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RAF Nicosia - Cyprus.

Old 30th Dec 2016, 17:42
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Quite near to Nicosia was an airfield at Tymbou. I believe it was last used for regular flying by the French Air Force during Suez.
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Old 30th Dec 2016, 21:48
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Hi Rosevidney1, I believe that airfield is now the main airport for the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, now renamed Ercan.
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Old 31st Dec 2016, 12:26
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Re. the Dome hotel and the Harbour Club - Bev crews were allowed 3 days 'R&R' at the Dome after a week or so in shared tents on Niccy airfield. The trip there, in 3 tonners, was hair-raising at the hairpins on the descent on the Kyrenia side. The Harbour Club was excellent for night time activity and, until the house was trashed 3 years ago, I still had one of their bar cards which carried a description of downing Brandy Sours concluding with something like "I'm not half as thunk as some drinkle peep I am ..." the rest has faded with the departing brain cells - an effect of Brandy Sours, perhaps??
Niccy airfield was also where a demo of a Bev landing with brakes on caused considerable chaos and the Cyprus Airways Trident diversion. It was also where the perils of Bev towing with nobody on the brakes was shown to be VERY expensive.
HOW LONG AGO!!!
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Old 1st Jan 2017, 11:42
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I have to ask, what type is the aircraft in the painting (post 1)?
My Spotting Superpowers have failed me.

Edit: is a Handley Page Hastings ?
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Old 1st Jan 2017, 11:59
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HP 67 Hastings C Mk 1.
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 08:28
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Thanks brakedwell.
Transport aircraft were a low priority for boning up on when I was younger.
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 12:42
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Lovely photos Brakedwell, that Mystere is actually an Indian AF machine on delivery.
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 14:28
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Thanks Steve. I had that wrong for almost 59 years! BTW I enjoyed Meteor Boys.
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 14:41
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Out of interest I note the reference to Timbou, a satellite A/F to Nicosia. I recollect we used this field fairly frequently in the early '60s for 38Group Exercises flying in and out with the early Argosy.
One beautiful early morning in Summer 1963, two of us were relaxing having operated several times in/out to Nicosia, watching the newly formed Army Air Corps doing circuit training in the still air of Timbou.
In shock horror and regrettable hilarity we observed the 3 Army aircraft consecutively destroy themselves in quick succession!
A deep destructive landing was followed by a more injurious short landing and the third tyro was gunned down by a 'friendly' mortar, low level downwind!
I am told no fatalities resulted thankfully but we rather blotted our fraternal service association by recounting with amazed 'superior' glee our experiences on return to the Nicosia mess to incredulous pilots of all types back in those heady days!
A BOAC colleague, ex Army Air Corps, was not convinced of this story in later years until evidence was 'dug up'! How are you Barry C down in OZ?
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 16:21
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Lovely painting Tiger Mate
It is a really nice little control tower - funnily enough we saw it on a film a couple of days ago - They Who Dare 1954 with Dirk Bogarde.
They used Nicosia for the Airfield scenes - the Aircraft being 3 x Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 (Lebanese Air Force) Trimotors.

Here is a screen grab -the image will enlarge if you click on it !
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Nicosia.JPG (28.4 KB, 135 views)
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 16:50
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I was there late last year, and was sorry to see that the tower was in a 'state of disrepair' for want of a better description. Unfortunately I didn't have time to take any pictures of it, although I still have some from UN Whirlwind days, including some of the shrapnel damage from the invasion straffing.
(Couple of stories from that day - Wg Cdr Ops at Akrotiri shouting down the phone to SATCO (hiding under the table) to get the bloody airfield open as they needed it as a div for the Lightnings, and C** A** suffering a 'flesh wound' whilst standing on top of the tower taking photos of the Turkish F84's in GA mode!)
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 08:42
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I once had to refuel a Hastings in a howling gale at Keflavik on the way to Christmas Island via Goose Bay. To get to the fuel tank cap I had to remove a disc of the wing's skin that should have been attached by a bonding wire. It wasn't. It slipped out of my frozen fingers and set off on it's edge downwind at a great rate. I slid off the wing and set off in pursuit. It went b****y miles before fortunately fetching up in a snow drift. It was a long cold plod back up-wind to the aircraft. Configuration Deviation Lists hadn't been invented then or I might have been tempted.
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Old 5th Jan 2017, 09:19
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The more that I look at that picture (and I look at it every time I switch my computer on) the more I see an imperious chameleon sizing up the bloke with the fire extinguisher with its left eye before flicking out a tongue and gobbling him up!
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Old 5th Jan 2017, 15:52
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I see nobody has followed up on the brandy-sour icecream. There was a bar on the front at Kyrenia where we would repair after an afternoon's sailing. The idea was a very cold icecream, over which one would pour a brandy-sour. The icecream warmed a little, and the drink cooled. A delicious combination.

Another thing that comes to mind, does anyone remember the UN convoy that ran daily between Nicosia and Kyrenia, through the Turkish area? The purpose was to enable contact for families and traders between the two Greek Cypriot areas. Our aim was to try and get off work early enough to beat this. It travelled, with a UN escort front and rear, at the speed of the slowest vehicle. Cypriot family car?
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Old 5th Jan 2017, 16:14
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That sounds like a great idea Herod, unfortunately it was after my time. The island was still one politically, yet split ethnically. We got on very well with the Turkish Cypriots. At that time the Greek Cypriot owner of the Dome had been detained for his EOKA sympathies/connections. Did you frequent Clito's up the hill on the main road into Kyrenia IIRC?
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Old 5th Jan 2017, 17:12
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UN Convoy

@Herod, I certainly do remember the convoy. I was only young at the time though. My father, now retired after 30 years in the RAF, was posted there in 1969, and we left in 1972.

I can still remember arriving at Akrotiri in August 1969. It was so hot it felt like landing in the middle of the Sahara desert. And going back to the UK in November 1972 felt like going back to the arctic.

We lived in Berengaria; does anyone else here remember it?

One of the things I do remember is the convoy, although my memory of it is that we just drove straight past it.

I have a lot of other memories as well, not strictly relevant to this thread, but the 8-hour flights to and from the UK on the Britannia is one of them.
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Old 6th Jan 2017, 10:22
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The last time I went into Clito's the poor chap was in a bit of a state. He had been beaten up by some drunken Canadian UN soldiers and was almost blind. He told us to help ourselves and leave some money. Very sad.
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Old 6th Jan 2017, 10:27
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That is more than sad Jock. He was a super bloke, who cheerfully put up with five armed idiots who couldn't hit a barn door at five paces.
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Old 6th Jan 2017, 10:27
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We lived in Berengaria; does anyone else here remember it?
1962-64 there were some married quarters there, I believe ex-Army, that were used by Akrotiri. Friends of ours moved into one of them, when we visited, we were introduced to the cat! It was the size of a medium dog and came with the property.

There was also a NAAFI Families Shop there.
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Old 6th Jan 2017, 14:51
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I was one of a large detachment sent to Cyprus in July 1957.The object was to give support to King Hussein of Jordan who's cousin the king of Iraq had been overthrown and assasinated.I was an ATC ops clerk and worked for some time in the local control of the tower so the painting brings back memories,the heat was intense and I think we worked 20mins on and 40mins off.
In December I flew home by the UCB flight via El Adem and overnight stop in Malta.The Beverly went u/s in Orange so we were put up in a hotel overnight then a Hastings was sent out the following day to get us back to the UK.
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