Not to be forgotten
Website for members of the former Hereford Parachute Club
This website was created on August 10, 2003.
From Andy Mann
Its my sad duty to let you know that Bob Price ex Hereford
Parachute Club member passed away on the 29th September 2013,
Bob was a stalwart member of the Club renowned for his very dry senseFrom Dave Howerski,
of humour and liking for Polo Mints, to hide the alcholic breath
(allegedly !!), hence Bob became Bob "Polo Mint" Price !!
His funeral is on Friday 18th October 2013 at 2.15 at Hereford
Bobs funeral was well attended. His nephew Steve gave a nice Eulogy.
In attendance from HPC there was Mike Townsend, John Boxall, Myself and
Andy Mann, alongside Mike Tennant and Les Cooper . Mike Tennant
was a HPC jumper who served with Bob in the Light Infantry and jumped
with him in the Flying Bugles display team.Mike went on to serve in the
It was a good event and the mourners retired to Bob's Traditional
drinking haunt the Brewers Arms in Hereford. There was a very interesting
montage display of photos there , covering Bob's life , which spanned some
time as a railway stoker, service as a merchant seaman , oil industry work in
Vietnam during the Vietnam war , and military service in the British Army,
which includes 6 years of display jumping for the light infantry.
Despite Bob's solitary manner and dry sense of humour he was clearly very well
liked and respected and this was really apparent from the wide attendance
and broad age range at his funeral. He had a really good send off.
On Friday 15th April 2011 at 4am, Peter Prior passed away. Peter was a former chairman of Bulmers, an ex-serviceman that served with distinction within the forces during WW2 and was a great friend of the Hereford Parachute Club and all its members.
Click the photo to go to Peter's web page.
Bert, Shobdon air traffic control
This is from the newspaper 'This is Herefordshire' first published on Thursday 28 December 2000:
The voice of Shobdon Airfield is dead at 75
A MAN whose voice welcomed in thousands of pilots from all over the country to Shobdon Airfield has died at the age of 75, writes CATHERINE SHOVLIN.
Albert Frederick Wear was a lifetime engineer and a respected member of the Herefordshire Aero Club.
He helped to form the county's Parachute Club, which was allowed in to the top-secret grounds of the SAS at Bradbury Lines.
Mr Wear's interest in flying was boosted by his first engineering job working for Barronia Metals in Blueschool Street, Hereford, making fuel system parts used on Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancasters.
In 1946, after serving in the army, he became a supervisor at Aeroparts, which was based at the site where Safeway supermarket now stands in Commercial Road.
His first task there was starting production of Land Rover four-wheel drive components and Ford Dexter tractor parts.
He went on to work for Praills as a machine shop manager and then, with Teddy Praill, formed Midwest Engineering in 1965.
Mr Wear's other business enterprises included JD Engineering and Hereford Metal Finishers, which he set up with son Michael shortly before retiring. In his spare time he was a sporting motorcyclist and a member of the Wye Valley Auto Club.
His Herefordshire Parachute Club used aircraft based at Shobdon and trained at the SAS camp at Bradbury Lines. Members were also allowed to use the special service's equipment. Mr Wear made his first jump at Shobdon in 1960.
He qualified as a pilot in 1970 and served many years as an air traffic controller at Shobdon.
Paul Wayne Kibblewhite
Paul was one of nine Swansea Parachute Club members that died together when the Chinook helicopter they were in crashed at Mannheim, West Germany on September 11, 1982. In all I believe 46 people lost their lives, 38 skydivers, seven United States soldiers and one United States airman perished when a synchronising gearbox failed on the helicopter.
The skydiver nationalities were 23 French, 9 British and 6 West German.
Paul is the middle being checked out on the manifest. Mark Owen is the static line jumper on the right and Sid Lippett is facing the camera smiling. Also looks like Rick Shaw with the white jumper on? Dave Fuller on left in white t-shirt and camera around neck.
Kipper on the top of the 2 man CRW and exiting.
Kipper was staying in the Mortimer's Cross one night (probably with a lady friend !!) (you wouldn't believe the number of lady friends that turned up at his funeral !!) when the following morning on the way to Shobdon he was stopped by the police, about 300 yards from the Mortimers, the police noticed he did not have a tax disc, unusual I know for a parachutist!!.
Kipper explained it away like
" I don't think the policeman believed him !!
Photo's and story by Andy Mann
Some new photo's sent to me by one of Paul's friends Mark Newdick when he and Paul and others were in the RNR at Cardiff. Mark describes them.
The first photo was taken in 1978 with Paul at the helm of "Valsheda", a 40' sloop we'd rented for the weekend. We were leaving Jersey.
The second photo is leaving Cowes in May 1978. Names are Carey, Unknown (girl), self, Kipper, Terry and Maggie (Kipper's friend)
Third photo is as above (though I'm now taking the picture) and Tom Winstanley poking his head over the cabin and the forth photo is again on "Winkle Picker" and taken in May 1978.
Click on images
(Pat the Carpet)
John Speight, Pat Keeley and John Coughlin
Paul Webb, John Speight, Phillip Ainsworth, John Coughlin, Pat Keeley
Photo's from Phil Ainsworth
John Boxall writes:
Graham Cross was a member of the Hereford Aero club for many years and the backbone in developing the club to what it has become today, he was a field manager at the Midland Electricity Board in Hereford and assisted in redirecting power lines and painting high vis i.d. on many poles at Shobdon to benefit the parachute operation. He spent many hours as air traffic controller during parachuting operations to ensure a safe system of aircraft and helicopter movements was in place.
Graham single-handedly built and wired up the aircraft flight simulator in the classroom under the control tower which went on to train many pilots prior to them taking to the air for the first time.
But his biggest contribution to the parachute club was is selfless dedication to flying the jumpship, he became the clubs chief pilot and flew almost every weekend for many years dropping jumpers. When we held the National Parachute championships at Shobdon Graham spent most of the day in the air and visiting jumpers were heard to comment that they never had the need to feed him corrections to the opening point - he would just put it there every time ! (the only thing Graham did get fed was the odd sandwich whilst climbing to altitude).
I would welcome any information or photo's that anyone could send to me about the club during the years that it operated.
Have you got a story about the club or any of its members? to tell? Please send them to me, although in some cases I may have to edit them a bit!