Fairey Surveys reunion 2024

Date: Friday 26th July 2024 from 12:00

Update 12/07/2024: Please note that the bar at White Waltham Cricket Club will be CASH ONLY.

The reunion will be at lunchtime at the White Waltham Cricket Club again, and we look forward to seeing you.

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

There is a charge of £22 per person for the buffet, and it helps to know numbers, so if you receive a form in the post, please send it back with a cheque, or download a form here. If you have any special dietary requirements, please write them on the form when you return it, or email admin@faireysurveys.co.uk.

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 16th July. You are welcome to just turn up, but if you don’t want to eat, there is a small charge of £5.00 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 or memorabilia you may have.

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

FSL Reunion invitation 2024, download here

Reunion 2023 group photograph index

Group photograph 2023 with numbers

Click here for a full size image

1Dave Padgett22Geoff Light
2Derek Minter23Jerry Wilson
3Colin McCarthy24Beryl Light
4Donald Paton25Victor Brown
5Mike Deller26Raelene Brown
6John Holton27Les Ritson-Smith
7Alison Waddell (Holton)28Dave Wright
8John Tompkins29Geoff Milson
9Dusty Miller30Janet Grimble
10Sally Pilkinton31Bina Wood
11Brenda Miller32Ray Wood
12Rob Marshall (son of John)33Susan Deller
13Anne Ullersperger34Mike Wilkey
14Roger Laffoley35Mike Wilkey’s partner Kath
15Jane Denham36Chris Forsey (son of Peter)
16Rob Wallace37Patricia Cheffins (daughter of Bill)
17Ken Fostekew38Jean Fostekew
18Carol Tompkins39Gillian Wallace (Edwards)
19Diana Timbrell40Ken Ullersperger
20Geoff Manning41Lawrence Scott
21Peter Timbrell42Joan Wright

Reunion 2023: photographs

FSL Reunion 2023: group photograph

Click here for full size image

The indexed version is now available, click here to see it.

The list of people who couldn’t make it this year is here.

If anyone has photographs they took at the reunion that they would like to share, please email them to admin@faireysurveys.co.uk and we’ll put them up on the post.

Victor Brown has sent these photographs from the reunion (to see full size images, right click on an image and select “Open image in new tab”) :

Hurricane pilots discuss tactics

This photograph came from Ken Fostekew, taken at Geoff Milsom’s 99th birthday celebration, but it warrants a post all of its own.

Geoff piloted Hurricanes as well as Spitfires during WWII, and he was an instructor for Hurricanes. Here he is talking to James Brown, the owner and pilot of two Hurricanes kept at White Waltham airfield.

Hurricane pilots together: Geoff Milsom and James Brown

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.