Fairey Surveys Reunion 2022

After an enforced two year break, we’ll be having a reunion again this year at White Waltham Cricket Club.

Date: July 22nd from 12:00

There will be a cold finger buffet from about 13:00, which also caters for vegetarians.

There is a charge of £17.15 per person for the buffet, and it helps to know numbers, so if you have received a form in the post, please send it back with a cheque, or download one here.

If you have not been before, and would like to come, please let us know (admin@faireysurveys.co.uk), or download the form and send it in with a cheque before 14th July. You are welcome to just turn up, but if you don’t want to eat, there is a small charge of £3.50 per person to cover hire of the clubhouse and bar staff.  Please introduce yourself when you arrive, and we would love to see any old photographs you may have!

Check the White Waltham Cricket Club website for directions. If you need assistance with transport, email us at admin@faireysurveys.co.uk. We may be able to help.

FSL Reunion 2019: group photograph

The 2019 reunion was held on 26th July, as usual at White Waltham Cricket Club, but this year it was held at lunchtime instead of in the evening.  This seemed generally popular, particularly for those who come from a distance, but please let us know if you disagree, or have any other suggestions for the occasion in future – use the Comments box below, or email admin@faireysurveys.co.uk.

Despite the awful weather forecast, rain didn’t stop play, and we were able to sit outside to reminisce and eat the excellent buffet.  Many thanks to John Tompkins for organising the reunion so (apparently) effortlessly!

The club barman was roped in to take the group photograph, so hopefully everyone who attended is included.  Click on the photograph for a bigger image.  Let us know if you want a high resolution copy of the photograph (2.4 MB) by email.

If you attended and have any good photographs, please send them in (admin@faireysurveys.co.uk) and they can be added here for everyone to share.

More photographs received from Ken Fostekew:

Fairey Surveys reunion 2019

The Fairey Surveys annual reunion will be held on Friday 26th July 2019.

This year again it will be held at lunchtime – 12:00 to 15:30, as usual at White Waltham Cricket Club.

A finger buffet will be available at approximately 13:00, which also caters for vegetarians

If you have not been before, and would like to come, please let us know (admin@faireysurveys.co.uk), or download the form and send it in with a cheque before 19th July, and Google the White Waltham Cricket Club website for directions.  There is a charge of £15.20 per person for the buffet, and it helps to know numbers.

You are welcome to just turn up, but if you don’t want to eat, there is a small charge of £3.50 to cover hire of the clubhouse and bar staff.  Please introduce yourself when you arrive, and we would love to see any old photographs you may have!

FSL Reunion July 2019

FSL reunion 2018: photographs

Attached are a number of photographs taken at the Fairey Surveys reunion held at White Waltham Cricket Club on 27th July 2018.  This year it was at lunchtime, which seemed to work very well.  Click on the photographs to see the full size version.

These are from Ken Fostekew:

And some from Dusty Miller:








Fairey gatherings

With thanks to Ken Fostekew for the contribution:

The FSL reunion held at W/W Cricket Club 10th July was a
great success. Many thanks to John and Carol Tompkins for the hard work that
they put to make another memorable evening.

A gathering of a few FSL/Fairey Aviation Folk at White Waltham on Saturday
11th July for the scattering of ashes of the late Ron Neal. Ron’s widow
Sylvia travelled from her home at Lydd and the ceremony took place around
the ATA memorial behind the West London Aero Club.
Ron, was of course an ATC Cadet attached to ATA and accrued many flying
hours as pilots assistant with all the well known pilots of the day. As an
added bonus the Battle of Britain Memorial Spitfires and Hurricanes were
still at White Waltham after their display over London the day before and on
their departure two Hurricanes and one Spitfire did a low level flypast. Ron
would have loved it.

In attendance were…Geoff Milsom, Bob Berris, Don Green, Mr and Mrs Paul
Singleton, Derek Minter, Tony Bamford, John Tompkins, Ken and Jean Fostekew
and of course Mrs Sylvia Neal.

Bill Cheffins – photos and memorabilia

Bill Cheffins’ daughter Patricia was over from her home in Canada, and came to the reunion in July with a lot of photographs and other material that she inherited from Bill.  She very kindly loaned us some of it to scan in to share with all those who remember him.

There are gaps in the information.  We don’t know who all the people in the photographs are, or all the dates or places, and would appreciate help from anyone who recognises them.  There are also a couple of items that aren’t totally relevant to Fairey Surveys, but relate to the mapping industry generally, and look really interesting, so they have been included too.

BC01 Social This had no details except for the names, but the people and setting match one of Tony Furneaux’s photographs (AF58, see post in Departments), which Tony identified as an FSL Christmas party at White Waltham in the 1950s.



BC02 Two men and the seaNo details at all on this photograph – anyone recognise the people?



BC05 WW mapping teamWith the immaculate white coats, and the scruffy building in the background, it’s assumed that this is Bill’s Mapping team at the White Waltham offices.



BC10 Office socialThis one is a social event from some time in the 1970s.  Top row, l-r Bix Clark, Ken Harris, Vic/Baz Rathbone, Gerry Jones, Tommy Thomson, John Keay, Vic Harding, Tony Dady.  Bottom row l-r: Pete Challis, Jean Fostekew, John Churchard, Harry Hodgkinson.  Presumably Bill Cheffins took the photograph, as he is not in the picture.


BC06 Site visit possibly BC07 Site visit 2 possibly

These two photographs look like a pair, taken on a site visit or trip out somewhere.

BC08 Conference Zeiss or photogrammetryThis looks like a gathering for an international conference, perhaps the Photogrammetric Society?  As Bill was the Honorary Secretary, this could be what put him in the front row, ahead of    W P Smith.



Conference list
This is just a list of names, but it could be the list of attendees at a conference, perhaps linked to the photograph above.  Certainly a list of the good and the great in the mapping world (and a great example of Bill Cheffins’ absolutely beautiful handwriting).

Photogrammetric Society AGM 1980

This is a copy of a ballot paper for the Officers’ Election at the AGM of the Photogrammetric Society in 1980, showing the main four officers, including Bill, being returned unopposed.  This is another list of many of the key people involved in aerial survey at the time.  The Ordnance Survey member was still a member of the Armed Forces, a reminder that Walter Smith was the first civilian Director General of the Ordnance Survey, when he joined them in 1977.

Photogrammetry in Orthodontics 1969

This is a paper written by Bill Cheffins and Bix Clark on the use of photogrammetry in orthodontics, enabling much more precise measurements for reconstructive dental work.

FSL Mapping Division reorganisation 1963

This is the company announcement of the reorganisation that installed Bill Cheffins as apparently UK Mapping head without a title.

Brigadier Martin Hotine quotation

And finally, this quotation from Brigadier Martin Hotine, who was responsible for the 26-year retriangulation of Great Britain which completed in 1962, written on the back of a punched card.

BC09 Bill Cheffins and family c1955


And this is just a great photograph of Bill Cheffins and his family in about 1955.

FSL cricket, 1959-1961

Cricket matches at White Waltham.

25th July 1961

25th July 1961

Back row L-R: Brian Atwell, John Turner, Tony Walker, Malcolm Eaton, Jack Briggs, Peter Forsey, Tony Philips
Front row L-R: ?, Peter Challis, Basil Wheeler, Ken Ullersperger, Graham Philips

8th July 1960
8th July 1960

Back row L-R: ?, John Evans, Peter Forsey, Bill Steadman, Tony Walker, Tony Philips, John Turner, ?
Front row L-R: ?, Jack Briggs, Basil Wheeler, Peter Challis, Ken Ullersperger


8th September 1959
8th September 1959

Back row L-R: Malcolm Eaton, Tony Philips, Bill Steadman, John Evans, Tony Walker, Jim Storey
Front row L-R: Pete ?, ?, Peter Forsey, Peter Challis, Brian Atwell

8th September 1959

8th September 1959

L-R: Atalanta Fairey, Sir Richard Fairey, Tony Walker, Peter Challis, ?, ?, Malcolm Eaton, Bill Steadman, Jim Storey











Geophysics, 40 years on

Amazing that this bunch of reprobates is still around, telling each other tales of the old days.  A few of the old Faireys, including five from the old Geophysics team, got together for lunch the day of the FSL reunion in July 2013.  With many thanks to Carol and John Tompkins for the hospitality.


Back row, left to right: Derek Minter, Rob Wallace, Alex Copeland, Pete Lilley, Arthur Pinto Bastos.

Sitting down, left to right: Heather Smith (Harris), John Tompkins, Gillian Wallace (Edwards)

FSL reunion July 2013

The reunion at White Waltham cricket club on 19th July had wonderful weather, and Arthur Bastos brought along a really good camera, so we took the opportunity to get a group picture – with apologies to those who may have left before it was taken.  Click on the photograph to enlarge.  If anyone would like a copy by email, please get in touch through the Contact page.

The second image is the numbered key, with all the names except for Peter Green’s daughter (please let us know!).

FSL reunion July 2013
FSL reunion July 2013

FSL reunion 2013 group photo key