ON  1st SEPTEMBER 2018




Denis O’Brien                                                 Chairman

John Styles                                                       Deputy Chairman

                             Tony Whittaker                                               Treasurer

                              Peter Milner                                                    Branches Secretary

Alan Farley                                                       IT

                              Barry Smith                                                      Council Member

                              Les Shardlow                                                   General Secretary

                                                             109 Members present













Introduction and Apologies

The Chairman welcomed the Members present.

Sir Michael Armitage, Sir Dusty Miller, AM Cliff Spink, Barry Hathaway ( Editor Haltonian)  and numerous other members had sent their apologies. The attendance of 109 Members met the criteria for a quorum.



Member Requests-Council Statement

Prior to the beginning of the formal elements of the AGM the Chairman briefed the meeting regarding requests for a number of Motions submitted by Members co-ordinated by Charles Challinger ( 100th Entry).  The Chairman offered a comprehensive explanation of the reasons why the Motions were not acceptable,  principally relating  to the fact that the

the Constitution  did not recognise the use of such mechanisms. They were therefore deemed invalid. Members could only petition Council for consideration.  In addition, the topics of certain submissions fell outside the remit of the Association. In particular there was no Constitutional mechanism for votes of no confidence. The Charity Commission  guidelines (CC3) make it quite clear that unless included in a Constitution such votes have no validity . In turn, topics concerning RAFHAT are outside the scope of the AGM  Where relevant questions had been raised ( eg  questions concerning accounts clarification) they would be addressed in the appropriate Agenda item. The full record of the Council discussions concerning these matters was available from the General Secretary  on request to guarantee the integrity of the Association.



Minutes of the Last Meeting

The minutes of the last AGM were presented to the members present. A lengthy discussion on accuracy and validity took place. In turn, certain Members took the view that Minutes should be produced with alacrity and / or to a specified timescale. There was no Constitution mandated timescale, while historically Minutes had invariably been distributed some three weeks prior to the subsequent AGM. This would continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. The  Minutes were ultimately  proposed by Peter West  seconded by Colin Andrews and passed.



Matters Arising

19 points of order were presented by Jerry Collier(79th Entry) regarding the minutes of the last meeting.  It was established by the Chairman and in open discussion  that this  member had  not been  present at the 2017 AGM.  Therefore the request  to re-write the minutes to incorporate the submitted  points of order was not allowable due to  the members non-attendance.  



Chairman’s Report

The Chairman’s report highlighted the activities of the previous year.  Much effort was associated with Legacy and closure issues. Other significant work was directly related to matters raised by Charles Challenger  .



Report available from RAFHAA office.



Financial Statement

The Treasurer gave his Financial Report for the year ending December 2017. A number of questions relating to the accounts had been raised  . The core matter concerned the need for additional explanatory notes. Questions outside the Association area of responsibility eg Trenchard Engineering Apprentice  Legacy Ltd and RAFHAT were deemed not to be relevant . The status of RAFHAT – a Charity in its own right- was clarified by the Chairman. Thus, related financial topics   were excluded from supplementary debate. Issues of relevance of interest to the AGM were addressed by the Treasurer who recognised the value to the layman of explanatory notes.

The Financial Examiner, Fred Crooks, had inspected the accounts and signed the appropriate certificate for the Charities Commission that they were in order.

The Association thanked Fred Crooks and the Treasury team for all their hard work over the past year. Peter West proposed and Barry Smith seconded acceptance of the accounts which were endorsed by the meeting.

Published on the RAFHAA website an Haltonian


Membership Report

 A Pie chart was presented showing membership categories and overall numbers. The data shows the decline in numbers.




Legacy and Council Plan update

The Chairman summarised the Association’s close and ongoing  relationship  with RAFHAT - the primary legacy vehicle. He reminded the AGM that RAFHAT had been established after extensive consultation .He encouraged scrutiny of the RAFHAT Constitution which was available on the Charity Commission website. Air Marshal Julian Young, the RAF’s top engineer and  son of an ex Apprentice had agreed to become Patron of RAFHAT. Gp Capt Tony Keeling ( Stn Cdr RAF Wittering)  took the opportunity to reinforce the importance of RAFHAT as the Legacy Charity sustaining the memory of Trenchard’s scheme fitting  for the 21st Century and the role it has to support young people.

Transfer of responsibility of the Grove at the NMA  from the Association to RAFHAT had been agreed by all relevant parties and was planned for the last quarter of 2019. In turn, should it not prove possible to keep the Tribute at Halton the NMA had agreed in principle to take ownership and relocate it in a revamped Grove. The preferred choice remained a Halton location

The No 1 S of TT Archives would ultimately rest with Bucks CC  during 2020. This would facilitate professional management and ready public access.

The Association was keeping a close eye on plans for St George’s with particular emphasis on the Stained Glass Windows which were now regarded as an integral element of the MoD owned building. However it was becoming clear that there was no simplistic immediate  solution .( See Note 1)

With a change in Station priorities the Council was now open to revising the location for the 2020 Triennial with every prospect of it now being held at RAF Halton.

In anticipation of the planned closure of the Association  in 2020, Council had embarked on discussions  to reach agreement on the laying up of our Standard and Book of Remembrance at St Clement Danes-the RAF Church. This is expected to be after the 2020 Triennial .

Unfortunately , due to its own priorities for the RAF Centennial commemoration, the RAF Museum recognition of the Apprentice Scheme had not been as significant as we would have wished. However,  the work at their Cosford site was expected to remedy this deficiency by 2020. No costs for the RAF Museum initiatives had fallen or would fall to the Association . An update would be offered at the 2019 AGM.

The narrative generated a range of questions on the way ahead (Sec Note 2)









Barry Hathaway (100th) was commended on his work as Haltonian Editor. The Haltonian would continue to be published in hard copy to reflect AGM wishes.



Trenchard Museum

On the initiative of the Chairman, the Museum Curator, Francis Hanford was invited to update the AGM on Museum activities. On the day , the Association Archivist , Min Larkin, took the floor to supplement Francis. Min offered  his personal  views on Museum related activities and initiatives. The Chairman reminded the meeting that the Museum was a Station, not Association asset.



President’s Address

The Station Commander’s representative  gave an address on Station Developments-and the need to recognise  and present on

 the legacy of  the RAF Apprentice scheme . However it would be some time before the way ahead on MoD legacy priorities would be clarified.



Message from our Patron

The Chairman  read out a message from Sir Michael Armitage, our Patron.




There being no further business the meeting closed at 1700hrs.




Secretary Notes

 Note 1.

Subsequent to the AGM, MoD revised the drawdown and closure dates with a delay from 2022 to 2025.

However, Training tasks which would impact on Station resources would be transferred prior to this date. Closure would still occur.


Note 2.

Immediately following meeting closure on behalf of the Council the Chairman agreed to accept the offer of Charles Challinger and John Shelley to help map out alternative ways ahead under Council direction.

Work on this, after agreement to ToRs, started in November 2018. It is anticipated that outcomes will be offered via the Haltonian and 2019 AGM.



1.      Chairman’s Report

2.       Financial Statement

3.      Membership Detail




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Chairman                                                                                                                    General Secretary

D C O’Brien                                                                                                                 L J Shardlow

Date………………………..                                                                                             Date………………………