I am one of those women who decided to change trades whilst in the army.  I ended up in the Signals as a DTG but back in the early 80’s I was working in stores at Bicester.   During this time they decided to make a new “emergency” shift that worked nights and I was in the first lot of women to be part of this.

Working on this shift was a bit of a laugh .. two storewomen and a driver on each shift (if my memory serves me right!) .. and our main duties were to check if any telexes came in, check location on the fabulously old microfiche system and then head off to which ever site and shed the item was located in.

We actually had a really interesting time of it, from loading tyres for Northern Ireland, ropes, that we skipped up the aisles with until we realised they were actually Funeral cords (sorry!), various engines, oh all sorts of things large and small that was needed urgently.    Sometimes our driver couldn’t fit items onto the 4 tonner we had, so it was my responsibility to sort out alternative transport by ringing the RCT.

One night we had a telex come in for  Tent Marquee P x 4 … and being an organised and responsible sort *cough* I decided I should ring the RCT in advance and book one of those really long lorries to fit these Marquee posts in .. which I duly did.

Off we went to the sheds (stopping at another shed to pick up an additional forklift that one of the gals drove over to the shed we needed to be at) and started looking for our marquee posts.   Outside the ordered lorry stood waiting, two of us on forklifts driving round this huge shed (if you can imagine an aircraft hanger with shelving!) .. until we found the correct area and shelf.

It was then we found out that the Tent Marquee P x 4 actually meant 4 Tent marquee pins … Oops!

It probably wouldnt have been so bad but a couple of nights earlier we had phoned the MOD police to report an intruder in a shed .. (we could hear his foot stops) which turned out to be the drips coming off the leaky roof…

Or perhaps if Sue our driver hadn’t stopped so quick the Rolls Royce engine in the back of her 4 tonner hadn’t fallen through the floor of her truck …

Or maybe if we hadn’t lost Debbie one night (she was practicing hanging onto the rope of the back of the 4 tonner and fell off!) …

All I know is that the wee Scottish Sergeant Major was not very happy with me … Can’t for the world of me think why!!