|by Bill Bawden, PRO|
1 July 2016
The unsettled weather on Friday, July 1st, improved just in time for the Woking and District AirCrew Association to hold a very successful Flying Evening at Fairoaks Airport with 39 members and guests taking flights over the Surrey area and some 70 enjoying a barbecue supper at the Flight Centre.
|The clubhouse was very busy||The BBQ was very popular|
|Chairman Ron Hepburn's Chipmunk||Showers were followed by a bright rainbow|
Flt Lt Sir Paul Holden Bt RAF (retd)
The ACA records with deep regret the death on June 22nd at the age of 93 of its long-term member and former press officer, Sir Paul Holden. Earlier on the day of the Flying Evening many ACA members had joined Paul’s family and many friends from other organisations with which he had been associated at his funeral service at Aldershot Crematorium.
Paul read chemistry at Oxford where he joined the University Air Squadron and learned to fly in 1941-42. He abandoned his studies to volunteer for the RAF, completed his pilot training and served with No 287 Squadron at North Weald operating Hurricanes, Spitfires and Tempests on flights to train anti-aircraft batteries to combat V1 (‘Doodlebug’) flying bombs. Returning to civil life, Paul joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve and was recalled to active service in 1948 during the Berlin Airlift to fly Spitfires, Meteors and Vampires.
Leaving the RAF for a second time, he became an air traffic control officer and travelled to many parts of the world to set up ATC facilities as civil aviation spread to new territories.
Paul inherited the baronetcy, that now passes to his son Michael, in 2003 and his interests were many and varied. He had pioneered this country’s training of guide dogs for the blind and, as a member of the Lions Club, was prominent in raising money for the Eye Camps providing cataract operations in India and Pakistan. He founded Surrey Borders Film Makers, later becoming its president, and particularly enjoyed meeting fellow veterans of the AirCrew Association and flying to Project Propeller events at their annual gatherings.