This is a picture of the POD Father on holiday in St Tropez in 1976. (He’s still waiting for his first Lamborghini. Can you spot Hector Riva of Euromillions fame?) The POD Father’s Dad, or Gagam as POD has dubbed him, was stationed in RAF Germany three times during his long career in the Royal Air Force.
The first of these three year tours was at RAF Rheindalen a non-flying Royal Air Force military base. Part of the Rheindahlen Military Complex (J.H.Q.) in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and of British Forces Germany it was a key station in Northern Europe at the height of the Cold War.
Although this wasn’t a flying tour for Gagam the perks of an overseas posting helped make up for it. Not least of these was the accessibility of fantastic holiday destinations like St Tropez, now hours away by car. St Tropez was, as now the playground of the rich and famous, so an unlikely holiday destination for a young RAF officer and his family coming from the UK.
However from RAF Rheindalen it simply meant packing the Austin Maxi until it was fit to burst and taking to the AutoBahn. With two children,all the necessary camping equipment and a large inflatable dingy there wasn’t much room to spare. The journey was over 5 hours long but with the help of Abba and John Denver cassette tapes the hours flew by – Grandma’s Feather Bed was a particular favourite.