rSA DARLINGTON BRANCH

Welcome to the Darlington Branch Home Page.

Darlington's railway history has been celebrated by building a brick train alongside the A66 in Darlington.

To help conservation small holes were left between some of the bricks so that it could become a breeding ground for Pipistrel Bats.

Meetings are held monthly at the TA Centre, Neasham Road, Darlington. These are held on the third Thursday starting at 7.30pm. New members are always welcome.

cOMMITTEE

Cyril Cooke
President
01325 354611
Ron Botham
Chairman
01609 777342
Ray Jeffery
Secretary
01325 284662

hISTORY

Pre-War History (if any) is not known

Through a letter to the Northern Echo by Lt Col W A Lee Royal Signals, a meeting was held at the Imperial Hotel, Darlington on the 23rd October 1945 with 43 members or ex members of the Royal Signals attending. A temporary committee was voted in, their task was to obtain the necessary information with respect to the forming of a branch in Darlington.

A meeting was held at the British Legion Club on the 10th December 1945 and it was agreed that adverts would be placed in the NAAFI Club Darlington and local cinemas. It worked as it appears that informal meetings were held on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month, and committee meetings were held monthly.

In August 1947 the drill hall of 50 (N) Signal Regiment (TA) in Larchfield Street Darlington became available, and branch meetings were held there for twenty years until February 1967 when the TA Centre closed. Enquiries were made as to having monthly meeting at the new TA Centre Neasham Road Darlington.

Enquiry was successful and the first meeting was held on the 6th April 1967 and the meetings are still Continuing there today, 43 years later.

cYRIL COOKE

Cyril first attempted to enlist on leaving school aged 14, but was rejected through not having sufficient teeth (I don’t think they knew he was only 14 – Editors Note). He enlisted successfully in 1946 and was sent for initial training to P.T.C. Durran Hill Camp, Carlisle, which was staffed by the Border Regiment.

After completion of Basic Training, Cyril was transferred to The Royal Corps of Signals for Trade Training as a Clerk SD at 2 OTB, Catterick in early 1947. Then on to 2 Trg Regt, Le Cateau Lines as a Trainee Clerk GD.

In late 1947 he was posted to Depot Regt for Overseas Draft and in Jan 1948 embarked for West Africa Signal Regiment, Accra, Gold Coast. He then moved to the CSO’s Branch, West Africa Command before moving on to Nigeria Signal Squadron, Lagos as Orderly Room Sergeant in Mid 1949.

Cyril returned to Home Command in April 1951 and married (his long suffering wife – Editor again) Joan in June 1951. In July 1951 he was posted to 4 Trg Regt, Gaza Lines, Catterick Camp, as Orderly Room Sergeant. In 1953 he was promoted to SQMS i/c Clothing Stores before being posted to HQ A.L.F.C.E., France in February 1954, for employment in the Signals Division.

Back to the UK in April 1956 as a PSI with 42(Div) Sig Regt (TA), Manchester and then as ORQMS. In 1959 he was posted to CSO’s Branch, GHQ Farelf as WOII and in 1962 to HQ 1 (BR) Corps via 22 Signal Regiment (reforming at Lippstadt).

Back to UK again in 1964 as ORQMS 14 Signal Regiment (Comcan), Gloucester. In 1966 Cyril was promoted to WO1 (SC) and posted to Royal Signals Records as WO i/c Documentation Team. He stayed in this post until being discharged in March 1969 on completion of service.

Cyril joined the Darlington Branch of RSA in 1970, serving as Vice-Chairman 1971-74, then as Honorary Secretary until February 2005 when ill health prompted him to stand down after 30 years in the post.

Cyril is a 50 year (plus) Member, an Honour Member and is still a stalwart attender to Branch Meetings and Social Functions (supported by Joan – Editor again). He regularly “stands-in” for committee members and helps organise Branch Social Functions.

To complete his portfolio of posts, Cyril was appointed President of Darlington Branch in February 2009.

Location

The Bradford Armoury, Darlington, DL1 4BW. 
This is where the Branch holds its monthly meetings:

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