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Infamous metmen/women

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Infamous metmen/women

Old 4th Jan 2018, 19:31
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Or "Trig". Netheravon 1979/1980!!
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Old 4th Jan 2018, 20:59
  #122 (permalink)  
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Vasco Sodcat.

Thank you, nice for one of us to be remembered thus. I can assure you that forecasting for drops was just about the most frightening, difficult, demanding and rewarding of the things we were asked to do.

In retrospect I cannot believe that I was allowed, unsupervised, to forecast and mass brief for a major drop from RAF Nicosia. Fresh from training, 24 years old, all of 6 months at Gatwick [of all places] sitting by Nelly, and WHOOF! here's a major exercise. In fairness, the pseudo-science of drop forecasts had been well studied and documented, with lots of cases, during the war, and we had full access to this received wisdom.

I didn't have the intelligence to be frightened until 10 years later.

No bones broken, no gear destroyed, no dropped loads rubbished; all was sweetness and light.

Lucky or what?
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Old 5th Jan 2018, 20:29
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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Had the QFI's at Valley had access to the Met Office's charts each day, I believe that the need for Met Officers would have been negated.

As it was, there were insufficient Met Officers to provide a daily morning brief at No 3 Sqn on the far side of the airfield. So we used to collect the charts from Met en route to the far side at 0700, and thence the duty Auth would give the Met brief. Never a problem.
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Old 5th Jan 2018, 22:06
  #124 (permalink)  
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The requirement for Met Offices at RAF stations was driven by the Air Staff. I know for a fact that soundings were taken from Staishs from time to time, and the consensus was that Met was needed.
Of course this suited the Met Office because the observations were an important component of the national network.
The cost of offices on stations was substantially borne by the RAF until the Met Office gained Agency status c. 1980, after which we charged an arm and a leg.

The bottom line was that if a Staish had a Met office and took its advice and came a cropper, the blame could be spread a little more thinly.

Should any staish wish to dispense with the services of an individual, that individual was always moved.

When the drawdown in RAFG was beginnining I made informal soundings with SASO ...... did he want Met to stay on each base until the last aircraft flew out? He did.
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Old 6th Jan 2018, 09:19
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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Quelle surprise.
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Old 5th Jun 2018, 09:34
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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Wg Cdr Bill McQueen

I am very sad to report that Wg Cdr Bill McQueen who has been mentioned in this thread a couple of times, died at the weekend. RIP
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Old 5th Jun 2018, 15:47
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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How about the metman who forecast that "visibility will be widespread!"
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Old 5th Jun 2018, 20:52
  #128 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Mercury Rising View Post
I am very sad to report that Wg Cdr Bill McQueen who has been mentioned in this thread a couple of times, died at the weekend. RIP
Bill led the Mobile Met Unit through its most eventful and difficult days. As the Falklands war was kicking off Bill arrived at Ascension by air as a Sqn Ldr and was famously accosted by Captain McQueen RN who was sending "surplus" arrivals packing ."Only room for one McQueen here. The Navy can do the Met".
Fortunately for the RAF and Black Buck, reason prevailed, and we did the business as well as state of the art could provide. Bill was awarded an MBE.

Afterwards he ran the much expanded MMU [with the aid of the adjt, Pete Davies] during several crises including the Balkans, and Gulf War One.
Wg Cdr McQueen, by virtue of commanding the MMU and being here there and everywhere near the sharp end probably had more gongs than almost any regular officer.

This is a very incomplete obit because our careers were parallel and I am sure that others can fill in the gaps.
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Old 6th Jun 2018, 15:42
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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My Father told me the only Metman to trust was the one who arrived in a Spitfire,
and said 'quick, get inside it's going to pour in 5 minutes"
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 00:11
  #130 (permalink)  
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Because this thread is not the most appropriate forum for a RIP to Wg Cdr McQueen I have started a new one, thus entitled.
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 02:40
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Originally Posted by langleybaston View Post
Its the Anticyclops you need to watch out for.

My best Met story was told by a pilot as advice to sort out his nav.

The way he told it, if you were lost:

1. Find out where the Low is.

2. Stand with back to wind.

3. Deduce which hemisphere you are in.

Regarding garish ties and waistcoats, the current trophy holder is probably Eric Buckley, currently or recently SMeto Coningsby.

As an afterthought, in my time, we had amongst us a

Mr Flood

Mr Frost

Mr Gale

Mr Waterfall

and Mr Snow.

Not many appropriate surnames for aircrew ...... Mr Thrust I suppose, Mr Gear, Mrs Flap ...........

Yes, I know/worked with some of those, and since then we had Mr Rainbow too.
Did you know that Mr Gale's initials were I.C. ?

I worked with Eric Buckley when he was SMetO Coningsby, now retired along with the rest of us older school "Met Guessers".

The Met folk are mostly female graduates or sensitive males now, having entered a period of positive discrimination to change the demographic since the Blair Government days.

The Meteorology aspects are now gone, with just the computer observing and number analysis remaining.

I'm afraid, like with the military, the days of traditional duty are now gone, replaced with blandness and fast staff turnovers, targets and performance indicators, insular characters and uninterested clones.

I was lucky to see the things I have when I saw them, luckier still to be out of it now.

Watch your six!
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Old 29th Nov 2020, 01:45
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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EarlyMet,

... and you watch your bitterness!
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Old 29th Nov 2020, 12:18
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by EarlyMet View Post
Yes, I know/worked with some of those, and since then we had Mr Rainbow too.
Did you know that Mr Gale's initials were I.C. ?

I worked with Eric Buckley when he was SMetO Coningsby, now retired along with the rest of us older school "Met Guessers".

The Met folk are mostly female graduates or sensitive males now, having entered a period of positive discrimination to change the demographic since the Blair Government days.

The Meteorology aspects are now gone, with just the computer observing and number analysis remaining.

I'm afraid, like with the military, the days of traditional duty are now gone, replaced with blandness and fast staff turnovers, targets and performance indicators, insular characters and uninterested clones.

I was lucky to see the things I have when I saw them, luckier still to be out of it now.

Watch your six!
Bit of a frosty post there EarlyMet.
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Old 29th Nov 2020, 14:02
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by langleybaston View Post
...... Effing George ....... Topcliffe, a legend in his own lunch time, shocked even his colleagues with his expletives. One per sentence minimum. ......
Dan Suri was one of the forecasters who did a season (or two?) at the British Antarctic Survey base at Rothera. His morning briefings to the Air Unit were similar, for being filled with expletives.

In the Falklands, the weather forecast read out on the local radio always includes the forecaster’s name. Jim Elliott was a regular on the met team at Mount Pleasant during the 80s and 90s, and when you heard his name along with the forecast, you could be pretty sure that was what you were going to get. Guess it helped that he had spent a lot of time in the Falklands right back to the 1960s, and was married to a Falkland Islander, so had a good knowledge of local effects.


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Old 29th Nov 2020, 16:11
  #135 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by EarlyMet View Post
Yes, I know/worked with some of those, and since then we had Mr Rainbow too.
Did you know that Mr Gale's initials were I.C. ?
I did; I mentioned it in this thread at post #63, almost eight years ago!
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 12:14
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lynxmech View Post
Or "Trig". Netheravon 1979/1980!!
Just seen this (almost 3 years late, but better late than never (unless it's a weather forecast of course!!))

So, to put the record straight... the 'Trig' mentioned most definitely wasn't a Metman and his nickname was actually 'Trick' - short for Tricker, his surname. He was actually managing the Flight Planning Dept at Netheravon, although I believe he kept the 'Gilbey's Gin' distillery in business for many, many years... most days he was sozzled, particularly on Fridays when he was completely (and I'm not joking here) steaming by early afternoon and then drove home to Upavon!
His 60s/70s dress attire and underarm tide marks on his shirts are a sight that will stay with me forever...

Last edited by NickB; 30th Nov 2020 at 14:56.
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 13:43
  #137 (permalink)  
 
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James Rainbow is currently one of the Metmen at Shawbury (very good), best Metmen I worked with was at the RCC at Pitreavie Castle, give them a call and say 'we have an incident of top of some mountain in the Cairngorms what's the weather like', give them their due, they gave their best effort.
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 19:34
  #138 (permalink)  
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The mention of Jim Elliott reminds me of his time at HQ 1 Group Bawtry. He turned up from time to time, usually during the UK winter, worked six months, then went back to the Falklands for six months, then came back to Bawtry ........
He complained that he had not seen a rose in bloom for ages.

A fair few Met.men married Islanders ........ Sam Glassey for example, who, if memory serves, finished his career as P Met O Honington.

After the war, I was offered a one-year tour as i/c, accompanied and accommodated. Very unusually, my wife turned it down. It was the only posting that she really did not fancy. Good decision in retrospect.
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 21:32
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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I have spent a fair bit of time up at Saxa Vord over the past 3 years, installing the new radar system there. Those of you with experience of the place will have a feel for the conditions there. At the risk of thread drift, I have to say that without the MMU reservists on site I don't think it would have happened. The basic safety stuff (actual wind speeds above 50kts = no outdoor work and 70+ = get off the site) was very well handled without difficulty it seemed, and the the 2 main forecasters (who shall be nameless as they're still in uniform) made all the difference for the actual construction workers throughout (day and night!). Two major lifts carried out on the same day requiring wind speeds of less than 9 kts were achieved in separate windows each of about 30 mins, forecast a couple of hours ahead. Even the local drivers of the huge crane didn't believe it until it happened. The 60-foot radome was lifted whole in the middle of the evening - within 12 hours the wind speed had risen to 130kts!

Oh and I do not doubt the importance or contribution of other, regular, MetOs away from the site either. As a special bonus, there will be an automated weather station up there shortly coming on line - standby for some strong winds!

I just wanted some credit where it was due! I'll get my coat.

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Old 1st Dec 2020, 11:02
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Originally Posted by langleybaston View Post
The mention of Jim Elliott reminds me of his time at HQ 1 Group Bawtry. He turned up from time to time, usually during the UK winter, worked six months, then went back to the Falklands for six months, then came back to Bawtry ........
He complained that he had not seen a rose in bloom for ages.

A fair few Met.men married Islanders ........ Sam Glassey for example, who, if memory serves, finished his career as P Met O Honington.

After the war, I was offered a one-year tour as i/c, accompanied and accommodated. Very unusually, my wife turned it down. It was the only posting that she really did not fancy. Good decision in retrospect.
Looking back on my career through more mature eyes, I wish I had taken the opportunity for a tour of the FI - I did give it consideration once, but in the end the thought of 6 months in the Summer (first tourists Metmen (people) to the FI will only usually get a UK Summer tour) spent in the Falklands to come home to yet another Winter was enough to decide against it. The allure of a UK social life when in my 20s was more appealing! Then I managed to wangle a tour to RAFG and that was that!
Who was it that said youth is wasted on the young?!

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