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RAF Bovingdon - 1960s

Old 5th Feb 2009, 10:46
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I had been an ATC cadet for about a year when they started filming 633 Squadron. Along with a mate, Mike Cobb, we went to Bovingdon one sunny day in the school summer hols, and were rewarded with being able to get really close behind the camera for the filming of two scenes of dialogue involving Donald Houston and Cliff Robertson. We were also able to closely examine the Mossy which was to do the crash landing scene; even from a few feet away those bullet holes looked genuine rather than just pieces of painted plywood stuck on the fuselage.
There was a total of 12 Mossies at Bovingdon but only 4 or 5 were in flying condition; one other was just a fuselage used for cockpit scenes.
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Old 14th Feb 2009, 20:50
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[QUOTE][WILLHUNG Slight thread creep. I married a delightful girl from Chesham Bois. Her mother worked in the Post Office there./QUOTE]

Would that have been the old post-office opposite what is now the best Butchers in Bucks ? Try their Bangers !

Oh for the days of a local PO. When I need to, I now queue up up for 20 mins at the main one in town. That's progress I guess !!!!

(Gives me an excuse to resurrect an excellent thread)
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Old 15th Feb 2009, 06:37
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Trouble is Will, people on here but not from the Chesham/Amersham area NEVER pronounce 'Chesham Bois' properly!!
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Old 15th Feb 2009, 06:38
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Yes, Will Hung, you are correct.Drove past Bovingdon the other day [stayed at the 'Bobsleigh']. Brought back many memories of interesting aircraft, and Bovingdon was instrumental in my passion for aircraft that continues to this day.
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Old 15th Feb 2009, 06:44
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Will, My wife lived above the Butchers shop before I married her!! Her name was Teresa Zastempowski just in case you knew her or her Mum.
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Old 15th Feb 2009, 10:53
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Well it's not the sort of name one would forget, that's for sure !

Sorry, Jem, I'm from Croxley originally, so wouldn't have known your wifes' family.
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Old 15th Feb 2009, 11:44
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Will Hung - Did you see the query (here) as to whether Bovingdon was the location for the opening sequence of The Prisoner?
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Old 15th Aug 2009, 23:34
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RAF Bovingdon

Hi Mellywell

I've just, belatedly, picked up your message posted in Jan. 2008 regarding pics. in Aircraft Illustrated.
I used to go flying from Bov. very often in the mid-50s whent I was in the 23f Bushey and Oxhey Sqdn of the ATC. There were a number of us kids, all aged about 14yrs, who used to cycle out from Watford at every opportunity.
I am particularly interested in the pic.of the SM102 which I remember very well. It had wicker seats in it with oxygen masks hanging above.
I remember also that we used to climb inside this aicraft to eat our packed lunches in the flight deck. It was only after some time that we learned that the airplane belonged to "the Italian Embassy".
I often think to myself if the crew ever wondered where all the egg shells were coming from!
I have a number of photographs that I took at the time. If you would like copies I could email them to you.
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 06:52
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RAF Bovingdon

I once worked with an engineer who was ex Bovingdon and worked on Yorks
He came from Hemel Hemstead , and if my memory serves me right was called Bill . He joined Euravia, then Britannia as the flight line boss, !960's onwards .
One of the memories he recalled was when the Americans left Bovingdon, they dug a large hole and filled it with loads of redundant tools, alot, brand new snap-on etc and they had strict orders not to touch them . They must have cried in their beer.
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Old 17th Aug 2009, 16:18
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Ah, the hole-in-the-ground story again. Has anyone actually ever found one of these fabled dumps on any former US airfield? I'd read that one at Stansted had been raided, but the diggers swore to keep mum about what they'd found.

Just read a nice story about how US servicemen from Bovingdon turned out in force to help at the site of a nasty train crash at nearby Bourne End in September 1945.

Apparently, a USAAF pilot spotted the incident just after t/o and alerted the tower.
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Old 18th Aug 2009, 04:26
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yes we were given tools ect and snap-on tool chests by the Americans before just befor they went in the "hole " and if you look with a mine detector in the area by the cross roads you may find it but it was very deep , I still have a 2 stacker chest and a few tools after all these years

Last edited by avionic type; 18th Aug 2009 at 08:25.
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Old 18th Aug 2009, 05:28
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If you go to British Pathe ( note the incorrect spelling of Bovingdon) there is an interesting newsreel clip on the Aldbury air disaster in Hertfordshire. This aircraft in question had just departed Bovingdon when it crashed killing 16 passengers and crew.

Last edited by LTNman; 18th Aug 2009 at 05:42.
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Old 24th Aug 2009, 15:35
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LTNman: Thanks for the link. What a tragic story for the Service. I wonder if there's a memorial at Aldbury.
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Old 25th Aug 2009, 06:41
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Bovingdon

AvionicType
Ah, so the Bovingdon Hole story was true and not a joke . thanks for the proof.
An ex Bovingdon person in the York days, I worked with at Brits had a nickname "Jeb"
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Old 25th Aug 2009, 15:32
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yes merve also not in the hole but scrapped were 3or 4 tractor tugs, 2 fork lifts,and other ground equipment, and last but by no means least a complete Dak minus its engines which was destroyed by bulldozing over and crushing it, all motorised stuff was drained of oil and the engines raced at full throttle till they siezed solid That bought tears to the eyes as they were practicly brand new .
we lived on number 2 site in Shantock Hall Lane where I believe people were still waiting for housing in the middle 50s, we left in 1947/8for L.H.R.

Last edited by avionic type; 25th Aug 2009 at 18:24.
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Old 26th Aug 2009, 02:53
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WRT 'holes in the ground'; at the risk of thread creep:
My 2 i/c at Marlow ATC was an erk in the late 50's early 60's. He was posted to North Coates to re-open the station when it was selected as a Bloodhound site. An SNCO took him and others to a locked Robin hangar to see what was in it; on cutting off the padlock, they found it was stacked full of Beaufighter toolkits*. As they were not in the inventory and thus would need to be 'explained', the SNCO told the erks to dig a hole and bury them!

*I was told 'toolkits' but did toolkits for specific types exist? Could he have meant spareskits?
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Old 26th Aug 2009, 20:55
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I went to Bovingdon with my old boy in the 70s and there were half a dozen or so Mitchells on the taxi-way. I believe they were part of the film Hannover Street and I remember having a good look around them (inside and out). I've just found this picture on the internet and the memories of a very excited 10-ish year old boy have come flooding back!

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Old 27th Aug 2009, 00:14
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Merv,

Jeb was the hanger foreman for Skyways in my days there as an apprentice on the last York and all of the Hermes.

Speedbird 48.
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 06:37
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Bovingdon

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Yes that is the same Jeb and also another ex Bov /Skyways was Bill Atkins
Jeb went on a P and W JT8D course with me to Hartford Conn, prior to the first arrival of Brits 737's
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Old 28th Aug 2009, 14:56
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Yes it was Hannover Street; never seen it myself but the B25s were the subject of a documentary (B25 Mitchells do fly in IMC) and they ended up at Blackbushe amongst Doug Arnold's collection - whether he actually bought them I don't know but I do know he already had problems with customs for importing some T28s as they were classed as 'munitions of war'.
They're actually parked on an apron, it was much wider before that bulldozer got to work on it!(Photo taken from the old Control Tower.)
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