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Author Topic: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham  (Read 9604 times)

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Offline Signals99

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2013, 22:29:39 »
Hi Paynel,
So glad to hear from you, the Cowlards were a much respected family in Union Street, they didn't mix as freely as most, but if help was needed they would be there. Wendy was a lovely person, she always had time to chat to the younger boys and girlies in an honest and open way (the young ladies often took their love problems to her). I could say so much about Wendy and her two sisters.
Wendy was my sisters best pal, they grew up together (that would be Pamela Gale) this is not the place for personal reminiscences, if you want to chat more contact me by pm and I will be only to pleased to talk about those days.
All the best signals 99:-ColinGale

paynel

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2013, 22:17:29 »
Hello, I have just found this post by accident and was thrilled to hear that you remember my Uncle Nev (Neville Peter) and my Mum Wendy. I was actually looking for news of my grandfather, also Cowlard. We did live in Union Street with my grandmother for a while when I was about 4-5 years old, probably because my Dad was also in the RAF and we moved around. Uncle Nev was devoted to the RAF and was a standard bearer, as you remember. It was a lovely tribute that he had a standard bearer at his funeral just a few years ago. He drove the taxis for quite a while and we loved it if he picked us up in it (it didn't happen very often though :). He had two more sisters apart from my mother Wendy, who sadly died at 40 years old. Evelyn (Eve) and Elizabeth (Betty) who have both also sadly died.

Offline Signals99

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2013, 17:23:44 »
Hi Mike S! it appears we have the same  person. Yes indeed, I recall Mr Cowlard, a somewhat single minded person as I recall. He would have been a few years older than I. Remember his sister well, a lady who was forever knitting, also slightly older than me. She often played 'can we cross the water with the youngsters (a game peculiar to this area I'm told), a very quiet family. I have so many memories of that street, but alas no photos. It was the sort of street that if you had a camera you were "posh". The one thing we had in abundance was a strong loyalty to one another, no child went hungry, no one went without help if needed, no door was closed. Sorry I'm getting maudlin, we didn't have a lot but what we had we shared.

Offline Mike S

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2013, 16:40:15 »
Signals99, you are right, Peter Cowlard did live in Union Street.

Offline Signals99

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2013, 09:24:40 »
The name Peter Cowlard rings a bell. I lived in Union Street, Rochester. I moved to the Tideway when my house was demolished, along with the entire street. Memories of a Peter Cowlard and his sister, Wendy came to mind, wonder if its the same person? Got a feeling this chap was in the RAF. They lived next door to the Gale family who lived at twenty four.

Offline Mike S

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 14:12:10 »
Glad somebody else remembers Peter Cowlard, or to give him his full name - Neville Peter Cowlard, a very sincere character.

Offline pandy

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 12:13:25 »
During ‘Battle of Britain Week’ the RAFA branches nationwide are involved in fundraisers for the RAF benevolent fund. The Medway Towns branch would in my parent’s time 1960’s -1980. Adorned in fancy dress and during the early evening, sally forth in the back of an open top lorry complete with a magnificent barrel organ. Peter Cowlard, a stalwart of the branch, was inevitably in charge of turning the handle on the barrel organ. He took his mission seriously and would not let the children accompanying their parents have a go. Of course his reluctance was founded on sound principles. One evening, whilst he was taking a break, I treated the residents of the Wayfield estate to a rendition of ‘Knees up mother Brown’ at 100rpm. Peter was not best pleased. What happened to that magnificent barrel organ?

Offline Mike S

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 00:20:39 »
When RAFA had their Flag Day, I can remember the fund raising in Rochester was done partly by a man by the name of Peter Cowlard with a Barrel Organ. Peter was a Taxi Driver for Brackleys Taxi's in Foord Street.
I  am sure that a lot of the older residents of Rochester will remember him.

Offline Rakiman

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2013, 19:56:34 »
Sorry to hear this sad news.

I always hate it when a veterans club closes, I can't help thinking that the ghosts of those who served, survived and then found friendship in these places feel homeless when they close.

I hope that the artifacts are saved so future generations can use them when researching.

Offline pandy

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 23:27:03 »
Numanfan, I have just looked on Google earth street view to reacquaint myself with the area.
It does appear that the Medway Towns branch of the RAFA had the moving bug. The building I remember (1962) was one down from Gladstone Road. As I previously posted the Oakwood Youth Club were on the corner of Gladstone Road. From ‘street view’ it appears that the former youth club building has been demolished and the former RAFA club building called Mannette House has been extended. (towards Chatham) and at the rear. I would probably have been taken to 120 Chatham Maidstone Road but wisely my memory does not stretch back to when I was four. The following tenants/owners of the former RAFA building were Eagle Star Insurance. Of course there is a strong possibility that I may have this wrong and I remain in awe at all the contributors to the KHF that do proper diligent research and make it such an enjoyable site. I do clearly remember the Spitfire propeller and Boss that was hung on the wall of the lounge at Chat. Maidstone Road only because my father, an ex airframe fitter, always maintained it was neither a Spitfire or Hurricane prop.

Offline numanfan

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 21:32:10 »
In 1955 the club was at 120 Maidstone Road.



 Elmsleigh is no. 118, 120 is now residential (not sure if it's the original or been rebuilt?)
www.move2medway.co.uk - take the journey

AlanWCollins

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 00:49:07 »
Thank you for the info pandy. My dad could has only ever spoken of the previous Dock Road premises, so I was unaware of sites before then. I have just spoken to him and he recalls it being in Chatham, Maidstone Road, close to the Conservative Club. No doubt someone with access to Kelly's could confirm the number. He doesn't remember any dates for any of the moves and the only dates I am certain about are the date the club officially closed (i.e. Sunday) and the date the branch was formed (22 May 1939) having rescued this from the club for safekeeping shortly before it closed:



That's entirely possible, smiffy. When we were clearing out the club, we found a drawer full of various ensigns and flags that could all have graced a flagstaff at some point.

Robin - now that we don't have the pressure of running a club, we are looking to focus our efforts on strengthening the branch. We are fortuitous in that the Medway Towns includes four Air Cadet squadrons which are all eager to help with fundraising. They will also continue to parade at our annual Battle of Britain service.

Chatham Boy - if you have hired the hall or been to a function since late 2008, it is entirely possible you were served by me. I began helping out behind the hall bar in September 2008, doing occasional shifts which became regular in early 2010.

Chatham Boy

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 23:34:55 »
I`ve never been a member but we've hired the hall for a few private functions over the years and I`ve attended many more there, happy memories, its sad to see it go. Lets hope the building itself survives.

Offline Robin

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 23:26:28 »
As a member of the Royal Air Forces Association, I am very sorry to see The Medway Towns RAFA Club close, I visited the Club over many years and remember visiting the previous Club next to Fort Amherst on many occasions with my own branch.  I hope that the Medway Towns RAFA Branch continue to operate for many years to come.

Robin.
Per Ardua ad Astra

Offline smiffy

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Re: The Royal Air Forces Association Club, Chatham
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 22:48:09 »
If I remember rightly the Dock road premises used to have a flagstaff outside where the RAF Ensign was regularly flown.

 

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