I've resisted the temptation to join in the lively banter between the two illustrious Corps, been there done it and sadly the t-shirt is long gone. I had the dubious pleasure of arriving at MW in Sept 1979 to further my brainwashing in things vaguely aeronautical. Things went as well as things go where I'm concerned but then a cancer scare for Mater and an incompetent desk jockey (what else) shaped my destiny or at least the next few months. The disagreement over leave was apparently the fact I had taken three months-ish and had not really been allowed to. Being fresh from my training at Arborfield, what would a trained killer know and care about leave? In light of the news, I would like to add that I never refused to soldier, it was just that I wasn't there to do any soldiering and had I been there would I have been capable of it anyway. So on my return, quite a hero's welcome I was pounced on by an "Upgrader" who thought I should do the decent thing. So after a few pints in the NAAFI followed by a few pints more, I was introduced to the rooms at the back of the guardroom. The following morning I was relieved to hear that I couldn't actually be detained at the current time so quickly put in a weekend pass which was accepted. This did seem to annoy some of the more battle scarred AETW staff but one who was a bouncer in an Andover dive soon realised I could be useful so apart from being a bouncer I almost completely took over his admin duties. Weekend pass followed weekend pass until the date of my local court martial arrived. I marched in, accepted the award and marched out straight to those back rooms again. This was a Friday and I was going to be escorted to MCTC Colchester on the Tuesday or Wednesday to serve my 56 days and as I was soon to find out, just a long weekend in MCTC terms. My long weekend was eventful but then that's the story of my life. During my absence I had neglected my finances and the bank unknown to me had decided enough was enough. Late one evening a civvy arrived at the guardroom enquiring about a Craftsman S*****ers. As I was loitering (without intent) in the back of the guardroom, I reacted to my name, well the surname as I wasn't used to being called a Craftsman as I hadn't learnt a craft or skill and standing in semi-straight lines is not what I would call a great feat of vocational training. So I was almost served a summons but then being a SUS I had no rights and summons were out of the question. The duty officer was called and he told me that he didn't think it was worth bothering with now and told me nicely that I agreed. So the following morning I visited the RSM who was nauseous in name and by nature. He told me that I was a naughty boy and considering I was in his guardroom waiting to go to MCTC, I thought his powers of deduction were superb. I told him it was none of his business, he disagreed and pulled rank but I still disageed only silently this time. My time in the back rooms were enough to form a very favourable impression of the setup. The food was excellent as we were escorted to the cookhouse exactly at the right time and the food was actually cooked but not burnt. I was not alone as a fellow Craftsperson was in as well, a right criminal also by name and by nature but good company and it helps when you have to blackmail the mod plods as you caught them stealing the rations. There were always cigarettes handy behind that locker just past the door to the exercise yard. The exercise yard was tested once but it was raining so we went in for a cigarette. As one of the RPs was a PTI and not inch high, we were tasked to manufacture soap dishes for the showers in the gym. It did relieve the monotony and helped to cut down the smoking. The strange thing of being in a cell is that you never actually feel locked in as virtually nobody could work the doors so the jail was run on a very open door policy. During the day we were under the RP staff who were brilliant towards us and I only remember the one silly PT session but that was licked into touch as it was raining again. It was our duty to raise the flag every morning and despite our best efforts we couldn't hang it upside down but then somebody did manage and was quite a feature at the guardroom after that, I think it was two hands worth of extras for that. At night things could be quite horrible as there were those that wanted to do things by the book and there didn't seem to be a book so they made it up as they went along. The worst were the pot Tiffys who were out to impress. They didn't impress me but then I wasn't important. I lost my neighbour so had the run of the guardroom and was rather lonely one night as the guard had been called out. Of course the phone rang and remembering everything I hadn't been taught I answered clearly and politely "Guardroom, Prisoner here, Sir". So finally the day arrived and I said my farewells to my hosts. A very nervous Sergeant from 70 with driver arrived and I was off to uncharted waters. I was put in the back of the (open) landrover and counted over a hundred possible moments where escape would have been possible but decided to face my punishment like a man or my equivalent of it. I know there will always be rivalry between the REME and the AAC but I did appreciate how well I was treated by all and sundry and I'm glad I didn't judge a book by it's cover or somebody just by their cap badge, mind you some of those cavalry officers didn't have a clue but then that's another story as is my arrival at MCTC. I think I was the least nervous, there are myths to end all myths about Colly. Edited, due to a serious lack of paragraphs.