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RAF Topcliffe

Old 8th Sep 2021, 17:24
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RAF Topcliffe

I passed by Topcliffe yesterday and notice what appeared to be a blimp type balloon on the airfield. This afternoon the balloon was above the airfield tethered at I'm guessing a couple of thousand feet. Is this a parachute training balloon and is this a regular thing at Topcliffe?
Yours curiously
Akro
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 18:10
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Annual event ?

...
From the various NOTAMs it looks like an annual event.

The 2017 Notam - https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/...0170840_en.pdf

includes this explanation .... which leaves us not much wiser.

"As the operation does not allow the balloon, or its tether, to be lit or marked, Headquarters 11 Signal Brigade has requested that restrictions be imposed on flying in the vicinity of Topcliffe by reason of flight safety. This has been agreed with the CAA and DfT"

LFH
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 18:36
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Did it look like this:

REVIVOR A trailer-mounted aerostat (balloon), fitted with an under-slung camera, providing a surveillance picture over the local area.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 18:39
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Balloon jumps are/were more usually from 800 feet. I think!

CG
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 18:45
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fitted with an under-slung camera, providing a surveillance picture over the local area.
Perchance that would be more useful tethered at Dover, than at than well known place of tranqullity, Topcliffe.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 18:55
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That's exactly what it looked like. I could just make out the platform beneath the balloon but the perils of the A168 kept me focussed on other things.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 19:43
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Is the Busby Stoop still going ?
Last time I passed, about ten years ago, it was an Indian Restaurant.
I remember Officers' Confidential Orders in the sixties forbidding us young APOs visiting it !
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 21:02
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What could a spy balloon possibly be looking for over N Yorkshire? Perhaps they're trying to find where we've buried our cash?

Yes NRU, the Stoop's still there but as an Indian restaurant.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 21:31
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RAF Topcliffe: what a super place to be in the mid/ late 1960s. As far as Met. was concerned on the ground floor of the tower, Maccrihanish Kippers to order, Leeming's JPs in and out, the occasional dispersal, close encounters with Plod's Alsatians on night shift, and next week: who knows?
The staff were on a NE merry-go-round ........... Acklington Leeming Dishforth, Church Fenton, Linton, a week here, a week there, and the occasional big deal to Manby or Strubby.

From what we heard, the ATC boys and girls were similarly mobile. I was too junior to meet the staish but he ran a happy [if rather unpredictable] station.

Thirsk was a lovely small town with friendly folk and pleasant shops and pubs. Near the top posting in 41 years.

Nostalgia is not what it used to be ....................
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 21:37
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Originally Posted by NRU74 View Post
Is the Busby Stoop still going ?
Last time I passed, about ten years ago, it was an Indian Restaurant.
I remember Officers' Confidential Orders in the sixties forbidding us young APOs visiting it !
It is indeed still an Indian restaurant......and quite a good one too. I pass it several times a week........used to be very busy pre covid. I saw the blimp too.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 21:45
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Married men were ordered by their wives to avoid it.

Nudge nudge wink wink.

Similarly, the Merry Maidens at Shinfield near Reading was said to be a bit spicy. I never went to either, you understand.
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 07:25
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I'm with Skua on placing the REVIVOR balloon. With the increasing political tempo in the Channel the balloon should be flown from Dover or a stationary vessel on our side of the 12 at a height that gives a clear picture of the French coastline. Combined with drones this would give exact timings and locations of small craft launches from French beaches. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the vectors for a surface interception on the 12. All information recorded by the REVIVOR and drones would be of a standard admissable in court and add weight to any reasonable decision made to turn boats away.
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 09:29
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add weight to any reasonable decision made to turn boats away.
Which bit of Maritime Law allows for such actions ?
... essentially a rhetorical question, given the present Government's cavalier attitude to any Laws or Agreements.
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 09:35
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As thread drifts go, that's rather spectacular Akro, though I agree 100%
Dear Mr Macron can we have the 53m we gave you back please?

Back on thread, oh happy days at Topcliffe - firstly with the York ATC (110 Sqn) cadging lifts in the Vickers Varsity, then latterly as an AAC Scout Pilot with 655 Sqn. Happy days, RA camp, RN & RAF training Sqn, AAC Sqn, very purple, but with almost no 'jointery'!
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 10:12
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110 Sqn, Al? Our chief rivals for the annual Wing Drill Comp at Linton. The one we - 152 (City of Hull) - usually won!
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 14:05
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I've never been to the Merry Maidens either
Sadly the Met. Office college at Shinfield is now a housing development. Many happy days/ months/ years there.
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 14:11
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Originally Posted by diginagain View Post
110 Sqn, Al? Our chief rivals for the annual Wing Drill Comp at Linton. The one we - 152 (City of Hull) - usually won!
Hull!! Utter ruffians......🤣👍
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 19:18
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Cool

Originally Posted by ewe.lander View Post
Hull!! Utter ruffians......🤣👍


and some other pixels
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 19:51
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Ah, a memory moment. Having hosted a Hull ATC Squadron around Local Control (the greenhouse bit on top of the Air Traffic Control building) circa 1982, it became apparent that certain items had 'gone walkabout'. Namely 1 Very Pistol and 5 Very Pistol Flare Cartridges. Thankfully, someone twigged that Local Control was slightly 'deficient' in inventory items and the 'little tinkers' of Hull ATC were given a shake down before leaving Air Traffic. The result produced the Very Pistol but also SIX Very Cartridges. We were missing 5. A quick demonstration to the Humber 'Little Tinkers' by blatting off a Red, solved our accounting problem. But.......where had the 'Little Tinkers' aquired the extra Cartridge? We locked the ground floor door, played Uckers (Thank You RNEFTS), and promptly dismissed the whole thing.
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 20:04
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Originally Posted by taxydual View Post
We locked the ground floor door, played Uckers (Thank You RNEFTS), and promptly dismissed the whole thing.
Thread drift I know, does anybody in the RAF still play Uckers, Kierki or Clag ?
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