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RAF Sharjah

Old 15th Mar 2012, 16:57
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If anyone knows about RAF Sharjah's cinema please share your valuable information here!
I was at Sharjah 1963-64 as an SAC in the commcen. I remember the cinema well, the first two rows were always full of locally-enslisted Trucial Oman Scouts (TOS) because they were cheap (about 0.25 rupees). The 16mm projector was operated by volunteers and the cinema was well attended, especially for the occasional concerts put on by Combined Services Entertainments (successor to ENSA).
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Old 15th Mar 2012, 18:10
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nvubu:

I'm sorry old mate but I don't think that is Sharjah. I remember the fort at Sharjah pretty well and stayed in it overnight on more than one occasion. Your fort is too big.

Having said that, the bit to the right of your photographs is a darker colour. Could it be a "proposed extension".

Bur even then, the control tower is not where I remember it.

Come on JJ (Brakedwell) where are you when we need you!

Last edited by JW411; 15th Mar 2012 at 18:29.
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Old 15th Mar 2012, 18:36
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It might be Sharjah (but I have my doubts) but it certainly isn't the cinema as I remember it
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Old 15th Mar 2012, 19:54
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In March 1961 the Astra Cinema Organisation in Aden dispatched an additional 16mm film projector, together with four feature films, to entertain detached 208 and Canberra squadron members involved in an ambitious joint service excercise. Unfortunately heavy rain shortly before the excercise was due to begin flooded the airfield and the excercise was called off. None of the Sharjah based officers were prepared to take responsibility for the projector, so I volunteered to look after it. The films were Our Man in Havanna, Rally Round the Flag Boys, Further up the Creak and Tom Thumb, plus cartoons and newsreels. We placed the projector in the bathroom of our 152 sqn detachment bedroom and aimed it through the open door at the opposite wall on which a sheet "borrowed" from my copilot's bed was taped. 208 squadron provided copious amount of beer to launch our 24 hour cinema. IAL air traffic controllers soon got to know about it and I was summoned to the Fort to hear a proposition that would benefit everybody. "Do you know anything about the Sharjah Pornographic Society?" I was asked. I shook my head. "It's been around for years, films are easy to come by, but the only available 16mm projector is held by the British residency office in Dubai and we can only use it for training purposes so many times! More beer was promised, our private cinema became more crowded and myself and my copilot moved into a tent! The projector ran non stop for three days while an IAL Landrover shuttled between Dubai and Sharjah rounding up blue films. I think all those involved were secretly relieved when the projector ran out of oil!
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Old 15th Mar 2012, 19:57
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I agree jock, the buildings are much too big, but the radio masts look familiar.
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Old 15th Mar 2012, 21:22
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Sorry about that.

The source of the photos has been correct for other ones I've used - although I have been able to find the others in GE, whereas for Sharjah they are no more.

I'd be interested to know where they are so maybe I'll post them on the What Aerodrome thread after all

These photos are almost certainly from 1943/4.

jw411/brakedwell - The links to the original sized source photos will give a huge amount of detail. I included them as I thought I might be wrong.

update: I've posted them on the Which Aerodrome thread as well

Last edited by nvubu; 15th Mar 2012 at 21:33.
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Old 15th Mar 2012, 23:03
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RAF Sharjah accommodation

hello from sunny sharjah..

i really hope to find what i been looking for over here...
i recently moved into a nice little villa being part of a "compound" known to be the RAF accommodation some time back...no local here seems to recall anything but i have a feeling this was the housing you guys are talking about at some point in the thread...
the house is 1 of 8 private houses on the outside of the gate....i have the one on the corner, with a closed garage.
the house has been maintain very well, thanks to its concrete walls and some caring tenants over the years but its been left aside for almost 2 years and im spending every spare hour since the shifting on bringing it back to life !
it still has, i believe, the original stylish blue tiles on the floor that makes it very unique.
while taking a walk at night, through the compound, i can feel like walking through history.
i need to know who lived here, how it was, what it looked like...i want to complete the puzzle...im a history freak...and since i, myself, served 12 yrs in the Canadian Air Forces, all this Sharjah air force history is teasing me...wanna know more...and perhaps instructs others !

the area is called Ghubaiba nowadays..

any flaskback guys ?




the Google map picture above gives an idea of the location of the compound (40 barracks and 8 villas) in reference to the Museum..about 2.5km distant.
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Old 15th Mar 2012, 23:06
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These pictures appear to be of Sharjah's old fort airport during the Imperial times (pre RAF era) that gate looks familiar to me, thank you so much for sharing with us, Brakedwell the cinema information was interesting! Any photos of that cinema perhaps?
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 07:41
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Salman, our temporary Cinema was a room in the Officers Mess visitors block. IIRC the station cinema (Astra) was open air with four high walls and a stage at one end. Can't remember how many it could seat as I only visited it a few times.
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 08:20
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I've been doing some more research, and I think these photos are of the fort at RAF Sharjah.

There's a good photo of the same fort in "The Sand Kings of Oman" - here's a link Title half way down the page.



Here's a photo of the gates of Sharjah Fort from the page Sharjah Fort entrance gate, the Trucial States (a lot of the pages at this site are missing their images)



The below photo is from the same site - RAF Sharjah from Sharjah Fort



Here I've blown up the gate of the fort from my post - interesting one has the cannon, the other doesn't. The layout is the same as the above photo, especially the slope of the roof, and the steps.



I think the clincher are the images on this page Sharjah Airport | 40 years of the UAE an example of which is below.


Last edited by nvubu; 16th Mar 2012 at 08:33.
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 15:34
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nvubu:

I think you are right. It is the fort at Sharjah. It does look bigger than I remember it and that is not the control tower that I remember. The latter was obviously demolished and the new one built alongside the fort. I have been searching for a decent photograph of the fort in my collection but the only one I can find that fits the bill is this photograph of JW Mecom Lodestar N5231N which I took in 1970.

Sorry for the confusion.

JW411
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 16:00
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Memmory can play funny tricks
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 17:23
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I used to know what those tricks are, but I've forgotten. But I can still spell memory!
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 17:25
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I think it looks large because it is all on it's own in the photos with no other reference buildings. JW411 - Your photo is of the same building as you can see the same shape building above the gates when compared to my two blow-ups.

I enjoyed searching for proof one way or the other this morning - should have done that before posting

I did have my doubts about them in my initial posting as I couldn't match them up to any of the images posted - that's why I didn't edit out the frames, and provide the link to the large size images.

I've had a PM asking me if I can identify the aircraft in the 1st image. I can't - can anyone else?

Here are blow-ups of the two aircraft - I assume it is this one that is the aircraft in question.



However, there is also this one (or is it two). Very interesting shadow.

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Old 16th Mar 2012, 17:32
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Well, I reckon the top one is a Vickers Vincent and the bottom one is an early Avro Anson Mk.1.
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 17:54
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Further to the above, I have just found a reference in "Action Stations Overseas" which is of interest:

"Another detachment from Shaibah, this time provided by 244 Sqn, arrived in January 1942 and, with its eight Vickers Vincents and an Airspeed Oxford, began surveying landing grounds, during the course of which one Vincent (K4121) was lost. Armed with 250 lb anti-submarine bombs the Vincents started anti-sub patrols in February, but were replaced by Blenheim IVs two months later. The detachment became a full squadron presence in 1943, with 244's CO also assuming command of RAF Sharjah itself."

The Air-Britain "K File" tells me that:

K4121 Swung on landing and tipped up, Sharjah, 09.03.42; Damaged Beyond Repair.

(Before someone makes the suggestion, the bottom photograph is definitely not an Airspeed Oxford but is definitely a Mk.1 Anson). In fact, it looks like there are two of them.
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Old 16th Mar 2012, 18:13
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Very interesting, I'd never heard of the Vickers Vincent before. The other seem very odd proportions - the shadow in the foreground confuses.
- the engine is for the aircraft behind it, yet the shadow seems to be disconnected from it.

Thanks for that
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Old 17th Mar 2012, 10:17
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By the way, did you notice in the foreground of my Lodestar photograph, that the name of the airfield and the code letters "SJ" were laid out in black tarmac in front of the fort?

I also seem to remember that the airfield datum point was marked out with the usual black tarmac circle. It was to the south of the "modern" runway and I think it had the letter "S" in the middle.
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 15:32
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@ Quebec, sir I think we should meet up ASAP! Upon our meeting you will also know how deeply I am attached to history, be it of any kind... I am a keen researcher and have a sharp eye for everything! I am also intrigued by RAF Sharjah and you must have seen my photo post attempts.

Just like you I also have an imagination for everything, I like to imagine things how they used to be in their heyday! To go back in time and try to visualise history is what my passion is. I have studied this area of Al Mahatta inside out! I want to explore this area with you and share the information I have regards to its current conditions and which areas exist even today! Trust me sir ... there is much RAF Sharjah left even today compared to what we all used to think.

I believe if we meet we can share each other's information as well, the area you live in at the moment share its roots to RAF Sharjah is very interesting for me to know!

here's my contact details for you and everyone who wishes to meet me here in Al Mahatta (aka RAF Sharjah!)

email: [email protected]
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 16:14
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raf sharjah accommodation

@ Salman....
yes we should meet up...ASAP like u say
i can feel ur excitement and im looking forward to hear and see what u dug out from this historical chapter !
i will contact u on ur perso email, most likely tonite when i reach home.

dont get too excited, i dont have much info for u
im dying to understand how this compound im living in actually came to life.

oh, but for the record...im a ma'm.....not a sir

loll
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