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! I was really excited to find this website after watching 'The Last Post' on television.
My name is Deirdre and I am the daughter of Alfred (late) and Brenda Lewis and my sister is Christine. Mum and Dad were broadcasters on the BFPO radio in Aden and they were also involved in the rallying and treasure hunt driving.
We lived in Maalla Strait initially and I went to a school in Steamer Point. I remember being transported to school on a bus with wire-meshed windows and an armed guard. I remember the poverty, begging children and the mountain with 'houses' built out of driftwood and cardboard. There was a curfew every night and spotlights would scan the mountain side to ensure that the curfew had not been breached by anybody. A hand grenade was thrown into a flat a couple of doors away and so we were quickly transferred to RAF Khormaksar and I went to school there.
I remember starting school early and finishing at lunchtime so that we could spend the afternoon swimming in the pool on the camp. I learnt how to swim and dive and completed all of my life saving medals. Children's hair turned green from the chlorine in the swimming pool water!
My Dad went on the Acropolis Rally in Greece and represented Aden. I have a photo of him in his Hillman Imp on the starting line of the rally. I also have the newspaper cutting from the Aden News (The Dhow).
We were very friendly with another family - Len and Sylvia Porter and their two sons Robert and Christopher. I am going to let them know about this site.
I have a very long video (transferred from cine film) of my life in Aden and quite a few photos.
My memories include spending family days in Elephant Bay, the marketplace and gold traders in Steamer Point, the cruise liners, Little Aden, holy cows and the Dhows.
I would love to be contacted by anyone who knew me.
Although I did not know you , well or maybe we met unsure . My father served in the RAF , we arrived 1964 ( Dave and Judy Dawson) I was four and my sister 2 and baby brother of six months. Although young I do remember the School bus and having to sit on the floor of the car (avoiding bullets ). I do remember getting of the bus and going to the beach ( Steamer Point) hoping upon hope that the shark net didn't have any holes in it . I to am enjoying The Last Post . and I am sure we can all relate to the party parents. keep in touch
Many thanks for your message Melanie. I often talk to my friends about my couple of years living in Aden and I am so pleased to now be able to chat to other people who have experienced life there too. ...I have read your earlier post and yes, I remember the chit chats!
Good to see you found the site. Interesting your parents worked at the BFPO, I think that was the station permanently tuned to n our house as the BBC was problematic due to fading. I see you went to school in Khormaksar do you know there is a Facebook page for the pupils i.e Khormaksar Secondary school. You may find some old friends there.I have watched 3 episodes of the Last Post and have given up on it. Would have hoped some of the scenes were accurately portrayed. The only accurate part is the opening scene on the beach. The rest does not exist! . BP laid on some rallies and hill climbs, I wonder if your father ever competed in those events.
Jonathan Wilkins BP Aden kids
I lived in Aden from 1964 to October 1965. Dad was the RSM of the Royal Anglians and we lived in Waterloo Barracks. I went to school in Khormaksar, and did the same as you, spending most afternoons at the pool! We were the same age so may have been in the same class, spooky!
I don't think we knew each other as I was in a different age group, but I was in Aden at exactly the same time (1964-66) aged 16-18, though just for school holidays, so I was very interested to read your post. A friend has just downloaded The Last Post episodes for me (I don't live in England) and I look forward to seeing them.
I remember the heavy security - we lived in Tarshyne which was guarded at the entrance. My father worked for the Ministry of Defence, and I think I recall that his secretary had a bomb thrown into her flat on Maalla Straits, though fortunately she was not there at the time.
I also remember well the makeshift 'houses' that seemed to get more ramshackle the further they were away from the main street, not that one ventured beyond it to look! Also the liners coming in and the passengers shopping at Wong & Sons, Bhicajee's, etc. The shopkeepers used to put up their prices for visitors (as my father would sometimes point out to them!)
Swimming was a focal point of existence, as you say - we used to swim at Steamer Point in the winter and Gold Mohur in the summer (because of the permanent shark net there when the monsoon brought rougher seas). We also sailed (in a Flying Fifteen named Yellow Peril!) at the RAF sailing club in Tarshyne. I too have photos and videos and will try to find out how to upload some.
I submitted a post of my own a little while ago, as like you I have only just found out about this website. Reading the entries and looking at the photos has taken me right back to those years. Thanks to you and others for the memories!
It looks like you were the same age as me and in Aden at the same time. Did you start school there? We could well have known each other at the tender age of 4!