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The Shepherd

Old 24th Dec 2013, 01:19
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The Shepherd

As every year this time, CBC radio 1 will broadcast "the Shepherd" by Frederick Forsyth on Christmas eve, sometime between 6:30 and 8:00 PM ( 18:30 till 20:00 for some) probably EST. (23:30- 01:00 Z I believe.) CBC.ca Radio . Also of possible interest is Where did the pilot fly in Frederick Forsyth's "The Shepherd" | As It Happens with Carol Off and Jeff Douglas | CBC Radio

I assume it will be available in real audio. If you can overcome the 'colonial' accent, is is rather good.
I first read the story, on 'Q', on boxing day, 26 Dec, long ago.
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Old 24th Dec 2013, 08:13
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Got it on MP3, required reading (audio book!) and requested by the little groundies every year.
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Old 24th Dec 2013, 09:03
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Just confirmed on cbc, the reading will be at 2230Z on cbc Maritimes and Newfoundland.
Pour yourself a dram and enjoy!
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Old 24th Dec 2013, 09:12
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Freddie still lives in UK but doubt he will answer the question of the 'Shepherd'.

I knew him when he had just left the RAF as a National Service pilot. He started as a reporter for the Kings Lynn News and Advertiser and we both used the same pub, on the corner of the square, in Kings Lynn, Norfolk.
I recall his interest in RAF Marham, where I was stationed, as it was the Valiant nuclear bomb facility...he had a nose for journalism and constantly asked me about things going-on at the base which, I confess, I wasn't aware.
However, I probably made up some typical RAF B/S just to flow our conversations, depending on how many pints of bitter I'd imbibed...it's possible he even included my stories (crap) in his books!

That's why they are fictional...
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Old 24th Dec 2013, 14:25
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Fiction, maybe but I haven't read anything which so perfectly expresses the feeling of operating an aircraft when things aren't going to plan than The shepherd.
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Old 24th Dec 2013, 16:48
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so perfectly expresses the feeling of operating an aircraft when things aren't going to plan than The Shepherd.
Had the honour of sharing a few drinks with FF earlier this year - he confirmed that "the flying is non-fiction" or words to that effect.
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Old 24th Dec 2013, 21:28
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on in 5 minutes
goto
CBC News - Latest Canada, World, Entertainment and Business News
and select
Listen
radio
'as it happens'
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Old 24th Dec 2013, 22:36
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Just done the spuds and the sprouts while listening online.

Thoughts go back to George M as the skipper reading it at a crew Christmas Dinner with all the lights turned down in the dining room of the Hotel.

We had turned the lights down to stop him reading it and let us get back to the beer; but George resourceful as always had brought a torch!
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Old 24th Dec 2013, 23:19
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Done, and excellent as always. Hopefully, all Ppruners will be around next year to hear it again. Merry Christmas everybody.
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Old 24th Dec 2013, 23:35
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The Shepherd

If you missed it live, you can catch it on the CBC website here:

"Fireside Al" Maitland reads Frederick Forsyth's "The Shepherd" - As It Happens - CBC Player

You can also find it on YouTube:


CBC published an item on the probable geography and the possible location of "RAF Minton":

"Where did the pilot fly in Frederick Forsyth's "The Shepherd""
Where did the pilot fly in Frederick Forsyth's "The Shepherd" | As It Happens with Carol Off and Jeff Douglas | CBC Radio

Enjoy!
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Old 25th Dec 2013, 00:39
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Yes, I've posted this before in a thread about The Shepherd and yes, I know it's not a single-seat Vampire, but its a great photo and highly appropriate:



Fireside Al's readings were always a delight. One of the things I miss about Canada. This year was the 34th anniversary of the first time that Al read The Shepherd on As It Happens.

Merry Christmas to all from Saigon where it has been appropriately cool - a low of 21C the other night!
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Old 25th Dec 2013, 02:24
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You can also download it from my collection at this link .....

Cheers folks, from "The Old Fogducker."

http://www.hightail.com/download/elNJb24zQzNYSHh2TzhUQw
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Old 1st Jan 2014, 20:44
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Read the book years ago but the broadcast is so much better. Wonder if "RAF Minton" actually existed? I know Mossies operated from RAF North Creake and also Little Snoring in Norfolk but neither of those were Pathfinder bases as they were clustered around RAF Wyton in Huntingdonshire, 12 or so miles from here.

Last edited by brokenlink; 1st Jan 2014 at 20:45. Reason: Edited due to typo!
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Old 1st Jan 2014, 23:50
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My own guess at the locations in The Shepherd

Most of the names have been slightly changed from real RAF base names. The locations are not associated directly with the names, or the aircraft types.

RAF Merriam St George - the name is a slight change from RAF Middleton St George (now Teeside Airport). Actual location RAF Horsham St Faith (now Norwich Airport)

Horsham St Faith was the base for 105 Sqn Mosquito Pathfinders (B MkIV)

RAF Minton - the name is a slight change from RAF Milton (near Abingdon), a supply depot which closed shortly after the date the book is set. Actual Location RAF Coltishall.

Colt was a Vampire base, though not in 1957 (neither was Celle by this time).

Reasoning. An approach to Horsham St Faith (Norwich Airport) from the coast is about 15 miles, and the approach path for RWY 22 goes pretty much over Colt. The book states that the mosquito pilot dropped him short of the GCA airfield (H St F) due to lack of fuel.

Things which don't fit with the book.
H St F main rwy was 09/27,but there's no airfield on this approach path from the coast.
H St F was the real pathfinder base, not Colt, but this wouldn't fit with the approach from the coast bit of the plot.
Colt is about halfway in from the coast to H St f, not a 5/10 split as per the book.

Given FF was a Vampire pilot, I would imagine he originally plotted the story on an air chart, which means the coast - Colt - H St F path was the basis, then names and aircraft types were shuffled to fit this.

Thoughts?

p.s. FF did his training with 4 FTS(?) at RAF Worksop, which until early 1956 had been at...RAF Middleton St George.
When he left the RAF in 1958 he became a reporter in.....Norwich!

Last edited by Fox3WheresMyBanana; 2nd Jan 2014 at 00:08.
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Old 16th Dec 2014, 17:09
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The Shepherd

Good Afternoon All:

As we come into the Christmas season I came across this 1957 radio broadcast on YouTube which is from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation "The Shepherd-Fredick Forsyth- read by Alan Maitland.

It is a wonderful story about 35 minutes so grab a port or other favourite beverage and enjoy.

To all those active and veterans thank you for giving us the freedoms we enjoy today

Merry Christmas

The Shepherd - Frederick Forsyth - read by Alan Maitland from CBC Radio - YouTube
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Old 16th Dec 2014, 17:59
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Also broadcast on CBC radio1, As It Happens, usually the last weeknight before Christmas, sometime between 18:30- 20:00 EST.
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Old 16th Dec 2014, 18:00
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..and if you like the idea of a group listen, they still broadcast it every year on Christmas Eve on CBC Radio 1 - As It Happens. 6:30pm (7pm in Newfoundland). It's usually up first.
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Old 16th Dec 2014, 18:02
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Wonderful story! We listen every Christmas eve.
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Old 16th Dec 2014, 19:36
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A great Christmas story.
BBC always do a ghost story for Christmas, maybe they could do this some time.
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Old 16th Dec 2014, 21:25
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Great story by one of my favourite authors, and of course "one of us". Thanks Freddie
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