Jeff Collier 1959-1966

I left the School in 1966 having achieved 8 O levels, 3 A levels and an S level. I thoroughly enjoyed my schooldays and have fond memories of the school. I joined the CCF and rapidly became the store-man so I could have a smoke in peace at break times in the air raid shelter used as a store.

I spent the first summer after school working for Chichester Rural District Council out of their Westhampnett Depot initially cleaning oil off Selsey and Wittering beaches but then advanced (?) to working on the Lidsey Bridge sewage works. This was the one that served Butlins, Bognor and had by far and away the greatest throughput of all the sewage works. It also grew the biggest and best tomatoes. The downside was, no matter how many baths I had, people would cross the road to avoid me, but the upside was that I was later found to be immune to many contagious diseases.

In the autumn I started at Portsmouth College of Advanced  Technology, ostensibly for a degree in Economics, but my heart was never really in it and after a year mainly spent in the betting shop (I have never gambled since) and a large proportion of Portsmouth’s 800 Brickwoods pubs, I decided I really wanted to travel the world. I had thoroughly enjoyed my time in the School CCF so I decided that joining one of the Services was my best option. The Army was too much like hard work and dangerous as well, I couldn’t swim so the navy was out, which left the RAF so I duly presented myself at RAF Biggin Hill for a possible commission as a pilot. Unfortunately, although I lasted the 3-day selection process, I was considered too immature and told to come back in two years. Undeterred, I went back to the RAF Careers Office in Arundel Street and was persuaded by the staff (who knew they were desperately short of candidates) that I was the perfect person to become an RAF Policeman; virtually certain to be a Corporal within a year and with postings all over the world and I was gullible enough to agree. Just in case, though, I only signed on for the minimum period then available, three years and was dispatched to RAF Swinderby in Lincolnshire to begin my training.