The 125th entry went through the Halton "system" from the 31st March 1975 through to 1st February 1978.
All 52 Apprentices in the main entry photo successfully graduated. Unfortunately we lost a few during the course for one reason
or other. They are of course welcome to get in touch if they so wish. The two year and ten month period was as I remember
it clearly divided into two distinct halves, Pre ONC and Post ONC. The pre ONC period was a hard slog for most of us
as we were also doing trade training as well. (There never seemed to be any co-ordination between the two courses).
Once the ONC was out the way things got a lot easier. Our time at Halton was fairly unadventful but there were a few
interesting moments. One being the re-parking of a whirlwind helecopter on the Henderson parade square. It had been done before
of course back in the distant past and I seem to recall that our boss was not very ammused at the time. Still no real damage
was done. I have since heard that most of the senior officer staff at Halton were actually highly amused by
the incident at the time, the problem was they couldn't admit it at the time! At the 1998 tri-annual reunion I
discovered from a current trainee that the incident is often mentioned so the 125th did leave their mark.
2002 was of course the Queens' Golden Jubilee year and back in 1977 the entry took part in the Silver Jubilee
celibrations in London lining the route just off Trafalgar Square. If I remember correctly as we were
marching back from the parade and nearing Horse Guards Square, (where the coaches were parked), an official limousine came
speeding towards us forcing us to scatter. In the Limo was Michael Foot, who I think was the Employment Secretary
at the time. As the car sped off the Sargeant in charge remarked, "it's bloody Foot".
Also back in 1977 we had our first national firefighters strike, an event that re-occured in 2002 / 2003.
Members of the 125 entry had to provide night and weekend fire cover for a couple of weeks to the Halton camp area.
The regular camp service fire staff were based out elsewhere. No Green Godess for us though, just a long wheel
based landrover and a trailer stuffed with hoses, a few fire extinguishers and axes. Fortunately our basic services
were never required. I have no doubt some other trainees were lumbered with this task once again in 2002 / 2003.