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Thread: RAF Central/General Messing Fund

  1. #1
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    Default RAF Central/General Messing Fund

    Dear Each/All,

    I was around, in/with the RAF, in the 50s/60s/70s, when a number of Sqns and Stations were disbanded i.e they ceased to exist as Self Accounting Units. Now many of these Units would render their final accounts on disbandment. As far as Cash was concerned I would think that the final Dining-In Night would have taken care of that. But many had Memorabilia (some, very significant). This was Sqn/Stn Silver, portraits, etc, etc, acquired (in some cases) over many years. When I asked what happened to all these valuable Sqn/Stn artefacts on disbandment I was told they went into the RAF General/Central Messing Fund (G/CMF I know not which is the correct title.).
    Does anybody know where/what the G/CMF is? And what/where is its current purpose? There must be enough ex-Command/Group/Station/Wing/Sqn silverware in there to cancel the National Debt?!!!
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Peter

    I was led to believe that sqn silver etc was deposited in the RAF Central Depository which at one time was located at RAF Wroughton.

    Malcolm

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    I've just come across this Thread and have had some involvement with problems following disbandment, through my membership of the RAF Historical Society.

    Any surplus cash not consumed in the final dining in night/sqn party, was returned to the RAF Central Fund. This is a non-public fund and it is used to help new units or other units having a requirement which, whilst approved, cannot be funded from existing sources. The money is not taxpayers and hence it is not paid into the public funds.

    Many sqns and stations tried to return gifted property to the original donor or their family but these were often untraceable and the inscriptions might have been polished out. Property remaining, together with the Property Book, would be sent to the central repository. This place moved from one supply depot to another over the years and it was kept there against the unit reforming. However, with the passage of time, it became practice to allow others to be granted loan of some (usually the more spectacular) items of silver or paintings.

    Eventually, through successive defence cuts and reorganisations, the residue of the 'squadron silver' etc ended up at Donington, a former army depot near Telford. This place is now supposedly joint service and this is where things seem to have unravelled badly. I do not have the full facts but it appears that the safeguarding of this equipment might have been managed less thoroughly than other kit because it was non-public and hence was being stored on a 'grace and favour' basis and there was no financial provision in the operating budgets for the staff required to manage this aspect of the business.

    At this point, I must be very careful of the words I use!! I understand that attempts to recover the situation have resulted in retired officers trying to get the current staffs to take this matter seriously but with the continuing pressures on the organisations and the frequent changes in staffs and staff responsibilities, this is proving difficult. I further understand that there is no formal audit nor stocktaking done on this 'non public' equipment and hence - to put it politely - it might prove difficult to guarantee the accuracy of the records held and that the property books and the physical equipment might not be congruent - nuff said!

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    Malcolm and Old Duffer, Hi,

    Many thanks for your expertises - much appreciated! It is good to get the names right, and to know who does what where! Or, at least, who should be doing what/where/when. But like many things, cuts to MoD have not been planned - or seen through - as well as they might have been (let alone where tri-Service, or Jointery, is involved!). I consider myself very lucky to have done my time in/with the RAF when I did!
    Tks again
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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