RAF Association Banner

Tonight’s object proved one of the more challenging pieces to photograph for you as it is an eight foot long RAF Association banner:imageThe RAF Association was formed in 1929 to offer welfare and support to serving and ex members of the RAF. Originally it was an old-comrades association, but during the Second World War its remit was expanded due to the huge numbers of men (and women) in the RAF and the Association was steered into becoming more of a welfare charity after 1945 with welfare officers, employment officials and legal advisors appointed to help ex-airmen. The RAF Association set up branches across the country to support members on a local level and this banner comes from the Airedale and Wharfedale branch of the RAFA and would have been used at fund raising events to advertise the branch. The banner is made of a loose weave fabric and seems to have been craft-produced, albeit by an experienced seamstress. The letters are formed of tape, machine sewn to the fabric:imageTapes are sewn to either end to allow the banner to be tied up to display it:imageAn RAF roundel is sewn onto the banner, here made of three separate (almost) circles of fabric:imageThe RAFA logo is a professionally produced badge, that has been stapled to the banner:imageAs can be seen the printing on this badge has discoloured badly over the years. It is difficult to date these sort of hand-produced items, but my guess is that it would date from the 1960s or 1970s. The RAFA has continued being a successful charity right up to the present day, and according to their website :

 In a typical year, these are just some of the ways that we help our servicemen and women, past and present. You can find out more information about all of this great work on this site.

  • – Over 65,500 members offering friendship and support to one another
  • – Over 540 volunteer welfare officers with professional accredited training
  • – Our network of volunteer welfare officers make over 102,200 welfare visits and calls offering personal support to meet each individual’s and family’s needs
  • – We give expert advice and professional assistance on War Pensions and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, achieving more than £540,000 in pension and compensation payments
  • – We help 2,500 people enjoy a much needed Wings Break
  • – Our Storybook Wings initiative has supported 2,300 RAF children who struggle when their parent is not at home – whether on deployment or working away during the week
  • – We fund the refurbishment of 30 comfortable contact houses on stations where, for example, a separated parent can spend a precious weekend with their children
  • – We assist around 50 RAF veterans or their widows/widowers to lead safe, independent lives in our sheltered and supported housing
  • – Through the RAF Families Federation we give RAF personnel and their families the chance to influence future policy
  • – We distribute more than £1.8m in welfare grants to serving and ex-serving personnel
  • – We work with Alabaré and The Soldier’s Charity to help homeless ex-military personnel to rebuild their lives

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