And so it came to pass that during the course of January 5th 1970 171 young lads arrived at Wendover Station to start a new life in the Royal Air Force. Only 170 actually made it to Halton as legend has it that someone by the name of Cooper got off the train,took one look around him and promptly got back on it again!
These 170 were to form the basis of 217 Craft Apprentice Entry. During the March of that year (some say when the weather improved!) a further 57 young souls joined the ‘Old Timers’ and together set off on a journey lasting 2 years where we were trained in the art of becoming Junior Technicians in the Royal Air Force.
During this time some 47 fell by the wayside for multiple reasons (Medical discharge, re-coursed, discharged misc., admitted to hospital etc) but 8 from other Entries joined us.(But never forget - once 217,always 217!). And so it was that on February 24th 1972 186 members of 217 Entry graduated from No 1 School of Technical Training in the rank of Junior Technician.
But ‘Ah’ I hear you cry,’ What happened to the other two?’ Well they liked it so much they stayed on for some further training!
The rest as they say, is history!