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Normal Topic Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire) (Read 28,103 times)
Jan Cobb
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Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
31.10.2012 at 10:40:18
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It is with extremely deep regret that I must pass on the terribly sad news that Chris Crane, who had apparently been ill for some months, died yesterday. Members who attended the Spring Reunion at Duxford last year will have memories of an excellent weekend with 2 evenings spent with Chris at his pub, the Elmdon Dial, where he played the superb host that he was.

I have been in touch with Jane, his partner, who has informed me that tentative plans have been made for Chris's funeral to take place next week on Thursday, at 2pm - in Elmdon. She has asked that as many people as possible who knew Chris attend the funeral - and the pub afterwards, something of which she knows Chris would have strongly approved!
  
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Perry Jago
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #1 - 31.10.2012 at 13:18:14
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Stunned and saddened.  He was a great character and I have many fond memories (plus one or two gaps!).  Deepest sympathies to those he leaves behind.
  
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Mike Good
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #2 - 31.10.2012 at 13:34:07
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Me too.  RIP Crazy Legs.......
  
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Tony Pleasant
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #3 - 31.10.2012 at 15:07:33
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How terribly sad.  Called in a couple of times to see Chris and he always found time to sit for a chat.  Another great character gone. RIP.
Sadly out of the country on 8th Nov.
  
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Richard Jenner
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #4 - 31.10.2012 at 16:15:55
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Very sad to hear about Chris - he was one of my students at the School in the late '70s and was clearly a 'character' even then. I'm pleased we had time to chat last year at the Reunion and I greatly admire what he did with the Elmdon Dial - quite a story in itself and a project worthy and typical of Chris. He will be missed by many.

Richard
  
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Mike Clarke
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #5 - 31.10.2012 at 21:10:11
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A great character who will be sadly missed by all . RIP Chris

Mike

  
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Phil Buttery
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #6 - 01.11.2012 at 09:16:54
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I first met Chris on 14 Jan 79 - the day I joined the RAF. He was duty cadet (budgie) and had to oversee the new Henlow intake arriving at the local railway station. We worked together for many years and he was a greart practical joker. I remember him changing my posting notice to Laarbruch to read Northcoats.  As a young Plt Off I completely fell for it until Chris Romney put me right. He was a legend and will be sadly missed.
  
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Phil Angus
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #7 - 01.11.2012 at 10:16:00
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A shock.  Loved the bloke - real sense of humour and professionally A1.  RIP mate.
  
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Alec Trevett
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #8 - 01.11.2012 at 15:56:08
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Very sad to hear this awful news. Chris was a great bloke and was very kind to my family whilst I was away in the Falklands. He could brighten any conversation. We have all lost a great character who had a sharp intellect and a lovely sense of humour. RIP
  
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Brian Rogers
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #9 - 01.11.2012 at 19:58:06
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Very sad news made all the more tragic when you consider his age. He always appeared so youthful - full of energy and enthusiasm with a big beaming smile, he was great social company. Another loss of one of the Branch’s endearing characters. I’m sure that he will rest in peace – but I bet he will still have that smile on his face! My deepest sympathies go to the many close friends and family that are sure to miss him - 'cos we sure will!
  
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Greg Hammond
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #10 - 01.11.2012 at 20:43:02
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Very sorry to hear this sad news: I remember a great character from our shared days on 1 Sqn Neatishead in about 1989.  While I regret that I won't be able to make the funeral on 8 Nov, I will be there in spirit.
  
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Peter Green
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #11 - 02.11.2012 at 21:19:35
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A very sad loss of a lovely bloke. A warm, very intelligent  and genuine personality with a sharp wit  - he brightened up any gathering.  Thanks for helping to make a hard tour at Neatishead so enjoyable. RIP Chris.
  
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Aileen Ronaldson
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #12 - 03.11.2012 at 13:42:03
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Deeply shocked and saddened to hear about Chris - such a character and always great fun.  I cried into a bottle of bubbly when I saw Jan's message remembering many of the happy and fun times I had with Chris (though, like Perry I also have many 'blank' spots......).  The world is a much sadder place without Chris and my thoughts go to Jane and Chris' family at this dreadfully sad time. RIP Crazy Legs.
  
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Allan Connarty
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #13 - 05.11.2012 at 14:20:24
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Not just a landlord extraordinaire, but a character full of extraordinary talents and personality.  Like others I have many happy memories of a long and happy friendship with Chris over several tours and only a very few blanks - usually during (and after) very late night visits to his pied a terre in Gloucester Road (reputedly, some of the occupants of the other flats had interesting careers) and his strange phone calls to relatives of his other guests on such occasions.  A very generous and humorous man who we will all miss very much.  Trying very hard to arrange to be there on Thursday, having only found out this morning.
  
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Jan Cobb
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Re: Chris Crane (RAF Retd and Pub Landlord Extraordinaire)
Reply #14 - 07.11.2012 at 22:24:31
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Chris Jobling passed on the sad news to Steve Tolley, now in Malaysia, who had this to say:

    "I first met Chris Crane at OCTU Henlow on the evening of 26 Nov 1978.  He stood out as the confident, devil-may-care guy that put the rest of us lesser mortals at ease in a very unusual place and time of all of our lives.

    Chris was definitely different; his legs seemed to have more joints than is regular in humans, and for his style of marching was awarded the nickname of ;Crazylegs Crane'.

    His skill at arms was renown - when we all had our first play with 'the officers weapon', that cheap piece of tubing laughingly known as the SMG (short machine gun, or 'Smudge'), we were taught the art of one-oh-one, that is one, finger presses the trigger, count 'oh' (zero) then one, let go of the trigger.  This was  the accepted way of sending only a few bullets out the front of the weapon at any time.  Chris' attempt somehow went straight into full rock & roll, with the gun stuttering away in his hands, and the last 5 or so bullets spinning off into space.

    Another memory is when we were in the same flight (A Flight) on tactical camp; to say Chris was bloodthirsty would always be wrong, but when it came down to him or the enemy, then the enemy had better watch out.  We (Chris, Steve Thomas & I were at the rear of our patrol when we saw, and were taken under fire by an enemy patrol.  we were all a little mad in those days, but without any hesitation, Chris led we 3 on a charge over a very deep bog/swamp straight at the other force, which was about 14 strong!

    After graduation, I next met Chris at RAF West Drayton on our professional training.  Number 115 Fighter Control Course was a course of 10, but only 2 of us passed out as Intercept controllers.  Chris, I think was having too much fun to work hard.  He gleefully showed a written debrief of one of his training sorties which ran along the lines of "the results of this sortie were entirely due to your hangover".  Also, he became the course hero for his time (and girlfriend) management,  On one weekend, he waved goodbye to his girlfriend at one platform of West Drayton railway station, calmly walked under the lines in the tunnel to the next platform, and welcomed the (next) girlfriend off the very next train.  Total time duration, less than 5 minutes!

    it was at this time that he met the girl who was to become his first wife; Lynne was a Nurse at RAF Halton, and they had a very spectacular wedding and reception at the Rothschild mansion of RAF Halton Officers' Mess.  I had the honour to be his best man, and knowing the man, had a taxi waiting outside the church during the ceremony in case he changed his mind at the last moment ' if you see a tall bloke running like hell from the church, pick him up and take him to the railway station; if you see a happy couple, keep the tenner and drive off slowly' - that was the brief to the driver.

    Chris then went off to be a rocket-jockey, in charge of a section of Bloodhound Long-range Surface to Air Missiles at RAF North Coates
    After a short time, I was eyeball deep in very smelly air-force guano, and had just been told things were looking very bad for me.  The Station Commander at RAF Binbrook must have called Chris, because the next thing I knew, he drove up to the mess and took me home to North Coates for the weekend; it's hard to ponder over your troubles when you are roaring drunk and roaring with laughter.  it's a measure of his humanity that he did this for several weekends until things improved for me.  He acted as friend, advocate and bodyguard; woe betide anyone who tried to make fun of me or give me a hard time.

    After that, we both went our separate ways, until we met up again at RAF Neatishead, where we spent many happy hours and other nights either at the mess or at his house, or the local hostelry.  In amongst being a hard-working professional, a great husband and father, he also found time to be the life and soul of the village pub; it was like a scene from cheers - everybody knew his name (and he theirs).

    After that, I regret we rather lost touch with each other, so the sense of loss is doubly keen.


    Chris Crane was a man who lived life to the full, was a great friend to one and all, and a very great friend to me.  the world is now a darker and more dour place for his passing.

    Steve Tolley
    Penang, Malaysia"

He also passed on a photo, which I've attached.
  

West_Drayton_115_FCC_-_1979.jpg ( 306 KB | Downloads )
West_Drayton_115_FCC_-_1979.jpg
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