Sunday, 29 May 2011

Charities Events Part 3

A number of charity events have been covered previously. This section covers a few more – the generosity of service personnel, their families and local population was such that were charity events frequently throughout the history of RAF Saxa Vord. I can only include those occasions I know about so if anyone feels left out because their hard work is not included, I would be happy to put together future sections if I am given information and pictures.
Sometime ago I wrote a small piece about the Gala Day, which was held in May 1969, just a couple of months after I had been posted to RAF Buchan: the time the following cutting from the Shetland Times was not available to me.At
The next 2 clippings from the Shetland Times refer to charity events in 1977. The first clipping mentions a performance of the pantomime Cinderella which will be covered in more detail in the future.
In 1979 a couple of servicemen, with support, took part in a sponsored cycle run from Saxa to Sumburgh and back in aid of the Shetland Multiple Sclerosis Society. The Shetland Times covered the event.
In the same year the Wives Club, always to the fore when it came to fundraising, held its Annual Charity Bazaar. The article below from the Dec 79 issue of the Shetland Times shows some of the crowd at the Bazaar. I have to admit that I find the sum raised - £1354 – over 30 years ago on an Island with such a small population phenomenal. Perhaps the figure is the sum raised over a number of events.
In 1980 the Station presented £100 to Da Longship Committee. The Viking Longship replica is still on the go. In recent years, crews with a different sense of self preservation from me have been seen in her as far away as mainland Scotland and Norway. The photo was taken in 2010.
The next series of extracts are from The Stockport Messenger (1983) and from the Shetland Times  (1984).

The participants in the Sumburgh sponsored run in the article above are shown in the photo below.
In 1985 the proceeds from a Daft Pram Race (unfortunately no pictures) and the Wives Club Annual Charity Bazaar (also no photos) were used to purchase a computer for the Bells Brae Special Unit.
The next clipping from the Shetland Times is undated but, looking at the names of the people involved, I suspect it was about 1988
The next 5 articles are from 1989, the first from the RAF News and then 4 from the Shetland Times (two undated).

I believe that the picture below came from the RAF News in May 1990. Unst is still a great place for “Twitchers” with many rare birds seen each year.

Finally, in this section, the presentation of a reclining chair to Ward 2 of the Gilbert Bain Hospital which was featured in the 4 Feb 94 issue of the Shetland Times. I have also included a clearer photograph taken at the same event.  

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Rugby at Saxa

This will be one of a series of sections on sport. Two sections, one on soccer and another on sailing, are in preparation and will be issued when complete. I suspect I may have to put together supplementary pieces on some of the more popular activities if sufficient material is forthcoming.

As far as I’m aware the last rugby match that featured a Saxa team took place was in 1999 and there was a short piece about that match earlier on the blog:
I have added a few labels to some of the pictures below but do not know all the team members (or, in a couple of cases, even the teams!). I have attempted to put the items in a chronological order, with the earliest at the beginning. As I had to estimate dates for some of the pictures/cuttings I may have made mistakes. I know that some individualas went soutth in the later 60's to take part in events at places like Leuchars, but htese competitions were "sevens" or the individuals were reresenting larger formations like Fighter Command. The earliest record of Saxa fielding a full rugby XV I have found  is in 1972. I welcome corrections/additions;    (Left click on pictures to enlarge)
1972 (approx)


The 2 cuttings below are from thesame article.

In 1999 the Saxa team took a short trip to ST Mawgan to compete in an RAF Plate event. Their exploits are covered in this article from the Summer 1999 edition of the Saxa Voice.

The next picture is also from the Saxa Voice Magazine. It appeared in an article in one of the last issues which dealt with some aspects of the Units history. It appears that a team from the BBC Grandstand programme made the trek to Unst film the Saxa team at play. Some of the footage was included on BBC in the lead up to a big rugby International match. Unfortunately no date for the event was included.
I am grateful to FS Paul Guinee, who has given me the details he can remember about the next picture, which was taken  in the period 1988/89:

The final picture shows the opposition for that 88/89 match. If anyone can add details for either photo I would be pleased to hear from them.


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Functions in the Officers’ Mess in the 1970’s

For some reason I have been unable to locate many photos of RAF Saxa Vord in the period 1970 – 1977. This time corresponds to the time when the Stn Cdrs were Sqn Ldr Melbourne, Sqn Ldr Woolston, Sqn Ldr Daniels and Sqn Ldr Glasspool. I am hopeful that this situation will be rectified and if anyone can help out it would be appreciated. I would also like to ask again for those of you with photos of functions in the Sergeants’ Mess, Viking Club & Penguin Club who have suitable pictures they are prepared to share, to get in touch:

The photos below all came from the scrap books left by my late father-in-law, Hughie McMeechan. I have to admit that I don’t know who owns the copyright but if there are any valid objections to them being reproduced here I will remove them.

From Sep 74 to Apr 76. Stn Cdr - Sqn Ldr Bob Daniels

From Apr 76 to Oct 77. Stn Cdr - Sqn Ldr Ian Glasspool

From Oct 77 to Jun 79.  Stn Cdr - Sqn Ldr Pete Batchelor