Arborfield Old Boys Association. The Arborfield Old Boys Association was formed in 1948 and it exists today to represent all the 50,000 or so young men and women who passed through the gates of the Army Apprenticeship establishments at Arborfield from 1939 to 2004. These were:
Army Technical School (Boys) 1939 to 1946
Army Apprentice School 1946 to 1966 – in October the cap badge changed from the bespoke Apprentice School to that of the REME
Army Apprentice College 1966 to 1981
Princess Marina College 1982 to 1995
Army Apprentice College 1995 to 2000
Army Technical Foundation College 2000 to 2004 – it finally closed its doors in August 2004.
The Association is free to join and has an annual subscription of £15. It does not matter how your career progressed (or didn’t), as long as you attended the Arborfield Apprentice School, Arborfield Apprentice College, Princess Marina College or the Army Technical Foundation College at Arborfield either as an apprentice or as permanent staff, you are eligible.
The Association holds an annual reunion on the second weekend in July each year, which is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends. The reunion is held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire where, after a short parade and a church service, it moves to a local hotel for the Annual General Meeting and the Gala dinner. Special attention is given to those who are celebrating the 50th anniversary. It’s a very special and well supported weekend.
The Association also publishes the Arborfield Old Boys Association Newsletter (OBAN) three times a year, and a selected few are invited to attend the national remembrance parade at the cenotaph in London each year. Our book ‘The Arborfield Apprentice’ sells well and our website www.arborfieldoldboys.co.uk contains a detailed history, both written and photographic.
The Association is also a registered charity (Arborfield Association registered in England and Wales – number 1086198) the objects of which are: To promote the efficiency of the Army by maintaining contact with former apprentices and providing social gatherings to foster esprit de corps; relieve either generally or individually members of the association who are in need, hardship or distress and; to commemorate and remember former members of the armed forces and in particular former Arborfield apprentices.
The Association is served by a committee who are all volunteers which meets three times a year. The spring and the autumn meetings are held in the REME Museum and the Annual General Meeting in Staffordshire. For further information visit the website where full committee contact details can be found.