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Memories of RAFG

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Memories of RAFG

Old 9th Jan 2018, 14:11
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Naaa, to many follks on that boat for the future RN and three of them need to be Admirals.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 14:48
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if you know your music you’ll probably be familiar with the “William Tell” overture by Rossini.
Off thread I fear, but one definition of "intellectual" is a person who can listen to the William Tell Overture without once thinking of the Lone Ranger ........

..... I fail that test!
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 15:57
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Canít decide whether thatís a radar on their boat, or a patio gas heater to keep Ďem warm!
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 21:07
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Originally Posted by teeteringhead View Post
Off thread I fear, but one definition of "intellectual" is a person who can listen to the William Tell Overture without once thinking of the Lone Ranger ........

..... I fail that test!
My hang up with it is:

bum titty bum titty bum bum bum .......

this is not a digression, I used to sing it in RAFG.
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 17:48
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I'm on one of my very rare visits to PPRuNe these days, but I've spent a great couple of hours enjoying the stories in this thread. Some memories from Gutersloh in the mid-70s:

I was a 'brat', about 19 years old, working in MTSS as a civilian (one of quite a few jobs I had while there). As a member of the Kart Club as well as working on base, I had a lot of mates who drank in the old Pigs' Bar in the NAAFI, and I used to quite regularly join them. The Pigs' Bar had been used as such by the Luftwaffe in WW2, when Gutersloh was a training base, and the furnishings and decorations - including some wonderful murals - dated from then. The place had some character, and the guys were actually quite proud of it.

During 74/75, a new NAAFI - Club 47 - was built, and eventually the time came for the Pigs' Bar to move locations. There'd been a big push to try and get the murals preserved, and the lovely old wooden booths moved over to the new place, but NAAFI resisted. It became quite contentious, and a plot was hatched to at least try and deny NAAFI the satisfaction of destroying this heritage. On the last night of the Pigs' Bar, a huge pissup was held and a great time was had by all. And, by the end of the night, pretty much everything that could be moved had disappeared. Sadly, not the murals (which NAAFI later painted over).

Of course, this didn't go down well with the station authorities, and everyone who was known to have been there was scheduled for an interview with the Stn Cdr in an attempt to intimidate people into revealing where the stuff had gone. I'd actually left before the place was disassembled, but duly took my place in the queue for the Co's bollocking. This caused some amusement and perhaps a little awe among the other villains, and did my standing no end of good among my mates. The Stn Cdr was my Dad.

I'm not sure they ever recovered the missing items!

Another - very blurry - memory was drinking whisky with Matt Munro in the Sgts Mess after a CSE show until something like 6am. We'd been having a really quite civilised conversation, but I'm pretty sure it descended into scribble as the night wore on. We parted the very best of mates, and I did hear from him afterwards. We never worked out what we'd been talking about!

I'm sure with adequate lubrication and some prompts I could dredge up a load of memories of that time - and many more from the following years as an Albert driver who frequently visited all of the RAFG stations.
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 18:17
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The Pigs bar must have been in existence when I was at EDUO each side of 1970 but alas I missed its delights. I took my Wobbly elsewhere.

Gutersloh seems to be very well represented in these anecdotes, over-represented in comparison with the clutch stations.

In my last incarnation in Germany I had to visit Gutersloh from JHQ several times a year: always a pleasure to arrive, but it became increasingly difficult to plan the drive to arrive at a scheduled time. How do you deal with a journey that [from memory] was not much over 2 hours, and last time took 5 hours, meaning all sorts of appointments were missed in playing catchup?

"Fly" I hear, but that involved going "the wrong way" to Bruggen.

Last edited by langleybaston; 10th Jan 2018 at 18:19. Reason: erratum
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 18:41
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Originally Posted by langleybaston View Post
The Pigs bar must have been in existence when I was at EDUO each side of 1970 but alas I missed its delights. I took my Wobbly elsewhere.

Gutersloh seems to be very well represented in these anecdotes, over-represented in comparison with the clutch stations.

In my last incarnation in Germany I had to visit Gutersloh from JHQ several times a year: always a pleasure to arrive, but it became increasingly difficult to plan the drive to arrive at a scheduled time. How do you deal with a journey that [from memory] was not much over 2 hours, and last time took 5 hours, meaning all sorts of appointments were missed in playing catchup?

"Fly" I hear, but that involved going "the wrong way" to Bruggen.
We had the same time problem on 431 M.U during those many happy commutes to Gut ....travel time was about 3 hrs from Bruggen, "slightly less" cough ! from Gut, but this was usually" extended slightly " going to Gut when we were forced, must have been a magnetic field, to stop at Recklinghausen Restplaz.

The most memorable being our trip to Gut when our fearless leader and inspirational manager of men, "Budgie " left, erm, some time after us and, amazingly, arrived some time before us. He was at a complete loss as to how and why this had occurred.
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 18:43
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I was on a flying visit to Gut from Odiham and was in the NAAFI, it would have been in the late 70's and they were playing the finals of a snooker tournament when a bomb warning was called in, we all evacuated to outside the NAAFI pints in hand as the plods searched the place... We all watched as the plods Sniffer dog hopped up on the finals table knocking the balls far and wide.. That went down like a lead balloon amongst the gathered crowd and coming out the NAAFI after giving the all clear the said plod found his dog van lying on its side.
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 19:17
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Gutersloh had a fearsome reputation in the late fifties. At Wahn we heard tales of the ' Rocks' running riot in the local town and that discipline had broken down, in general. A replacement Staish was posted in who 'specialised in bringing ill- disciplined Stations to order. One of his measures was to put corporals in charge of sections of roads and if, on inspection, as much as a cigarette butt was found they were for the high jump!
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 21:03
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I've got a photo of one of the Gutersloh Pigs' Bar Gentlemans' Drinking Lounge murals somewhere amongst the junk in the loft. If I remember correctly, it was of the tramp in a reclining pose whilst he supped his ale.

A wooden frame was put round the mural to preserve it when NAAFI announced they were going to re-decorate the place. The mural was still there when I left in late 72.

The bar survived the Great Fire when the upstairs was gutted during refurbishment. In an attempt to save NAAFI stocks, human chains were formed to move the important stock out of the building. The beer crates were carried out and stacked up at the back of the building whilst the durables from the shop were carried out and put on the opposite side of the main drag. A lot of full beer crates made their way to various locations for "safe-keeping" where they were consumed to ensure the quality hadn't been affected by the fire.

Doesn't say much for NAAFI standards of stock-keeping when the NAAFI manageress declared that no stock was lost due to the fire.
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 21:14
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Talking about sending a new Staish to sort out an RAF station in Germany, the author of this book based it on his experiences as a conscript at Gutersloh.

Amazon Amazon
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 23:44
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Originally Posted by 4mastacker View Post
I've got a photo of one of the Gutersloh Pigs' Bar Gentlemans' Drinking Lounge murals somewhere amongst the junk in the loft. If I remember correctly, it was of the tramp in a reclining pose whilst he supped his ale.

A wooden frame was put round the mural to preserve it when NAAFI announced they were going to re-decorate the place. The mural was still there when I left in late 72.

The bar survived the Great Fire when the upstairs was gutted during refurbishment. In an attempt to save NAAFI stocks, human chains were formed to move the important stock out of the building. The beer crates were carried out and stacked up at the back of the building whilst the durables from the shop were carried out and put on the opposite side of the main drag. A lot of full beer crates made their way to various locations for "safe-keeping" where they were consumed to ensure the quality hadn't been affected by the fire.

Doesn't say much for NAAFI standards of stock-keeping when the NAAFI manageress declared that no stock was lost due to the fire.
Yes, the reclining tramp was one of the murals. If I remember rightly, there were three in the bar and a couple of others elsewhere in the building in rooms that were no longer public. The relocation was in 1975, IIRC, so the murals were still there then. The fire was before my time, but the stories of how the stock was 'saved' from the fire were still alive and well!
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 02:20
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polecat2. An amazing read, the description of the nutty corporal eternally sweeping out the attic, fits at least two people of my acquaintance.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 10:12
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I read that book many years ago and it was an eye opener.Thankfully it was not the RAF I knew.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 20:16
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We had one of our guys detached to Gut and he was fast asleep in transit at the time, which was in one of the block attics, a couple of pissed up rocks came back at night and kicked the proverbial out of the guy, he spent time in hospital and when he arrived back at Odiham the bruising he had was best described as similar to what you see on a pensioner in the newspapers that some lowlife had mugged, he had a bruise on his head that you could identify as the tread pattern on a boot.... The shit rightly hit the fan and T....'s Father who was a serving WO became involved.. I never found what happened to the pair of scroats involved, T.. Wouldn't say boo to a goose.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 21:28
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Smile

Originally Posted by goudie View Post
Gutersloh had a fearsome reputation in the late fifties. At Wahn we heard tales of the ' Rocks' running riot in the local town and that discipline had broken down, in general. A replacement Staish was posted in who 'specialised in bringing ill- disciplined Stations to order. One of his measures was to put corporals in charge of sections of roads and if, on inspection, as much as a cigarette butt was found they were for the high jump!
I think the replacement Staish who sorted the 'Rocks' out was Group Captain MacFarlane who only stayed a year and was then replaced by Group Captain Peter Crabb ex Oldenburg and possibly Ahlhorn.

Crabbie as he was known had a very distinguishes WWII as a leader of Pathfinders among other things. At that time he had a penchant for doing some interesting things including shooting the lights out with his service revolver instead of turning them off by the switch. There are a host of other tails to tell about Crabbie from the war and whilst he was at Gut. Perhaps someone else can fill in the details. Whilst at Gut he continued to fly with the Hunter Wing but I am not aware as to whether or not he ever flew a Swift with 79.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 21:50
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Just after 26 Sqn rocks arrived at Gut, one of their number smacked their Sqn WO over the head with a shovel. The rock was a strange character, just walking past him in the NAAFI sent shivers down the spine. He was sent down for quite some time and the WO was, by all accounts, a very lucky man to survive.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 22:02
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Small correction, DODGYOLDFART, it was Gp Capt Peter Cribb not Crabb. Last heard of in the sunshine of Western Australia.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 23:15
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I stand corrected 26er. However Gp Capt Cribb past away in 2011 following an illustrious career in Oz. I seem to remember he was 92
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Old 12th Jan 2018, 08:16
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Originally Posted by dkh51250 View Post
polecat2. An amazing read, the description of the nutty corporal eternally sweeping out the attic, fits at least two people of my acquaintance.
I read the book referred to. Its author made a contribution or two to another book, more anecdotal; 'The Call Up', he told a story about the wife of an officer who was besotted with her pet dog(s) involving he and other airmen in waiting at table while the local canine pets held a Birthday Party with Hats, Jelly and Ice Cream! He supposedly bumped into his form DI at a Service Station in the UK or something years later. The book he wrote from a personal perspective, was set in Germany at RAF Zeedorf which my brother described as identical to RAF Gutersloh. I believe the author was stationed there. I read his book circa 1976/77 and thought then that it told a rather negative if colourful story. THE corporal described as some sort of airman that time forgot, I kind of got to begin with and thought it was some sort of recurring phenomena in service life, like forgotten lifer in Southern State Penitentiary, but as I read on, the brutal 'Bull' obsessed Station Commander and the 'Corporal' seemed increasingly far fetched from my position as a teenage Air Cadet at the time. But I did enjoy it for all its over the top negative assault on service life generally.

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