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Old 11th Sep 2017, 17:46   #1 (permalink)
pzu
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Saxa Vord Sept 2017

Just seen on Radio Shetlands FB page, brief statement that MoD are to install New (remote?) Radar at Saxa Vord

PZU - Out of Africa (Retired)
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Old 11th Sep 2017, 18:35   #2 (permalink)
 
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They used to send naughty Air Force officers up there to be the Assistant Families Officer.

Where are they going to send them now?
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Old 11th Sep 2017, 19:26   #3 (permalink)
 
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Ah, Shetland Radar ... possibly the worst posting in ATC
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Old 11th Sep 2017, 20:08   #4 (permalink)
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Thankfully my island tour was Cyprus. I did do an 8 week detachment to Benbecula, after Robin Heaney got thrown off because of his strange behaviour towards the army. After I'd been there 2 weeks they asked 11Gp if they could have Robin back.....

Only place I've ever been where they sold fishing flies behind the bar, (barmaid Katrina?)
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 06:06   #5 (permalink)
 
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When I was on a 4 week detachment to Sumburgh in 1972, there was a rumour that several female personnel had been hurriedly posted in to Saxa due to certain 'morale' problems.

Last edited by chevvron; 13th Sep 2017 at 11:09.
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 07:13   #6 (permalink)
 
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If you had seen the women in Unst you could understand it.
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 09:27   #7 (permalink)
 
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Orkney during WW2 was no better

Bloody Orkney

This bloody town's a bloody cuss
No bloody trains, no bloody bus,
And no one cares for bloody us
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody roads are bloody bad,
The bloody folks are bloody mad,
They'd make the brightest bloody sad,
In bloody Orkney.

All bloody clouds, and bloody rains,
No bloody kerbs, no bloody drains,
The Council's got no bloody brains,
In bloody Orkney.

Everything's so bloody dear,
A bloody bob, for bloody beer,
And is it good? - no bloody fear,
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody 'flicks' are bloody old,
The bloody seats are bloody cold,
You can't get in for bloody gold
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody dances make you smile,
The bloody band is bloody vile,
It only cramps your bloody style,
In bloody Orkney.

No bloody sport, no bloody games,
No bloody fun, the bloody dames
Won't even give their bloody names
In bloody Orkney.

Best bloody place is bloody bed,
With bloody ice on bloody head,
You might as well be bloody dead,
In bloody Orkney

Hamish Blair

Funny to think its a popular tourist destination now with so many cruise ships calling in that they are having problems coping with the influx of visitors
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 09:53   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Funny to think its a popular tourist destination now with so many cruise ships calling in that they are having problems coping with the influx of visitors
and the 'welcoming' locals are moaning about that enough
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 11:02   #9 (permalink)
 
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Nought wrong with Saxa Vord apart from Shetrads wholigans on 3 month detachments who led us long-termers astray - The Rainman, Tom M and Storky to name but a few in my time Balty Towers was the second OM for us and Gerty got us there!!
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 11:52   #10 (permalink)
 
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I had to take an urgently needed drilling bit from Aberdeen to the Ninian platform. 19.00 hrs departure in a S76A, all by myself with Unst as the diversion and booked to land after the delivery.

A clear night with half moon and after I had landed on the Ninian, unloaded I took off for Unst.

Scottish seemed quite puzzled with my flight information but before we could clarify it I was out of range. Approaching the coast I called Unst tower with no reply. I tried to call our company at Unst and again no reply. I passed over their NDB and there was Unst laid out in the moonlight.

There were no lights on the airfield except the hanger lights shining out on the pan. I could see the runway, Sumburgh and Scatsta I knew were closed so I set up a circuit on the unlit runway.

On final there was a sudden panting call on the tower frequency asking the callsign of the aircraft on finals. We established I wanted to land and he switched on the lights and cleared me to land.

I taxied onto the pan, shut down the aircraft, found a chock to secure it and went into the Bristow's hanger. There were our engineers in the office holding cups of coffee.

You would have thought a ghost had walked in.

They had no idea I was coming and the noise outside, not being familiar with a S76, made them think it was a Brymon Dash 8. The air trafficker then came in telling me that his bungalow was just across the road and he had heard me coming which is why he had rushed to the tower.

I was put up in the Baltersound. The usual beers and then I was kept awake by somebody banging an oil rep all night.

The reason for the non-communication was that the company ops controller at Aberdeen had an alcohol problem, they found a bottle of whisky in his locker and he had completely forgot about my arrangements. That turned out to be his last shift.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 12th Sep 2017 at 13:44.
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 13:27   #11 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pzu View Post
Just seen on Radio Shetlands FB page, brief statement that MoD are to install New (remote?) Radar at Saxa Vord
I hope they tie it down a bit tighter than the Type 80 that was blown over in a gale!
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 15:05   #12 (permalink)
 
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Bloody Orkney

"Funny to think its a popular tourist destination now"

Ignorance is bliss as ever.

One local response was:-

The bloody Sassenachs have come
With bugle call and tuck o drum
With smell of beer and army rum.
The cheeky sods

What right have they to criticise
Who blow their trumpet to the skies
But all our folk and homes despise
The bloody clods.

We love the wind, we love the rain
We do have curbs and likewise drains
We have no trams or railway trains
But ships and luggers.

Oh, could we hear the farewell knell
Of old St. Magnus's church's bell
To send them all to bloody hell
The cocky buggers.

Actually I doubt this was penned by a "local" as Sassenach is not an Orkney term. It does not mean English but is a corruption of the Gaelic for Saxon i.e. anyone from South of the Gaelic speaking Highlands of Scotland. This never included Orkney as the Isles had been part of Norway until passing to Scotland.

Last edited by draken55; 12th Sep 2017 at 16:03.
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 15:19   #13 (permalink)
 
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Is Unst Airport open again now? Last I heard about 4 years ago it was closed.
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 15:30   #14 (permalink)
 
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And another for good measure!

This bloody war's a bloody cuss
For what it's bought to bloody us
Such bloody trouble, bloody fuss
Oh bloody, bloody

The navy takes the bloody bun
With gold braid by the bloody ton
This bloody town they try to run
Oh bloody, bloody

They commandeer each bloody hall
And at their bloody beck and call
They want us one and bloody all
Oh bloody, bloody

Strutting round like bloody hens
Supercilious bloody wrens
Can scarcely push their bloody pens
Oh bloody, bloody

Our so called soldiers bloody gay
With two and bloody six a day
Their bloody looks keep Huns away
Oh bloody, bloody

Brass-hats by the bloody score
Drink their pay and shout for more
No wonder Tommy's bloody sore
Oh bloody, bloody

Immaculate bloody glamour boys
In smoky blue, like bloody toys
Parade with studied bloody poise
Oh bloody, bloody

Despite all benefits bestowed
These bloody forces write an ode
To ridicule our loved abode
Oh bloody, bloody

Wish this bloody war was o'er
We'll hound them from our bloody shore
And live in peace for evermore
Oh bloody, bloody

Anyone who bothered to visit the Orkney Archipelago will realise how puerile it was to seek to compare the peacetime comforts of a base down south with what was then a remote group of Islands in Wartime.

The Navy visited it once before the Great War. By then it had dawned on the thickos at the Admiralty that their Battlefleet would be no use if blockaded in Portsmouth, Chatham or Devonport. More so in WW2 by when the added threat of German Air Power had emerged.
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 20:59   #15 (permalink)
 
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I always thought Macrihannish was the RAFs punishment posting.
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 21:22   #16 (permalink)
 
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I have had some wonderful two week holidays in the Orkney and Shetland Islands.
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 22:47   #17 (permalink)
 
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I can recommend a holiday in Orkney but always check whether there will be any cruise ships disgorging thousands of day-trippers. Fortunately I live on Stronsay, one of the Northern Isles, where we do get some visitors but not in overwhelming numbers. See the islands's monthly newsletter "The Stronsay Limpet" for an idea of what island life is like.
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Old 13th Sep 2017, 06:02   #18 (permalink)
 
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Had an unforgettable walking holiday in Shetland and Orkney prior to being posted south from Lossie in the early 80s. Always wanted to return - still on my 'to do' list.

It was made even more memorable by a chance meeting and brief chat with Mrs T and Dennis in Kirkwall.
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Old 13th Sep 2017, 10:59   #19 (permalink)
 
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In the early seventies we took a couple of Pumas up to Stromness Battery which used to defend the northwest entrance to Scapa Flow. (It didn't stop a Uboat from sneaking in and sinking a warship). The emplacements were still in place; one could go down to the magazines and the blast shutters still operated.

The accommodation was a time warp. The mess room was as it had been left in 1945. There were murals of a typical English scene with cottages complete with archways of roses over the door.

The Island of Hoy was where the Navy had their fuel store underground. I had a wander around the buildings and there was a lit tunnel leading into the hill. I was chased out by the team that was recovering all the heavy oil that the Navy had left behind.

There is a picture of a Puma on the Old Man of Hoy. The collective wasn't lowered fully in case the (5 tonne) weight caused it to collapse.

That would have been a Board of Inquiry and a half.
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Old 13th Sep 2017, 11:10   #20 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
If you had seen the women in Unst you could understand it.
Landed at the airport on my compulsory round the islands trip with Loganair; didn't see a soul!
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