A CARPENTER at RAF Coningsby is hanging up his tool belt after 50 years service for the air force and the Ministry of Defence.
Kenneth Mair, 73, has worked for the Royal Air Force from the age of 18, having been an apprentice carpenter since leaving school.
In his working life Ken has been in service with the Auxiliary Royal Air Force, and from 1959 went to RAF Cardington, RAF Swinderby and RAF Shawbury where he undertook full Air Traffic Control trade training. In 1960 he was posted to RAF Leuchars, in Scotland.
Ken was keen to see the world and volunteered for foreign tours taking him overseas to Libya, Germany and the Falkland Islands. He then came to RAF Coningsby.
Several retirement attempts followed, the first in 1993, after having attained the rank of Flight Sergeant. After just two weeks retirement enjoying his favourite pursuit of golf, he took up a role at as a postman.
In 1995, he heard there was a carpenter’s position at RAF Coningsby which was just too good to turn down. Ken was not only back working with the RAF but utilising his first love – carpentry.
In 2003 he decided to retire for the second time but was persuaded by colleagues to remain for a further year.
In 2004 he retired for a third time, for another two years, but once again the calling from RAF Coningsby came, requiring his invaluable services.
Now, at the age of 73, Ken has decided the time has come to put away his work tools for the final time.
Warrant officer Colin Palmer of the Ground Engineering Flight (GEF) said: “Mr Mair has worked for me throughout his time at RAF Coningsby; as a tradesman, colleague and friend he will be missed by everyone and especially his GEF colleagues.”
Strapped in an oxygen mask fitting chair, Ken was escorted from the station by his colleagues for the last time on Wednesday.
Many of his colleagues lined the route to wave him off.