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It has been suggested that some form of notice board might be
a useful addition to the site which could be used to inform staff,
current and retired, of non-commercial events such as reunions,
meetings, births, marriages and of course deaths. I have a bad
feeling the latter might dominate considering the average age
of the current Bristows employees!
Anyway let's give it a go, so if anyone has anything they would
like posted just e-mail me from the Home Page.

1st March 2001
Dear boggers, At the last meeting it was asked of me (as the only worker present) if anything could be done to inform 'boggers' of past staff situations. I have spoken with Dave Edwards and you will now find a link in under Contacts for searching for old mates and under Notices for posting information.
Dave is also going to talk to HR (Admin. for you oldies) to see if any current non-commercial information can be posted on this site. Please visit the site and send Dave anything that may be of interest regarding BHL and or its people.
(end of commercial).
Regards to all,
Keith Daley

1st March 2001
And for those who have never heard af stands for Bristows Old
Gits Society.Ed.
The meetings are held lunchtime on the last Thursday of the month at The Castle, Outwood, and are open to all retired BHL staff. It's not formal, no membership fees are payable, just drink, eat and chat. Recent meetings have seen Bryan Collins, Stuart Barry, John Odlin, Chris and George Fry, Mike Norris, Larry Coram, Chas House, Jean Dennel, Dick Davisson, Jim Ward, Joe Winter, Maureen Wilcox, Pat Woolford, Graham Conway and many others.
Keith Daley

1st March 2001
Graham Wright.
For those who did not know, Graham died at the St Catherine's Hospice on the evening of Sunday 28th January, after a recurrent illness.
He worked for the Company from 1966 to 1998 becoming our Insurance Manager. He became the expert on all Group insurance matters and was always willing to share his experience and assist others with his knowledge. He was the oracle in his field.
He was a devoted family man and will be much missed by all those who knew and worked with him.

8th March 2001
Subject: Bristow Widgeons - Can anyone help with this?
I dont know if you are in a position to help but The Helicopter Museum needs some info/pictures. I am the Restoration Manager for The Helicopter Museum and we are putting back together a Widgeon which was once operated by Bristows.
The aircraft concerned is G-AOZE. At present we are slowly putting it back together and plan to paint it later this year. We know that this aircraft was used in Nigeria and possibly Persia/Iran and the current scheme is predominately Blue & Red. We have a number of Helicopters which have served with Bristows in our collection and I like to vary the colour schemes rather than have a collection of helicopters looking simliar and to reflect the changes in schemes. Can you or a colleague direct us to someone who can supply us with pictures or drawings of G-AOZE in possibly the markings that it was in when it operated in these locations. The colour scheme is a silver grey and orange one. You have B & W pictures in your People/Historical section. We have one colour picture of another one of the Bristow Widgeons which will help us with the marking up, but if we could just get the colour spec, it would probably complete the task. Bristows is a strong supporter of the museum and I am sure that the management would support this request.
Many thanks for any assistance you can give,
Steve Whittaker.

18th September 2001
Bell 47 rebuild assistance required.

I have received the following from Mark Barclay an ex Bristow trained pilot:-

Dear Dave,
I trained with Bristows on the Bell 47 many years ago, I am now flying the Boeing Business Jet. This job however, boring has allowed me to buy a Bell 47 in an auction in the States. I am going to import it into the UK and restore it. I couldn't unfortunately find an ex Bristow one so this is the nearest I got. I am looking for an engineer for the Bell 47 as it will be on the UK reg .

For more details contact Mark:

16th January 2002

I have received the following from Mike Draper.

You may or may not be aware of my book "Shadows - Airlift & Airwar in Biafra & Nigeria 1967-1970" that was published a couple of years ago. That involves quite some detail of Bristows' plight in Biafra and their eventual expulsion/escape to Fernando Poo in 1968. I was living on Fernando Poo during that period while flying on the relief airlift to Biafra and met a few interesting Bristows' personnel. Captain Mike Ratcliffe - with whom I stayed for a short while - also Wilf Shepherd who was an engineer during those difficult times. Ian McLeod, also an engineer, was a valuable help as he had kept a diary during the early days of the war at Port Harcourt.

I have long lost touch with these guys but they may be contactable via your Pensions Department. The reason for my asking is that while I had sufficient information to go ahead with a chapter on helicopter operations at Port Harcourt etc there was little chance of me regaining contact with these people through Bristows. I spoke with Alan Green and Jim Wild but could get no further. Jock MacCaskell had retired and had moved, I think, back to Scotland. These are very valuable contacts. Maybe you have a better chance of doing so. If you are able to make contact with any of these people, I would be most interested to hear:

1. Confirmation that Mike Ratcliffe flew the last helicopter out of Biafran territory.

2. Who was the Bristows' pilot who was flying the Bristow Helicopters' Riley Dove 5N-AGF on coastal reconnaissance flights. (A picture of it in Biafran camouflage after it had been seized appears in my book.)

3. Identities of those pilots who managed to escape to the rigs with the helicopters mentioned in my text.

4. Any photographs of helicopter operations pre-May 1967 when the war started

There is one heck of a story to tell and Bristow Helicopters must be just full of such stories and incidents. Part of that story could be told in a series of articles that I am working on that depict Nigerian aviation pre-1967.

Best regards

Michael I Draper

9th June 2002

The website of The Friends of The Helicopter Museum ( features, among other things, the current situation of helicopter restoration at The Museum. As you know, one of the helicopters being restored is (ex-Bristow) Westland Widgeon G-AOZE / 5N-ABW.

We have recently acquired a colour photograph of this Widgeon, now appearing on the site, which may have been taken soon after delivery to Bristow from Westland in 1957/58. Judging by the blue sky and the shortage of vegetation it was not taken in the UK.

I would be very grateful if any of your members could identify the location and date of the photo and even supply the name of the photographer. The hangar and its roof seem very distinctive in appearance. Any other memories of this machine, especially of the period before its transfer to Nigeria, would be much appreciated.

Thank you for your reference to on the Bristow Anniversary site.

Regards from Chris Hallewell ( )