When John McGregor sat down in 2010 and wrote his memoirs of the time he spent at RAF Thorney Island in the late 1960s and 1970s, he had no idea where it would take him.
He lives in Spain and when he popped over to Portsmouth last September to promote his book Fairy Tales of an SAC, I featured his colourful stories from his time at the base near Emsworth.
As a result, several old lads and lasses got in touch which has now prompted a reunion next month.
John says: ‘I can’t believe the amazing things that have happened. As well as becoming re-acquainted with old friends, the biggest boost has to be a major RAF reunion that came about following a night’s reminiscing in the Lord Raglan pub in Emsworth.’
At the end of the night the unanimous verdict was that a full reunion had to take place. This will happen at Thorney Island on May 12 in The Sailing Club, known as The Nuffield, between noon and 6pm.
John adds: ‘Thorney Island is now a fully-functioning Army base. Anyone who has an RAF connection with Thorney from those days is very welcome to attend, but clearance is needed first, so anyone wishing to come can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0034 6000 88341 with their full names, car make and registration details, to get them through the guarded barrier on the day.
‘We have about 40 people coming at the moment and anyone who wishes to come will be made very welcome’.
John will be signing his book in Waterstones’ Chichester branch on May 9 and the Portsmouth store on May 11 between 10am and 3pm on both days.
n Fairy Tales of an SAC is available from Waterstones, or directly from Woodfield publishing at £9.95.