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RAF Holmpton

Old 23rd Apr 2018, 09:54
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RAF Holmpton

A blast, which thankfully never was, from the past you might say.

Which may induce a few memories.....

The British women who secretly served in the Cold War - BBC News

Also includes a perfect Caption Comp photo, alas, with the Beebs attention to detail here, the caption says " in the late 1960's "...... despite the rather large poster on the wall saying, um, February 1970
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Old 23rd Apr 2018, 10:14
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Women of the cold war
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Old 23rd Apr 2018, 10:22
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Ah, the unmistakable eyebrows of (then) AVM Ivor Broom DSO DFC**, AOC 11 Gp, 1970-1972.

A distinguished and interesting career, especially when dropping rank twice during the post-WW2 period! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivor_Broom
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Old 23rd Apr 2018, 14:06
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I met Ivor Broom when I was OC Admin at Wyton and he was Chairman of the Pathfinder Association, and we were organising the Pathfinder 50th Anniversary. A kinder and more pleasant man it is difficult to imagine. I recall him walking out of Warboys Church after the unveiling of the memorial there with our then 3 year old on his shoulders. I had to ring him on one occasion and Lady Broom apologised for his absence, explaining he was playing 2 rounds at Moor Park - he was then if not in his 90s, nearly so. I have a copy of his biography on my bookshelf with a warm note of thanks for my involvement with the 50th Anniversary weekend. A most memorable man
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Old 23rd Apr 2018, 17:30
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Why have they changed the name from Patrington? It was always called that when I was based at Lindholme.
Oops sorry; maybe they were trying to keep it secret; better keep a watch out for big black cars pulling up outside.

Last edited by chevvron; 24th Apr 2018 at 05:32.
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Old 23rd Apr 2018, 18:29
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Why have they changed the name from Patrington? It was always called that when I was based at Lindholme.
Possibly because Patrington and Holmpton were completely seperate units some 5 miles apart, the former becoming a satellite of the latter?

Subterranea Britannica: Sites: RAF Patrington - WW2 GCI (Happidrome) Radar Station
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Old 24th Apr 2018, 11:56
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ExAscoteer,

From your link:

"Following the closure of RAF Patrington, RAF Holmpton was re-named RAF Patrington in 1958."

When I was working with Scopies at Feltwell from 69 to 73), I recall that Patrington was the School of Fighter Control (someone will probably correct me)
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Old 24th Apr 2018, 12:02
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I’ll correct you - the SFC was at Bawdsey Manor. I was on the last F.C. course there in 1974 before it temporarily closed before reopening as a Bloodhound site.
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Old 24th Apr 2018, 12:59
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I was totally unaware there were (at one time) 2 separate units in that area.
When I was at Lindholme, the RAF controllers (1973) were detached one at a time to Patrington for liaison duties. One of them became 'friendly' with a WRAF Flt Lt ficon and brought her to lunch at Lindholme one sunday. Ater lunch we sat in the ante room chatting; he picked up a sunday supplement and this attractive lady said 'wot yer lookin' at that for; ain't no tits in there are there'?
Did Patrington have a T80 about that time? I recall the 'standby' radar for Lindholme was initially a slow rotating (4 rpm) radar from Patrington but early in my detachment, they completed a microwave link which fed in the T84 or T85 from Staxton Wold instead.

Last edited by chevvron; 24th Apr 2018 at 15:37.
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Old 24th Apr 2018, 13:58
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I remember Patrington as housing the Fighter Command Diversion Cell from my time at Strubby (65-67). We used to phone them in the evenings to look for any trade for Practice Diversions ... when the Refresher Varsities weren’t night flying, and the Staff N/Spec N Canberras were gone for 3+ hours it got VERY boring in ATC.
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Old 24th Apr 2018, 15:22
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I don't know much of the history, but I can give a snapshot with regard to the name of the unit. I was attached there from Boulmer for six months in Autumn 1967 and the whole unit was known as RAF Patrington consisting of the Ops site at Holmpton and the Admin site; messes, accommodation, etc. at Patrington.
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Old 24th Apr 2018, 16:42
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Originally Posted by EngAl View Post
I don't know much of the history, but I can give a snapshot with regard to the name of the unit. I was attached there from Boulmer for six months in Autumn 1967 and the whole unit was known as RAF Patrington consisting of the Ops site at Holmpton and the Admin site; messes, accommodation, etc. at Patrington.
Correct. Holmpton was a top secret underground site, access being via a bungalow. Though apparently the USSR was not fooled. In a USSR map on display at Holmpton, it is ringed as a target. When my dad was posted there I knew he worked in an underground secret bunker, but although I visited Patrington when he was stationed there, I never knew that the bunker was some 5 miles from the camp.
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Old 24th Apr 2018, 22:28
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SWIMBO was an FC in the late 60's, and we used to discuss which New Holland Ferry to catch as I recovered through Point A on a Friday. Happy days! Always thought that the whole site was called Patrington. Went down the hole once and that was enough for me - the photos bring back memories of those days.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 06:47
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Originally Posted by EngAl View Post
I don't know much of the history, but I can give a snapshot with regard to the name of the unit. I was attached there from Boulmer for six months in Autumn 1967 and the whole unit was known as RAF Patrington consisting of the Ops site at Holmpton and the Admin site; messes, accommodation, etc. at Patrington.
Indeed it was and also including the AD world, It was my second home in the UK for quite a while.
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