FIVE YEARS can be a long time in a serviceman's life ! In an environment where constant change is part of the daily routine, five years can encompass more events than other folk experience in a lifetime. The ability to adapt, however, often seems to disguise the degree of change that one's life has actually undergone. It is only when we make a comparison between the present and the past, that we appreciate the amazing difference.
When ROMPERS GREEN began in 1977, we had just about recovered from the effects of the savage defence cuts of 74/75. Life had almost returned to normal on a station of four Hercules squadrons, where once there had been six. The Forces Wives Association hit the headlines every other week, and Supplementary Benefit was something familiar to many Service families ! And all the time the fear existed that the "Axe" might fall yet again.
When the final episode went to print, the future of the Workules had never looked so secure, thanks in no small part to those awfully nice Argentinians ! It will always be one of my greatest regrets that ROMPERS GREEN did not cover the Falklands conflict. My involvement with the TV series "Squadron" forced me to conclude the cartoon on the eve of the war. In any case, like the British government, I was not expecting anything special to happen. That, as they say, is show-biz for you !
For those of you wise enough to have a copy of Volume One in your library, this volume will of course complete your valuable collection. Together they cover two significantly different periods of life at ROMPERS GREEN, although only those who lived right through it all will appreciate that aspect !
There is one constant in all this, and that is the characters. The real-life characters of ROMPERS GREEN have not really changed either. Four major overseas operations, four Station Commanders and one war have come and gone. The calibre and above all the sense of humour of those privileged to have served on the Workules fleet has never varied at all.
Already there will be those at Lyneham who have never even heard of ROMPERS GREEN. Perhaps this volume will be an education for some of them ! But whether you are reading this on your overseas tour in Akronelli, your camp bed at the Port Stanley Hilton or during the Admin Wing tea-break, I hope it gives you a few laughs, and for many, brings back a few happy memories.