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Geoff Milsom: 100th birthday 25th May 2024

What a milestone, and what a great party. (Good enough to get in the paper: online version here, and to be published in the Maidenhead Advertiser on Friday 31st May.)

Geoff celebrated his birthday where he was based for so much of his working life, White Waltham airfield, surrounded by family, friends and old Faireys. In tribute to the most senior old Fairey, the weather was wonderful, the planes were all flying, and the familiar scent of aviation fuel drifted across the grass. The West London Aero Club provided the food and drink, and the family provided the balloons.

There were quite a lot of family. Children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, cousins, second cousins, second cousins once removed …. Some were getting together for the first time in twenty years. But since Geoff spent most of his working life overseas, they probably haven’t seen very much of him over the years. And so much did he love flying, that when he came up to retirement age, he was owed about three years of accumulated leave!

One of the Hurricanes based at White Waltham was heading out to Duxford, and gave a pass by the airfield in homage to the occasion, to the delight of the crowd, especially the children.

A few pictures from the occasion – right click on the photographs for a full size image (select open in new tab):-

Dusty Miller got some good photographs, including some group photographs of the guests at the airfield fence while Geoff was looking at the Hurricane, and an excellent one of the cake.

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

If you have not been before, and would like to come, please let us know (, 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 We may be able to help.

FSL Reunion invitation 2024, download here

John Cripwell RIP

Richard Cripwell has emailed to let us know the details of his father’s funeral:

The Memorial Service for John Cripwell will be held on Tuesday 12 March 2024 at St Edmund’s Church in Calne, Wiltshire at Noon. The address of the Church is:

Saint Edmund’s Catholic Church
Oxford Road
SN11 8AQ

Please note that there is very limited parking near the Church but some is located reasonably close by.

The Cripwell family warmly invite everyone to join them, after the service, for tea and refreshments at The Pewsham SN15 3RU, between Calne and Chippenham. It is about a seven minute drive with plenty of parking.

News has been passed on by Lawrence Scott that John Cripwell died on 17th January 2024. John’s son Richard called Lawrence to let him know, and will pass on details of funeral arrangements when they are available.

John was born in Rhodesia on 8th January 1934, so he had just turned 90. He was a surveyor with Fairey Surveys from late 1965, and spent a lot of time overseas, as well as managing the FSL Dublin office for a time.

Ross Dallas sent in an article for the website about his time as a surveyor with FSL in the late 60s, with references to John during a job in Saudi Arabia. You can read it here.

The picture at the top is from a photograph taken at the 2004 reunion barbecue at White Waltham. For the full photograph, click here. He is also on the 2013 reunion photograph.

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 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”) :

Tony Woodcroft RIP

News has come in from Tony Woodcroft’s daughter Lucy Banham that her father passed away on the morning of 7th August at Wexham Park Hospital. Funeral details are below.

Tony Woodcroft

Tony was the Company Secretary/Accountant at Clyde Surveys, on secondment from Sir William Halcrow and Partners Ltd, from 1986 until he retired in 1992. (With apologies for originally describing him as a surveyor.)

Tony’s funeral will be on Friday 1st September at 2pm at Bracknell Crematorium:

and afterwards (from approx 3:30pm onwards) for a wake at the Kings Arms in Cookham

If you would like to attend the funeral or the wake, please could you email, as the family would appreciate knowing the numbers at the crematorium and at the King’s Arms.

Bob Purcell memorial service

The memorial service was held on 30th September in Cookham. John and Carol Tompkins and Jean and Ken Fostekew attended from Fairey Surveys.

Below are photographs sent by John Tompkins from Bob’s memorial service booklet. To see larger versions of the photographs, right click and select ‘open in new tab’.

A memorial service has been arranged for Bob Purcell at the Holy Trinity Church in Cookham, followed by cheese and wine. The family would be really pleased to see some of his old friends and colleagues from Fairey Surveys.

Date: Saturday 30th September 2023
Time: 3:00 pm / 15:00 hrs

The Holy Trinity Church is at Ferry Lane, Cookham, Maidenhead SL6 9SN. The church has a small car park for visitors.

The nearest public car park is the Sutton Road car park on the A4094 towards Maidenhead. According to the web, it’s free, but there are only 18 spaces. Next nearest (about 500m) is the Cookham Moor National Trust car park, 2 High Street SL6 9SG, £2 or free for NT members. There is a bit of street parking by the war memorial at the West end of the High Street (about 300m).

Peter Forsey – funeral details

Peter’s son Chris has let us know that the funeral will be on Monday 24th July 2023 at 2:00 pm, at West Berkshire Crematorium on the A4 Bath Road near Thatcham.

The funeral will be followed by a wake at the The Angel on the A4 at Woolhampton, at about 3:00 pm onwards.

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

Peter Forsey RIP

Sad news has come in from Tony White that Peter Forsey died yesterday, 22nd June 2023. If we get news of the funeral, it will be posted up on the website.

Peter was a Board member of Fairey Surveys and Marketing Manager for Fairey Surveys in the 1970s, when the successful Faireys Leisure Map series was launched. He was also a cricketer, on the FSL team in the late 1950s and 1960s

Tony Furneaux, visitor, operator?, Pete Forsey
8th September 1959 Back row L-R: Malcolm Eaton, Tony Philips, Bill Steadman, Tony Walker, Jim Storey Front row L-R: Pete ?, ?, Peter Forsey, Peter Challis, Brian Atwen

Links here are to Fairey Surveys newsletters with more information about Peter and about the first Leisure Map: