It was while at Krefeld I started to take an interest in both still and cine photography and one of the lads I did my basic with Malcolm Margerison and I spent a lot of time taking photos!! We both then worked as projectionists for the AKC Elizabeth Cinema for about three years in our spare time, and got paid for it as well! One particular year we were host to Harry Secombe and Sandy Shaw (Puppet on a String) who did a concert there, and later a concert by the Hayes Girls Choir.
In October of 1968 I returned to the UK to get married and then posted to 8th Sig Regt at Catterick to retrain as a lineman and managed to get married quarters there for the duration of the course. On completion I was sent to 4 Div Sig Regt at Herford, Hammersmith Barracks, first of all staying in barracks till a flat became vacant at a satellite quarters site called GMH Georgsmarienhutte a small village the other side of Osnabruck. Here my wife and I made friends with one of the cooks at 4 Div Alec Edwards and his wife Mo, who we later visited after my discharge and they were posted just up the road from where we lived at Tidworth, I have just made contact with them again as my wife and I divorced and she had their address.
|Herford was a great place but the unit was the
worst I had been to, exercises nearly every month and enough bullshit to make
the guards feel at home. We had a new CO his first field posting a Lt Col Lucas
who was so crazy that he made us pick up all the leaves in the camp and then got
the Army Air Corps (in the same Barracks) to fly their Sioux helicopters
over to blow the rest down!! After a while I was relocated to new married
quarters in Schubertstrasse which ran alongside the camp and though this made it
easier to stagger home after exercises or a night in the NAAFI it was
handy to be called out for duties!
We left Herford in December of 1971 when myself and Johnny Goodfellow another lineman had the luck to be posted to Airfield tp, 261 Sig Sqn in Akrotiri Cyprus. And what a dramatic change from 4 Div! Life was more simple, no guard duties, these were done by the RAF we only had duty lineman and driver which came around once every six weeks, great accommodation our own little canteen and some of the best lads I had ever served with. Our OC was Capt Brian Turner also from Southampton and I became Troop Clerk. Spent all my spare time hiring out a car (around £8 a day then) and touring the island with a couple of friends. My wife decided to stay back in the UK then.
I left Cyprus in February of 1973 for discharge after my nine years service had expired and after disembarkation leave reported to the resettlement centre at Aldershot for a four week course to join the Prison Service which I did not do in the end!! I decided to do shop work for a while then take my HGV licence and become a trucker and ended up doing trans continental work up to about 1993 when I developed Angina and had to hand my licence in.
I now live just outside of Southampton with my third wife Caroline and our four cats, but am unable to work due to heart problems and blocked arteries, I had a triple heart Bypass in 1997 and two heart attacks since then and have just had a Axillo-Bifemoral Bypass which meant a tube from just under the right shoulder through the chest and then split to the two groin areas and in the new year of 2007 another tube will be put in from the left groin to just below the left knee.
COPYRIGHT©CHRIS HAYLES 2005