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UK - Bailbrook House

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UK - Bailbrook House

Old 28th Nov 2010, 18:58
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UK - Bailbrook House

Not realising that the place had some history in ATC, I happened to spend the weekend staying at Bailbrook House while visiting Bath. It wasn't till I read up on the history of the hotel I discovered its past use.

The history was a bit vague and it stated it was an ATC training centre. NATS was very much up and running at Hurn at the time, so I can only assume it was SERCO or someone else.

Can anyone enlighten me with some history of what went on there?

Thanks,

RS
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Old 28th Nov 2010, 19:09
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It was, (I believe, something to do with IAL), but,....
a considerable number of NATS ATCOs underwent training there.
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Old 28th Nov 2010, 19:52
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In a nutshell,it was Serco-IAL and I did an approach radar course there in 1983. The simulators were on the ground floor to the left of the main entrance. 'Twas said to have been used as a lunatic asylum at some time in the 1800s, so there was a precedent.
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Old 28th Nov 2010, 20:04
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It was owned by BT way back, then IAL. When I went through (as a NATS ATCO cadet) in 1993, there were six or seven nationalities being trained as ATCOs (UK, Russian, German, Norwegian, Libyan, some Africans and maybe others).
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Old 28th Nov 2010, 20:11
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I was there as a NATS student in the early ninties,very busy ATC college run by IAL, the staff were pure diamonds.Ran all sorts of courses for many nationalities during my time remember Italians,Hungary,Seychelles,trinidad & Tobago,Nepalese,UAE,Norwegians,Swiss,Jersey and HIAL. Bath still has a very warm place in my heart. The NATS connection was that as the courses around mid cse70's had 48 students (rising to 60 on cse79 IIRC) exactly half of the area candidates were outsourced to Bailbrook for Area Proc/Radar,my old room had a very nice view over the valley.Hope this helps.

Last edited by Mr_Nightman; 28th Nov 2010 at 20:41.
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Old 28th Nov 2010, 20:39
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Schofield, Johnson and Shepherd are names with a 'Bailbrook connection', and Llewellyn, of course.
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Old 28th Nov 2010, 20:45
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Hong Kong students were also sent to Bath for their primary courses until it was closed down several years ago. You can find more information if you do a search of "Bailbrook College" in FB.
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Old 28th Nov 2010, 22:08
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Indeed, Bailbrook House was originally a Lunatic Asylum and the bars on the windows remained throughout it's career as an ATC Training Establishment.

What goes on there now?

I loved my time there, probably more to do with the proximity of Avon RUFC, the City itself and a miriad of great pubs than the college.

Happy days.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 10:14
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Not only did they teach ATC but a variety of other courses. Including AIS, aeronautical cartography and instrument procedure design to name a few.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 14:15
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Had the luck to do my Area Procedural and Radar courses at Bailbrook in 1991 as a caa ATCO Cadet.

Brilliant place, its own bar and £5 a night subsistance allowance 'cause we were away from CATC. 3 meals a day provided with free accomodation...Happy Days!!
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 18:56
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A slight correction to some of the detail of some posts above, if I may.

After lying semi-derelict for some time, BH was bought by International Aeradio Ltd (IAL) in 1978 and the IAL College of ATS (previously located at Oxford Airport in an unprepossessing single-storey block) started to move there and start operation at the end of that year along with other training initiatives. The accommodation and recreation block was added at that time.

IAL was a subsidiary of British Airways, having originally been owned by BOAC to provide ground services at various staging posts across the world and, in turn, Aerad was part of IAL. Prior to that time, IAL provided. or had provided, ATS at many locations world-wide - the West Indies, Libya, West Africa, East Africa, the Far East and notably the Middle East (Bahrein, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah etc) - and also at a number of small units in the UK, then just around that time (70s and 80s) adding contracts at Liverpool, Bournemouth and Southend Airports and the Brent Field HFIS in the North Sea.

BA later sold IAL down the river to BT who conducted an asset-stripping exercise and then sold the company on to Serco, whence it became Serco-IAL. As I understand it, Bailbrook College continued successfully until Serco overstretched themselves in their bid to get their sticky paws on NATS at the time of PPP and they were obliged to sell the family silver to make up their losses.

2 s
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 19:28
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Thanks all! Very informative.

Now its an OK hotel and conference centre that does a superb breakfast!

RS
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 20:32
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As I remember the breakfast was always the best thing about the place.... Oh yes and the topless sunbathing Norwegian ATCO's !
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 22:52
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BA later sold IAL down the river to BT who conducted an asset-stripping exercise and then sold the company on to Serco, whence it became Serco-IAL.
I've a vague recollection that STC (Standard Telephones & Cables) also figured somewhere in the IAL acquisition process.

Possibly BA to STC to BT to SERCO ?

Somewhere in the transfers, staff lost many of their original IAL benefits, including discount air fares, holiday pay, progressive enhanced leave entitlement, and low interest loans for car purchase.
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 09:38
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The first Nats course to be posted there was 74 Course Area Procedural in 1990. Wonderful experience and a great time was had by all, I`m still in touch with three of the Norwegians, happy days indeed!
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 10:24
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Prior to Oxford, IAL had their college in Hayes (c1974), close to Viking House as it was then, at the north west corner of what was Heston Airfield. When we did our Sim course at Viking House(BEA training base), we met some guys from a previous cadet course in a local pub. They'd resigned from NATS at the end of their cadet course as the entire course was posted to LATCC and they wanted to go to airfields, so they joined IAL and were on a course at their college!
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 14:52
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Was one of the NATS guinea pigs to go there back in '89 to do approach and radar. There was all of two of us on the radar course...excellent!

Ah..the Norwegians...[glazes over]

Bailbrook made CATC look like a concentration camp.
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 15:02
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<<IAL had their college in Hayes (c1974), >>

Not sure when it started there, but I did my initial ATC Course there in 1966. No Norwegian crumpet, just a very dour but very fair Trevor Wilson as the Chief Instructor. Great people to whom I owe my career.
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 19:32
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CATC, - concentration camp?
But CATC had "a bar in the canteen", and the student's common room, (allegedly), had a lady serving tea and cakes through a serving hatch.
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 19:43
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had a lady serving tea and cakes through a serving hatch
Very True.

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