Thursday, 26 January 2012

Information Booklet 1973

Once again I’m grateful to Pete Brindley, this time for sending me his copy of the RAF Saxa Vord Information Booklet (1973). It certainly brings back memories for me having left Unst in 1969 – not much had changed. The main Married Quarter patch at SHE had only been open for a few years. The information about heating quarters is fascinating in retrospect. At the time the RAF Power house was supplying electricity to the area and there was a limit to the output. Still, there were remote parts of the Highlands & Islands without any form of mains electricity at the time.
Pete was also good enough to send the 1977 booklet at the same time and I will issue that some time in the future. If anyone has similar information from other periods and is prepared to lend or part with the documents, I would be pleased to hear from them –


Saturday, 14 January 2012

Event with Children – 1998

I’m not sure what event the following photos commemorate. My best guess is that the 2 children involved had won a competition and had been given the freedom of the Station for a day. The event took place in late 1998 and the two children appear to be a Miss Laurenson and a Master Smith. If anyone can provide more information or identify any of the people in the pictures I would be pleased to hear from them.  (Left click on pictures to enlarge).


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

R101 – The Interior (amended 28 May 14)

Almost certainly due to security issues I’m very short of material from inside the R101 and particularly the earlier Ops Building, the R10. If anyone has photos or information from either location I would be pleased to hear from them:

The R101 was constructed in the period 1976 to 79. The new Ops facilities were then in use until 1984 when a complete refurbishment took place. Whilst new equipment was being installed operational commitments were met by using a stripped down GL161 system, which had be shipped in from Wattisham. I have already written about this interim system here:
The move from the R10 to the R101 took place during the first weekend in June 1979 and it was in use until the late 90’s. By then the only sections left in the R101 were Comcen and IT Coord and they moved out soon after. The few Ops staff left had moved up to the Type 93 on the Tech Site. I have divided the few photos I have into 3 groups:
1. The early years - 1979 to the beginning of 1984
2. The refurbishment phase
3. The period after the new equipment had been installed until Ops staff left the building.
1979 to 1984
The first photo was taken in Sep 1979 and shows the OC Ops, Flt Lt Dick Waters, briefing the Rt Hon David Howell MP. At the time of the visit David Howell was the Secretary of State for Energy in the Conservative Government of the day: (Left click on photos to enlarge).
The next two pictures are copied from an article which appeared in the RAF News and were sent to me by Bob Jenner.
The following photo shows the Operations room just before the refurbishment started:
Refurbishment Phase
The sequence below shows various parts of the R101 during the refurbishment phase.
The Final Phase in the R101
As the Link 11 Aerials were not erected until 1984 I presume this photo of the Link 11 console belongs in this part of this section:
The next 2 photos are of the ESM suite:
I’m not sure why the gentleman is sitting in the centre of the next picture – he’s Fg Off Nick Brittain, OC PSF (ie, an Administrator)
I don’t know the gentleman in the following shot either but I believe he’s from Trade Group 12 and belongs there (even if he’s not holding a chinagraph!). "Smeek" informs me that it may well be "Taxi" Marsden - Saxa 93./4 ish.

The last 4 photos were taken during visits by senior officers, I have added the names that I know and would be pleased to add others if anyone wishes to get in touch.