RAF Shinfield Park

Headquarters Flying Training Command 

(27th May 1940 - 1st June 1968)

Pauline Cantrell-Stephenson

Click pic to enlarge


At the camp

My service at RAF Shinfield Park

I was posted to RAF Shinfield Park on 5/6/67 following my tour in Germany at RAF Wildenrath and RAF Rheindahlen as a SACW Q-Sec-T until I was transferred to RAF Brampton when RAF Shinfield Park was closed down. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time there making the most of camp life and making new friends such as Myra Young, Susan Charvill, Sonja Schimmel, Sue Mower, Jill Parkyn to name but a few. John South has recently contacted me as has Tony Lewis to remind me of other personnel  that served there. 

I am on the last photograph taken of the full contingent of camp Officers, NCOs and Airmen/Airwomen before closure, I am on the second row, back left, first right. My name was Pauline Sanderson but everyone called me Sandy. I was one of the members of the camp netball team. I remember being invited to the 50th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force Dance at the Eagle Club on 2 May 1968 and had a wonderful time. The WRAFs were often taken to the Army camp at Arborfield for dances etc. Being near to Reading and London my friends (Myra Young, Sue Charvill and Sonja Schimmel) often went there for weekends as we didn't work shifts or weekends with our jobs, and of course, we frequented The Black Boy!

My life after leaving the WRAF

Since leaving the WRAF, I moved back to my home town of Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, where I brought up my two children from a previous relationship. 

After a spell of Nursing I returned to my trade as a Secretary whilst attending part-time College (7 years) to obtain my Private Secretaries Diploma. I spent 27 years with a multi-national Consulting Engineering and Architectural Practice as PA to the Managing Director where I met my husband (an ex Grenadier Guard). As he worked overseas a lot I was able to visit countries such as Dubai, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Australia and the Philippines. We also had 2 aeroplanes over the years, and as I always wanted to fly, this was a bonus! 

Due to restructuring, myself and the MD were made redundant affording me the opportunity to work as a Civil Servant for 12 years until I retired at the age of 67. For the past 6 years I have worked at a local museum as a Victorian Costumed Interpreter and also for St John Ambulance as an Administrator. 

My eldest daughter was killed in a car accident in 1986 and my youngest daughter has kidney failure but is 50 this year. I divorced my husband in 2003 so now live alone. 

I am involved very much in the Royal Air Force Association (WRAF Branch) and also a member of RAFA Hartlepool. I am a regular participant at Cenotaph Parades, Allied and All Forces events, Wings Appeal fundraising and also run a local ex WRAF Group. I also organise reunions to our old WRAF Training Camp, RAF Spitalgate, now known as Prince William of Gloucester Barracks and operated by the Army, so you can see that I keep myself busy.

I have a 25 year-old grandson called Jake.