99 Year Old WW2 B17 Pilot

Dick Nelms is a 99 year former B17 pilot from WW2 at RAF Rattlesden, who completed the maximum 35 missions over Europe, including, but not limited to, Berlin, Munich, and the Normandy campaign.

These photos were recently taken at the Seattle Museum of Flight where, every Saturday, he stands beside a B17 and proudly, and accurately, provides stories and insights into WW2.
Over 95% of his journeys to the Museum of Flight are undertaken by Muscles for Charity volunteers.

The above photo shows Dick being totally surprised by an invitation from Captain Churchill to enjoy a 40 minute flight in a WW2 B17 over the Seattle area.

The below photos show 35 retired military personnel, known as the ‘Detail Mafia” who voluntarily clean military air planes across the States, including Air Force One.
The ‘Detail Mafia’ recently spent a week at the Museum of Flight and presented Dick with, among other items, one of their shirts.

Dick Nelms and amazing gentleman who is looking forward to his 100th birthday in February 2023.

Muscles project number – 445
Total voluntary hours – 17374

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How Many Muscles Volunteers Does It Take To Fit a Roof On A Greenhouse?

On Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August 2022, a total of 12 members of the Muscles team descended on the Ipswich home of Gina to complete a garden make-over in return for a donation she had generously made to the East Anglian Air Ambulance Charity.

On the morning of first day, Alan, Clive, Ian, Pete and Phil arrived nice and early in an attempt to beat the heat and, armed with pick axes, spades and mattocks set about preparing the ground for the main work the following day. The task was completed in a total of 12 hours labour and everything looked good for day two.

However, things didn’t begin too well when our usually very trusty cement mixer, ‘Lady Sarah’, wouldn’t start. Mixing two tonnes of cement by hand wasn’t an option the team were looking forward to, so the problem needed to be rectified quickly.

Fortunately, half an hour of great detective work by ex-detective Bernie traced the fault back to a small split in an electric cable. A chocolate box and insulation tape fix later we were ready to start the day. Lesson learnt, check vital kit the day before the job!

The team split into two groups, one working on the main task of building a patio base, and the other assembling the frame of a new octagonal greenhouse, the latter job being far from simple.

A particularly pleasing aspect of the day was the contribution made to the team by three generations of the Grew family; grandad Simon, dad Craig, son Kieron and nephew Finn made up 40% of the second day’s team, which was completed by Alan, Bernie, Clive, Kev, Nick and Phil.

Muscles project number – 444
Total voluntary hours – 17220

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Garden Tidy for a Retired Cop

During the mid-July mini-heatwave that saw temperatures in the UK soaring to over 30 degrees, Clive, Bernie and Phil spent a morning in the Ipswich garden of retired couple Jane and Barry.

Recent mobility issues had prevented the couple from being able to complete a few of the maintenance jobs that would previously have been no problem for them, so Muscles volunteers stepped in to help.

Barry, a now-long-retired detective with the local constabulary, and Jane, a long-serving committee member of the National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO) have generously given their own time to assist with the welfare of others over the years, so it was a pleasure for the team to be able to help repay them in this way.

Within a couple of hours of arrival, the weeding had been completed, furniture assembled, decking cleaned and shrubs pruned, leaving the garden ready for the pair to enjoy the rest of the summer.

Jane said, ‘You’ve made such a difference. We just couldn’t manage it ourselves this year. Thank you very much’.

Muscles project number – 443

Total voluntary hours – 17160

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Muscles Step Up for Kirkland House Clearance

July 2022, and the US Muscles team were invited to assist a Kirkland senior citizen clear the contents of his home ahead of contractors demolishing the property.

July 2022, and the US Muscles team were invited to assist a Kirkland senior citizen clear the contents of his home ahead of contractors demolishing the property.   Leading the Muscles team, Tricia and Steve Watson, organized, fed and watered the volunteers, including family members, over a three day period in blazing temperatures.

The MFC team, (from left to right) consisted of Joie Worthen, Glenna Trout, Judy Shannon, Tricia Watson, John Bishop, Steve Watson, Frank Soto and Amy Soto.   Special appreciation to Tricia for organising and supplying refreshments during the extended weekend.

NB = over three days the total number of hours for the MFC team was 129 hours.

John, the owner of the property was surprised and delighted with the teams efforts on his, and the families behalf.

Muscles project number – 442

Total voluntary hours – 17154

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Swift Garden Clearance

On 1 July 2022, two Muscles volunteers, Bernie and Phil, spent a sunny morning helping to clear unwanted items from the rear garden of an Ipswich house.

The customer was recently widowed and had been trying unsuccessfully for weeks to get someone to help with the job. Once again, Bernie’s truck came into its own and the load was soon transferred to the local recycling centre.

Donation to be made to Cancer Relief.

Muscles project number – 441

Total voluntary hours – 17025

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UK Team Mates Job (part 2) – Lady Sarah’s

The team returned to Lady Sarah’s to complete a couple of jobs on a warm June morning.

Alan’s brewing shed needed a re-roof which Clive and ‘new boy’ Mark set about while Bernie used his craftsmanship on the back door, leaving Kev, Ian and Nick to replace a section of fencing.

With great teamwork and plenty of banter the jobs got ticked off leaving Sarah extremely grateful of the results.

Muscles project number – 440

Total voluntary hours – 17021

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Muscles Charity Trellis Repair

Flattened Felixstowe Trellis provided new support. 

Storms Dudley and Eunice swept across the UK in quick succession in February and Caroline’s garden trellis found itself victim to the severe high winds near the coast at Felixstowe. 

Four Muscles team members had the thorny job of reinstating a flattened rose covered trellis against new posts.

The ground was kind to the team who dug and set three new posts and supports.

Once raised and fixed in position the team turned to cleaning and painting the decking which the trellis bordered.

The end result looked great and the lovely relaxing space was once again available for Caroline to enjoy.

“Thank you so much, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all your work. All best wishes to you all. It really is such a generous idea to have people donate to charity for your work”

Caroline

The Muscles work benefitted the Headway Charity as chosen by Caroline.

Muscles project number – 439

Total voluntary hours – 16985

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MFC Mister Shifters Make Light Work of Furniture Disposal

The morning of Friday 20 May 2022 saw a small team of MFC volunteers working in support of the Home Start in Suffolk organisation https://www.homestartinsuffolk.org/

The team attended the home of a young mum in Felixstowe and cleared away 3 vehicle-loads of unwanted furniture.

Bernie, Ian, Nick and Phil completed the job within an hour, leaving plenty of time for pre-lunch tea and sausage rolls at the newly-opened ’The Kitchen’ cafe on the seafront.

Muscles project number – 438

Total voluntary hours – 16969

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Storm Ravaged Felixstowe Fence gets Muscles Treatment

Before

The Muscles team arrived to a waiting plate of biscuits and refreshments, before swiftly pulling down the old fence at the job in Felixstowe.

Ready for the dump!

After disposing of the old fence, the team split into two squads to focus on putting up the featherboard panels and replacing three old posts for the new gate.

Some of the old posts were only 4 inches deep, meaning the team had to dig down 2ft through layers of cement and clay to make sure the new posts would last longer than their predecessors.

The job was completed in just under 6 hours, with the usual amount of muscles banter and camaraderie in some lovely weather. In addition to the fencing, Sarah made sure the garden was also looked after and not damaged in the process.

After

Anne, the recipient of the job, had this to say about the team:

“Thank you to Muscles For Charity for stepping up to replacing my old fence.
It’s made the garden feel much fresher and given it a new sense of security!
The team was very professional and friendly throughout!”

A donation was made to St Elizabeth’s Hospice.

A job well done!

Muscles project number – 437
Total voluntary hours – 16,965

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Many hands make Light work!

The Muscles UK Team were tasked by the Mayor of Felixstowe Mark Jepson with a landscaping task at a primary school in Langer Road Felixstowe.
The job was clearing an area of old wood and removing to a skip for disposal. The ‘Felixstowe Men’s Shed’,  http://fms.onesuffolk.net, had pre made six large and heavy wooden raised planters which were transported to the site that morning along with several tons of top soil and loose decorative bark.

The muscles team was ten strong, including Kieron which made three generations of Grews. The team was joined by others to clear and level the site. Ron had the plan and measured out where the wooden planters were to be positioned.  
The levelling and wheelbarrowing was frantic filling topsoil in the planters and carrying the excess old surface to the end where it was being stacked in a new raised area.

Later in the morning a dozen men from the regiment at Woodbridge joined the team and the work rate accelerated again. Ground levelled, planters in place and filled, decorative bark laid, site generally tidied we finished early at about 11:30am 

Many hands did make work and the result was impressive. Another 30 hours of Muscles work completed. 

Muscles project number – 436
Total voluntary hours – 16,923

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