140 Entry in background
Imagine this scene, with the Halton Pipes & Drums Band leading us off the square, playing "Auld Lang Syne". The crump, crump of shoes on gravel. We're doing a slow march - which takes some concentration, see it written on our faces?
We've finished the Passout Parade and we're on our way to the church for the Passout Service. It's the last time we'll EVER march together as a complete entry on this square, down the hill, across the road. Once dismissed, we join our families for the service and 139 Entry ceases to exist, except in memory.
The guys behind us are from 140 Entry, saluting us as we leave. You see those badges on their sleeves? They are Apprentice Wheels. Those guys are happy because they are now the 'senior entry', which means they rule the roost. They're also maybe sad and a little jealous because they still have six months of training and the final exams still ahead of them, while the 139's are leaving Halton today to start a new life.
From the 139 point of view - today is the pinnacle of our service career, so far. Three years of training and now we remove our Wheels, replace them with a Junior Technician badge, move on to an operational station and earn more money. We will probably get more sleep too!
I remember feeling very happy, proud & relieved to have made it through the apprenticeship as well as through the parade!
Three pix fron Kev Hudson:
(l-r) Cotter, Moir (behind Cotter), AM Sir Eric Dunn, Porter, Massey, Rowden, Littlewood, Ward, Hudson, Monnery, Kilgour.