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Infamous metmen/women

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Infamous metmen/women

Old 19th Nov 2012, 22:33
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Infamous metmen/women

Here we go. I was one such Metperson.

I worked with/under/over some mighty characters, many of whom taught, or attempted to.

Some I learned from and admired. Ken Winspear " 100% more effort 10% better results, your choice". Topcliffe. Ended up a PSO. Dirty jokes told with all the appropriate gestures and accents. Top man.

John Dixon, SMetO Scampton in the last days of the V force. Said to have set up a race with a taking-off Vulcan, JD in his souped up Chevette [!] on the peri track. Result close.

Chris Chubb. Getting out of bed shagged him out, bags of style, cravat, and a dressing gown on the night-bind.

Ann Wiggins. Extraordinary top SMeto Church Fenton, sharp as a razor, took no prisoners, not easy being her boss but real value.

Harry Templeton. Ex-Swordfish aircrew WWII, relaxed boss at Guetersloh.

Effing George ....... Topcliffe, a legend in his own lunch time, shocked even his colleagues with his expletives. One per sentence minimum.

Mac Cameron, SMet Finningley many years, some 7 children, a very good teacher, and a very good boss. Said I would never get on, and did his best to make sure he was wrong.

Pete Tweed. Best briefer we ever had.

And we never found out who piddled in the rain gauge at Leeming.
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Old 19th Nov 2012, 23:16
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John Tucker at RAFC.
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Old 19th Nov 2012, 23:33
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Vince ? at BZN '74-76 'ish
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Old 19th Nov 2012, 23:57
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The lovely guy with the stutter at RAF Valley late 60's.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 09:26
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John Tucker very good cool and competent ..... it was my pleasure to be his boss, inspecting Cranwell was always a pleasure but I found little to complain about, waste of a day really!

I think the Valley man with stutter was KKKKKenny KKKKKemp? I had little to do with the western half of this sceptered isle until Cardiff/Bristol/Plymouth in the late 80s.

A succession of SMetOs at Linton failed to notice/ report that their anemo mast was 2 metres short, thus causing significant under-reading of wind speed. Ruddock, Hindley to name two. Outrage when I insisted we measured it! "Its been good enough all these years ........!" I borrowed a Chinook to airlift [slung] a spare mast from Cumbria, and the Linton dwarf went for scrap.

Oh! And I should also praise Peter jackson, Finningley, later SMetO Cranwell, also I think Wittering, with his passion for interesting cars driven too fast. Far too fast.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 10:10
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I can see the face but can't recall the name - one of the early TV forecasters who then turned up at Gan circa 1970. After ages of having seen him in his best civvies on the box, he looked a bit different in flip flops, shirt and shorts around 2am local in the hot and sticky forecast office down there.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 11:56
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Bert Foord could be the Ganman, he was one of the early TV blokes and he was an occasional overseas tourist ..... did Guetersloh for sure.

And I recall Jack Hulbert at Wyton in the 1970s ...... i/c probably the least modernised met office in the land, in the least modernised hangar. Biggest moustache in the organisation. Jack, that is, not the office or the hangar.

Dougie Farmer was at Waddington or Scampton, hard working and diligent, probably took over from the Wasps or Quins rugger player Glyn Owen.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 12:03
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Cu-nimb Charlie at 242 OCU Dishforth in 1957. His nickname was due to a prominent lump on the top of his bald head. He was an excellent climatology lecturer.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 12:21
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Ken the Met at Linton around mid-90s - incredibley tolerant of trainee pilots stupidity!

Forget the name, but MetO at Lossie who wore outrageous ties.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 13:01
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langleybaston, am I missing something significant here? You describe yourself as an "infamous" Met wallah but then list a series of, clearly ace types.

My simple fish-head loggie mind interprets "infamous" as those that stand out as embarrassments to the trade.

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Old 20th Nov 2012, 13:13
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Never saw our Met Man ... he was always hidden behind his seaweed
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 13:44
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Forget the name, but MetO at Lossie who wore outrageous ties.
I thought that was a pre-requisite for a met man? Certainly was at Church Fenton mid-eighties....
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 15:36
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Ian McCaskill - early 70's at Luqa.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 15:50
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Shawbury

More recently, (2004 - 2008ish) Grianne (hope the spelloing is right). Lovely lady, great sense of humour, very nice personality, wonderful Irish accent that melted the guys hearts, always smiling. We were sad to see her go.


Never forgetnight brief back in the early 90's (before IT briefs). Met man came accross drenched and placed his slides on the OHP, he turned to look at the screen and said "oh! sorry about the mess, I used a water soluble pen and didnt know it was going to rain" cue much laughter.

Then the black flag brief given by the met office. They produced some stats that disclosed that 45% of their forecasts were accurate. The question was asked "Why dont you reverse your forecasts and you will be accurate 55% of the time?" = 1 dumbfounded met man.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 16:01
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I was expecting/ hoping/ dreading the victims to come up with a few villains or twerps.

My personal blunders:

1. turning up at a night fly briefing, white stuff in hair and on shoulders, no white stuff in forecast.

and

2. "being gratuitously rude to the AOC in C's pilot in that you said
"sod off sunshine I am briefing a properly pre-booked captain and crew and I don't care whose pilot you are I'll get back to you!""

Standing interview, no coffee.

3. Being consistently and predictably wrong re. contrail levels for three whole years at Guetersloh ....... at my last brieifing the staish said it was a relief not to have to make the usual height corrections any more.

Re. the above: Linton Ken was probably Ken Dart, with black beard? The spectacularly outrageous tie to be seen these days is at Coningsby I believe.

Last edited by langleybaston; 20th Nov 2012 at 16:02.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 16:30
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I was wondering when you were going to 'fess up, LB - they do say that attack is the best form of defence.

Regarding:

1. turning up at a night fly briefing, white stuff in hair and on shoulders, no white stuff in forecast.

Seems fair enough - I never heard dandruff mentioned in a forecast ....

And I'm equally sure that you never had dandruff!

Jack
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 16:39
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And I'm equally sure that you never had dandruff!
Thats because the adiabatic lapse rate was too low
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 16:48
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My personal blunders:
1. turning up at a night fly briefing, white stuff in hair and on shoulders, no white stuff in forecast.
I was going to quote that incident - were we at Gut at the same time (early 1980s) for that is where I experienced it, or a similar one!

How about the lovely Jan K. at Odiham who was asked to give a forecast, which she did. On the basis of that, the station snow clearance team were stood down for the weekend. Almost immediately afterwards it began to snow very heavily. About fifteen inches of the white stuff fell in a few hours, making the whole airfield, including the camp roads, impassable. What's more, it was so bad that the snow clearance team couldn't get back in because all the local roads were blocked.

The Linton Met man was taken to task by OC Ops one Sunday, for lighting a big smelly garden bonfire, which completely smoked the adjacent MQs out. The apologetic reply went along the lines of "Sorry, sir , I had no idea which way the wind was blowing.....!"

After your tale about the anemometer mast being too short, now we know why. And also why we poor studes found crosswind landings a bit tricky!
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 17:21
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Tiny Mentz, Midway Island detachments, and again in the Falklands. Top chap!
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 17:37
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Tiny was OC Mobile Met Unit when he retired, either as S/Ldr or Wingco ...... the MMU guys collected more gongs than most, as they deployed here there and everywhere and often for unusually short detachments.

Did anyone suffer at the hands of Paddy Gilfedder? At FY he once offered Holme on Spalding Moor as the only good div ........... the site was sticking up out of the clag, had an observation, but no runway.

FY had the best set of assistants I ever had the pleasure to work with, including Ken Dart [see above].
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