As I move into the 90's I thought I would concentrate a bit on the umpteen special memories I have had over the past 90 years!
The list will not be in any special order
Incidentally the pic used for the above title was a picture I did aged 7 in May 1937 probably at Beaver Road School.
It was probably done to celebrate the coronation of George VI and Elizabeth on May 12th .
Having been called up for National Service in 1951 I was selected to go onto a Fighter Control course at RAF Middle Wallop.
As well as learning how to control aircraft by looking at moving dots on a monitor we also went airborne on Avro Anson aircraft to understand the other side of controlling.
On one occasion our Polish pilot gave me the chance of actually flying the aircraft for a short while - what a moment!
I was so excited that when we landed - before we actually came to a standstill I accidentally ejected the cabin door!
to quote Dads Army - you stupid boy!
After qualifying as a Fighter Controller my first posting was at RAF Seaton Snook in 1952 and I lived nearby at RAF Thornaby.
During this time I once went airborne in a Gloster Meteor two seater jet fighter. It was the first and only time I had to wear a parachute
Wow -the experience was amazing and in no time at all we were up near Edinburgh.
A never to forget day!
Little did I realize that many years later while working for the Army I would be flying in several different helicopters - more later.
Flying High in 1951 and 1956
SP-MEM1- UK
SP-MEM2 - Cambodia
During a visit to Cambodia in 2005 I had my very first and only balloon flight - we did not have parachutes!
The main view was of the famous Angkor Wat - a World Heritage Site
SP-MEM3 - Kenya
In 1985 I visited Kenya and one of the places visited was Nanyuki - near to Mount Kenya - and as it was near the equator I just had to stand on the equator itself.
Many More to come
Index
Man City
Have I got Views for you
SP-MEM4 - Pakistan
In 1976 I visited Pakistan to do a presentation to the Tourist Office.
During the visit I took the opportunity to visit the Khyber Pass and a small village - Darra Adamkhel about 25 miles from Peshawar.
This tribal village is home to many gunsmiths and you could see all kinds of weapons being made in the side streets. They are all hand made. I had to be very careful when taking pictures as at that time there were not many European visitors.
Another first on this trip was the loss of my suitcase ! Apparently the handle was broken in UK and only got it back in the final days in Karachi!
It was in 1983 that I was in a USA prison - as a visitor of course! Having arrived in San Francisco I could not resist going to Alcatraz and I did have the experience of being locked in a dark cell for a few minutes! It is a major tourist attraction.
SP-MEM5 - USA
In 2002 I visited another prison which was in Rawlings in Wyoming . It had only closed in 1981 and on the right you can see the gas chamber which replaced hanging in 1937
SP-MEM6 - USA
Antelope Canyon is an area in Arizona I have visited several times. It is just east of Page and is one of the few places that you can get the best pics at noon when the sun is overhead and you can capture the beams of light coming through the slots.. There are two areas both in Navaho territory .It can be dangerous too in Lower Antelope as people have been killed when there have been flash floods. The last in 1997. I have been there 3 times -1998, 2002 and 2008
SP-MEM7 - Morocco
In the 70's I went to Gibraltar to take some images for the launch of the Nikon EL and decided after a day or so I would get more interesting images in Tangier so I took the ferry over to Morocco. I hired a driver on arrival in Tangier and on the second day he drove me to an area on the edge of the city. I had just started taking the odd image - a couple above - when suddenly the car was surrounded by a large hostile group who began to attack the car. The driver tried to argue with them but I managed to persuade the driver to go - quickly! I hate to think what might have happened
SP-MEM8 - Saudia Arabia
SP-MEM9 - India
Working for Saudia Catering as a free lance for several years led to me being in Saudia Arabia many times in the 80's and I soon learnt that at weekends many locals went out into the desert for relaxation. I joined them on several occasions and it also gave me the chance to shoot some pics of the sand dunes in the early morning.

The first sight of the Taj Mahal is memorable and mine was in 1980. It is a World Heritage site now - designated in 1983.

Went on to Nepal for a glimpse of Everest

 

The image below was used as a poster in an early Kill Bill film I understand
SP-MEM10 - Cyprus
In early April 1988 I was in Cyprus for a script meeting for a video for a client. At breakfast at the hotel in Western Cyprus we heard that an aircraft had been hi-jacked and landed at Larnaca Airport. The three of us decided to leave straight away and we drove to a hotel near the airport. It's position allowed us to see the aircraft - a Kuwait Airways 747 Flight 422. The jumbo jet had been hijacked en route from Bangkok to Kuwait by several Lebanese guerillas and the hostage crisis lasted 16 days and covered three continents.
We were first to the hotel and beat BBC,Sky etc by several hours. The aircraft had landed at Larnaca to refuel at
9-10 pm after Damascus Airport in Syria refused to let it land.
The hijackers were demanding the release of 17 pro-Iranian terrorists jailed in Kuwait
While many TV people and onlookers arrived to see the aircraft at least one person carried on with his work!
SP-MEM11 - Manchester
Geoff Boycott congratulates Gower on his Test run record
Test Match Special Box with David LLoyd and Brian Johnston
3 English Captains - Gary Lineker ,Graham Gooch and Will Carling

I had been taking some pics at the England v Pakistan test at Old Trafford in 1992 when I heard my name coming over the loudspeakers asking me to go to the secretary's office. I discovered that having lunch near the pavilion were Gary Lineker and Will Carling. I then took them to the England team dressing room balcony for the image on the right.

Later I was able to get some pics in the Test Match Special Box

 

SP-MEM12 - Copenhagen
In July 1985 a bomb was thrown into the offices of Northwest Orient Airlines near the Vesterport station in Copenhagen injuring 27.
I had been staying at a hotel nearby. The shot of the Tivoli at night was taken from my hotel window the previous evening
SP-MEM13 -Taiwan
In early September 1956 I flew from Hong Kong to Taipei to referee an Asian Cup match between Nationalist China and South Korea at the new Municipal Stadium. It was my first full international as a referee and it resulted in a 2-1 win for South Korea. The 20,000 crowd did not cause any problems though an interesting fact was that neither of the linesmen could speak any English. This required a long pre-match discussion using an interpreter.
A few days later the two teams were going to play a friendly game which I was also going to referee. However a typhoon struck Taipei and I was stuck behind shutters in my hotel for a couple of days. I then discovered that the typhoon had blown the roof of the stand off and the friendly was cancelled. .I flew back to Hong Kong straight away!
I am being presented with a bunch of flowers
There were armed soldiers placed around the pitch -
no doubt to guard me!
They were still working on the ground when I arrived in Taipei
At least everything was ready just before the game!
SP-MEM14 - Army - Germany
When my Dad took me to his old regiment and took this pic of me in an Army vehicle little did I realize that years later when working for the Army I would get the chance of sitting in a tank during an exercise in Germany.
SP-MEM15 -Ethiopia
In 1976 I visited Ethiopia to shoot pics for a possible travel trip and when in Addis Ababa I managed to have a chat with Haile Selassie's lion. As the Emperor had died a few years before my visit he was not in a good mood!
They would not let me drive it!!
no enemy in sight yet
Not much room inside the tank
Not a good idea to use a wide angle lens when the tanks are on the move!
SP-MEM16 -USA
Plenty to see ,and buy and eat here - loved the fruit pie!
On the return journey I stopped at the famous mail box ( now it's black) but despite all the warnings
did not spot a UFO!!!
SP-MEM17 - UK
In 1986 I visited Peru and Bolivia and in Peru had several opportunities to take pics of Llamas. At the end of one day our coach was about to leave and I was sitting near the driver. A local lady wanted a lift and with her was a baby llama that ended up next to me so I was able to chat to it. It was quite dark alas.
In 1998 I was traveling through the USA and on day 10 decided to visit Area 51. I had to drive over 80 miles to reach the ET Highway (route 375) through the Nevada desert. Eventually I reached Rachel and popped into the local shop for some souvenirs.
On a later visit to the USA in 2008 I stopped off at Roswell to visit the UFO Museum.
It is excellent and I had an interesting chat with its director.
One of the UFOs wasn't very well but I did have a chat and a drink with another one!
On the 4th June 1967 I was sitting at home in Manchester when I heard on the news that an aircraft had crashed in the middle of Stockport. I grabbed my camera and drove to Stockport and managed to park not too far away . There were many people at the site so I could not get too close but I spotted a Granada TV vehicle so I climbed onto its roof to take some pics. The pic on the left shows David Hamilton live on TV.

It was a Argonaut passenger aircraft and of the 82 on board 72 were killed
It was returning from Palma in Majorca

SP-MEM18 - Peru
SP-MEM19 - North Sea
While working for SAS Copenhagen in the 80's I visited an Oil Well in the North Sea to take some images.
Mogens Hanson and I went by Helicopter but only stayed a day because of regulations but it was a very interesting visit.
SP-MEM20 - USA
SP-MEM21 - Hong Kong & Macau

Whilst on a trip to the USA in 2008 I visited Tucson in Arizona and went to the huge Pima Air and Space Museum..
I went onboard the Douglas VC -118a aircraft which was used as Air force 1 for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson
between 1961 and 1965

While I was based in Hong Kong I refereed 2 Cup Finals in 2 countries ! The first was in Macau then a Portuguese Colony in May 1956 - The Fire Brigade beating the Macau Army 5-1. Nice to see the Union Jack on top of the stand!
The 2nd Game was in a packed Hong Kong Stadium in 1957 . The first game between South China and KMB ended in a 3 all draw after extra time, South China won the replay 6-2 . Sorry the keeper saving cut out my head!
The above pic of the Stadium was taken by me in 1978 when I returned to the ground where I had refereed so many games when I was in Hong Kong in 1956-57. It used to have a capacity of about 30,000.
While I was there I got permission to take some pics and above are two examples -the one on the left being one of my favourite's
I am about to referee an Asian Cup game between Israel and Vietnam in Sept 1956 .Israel won 2-1
In another match I am having a few words with a player!
A really annoying fact is that towards the end of my stay in Hong Kong I was invited by the Hong Kong FA to referee in the 1958 Olympic Games in Melbourne Australia. Alas the RAF said no as my time abroad was up !!!
Back to the Past - much more HERE
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