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Old 18th May 2017, 20:40   #10641 (permalink)
 
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Geriaviator (#10637),

Leaving a scandalised Padre in his wake, our junior terrorist turns his attention to the humble dhobi. What devilment is he contemplating ?
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Old 19th May 2017, 06:52   #10642 (permalink)
 
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Danny,
your mess kit story reminds me of the cummerbund/waistcoat saga many of us went through. Nothing changes but the date.
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Old 19th May 2017, 09:02   #10643 (permalink)
 
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I hate snakes, even our inoffensive whip snakes, but I am waiting with baited breath for the cobra story.....
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Old 19th May 2017, 10:58   #10644 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ancientaviator62 View Post
Danny,
your mess kit story reminds me of the cummerbund/waistcoat saga many of us went through. Nothing changes but the date.
Be grateful you're not ex-WRAF, with the numerous [disastrous] iterations their Mess Dress went through. The Assistant Director of Clothing Requirements and Procurement, appropriately abbreviated to ADCRAP, had much to answer for.
  • That hideous flared knee-length blue-grey item of distant memory.
  • The 'blue tube' that looked awful on all but the most-lightly built, and was not able to be either washed OR dry-cleaned. One drip of soup, and go and buy a new one.
  • The 'blue tube Mk2', in a slightly different style and with better material.
  • The 'proper' one [top similar to the male version] in c. 1993/94.*


* It was rumoured that a certain VSO wanted that with the skirt split up the side to above the knee, but was eventually persuaded otherwise.
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Old 19th May 2017, 12:14   #10645 (permalink)
 
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MPN11,
Quote:
*... It was rumoured that a certain VSO wanted that with the skirt split up the side to above the knee, but was eventually persuaded otherwise...
How far above, is the $64 question ! (the prospect of a cheongsam is pleasing - brings a gleam to the rheumy old eye - but nothing else, damnit).

Ah well, keep taking the tablets. ....
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Old 19th May 2017, 12:45   #10646 (permalink)
 
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...Mummy says he's cross because he doesn't want to arrange another church parade.
For newcomers and others who haven't read it, try Geriaviator's Post Page 178, #3558 here - I chuckle every time I think of it !..
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Old 19th May 2017, 13:37   #10647 (permalink)
 
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MPN11,

Not really the place to ask, but following the BBC News this morning, looked up:
Ground & Other Ops Forums > ATC Issues > LCY Remote Tower.

Interesting ? How feasible is this ? When on my last tour at Leeming, it occurred to me that it was wasteful having an AR-1 on all (most ?) the flying training stations in the Vale of York, when one centrally placed (not necessarily on a Station) had all the range and upper air lobe coverage to provide Approach Control for the lot. Indeed, we had helped Teesside Airport out on occasion when their puny ACR-7D was no use. But Local Control ? - sounds dicey to me.

Should've put a suggestion forward, I suppose (on a no-career contract you're completely bullet-proof !), but couldn't be bothered.

Remembered your Synthetic Mock at Shawbury. Like to know what you think about this idea (no, not mine - the LCY Tower controlled by Swanwick ?)

Where will it all end, one asks oneself ? If one, why not the lot ? (the Final Triumph of Area Radar ?)
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Old 19th May 2017, 14:07   #10648 (permalink)
 
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Dear Danny42C, the digital era is with us ... and we can sometimes keep up with it! Even back in the 70s we were sharing radar data in the Area world, and both ATC and FC expanded that capability in the subsequent decades. Swanwick (London Centre) took matters much further, and that's where Heathrow Approach now lives/works! The concept of shared radar data, from different sources and combined on-screen, is well established in the en-route world.

The concept is also rolling out in RAF Terminal ATC, with the intention of having 'Clutch' towers doing search and precision radar remoted in as required, with just a VCR at the lesser units. The LCY Visual concept is just one step further along the same sort of road.

It all seems pretty robust, from a Tech POV.

Personally, I always preferred the nuances you could gather from an analogue radar display, especially if you could fiddle with a gain control. But digital adds immense flexibility, at lower cost. When I was working on LATCC Comms at NATS in the 80's, we were going digital. That enabled ANY landline/frequency to be configured on to ANY control position with a few strokes on a keyboard. Having 'universal radar' means any task can be carried out anywhere, so tasks can be split, or combined, according to workload [or tech failure on a control console].

Having been the instigator of the Visual Simulator at Shawbury, I don't see any great intellectual difficulty in doing 'Local' from a remote location using a digital visual display. It's just a bit 'different'

Come and have a cup of tea in the Dinosaurs' Corner ...
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Old 19th May 2017, 16:43   #10649 (permalink)
 
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Wander00
Quote:
I hate snakes, even our inoffensive whip snakes, but I am waiting with baited breath for the cobra story.....
I'll await Danny's reply. Meanwhile although I crossed paths with Cobras in Ceylon during my RAF service, they sort of didn't go for you (unless one trod on them). Similarly I had to contend with Puff Adders at 5FTS (Thornhill S. Rhodesia) and Green Vipers at RAF Katunayke (Negombo).
More details on the latter here:
RAF Fighter Command VHF/DF Fixer Net Early 1950's
Post #39







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Old 19th May 2017, 16:58   #10650 (permalink)
 
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THE DHOBI-WALLAH

I can just about remember Mondays being washing day at home in County Antrim, with Mummy being too tired to take me for a walk after hours at the sink. But RAF Poona is well served by the dhobi-wallahs who frequently call to offer their services. With so many identical uniform garments, Mummy shows me how each customer has their own special mark, placed inside each garment using a special black pen which won't come off. Our mark looks like the letter :X: with two dots on each side.

Next day we visit the dhobi-ghat, which Mummy says would be called a laundry at home. The clothing arrives in big baskets, and is tipped into a huge tank of hot water heated by a fire beneath. I watch as the dhobi-wallahs and their wives lift out the garments and beat them against a big flat stone, rubbing dirty patches with another stone dipped in soapy water. After a rinse, the rows of khaki shirts, shorts and tunics, sheets and pillowcases are laid out on stones to dry in the sun, before being dipped into something called starch and pressed flat until they resemble sheets of cardboard. My shirt and shorts come back so stiff that they rub my skin red, so Mummy tells the dhobi-wallah not to starch them. When off duty Daddy and Sgt James next door wear a dhoti, which is a big skirt like Mummy's and looks very funny and I laugh until Daddy says he'll tell the dhobi-wallah to starch my shorts again and see how I like that.

Suitably impressed after our visit, I inspect Daddy's uniform trousers and am concerned that our dhobi mark is missing. It would never do to have them go astray, so I find the special pen that Mummy showed me and make a passable if shaky copy upon the left leg. I'm not too good on measurements yet so it's about six inches high. There, I think, now the dhobi-wallah will easily find Daddy's trousers.

But when he gets home Daddy is very cross, he says I have ruined his Number Two slacks and sends me off to bed, where I sit disconsolately on my charpoy. Yoo ********* ****, I say to myself, there's no pleasing some people.

Next instalment: Geriaviator (aged 5) continues his memories of RAF Poona 1946 with the arrival of the Indian monsoon.
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Old 19th May 2017, 18:00   #10651 (permalink)
 
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MPN11 (#10648),

M'dear Chap,

..."The concept is also rolling out in RAF Terminal ATC, with the intention of having 'Clutch' towers doing search and precision radar remoted in as required"...

Not all that far away from my Leeming Pipe Dream of 45 years ago, eh ? (Great Minds Think Alike ?)

The Battery Hens inherit the (ATC) Earth ! (muted applause).

All very fine - until the elastic breaks ! (ie Kerry Bogtrotter puts pick through mains cable somewhere, and it all goes belly-up).

See you in the Dinosaurs'Corner ! (milk 'n two sugars, pl, if you get there first). Your turn to pay !

Danny.
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Old 19th May 2017, 18:06   #10652 (permalink)
 
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Thanks, Geriaviator for your lovely tales!

Our Mess dhobi at Tengah was marked with small stitches of coloured cotton in the inside label/collar/etc. ISTR my colour was a simple, single, red stitch. I never inspected anyone else's laundry ti see how complex the codes got, but with c. 50 of us living in it must have been a task ... unless each Batman had his own dhobi-wallah for HIS Sahibs.
I was just grateful that it all worked, seamlessly.

Last edited by MPN11; 19th May 2017 at 18:23.
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Old 19th May 2017, 18:20   #10653 (permalink)
 
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We had a similar mass dhobi system in Belize. It was a two day service; out in the morning and back two mornings later. Should you take a walk around the local area one would not be surprised to see the dhobi lady's boyfriend wearing one of your shirts for the day.
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Old 19th May 2017, 18:32   #10654 (permalink)
 
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FED (#10649),

Ah, the little world of Susie Wong ? Cheongsam relatively demure. And a playful gust of wind can happen to any girl - famously to Marilyn Monroe. And who remembers that lucky photoshot on a CapCom long ago - you know, the one with the granite-faced Commissar at the top of the aircraft steps glaring down at the trembling local apparatchicks below. And the Aeroflot hostie doing the bye-byes up there - until a momentary puff of air revealed .... (and she'd just had a Brazilian, too).

Set me up till next BoB day, it did !
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Old 19th May 2017, 18:44   #10655 (permalink)
 
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Warmtoast (#10650),

Your fearsome photographs give me the willies ! In 3 years in India, the only snakes I ever saw were the snake-charmer's (supposedly fang-less) cobras in their little baskets in the Bazaar.

Would not keep one as a pet, though !

Never wait for me - press on regardless

Danny.
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Old 19th May 2017, 19:06   #10656 (permalink)
 
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MPN11 and Geriaviator,

Dunno how my bearers did it - but I always got my right kit back ! Hot water ? and Soap ?

Soap costs money, so that's out for a start. River water as it comes is fine - you just have to wallop the dhobi on the stone longer and harder.

Geri, not sure about a dhoti. If it was just a tube of cloth tucked round the waist as you'd tuck a towel, it was a lunghi (most people wore them in preference to pyjamas).
Little starch, as I recall.

Great stuff - standing by for more !

Danny.
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Old 19th May 2017, 20:07   #10657 (permalink)
 
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Danny
Quote:
you know, the one with the granite-faced Commissar at the top of the aircraft steps glaring down at the trembling local apparatchicks below. And the Aeroflot hostie doing the bye-byes up there - until a momentary puff of air revealed .... (and she'd just had a Brazilian, too).
This one?


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Old 20th May 2017, 09:08   #10658 (permalink)
 
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Ah, the Gully-Gully Man

Snakes? No problem!

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Old 20th May 2017, 12:35   #10659 (permalink)
 
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Warmtoast (#10657),

Curiously, no. This is a similar set-up, but in the CapCom one (long since taken down), there was only one girl, the intimidating Commissar was the only one on the stairs, and the subject was even more revealing !

I imagine this combination of circumstances is so common that the paparazzi lie in wait for all arrivals when a gusty wind is blowing. One would think that this hazard is so well known to hosties that "precautions" are taken - at least to the extent of making sure that full kit is worn. But then, I suppose .....
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Old 20th May 2017, 12:50   #10660 (permalink)
 
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Glad you like the stories, folks, more to come as it seems the more I place on paper the more memories are triggered.
Quote:
Soap costs money, so that's out for a start.
Danny, you remind me that my grandmother was widowed at 43 leaving her three girls to support. The Freemasons helped her to raise the family for in the 1920s there was no State benefits. Until leaving Binbrook for Khormaksar in 1951 soap tablets were used until wafer-thin, after which my mother collected them in a jar for melting down for recasting into new multi-coloured soap. We weren't the only family to do this. The dhobi-wallah collected soap from the OMQ but I doubt he got much from the Patch!

Unquestionably the same garment, but we called it dhoti in Poona and later in Aden, my father found it much more comfortable than khaki drill. And no, Padre Ashe was still to come in Khormaksar five years hence. I can't remember the name of Poona's padre as five-year-old G. did not see him again as he and padre disagreed following a profound theological discussion. A report on this discussion will appear later, after we've got to the snakes, but it involved the infant G's introduction of the Lord Shiva into the Sunday School proceedings. As a result it was suggested to Mummy that it might be better if young G. did not attend again, a suggestion with which he happily agreed

Last edited by Geriaviator; 20th May 2017 at 13:48. Reason: add dhoti note
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