The first stops westward

Foynes 1937

Here is  “Caledonia” C Class flying boat G-ADHM at Foynes. Nice shot of the Irish flag and the  UK Civil Air Ensign blowing in the breeze. photo from Barry Davidson.

Also from Barry

Foynes 2 (2)

Boeing 314a Clipper NC18609

I’m grateful to Colin McKeeman for the three approach/departure plans (below) for Shannon (Rineanna) from 1945 and Foynes (1944). Long range civil flights westwards from Prestwick, Hurn and Poole landed to refuel and pick up passengers in the Irish Republic at Shannon for land planes and Foynes for flying boats.

Colin also provided this photo


this is a recent photo of what used to be the Monteague Arms Hotel, Foynes which was used from 1936 as the terminal and control tower (still visible on the top) for the flying boats. This houses the present day Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum; note the full scale mock –up of a Boeing 314 beside the building.




Colin has now sent me a more modern chart, for Dublin in 1967 so I’ve extended the scope of the post to include more about our friends in Eire.


more from Colin follows. he says

“I attach some old 1950’s charts that you might find of interest:-

  1. Chart 0001: Shannon Approach 28/09/1954: Interestingly the approach frequency includes 3023.5 HF
  2. Chart 0002: Dublin Approach to r/w 24, 28/04/1955: Again, HF is included in the approach frequencies
  3. Chart 0003: Dublin Approach, 08/08/1955
  4. Chart 0004: Dublin Landing Chart 28/04/1955: Note; remarks refer to Stratocruisers (if only today!)

All received via a long-standing friend of mine, Jimmy Creegan, who worked in Prestwick and Europe during his ATC career, now retired and living in Macclesfield.”


note the specific reference to Stratocruisers.

and from Barry Davidson pictures of Dublin, Shannon and Cork towers




Shannon VCR 1968


from Colin McKeeman more on Dublin inc G-EMBC


Shows the four HF aerials (rhombic) being erected at Dublin during the 1940’s


Shows the approach road into Dublin airport, with the four HF aerials in the background (1950’s)


Shows a vintage view of Dublin airport, with the old tower on top of the building, no longer in use but still in situ.

and yet more Dublin from Barry Davidson

Dublin 1Dublin 2

…………. love that silver Viscount.


plus two more airfields






Waterford Regional Airport Irish Air Corps Alouette 214

The next two Waterford photos from 2007 from Tom Singfield

Waterford tower 2

Waterford tower

RAE Llanbedr EGOD (now EGFD)

at last a tower photo of Llanbedr ATC tower


and another one

Llanbedr 1

We didn’t have much ATC stuff about Llanbedr but I have been sent a copy of a Golden Anniversary commemorative brochure by Barry Davidson that details the RAF & R&D life and history of the airfield.  There is a very small ATC content within it, perhaps it will stimulate a bit more input about the Control Tower and ATS service at Llanbedr.

Llanbedr golden jubilee brochure

and here are a few more RAE Llanbedr items though once again no ATS content.


Llanbedr 1Llanbedr4Llanbedr3Llanbedr 2


Northolt ATC

Scan_20160426 (3)

WU1 and 1a combined approach and aerodrome control desks, Dec 1951-WU1 from Les Tranter



EGWU ATC 1950s 1

WU1b (Barry Davidson)



EGWU 1950_1 BD


EGWU 1950_2 BD




EGWU gca.jpg


small EGWU

WU3 from Barry Davidson

EGWU 1950s 1

WU4 1950s aerial view

and from Barry Davidson dated 1947, 48 or 51

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featuring DC-4 EC-ACD, Viking G-AJBR, C-47 Dakota IV G-AMPT plus an extract from one of these shots

EGWU3 distant tower


EGWU 1938

WU6 an earlier year and time, 1938. Triple One squadron Hurricanes lined up at Northolt.


WU7 and much more modern, a US Marines Osprey with the modern Northolt tower in the background


EGMD Lydd (Ferryfield)

more from Barry Davidson. Anyone got a nice clear shot of the tower interior?



Lydd 1962

MD2  1962

for those of us of a certain age Lydd is synonymous with  Garry Halliday


MD3   photo via Barry Davidson   Silver City G-ANWI Bristol Superfreighter

Ferryfield 1950s 8_16

MD4 photo via Barry Davidson. If you still have an unbuilt Airfix Superfreighter here is your 1950s diorama project.

MD5 scan via Barry Davidson

Lydd airport

MD6 from Tom Singfield

MD7 now with radar, a Decca 424

RAF Celle control tower

RAF Celle control towerCanadian Meteor T7 WA740. Reportedly the RCAF only had a few Meteors for development work.  An online source says this Meteor, in 1950, was on loan to 421 Squadron RCAF.  photo via Barry Davidson

BAL Celle 1BAL Celle 2

CELLE during the Berlin Air lift, with American controllers in the tower

“Controlling” the Berlin Airlift

Barry Davidson has sent in two links

This one link  is a NATS article on the lessons learnt by ATC from the airlift operations and a second link to a video that includes a little footage of ATC in the airlift.

1949 article Berlin Air Lift

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Barry Davidson has provided these eight photos of RAF Gatow during the airlift that include photos of the VCR, Radar, GCA etc.  Barry reports that due to controller fatigue among the RAF/US controllers, civil controllers from the US & UK were detached although not much is known – anyone have any more info?

The IWM have multiple items in their collection relating to the airlift. And here is a second link to the IWM collection including some ATC material.

Barry Davidson has sent in a two page article produced originally by the RAF Air Historical Branch   detailing the techniques used to manage the Berlin Airlift traffic, a forerunner of todays modern flow management systems.


from Chris Stock is this description of approach and landing procedures at GATOW

BAL CS info

and also from Barry here is a Flight article about controlling the airlift


and some photos of a pilot briefing truck and the Berlin Air Safety Control Centre MBUsmall

BASC 2small

BASC 3small

BAL Rhein Main Ops

Rhein Main Ops –The END

from Barry Davidson below

two photos of FASSBERG during the airlift

Fassberg 2


and a scan of a rare Christmas postcard produced by RAF and USAF ATC Staff at Fassberg.

Fassberg 3



BAL 1a gatow bd

BAL 1b gatow bd



RAF Gatow

The  Lancastrians were four of twelve operated by Flight Refuelling supporting the airlift lift and carried diesel fuel and heating oil into Berlin.

including two more RAF GATOW ATC photos, one of which identifies the unit as No 5 GCA (Ground Controlled Approach) unit.

BD BAL Gatow 1

BD BAL Gatow 2

USAFE Douglas C-74 Globemaster  CN-414 serial 265414 at Gatow

GCA truck and aerial at an RAF Station during the airlift

RAF Luneburg below

I’m told the Spitfire is a PRXI and is reference books suggest it is probably from 400 Squadron which was a Canadian squadron. The serial is thought to be PM156.

Doncaster Aerodrome (EGCI) and at times an RFC and RAF station.

photo via Barry Davidson

Doncaster a


If memory serves the aerodrome was in close proximity to the race course and football ground. Also if memory serves, one of its controllers in about 1938 was Frank Bulstrude, much later Superintendent of the School and later College of ATC at Hurn.

Doncaster aerodrome has a long and illustrious history and is now home to the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Doncaster aerodrome history

An archive of 20th century air traffic control photographs and other media sponsored by the Guild of Air Traffic Control Officers