15
Sadly Alan 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. Alan flew from 1957 to 1982 with Hunting-Clan, BUA and BCAL and flew the following aircraft: Viking, Viscount, VC10 and BAC111 over his career. Alan's service was held on 29th April 2015 at the Surrey & Sussex Crematorium
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.
Captain R G Smith. 22/02/16
Sadly Ron passed on 18th February, aged 85, after a long illness. Our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and former colleagues. Ron started in aviation as cabin staff with BOAC and served on flying boats but was determined to become a pilot and, following National Service, paid for his own training, some of which was done at Croydon and, after gaining his licence, joined Air Charter 1958 as a First Officer on the Avro Tudor, DC4 and DC6. Continuing with BUA he flew with the VC 10 fleet before gaining his command on the BAC 1-11 in 1968 eventually moving on to the DC-10 and was a Captain on the DC 10 when he retired in 1990. In 1983 Ron commanded BCal's inaugural DC10 service between Gatwick and Paramaribo (Surinam) and also the return leg the following day. Ron's service was held on 29th February at St Peters Church, Ardingly.
Bill Smithers 20/02/12
Sadly Bill passed away on 10th February, 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.
Dee Smithson 20/02/16
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
Clive Snelling 06/04/16
I joined the Accounts Department in October 1965. Our office was, above a shoe shop in Horley, headed by Trevor Boud until Head Office was established at Sussex House in Crawley. For a while I shadowed the Secretariat, Dennis Standen and Hugh Brilliant. When British Caledonian was established, I was appointed Insurance Manager. The Department was located at Gatwick in Hangar 7, adjacent to the Social Club and facing the runway. At last we knew we were really were working in the aviation industry. There I stayed until I was diagnosed with Leukemia and rushed to the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. After intensive chemotherapy they became less concerned! I was able to return to BCAL! Still unwell, Ray Dobson took me in to help in Personnel Department. Eventually I had to give up altogether and went to live in Eastbourne with my family to full recovery back to full health as I am feeling very fortunate today!
Terry Snow I worked in Engineering (Avionics)
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 26/04/13
Sadly Chris passed away on the 24th April 2013. Our sincere condolences go out to Chris's family, friends and former colleagues. 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 succumbed. Chris's service was held at The Surrey & Sussex Crematorium on 8th May 2013.
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.
David Spencer 29/07/15
I joined the Advertising Department in 1972 after the merger of Caledonian and BUA as a new boy to the airline industry. It was the winter of the three day week and power cuts with my office being in terrapin one (which was interesting in itself)..... I did wonder at the time, if I was doing the 'right' thing in leaving my old job with a Design Agency in London, but from that day on it had turned out to be the best job I have had in my life.
I was in a great position in the advertising department to be working with just about every section of the airline, around the entire world in which we operated. With some enormous pressures of deadline dates and tasks, but with the greatest of help and support from some of the most professional and dedicated people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. All with one thought 'to make B.CAL the best', which we did....... It was a sad day for me when our 'friends' at BA brought it all to an end, and we lost our 'Caledonian girls' for ever.
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!
Paul Spelman 12/02/17
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 Jean passed away in late October 2013 at the young age of 59. Our sincere condolences go out to Jeannie's family, friends and former colleagues. Jeannie used to fly for British Caledonian before heading to Canada and is remembered here. Jeannie remembered
Brian Spurle 05/12/16
I was a BCAL Engineering apprentice, starting in 1977 and completing my service to leave after BA took over in 1988. Went on to work for Wardair on the ramp at LGW for a year followed by twelve years at Virgin from 1989 to 2001. I am now with the CAA as an Airworthiness Surveyor.
Bill Stace 27/03/15
Sadly 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
Sadly Barbara 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....
Allan Stevens 11/12/15
Sadly Allan passed away on the 10th December 2015 at his home in Vines Cross, East Sussex. Allan's 80th birthday was a few days beforehand. Our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and former colleagues. Allan started at Croydon Airport with Transair, transferred to LGW when BUA was formed. He later became an Operations D/O and his career progressed further whilst in BUA and BCal. Allan Remembered
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.
David Stocker 16/11/15
Sadly David passed away aged 52 on 6th November 2015 after battling a brain tumor for many months. David was a BCal apprentice in the 1980s and left to pursue a career with Philips Medical. David is survived by his wife and two children and his parents; Irene and John Stocker (Cale/BCal MT). Our sincere condolences go out to David's family, friends and former colleagues.
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 Peter has passed away. Our sincere condolences go out to Peter's friends, family and former colleagues. 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. Peter's service was held on 31st October 2012 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, my sincere 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 original 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) 16/09/16
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 17/01/16
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.
Chris Stubbs Feb 2017
Sadly I learnt that Chris had passed away when looking for a updated email address in Feb 2017. I will add more info if I am able to. My condolences to family, friends and former colleagues.
Chris's original crew room entry : 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) 13/04/17
It’s 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 the 737 which we leased when the DC10s were grounded in 1979. Hi to everyone who remembers me. Thank you for some great memories.
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Crewroom - S
Latest page update : 5th July 2017
Text in Orange = Updated email address needed please Text in Green = Sadly that person has passed.