MY wife and I were discussing youngsters of today and comparing them with ourselves when we were growing up.

I was regaling her with my tales of life in the RAF doing national service in the 1950s. When we weren’t square-bashing we were in the classroom where officers were looking to see what use we could be put to in a post-war service.

I was put forward for an aptitude test to see if I could qualify as a radio operator.

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I had to transcribe messages that I had heard through my headphones. The one that put paid to a cushy desk job for me was the one sent over the airwaves as “Abort all flights and shut the runways”.

Unfortunately, my transcription read: “Abort all fights and shoot the runaways.”

It didn’t take them long to decide I was not radio operator material.

Doug Porthouse, Ferryhill