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BBC programme "Skywatch" circa 1974

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BBC programme "Skywatch" circa 1974

Old 22nd Oct 2006, 10:58
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BBC programme "Skywatch" circa 1974

Would anyone know of the above programme and if it is available on DVD/video? It was narrated by the late Raymond Baxter and was filmed I think on Salisbury Plain. Had some great footage of a bombing run by a Vulcan and a Phantom using its belly mounted cannon. Thanks
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Old 22nd Oct 2006, 11:44
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Good programme, presented by Raymond Baxter. The bombing etc was Salisbury Plain but the airfield used for all the aircraft was Wittering. Also remember Jags bombing and Harriers rocketing a convoy of old vehicles as part of the show.

It was shot live by the way, on a summer evening, after two days of rehearsals IIRC. So the locals were getting a bit hacked off with the noise
After the show, one of the RAFG Phantoms left at about 23.00 and did a "vertical" burner climb to 20,000ft. Phones rang for at least an hour.
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Old 22nd Oct 2006, 12:27
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It was a very good programme indeed!

I was at Cranwell at the time; we had half the RAF's Jet Provosts parked there for the week to participate. Also a Harrier had a TOT to do overhead College Hall; this occurred during dinner! Some UAS lad even did his first solo live on the programme.

It would be very interesting to show the capabilities we had then and the woeful state of the RAF some 32 years later.
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Old 22nd Oct 2006, 12:33
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Although it went out live, I think that they must have taped it, as I recall seeing some clips from it in a later crappy programme called Squadron or something.
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Old 22nd Oct 2006, 13:40
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Thanks always useful to hear the information about the programme. Found it quite inspirational although I chose the Dark over the Light. Any ideas if the tape still exists?
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Old 25th Oct 2006, 09:40
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Did a stint at Larkhill Range (OP3) about a year later, and to my amazement, the vehicles used in the bombing run(s) were still in situ, presumably so badly damaged no-one could be bothered to move them - too much trouble.
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Old 28th Oct 2006, 00:36
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I think that the only thing that anybody I have talked to remembers about that programme was the sound that the F-4's Vulcan canon made! I seem to remember that is sounded like the sound that you get when you tear a sheet.
It can't be repeated on TV though because it would get in the way of re runs of "Deal or no deal"
BTW I always thought it was called Skyshield

Rgds Dr I
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Old 28th Oct 2006, 11:19
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It's nearer the sound you get after a chicken vindaloo and 5 pints of Worthington E.
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Old 28th Oct 2006, 12:49
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Busta obviously speaks from experience!!
The GAU -8 on an A10 sounds even better especially when sitting next to the range control tower at Holbeach (I think it's still accessible to the public)
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Old 2nd Jun 2007, 20:00
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Post Operation Skywatch

Does any one remember or etter got a copy of a BBC programme from about 1976 called Operation Skywatch (i think). It lasted a whole evening and consisted of various aspects of the RAF. Hosted by Raymond Baxter it included live weapons displays and lots of lovely Phantoms, Harriers and Jaguars.
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Old 2nd Jun 2007, 20:38
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It was 1974.

I was on 14GE at Cranwell at the time; the Harrier recce overflight came over College Hall very low and very fast, to the second.

During dinner, unfortunately, so I never saw it.

The most amazing thing was that this programme was live.

It would be fascinating to compare what the RAF could do back then with the underfunded, overstretched and undermanned RAF of today......
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Old 3rd Jun 2007, 16:49
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The programme included a 'live' bombing sequence on Salisbury Plain using a Vulcan; when I did a stint at Larkhill range in '76, the bombed vehicles were still there.
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Old 9th Jun 2007, 11:33
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Operation Skywatch

Thanx for the replies, guys. Glad I didn't imagine it. I wonder if a copy is stored away in the BBC vaults, probably not. I know it was recorded by the BBC as it was repeated one afternoon during the long school summer holidays.
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Old 29th Jun 2007, 18:27
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Try the BBC but also try the BFI (British Film Institute) as you'd be amazed what they have archived. Also, try your local film/TV archive in whatever area you live. From my experience (I work in TV) these people usually love the challenge of finding 'lost' footage. Good luck.
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Old 28th May 2008, 14:42
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"Skywatch" circa 1974, Raymond Baxter BBC Programme

Hi Bussy

Just visited my father in Cyprus, he is Bunny Warren, he is Wing Commander David Warren who flew the lead Phantom from RAF Laarbruch.
I watched his VHS tape when I was over there last week and have been searching the web for a new copy.

I have learnt that my brother managed to source my father's copy from BBC tv, title Skywatch, programme No. LON953H (C6HR93397) on 19/02/83, the serial no. was 081078.

I have the video over here with me now to try and get it converted to CD, please get in contact if you need more help.

Rachel Warren
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Old 28th May 2008, 16:33
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"Some UAS lad even did his first solo live on the programme."

Beags, Unless I've got my wires crossed it was ULAS. The lad in the Bulldog was not doing his 1st solo ( a bit risky that one) but rather it was supposedly a 'first flight.'
Unfortunately the instructor chosen was Pat P*****tt.
The live commentary went something like:

"Gosh, isn't this exciting Sir!"

"Hmmm."

" I mean : it's really great to be flying in an RAF aircraft!"

"Oh...Yeah ......absolutely "

"Isn't the view fantastic!"

" Yeah ...great I guess"

Etc. Etc.
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Old 28th May 2008, 17:53
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I vaguely remember something like 'very impressive isn't it sir' causing Baxter to corpse.
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Old 14th Jun 2008, 11:13
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Crikey, I believe my father was part of that programme. If memory serves me, he was part of a team turning around or readying a 6 Squadron Phantom at Conningsby. I'm almost sure 'his' bit was recorded as I recall watching together as a family or perhaps that was the repeat - its a long time ago?

Would love a copy to give to him.
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Old 22nd Aug 2010, 20:20
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Funnily enough I've just been reading an article in an old newspaper called the Arial, Nov 27th 1974, a family friend Dennis Monger won a bafta for producing that programme.
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Old 22nd Aug 2010, 20:33
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Sorry, I got that wrong, he was awarded a Bafta in 1964 for his work as an outside broadcaster but he did win an award for producing that programme which is what the article was about.
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