Railway Tales

by Peter Booker (This being a list of the uniform & kit I was issued with on joining the RAF as a boy entrant in 1959) I well remember all those years ago It's now five decades, you know. I went into training and while I was there They issued my kit and cut off my hair! We went into training and while we were there, they issued our kit, of which we had to take care. They marched us down to the Clothing Store, and gave us stuff we'd never seen before! The kitbag I carried was meant to be filled with the kit that was issued to me. I had uniforms, two, both Working and Best, exquisitely tailored to fit my 32 inch chest! There were Shoes to be polished and Boots, Pairs of, two, and shirts, PE, one white and one blue! To go with these things were two Shorts, PE, that fitted me snugly, from chest to knee! One Service Dress Hat, with peak shiny black. One webbing belt and a Blue Side Pack! To wear on our Hats we had Badges, Cap, Two, with plastic discs of various hue! A Mug, White China, held a pint of tea, (laced with bromide this was rumoured to be!) Braces and Laces, Knife, Fork and Spoon, and Boy Entrant Wheels on our sleeves to be sewn! Drawers, Cellular, Three, that weren't 'figure huggers, they didn't fit me, must be some other buggerr's! Greatcoat for the cold, Gascape for the wet, and that's not all it got used for I bet! Four Pairs of Socks, Woolen and Towels, White, Three, Oh, yes! And a six and seven eights beret! Next, a Pair of Plimsolls for doing PE, handy for that bracing cross-country! A bag, called a "housewife", held needles, one pack. Thimble, Grey Wool and Cotton, White and Black! Studs, Collar, Front and Back, designed to enable, Collars to be worn, all six, de-tach-able! Vests, Sleeveless, three, of Cotton, white, to keep one warm on a winter's night! Pyjamas, pairs, two, with bottom and top: The bottoms had a gap through which your willy would flop! Round our SD's we wore Chequered Bands, and Blue/Grey Woolen Gloves we wore on our hands, And Jerseys, Knitted, in Wool of Grey/Blue. Did we have just the one, or did we have two? Brushes for This and Brushes for That, don't use the same one for your Boots and your Hat! A thing called a 'Button Stick' for cleaning our brasses, another little job that was a pain in our asses!! A pair of Green Denims for doing GDT, with a fit not all it was cracked up to be! It didn't matter if you were short or tall, the crotch didn't co-incide with yours at all! Three Shirts, Long Sleeved, Collarless, Light Blue, not forgetting Ties, Black, quantity two. You know I think this list is nearly through, laid out on my bed for all to view! All this was issued and had to be, stamped with my number 1-9-3-8-9-4-3! Bed pack on my bed with two pillows on, all laid out for Kit Inspection! All this was carried, yes, I did say all, in a Kitbag and a bag that didn't "Hold All"! I've covered the list, I think there is no more - I handed it back on discharge to the Clothing Store!
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