Welcome to the BP Kids Message Board. If your looking for somebody or you want to write about life in Aden please feel free to use this board.
All posts in English please !
Hi every one,
As the site is somewhat quiet right now I thought it might be fun to share where and how we grew up, as for me we are looking at South Wales, Iran and Aden, how about you? Not wishing to bore anyone I will refrain from my history until there is any interest in what could be very interesting. enlightening and coincedetal as to our friendships. Any takers?
Ps come on guys lets get the site rocking again, lets face it you have an interest. you must have a history. We are a unique community and it should not be allowed to be lost whilst we still have a say!!!!!!!
HI Roddy, I will be the first one to start. I was born in Chatham, Kent and moved to Aden in 1961. I went to the LAPA for two years and then onto the Isthmus school. As the age limit there for education was 11, my mother took leave of Aden and returned me to the UK to continue my education for what it was worth! We went out to Aden until 1971 for Summer,Christmas and Easter holidays. My father left Aden in 1971 and went to work at Britannic house until he took early retirement. I did a spell in the army i.e R.E.M.E. and then went to work for a company in North London specialising in ancillary equipment for the printing trades. I emigrated to the USA in 1984. I still work in the printing business in and around the Chicago area. I have been very fortunate to have visited Aden 3 times in the past 5 years. I would love to go back again but think the situation is a little too unsettled at this moment. I keep myself busy flying my own aeroplane and playing with ham radio equipment.
I was born in London and went to Aden by sea in 1955. I also went to the isthmus scholl until I was 11 then I went back to England for boarding school in Kent. I went home to Little Aden for vacations with my father. i moved to Australia when I was 16 and finished school there. I trained as a Psychologist in Western Australia. I did spend a year in Canada then immigrated to the USA where I am now. I have lived in Hershey (yes is does smell like chocolate) Houston Texas and now New Haven CT. I hope to retire to Denver in the not too distant future.
Hi, I was 19, I think when I went to Aden in 1962. Stationed at RAF Steamer Point, and billeted in Chapel Hill. A Barrack Block housing about 20. Tiled Floors, and three huge fans down the middle to provide cooling. In the summer we pulled our beds out onto the balcony to try to capture the cooling breezes.
The billet had a Somali Bearer and his Chico. They made the beds, cleaned the floors, polished our shoes, and brass cap badges. Not forgetting selling Tea coffee and biscuits and running errands to the shop at the foot of the hill. For all this each of us paid Five Shillings per fortnight. The other expense was to the Dhobi Wallah. We left our Dhobi wrapped up in a towel, at the foot of our beds each morning. Around 5pm the Dhobi staggering under a huge bundle on his back, delivered it. Washed and starched. I still remember my Dhobi symbols. This too cost Five Shillings a fortnight.
Life was pleasant and uneventful, with the Mess and the NAAFI at the foot of the hill. So we could eat, and drink to excess and stagger back to the billet before midnight. Often one would discover bodies who were too drunk to make the climb. Drinking Draught Tiger and Tiger Tops, or for a change down town for Becks, Amstel, or St Pauli Girl, in The Long Bar or some other drinking den. Not forgetting... The Marina Hotel, which was a great retreat with an upstairs balcony view of the Crescent.
With escalating troubles things changed. More Guard Duty. One day the Dhobi Wallah would say......Rifles tonight, Sahib......Sure enough when one paraded, a rifle (no ammo) would be issued. Further down the line it would be........ Bayonets tongiht, Sahib.......And finally..... Five Rounds tonight.... All it all came true. They knew before we did. The irony was that one had to have an up to date Firing Certificate to be allowed on guard and be able to kill someone. One morning about 7. still reeling from an encounter with a Tiger the night before, I presented at the range in cemetery valley, for said certificate. Barely able to see the targets I put 9 rounds into one. Then fired at the circling Kite Hawks over Sham San. When the range sergeant asked where the 10th round went I told him to look carefully as I had put TWO through the same hole.!!!!
The overall situation led to Armed Guards on the School Busses which went from Mallah to the school above our billets on Chapel Hill. So there was a bunch of young RAF guys, probably hung over, "protecting" bus loads of school children. With clumsy .303s and a few rounds. Thankfully, as far as I know, none of us was put to the test.
Golfing at The Union Kormaksar club, and watching the Hawker Hunters doing circuits and bumps, and the odd foray to the Little Aden Golf Club was also another favourite pastime. At the Union Khormaksar Club... The BEST drink ever for a hangover. Fresh Limes squeezed into a pint glass, topped up with Lemonade, and ice. Wonderful...
Climbs up Sham San, many of them, The Fort on Sirah Island, Tawilah Tanks.......The ******* Heat. The Aden Gut.
Memories......... I dont know why before Heat the site has put in a load of stars. No swear words. You will all remember it... starts with P and ends with ly. Sounds like Pickles... Don.
What great memories! OK, born in Abadan, Iran, in 1949, thrown out of there in some CIA inspired or countered ( never can remember who was on whose side) revolution and went to Belgium. Moved to some place called England and my father worked at Kent refinery. Went to the most magic place when I was about 4 years old - sun, sand, no roads , beaches, fishermen pulling in their catch on the beach opposite our house, heavy earthmoving machinery left idle for kids to play on, mountains blown up so we could have a swimming area and kids everywhere! Aden! Pat Stockdale beat me there and got her picture taken on my dad's shoulders in the first "swimming pool" with the 'shark proof' fence in "We Found a Valley", a film that BP denies having made! Pat on one side, must have been 15 Marine Drive, we were at 13, John with the chemistry set at 11 and Peta Turner at 9? Went to school and learnt Arabic! Which still amazes people nearly 60 years later when, in my current job looking after relationships with the Middle East, I make the correct reply to salaam aleikum!
When I was about 7 I was sent to boarding school in England. Could never really recapture the innocence and sheer joy of Aden after that. Went back twice a year, Christmas and Summer and the parties were magic and the swimming was great and the friends wre to die for - but it only lasted a few weeks and then we got back on the lollipop specials and flew back to the UK; and you never really knew who would be there the next time you went "home". Then it was our turn to leave except I never had a chance to say. Goodbye. Just went to Scotland with some relatives for the summer while the parents came back. I thought I saw Helen Wells at the Braemar games but couldn't find her in the crowd.
We moved to Milan with BP Italiana and had a great life with every school holiday spent with the parents. Went skiing, travelled, learnt new languages, made new friends but none whose names I could remember now and then left.
Went to work. Came to Australia 40 years ago next December and still remember Aden so clearly that I can almost taste the Kitty Cola!
Seeing as I instigated the subject, I thought it was time to put my twoopennith worth in!! Seeing as life to date memories have transpired I will do the same albeit in a condensed form.
Born in Worcester in 1946, I spent a fantastic early childhood on the Gower coast as Dad was Mooring Master at the oil terminal akin to the BP refinery at LLandarcy. Moved on to Iran in 1956 to a godforsaken creek called Bandar Mashur which was east of Abadan, its only saving grace was that it had an olympic sized swimmimg pool just over the road to us, where incidentely I was taught to swim by the southern Irish schoolboy champion, Paddy Eccles, an engineer on the tugs.
Then it happened.....1958 and Little Aden, oh joy of joy, what more could a young boy want? Dad was the senior master and captain of the tug, The BP Guard, and the curries on board on a Sunday were to die for!! I went to the Isthmus school at Khormaksar then after a short time at boarding school went on to join the Royal Air Force at the tender age of 15. Returning to Aden in 1964 as an airman at RAF Khormaksar I had a great life living out at home, working, being a nineteen year old and getting scared out of my pants on many an occassion! Retiring after some 30 years service I joined Bombardier Aerospace as the Aircraft Engineering and Fuels Manager supporting the USAF at RAF Fairford. During this time I fought the first gulf war supporting B52 bomber missions, the only conflict where I didn't get shot at and went home for tea and medals every evening, very refreshing to say the least!!!!
Now sadly a widower I am domiciled in Swindon, have two children and four grandchildren, retired, but very very proud and grateful of being a BP Adenkid.