Chris used to do a paper round every morning before and after school and, from the 3rd year on, always met his girlfriend in a shelter at Five Ways when she was on her way to Kingston High School. He would then have to race off to get to Riley before Registration, which he didn't always manage. Chris covered about 70 miles a week on his bike without the addition of week-end trips to Willerby (again to visit his girlfriend). Mark Saxby, who used to see him every morning in the shelter with his girlfriend, signed his final School Report with "Hope you have a happy married life". Perhaps if Chris had paid a little more attention to his schoolwork and a little less to his girlfriend, he might have done a bit better at school.
Having left home, via his sister's 1st floor bedroom window at the age of 15 following a dispute with his Dad (a trawler Skipper), he eventually finished school and joined the Royal Navy in Sep 1965; was married on D Day 1970 (that should have told him something!!) and had three daughters by the time he was 27. He retired from the RN in Oct 1988 having seen quite a bit of the world; served on HMS Albion and both the old Ark Royal (last commission) and the new Ark Royal (first commission); and gained promotion from Junior Electrical Mechanic 2nd Class to Chief Petty Officer Air Engineering Artificer (Radio/Radar). Amongst other things, he was seconded to the RAF twice and had worked on helicopters, guided missiles, Canberra T17s and was one of a handful of technicians trained to service the Sea Harrier, Blue Fox, Radar System down to component level.
Civvy Street brought a complete career change when Chris became a Local Government Planning Enforcement Officer with Bradford MDC in Dec 1988, and also, within two years, a total life change when divorce followed 20 years of marriage. Chris married Fran in 1992 (gaining a step-daughter and a step-son) and took up Orkney Island Council's first ever Planning Enforcement Officer post from Jan 1994 to Oct 2001 before retiring from Aberdeenshire Council in Jan 2014. During this career he was attacked by dogs; was threatened to be buried, along with his car, in a sand pit; and twice that he would be shot if he ever stepped foot on certain lands ever again. Mr Whitley always did relish a challenge. He co-wrote the original Scottish Planning Enforcement Handbook, published by the RTPI in 2005, before re-writing the legislative chapters following major changes to the Scottish Planning Acts. Keen on Rugby Union since school, having started on the left wing he moved through the centres and into the pack, where he made his mark as an "abrasive" prop forward from the early 80s. He played his last three games at tight head prop for a combined Orkney/Shetland Veterans team at the Golden Oldies Rugby World Cup, held in Edinburgh, shortly before his 60th birthday in 2008. A typically over zealous, 35 year old American finally put paid to Chris's rugby career that had included playing for various RN Ships, RAF Stations, Skipton RFC and Orkney over 40 odd years.
Now retired and living with Fran in Macduff, where they spend a lot of time tending their garden, they have three grandsons aged between 16 and 22 living in England. All in all an interesting life and, hopefully, still lots more to come!
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