photo from Barry Davidson


the RAF Gan Tie story

gan tie 3

Photos from David Slane who tells us  The idea was, as you were boarding the outbound flight from Gan on your repatriation to the UK, you were ‘presented ‘with the tie.   The description is as follows……the “NO ENTRY” sign symbolized  the 9 months away from “it”. And the Arabic writing roughly translated as “Not-Having” !   (For 9 months). To my knowledge these ties were not sold to anyone  and were only presented to those who had completed the required 9 month tour.  { Not really a compensation to those of us who had just been married prior to being posted to Gan }

Mystery towers

Can anyone identify this location for one of our contributors.

No 7 FTS

MT1 as the base for No7 Flying Training School this should be easy. It looks like a modified Fort type tower and the locations 7FTS at served are well recorded. However the tower isn’t like any of the airfields that photos survive of and of many of the other bases there is no record of their towers. The nearest equivalent we’ve found is Church Fenton but 7FTS were not there.

Our Friends at the Control Tower site have asked for more input on the following 5 towers.


MT1a a USAAF manned tower on an airfield with a runway 06. One vehicle (second right) is a Command Car usually reserved for high rank officers.


M1b It has been suggested that it might be Boxted but a close look at the Jeep markings suggests possibly the 55th Fighter Group who were at Nuthampstead and Wormingford.


MT1c This P-51 PZ-V ??4215 flew with the 486th Fighter Squadron based at Bodney but this doesn’t look like the Bodney tower. the runway designator has a 4 as the second digit so 04, 14, 24, or 34.




MT1f Mustangs parked up far right plus maybe a larger twin fin aircraft


New MT2 below showing a rather “casual” tower facility

Mystery 2

The swastika was not yet a sinister emblem, rather the opposite and it may be a unit or personal marking of a British squadron.  Think this is a Blackburn T2 Dart, a FAA Torpedo bomber in service 1923-33. Another Dart was recorded with similar wheel centres, in service with 461 Flight that served on HMS Furious but also at Gosport.

Balliol Mystery tower

sea balliol T21 222 WL716

MT3 and 3a Boulton Paul Sea Balliol T21 222/WL716 at an open day on what looks like a Naval Air Station by the mystery tower’s design. Any ideas?

Mystery DC3 FF BD

MT4 Cambrian Dakota G-AGHM parked outside a mystery wartime build tower with what looks like a Miles Aerovan parked behind the DC-3. Might this be the first tower at Cardiff/Rhoose. There quite a lot of people in the background, an airshow? Barry Davidson who sent in the photo says there is a faint local paper marking that might suggest Bristol or Cardiff.  Might this be Whitchurch or the wartime tower at Lulsgate Bottom?

Mystery 4bd919

MT7 Hawks for advanced training and weapons training, tail of a Chipmunk on the left. The grey Hawk is XX196.

added here for our “detectives” is the second Hawks tail marking

Mystery 4a

and for what its worth the chippie’s fin and rudder

Mystery 4b


EGTG Bristol Filton ATC


It appears to be Bristol Filton before the front of the tower building obtained a ground floor extension and the roof a VCR.

A bit of online research reveals that the aircraft is Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR Mk.1 XV738  This airframe was the first production Harrier for the Royal Air Force. It appears to have been also used as a demonstrator, having been photographed in 1969 at RAF Chivenor during the 1969 air show, though the aircraft was at the time still in the hands of Rolls Royce. It later served with IV (AC) squadron at Gutersloh (and was the subject of an Airfix kit). –

TG0 via Barry Davidson

Thanks to John Faulkner for this next selection

TG01 Red Arrows & Leo MarriottTG1

Red Arrows & Leo Marriott

TG02 RainbowTG2

Rainbow over Filton tower

TG A380 first visit, no landing, then on to LL.

TG2a A380 first visit, no landing, then on to LL.

TG03 A380 sets heading for ToulouseTG3

A380 sets course for Toulouse

TG04 A380 first landing TG, Craig Richardson ATCOTG4

A380 first landing TG, Craig Richardson ATCO

TG05 Transition, old & new radar displaysTG5

Transition, old & new radar displays

TG06 Beluga and Chris ChanteurTG6

Beluga and Chris Chanteur

TG07 Paul Bryan & Andie PetrieTG7

Paul Bryan & Andy Petrie

TG08 JF & Des Rhys-LewisTG8

John Faulkner & Des Rhys-Lewis

TG09 Final day - 18 Dec 2012 - Keith Flint and Dave BurgessTG9

Final Day – 21 Dec 2012 – Keith Flint and Dave Burgess

EGTG Control Mobile plus little guy sitting behind

TG9a ATC mobile with a small visitor on the ground behind

more EGTG photos from John F

TG Andy Affleck & Andy Petrie

TG10 Andy Affleck & Andy Petrie

TG Rob Jones

TG11 Rob Jones

TG 2008 Brian Currell

TG11a  2008 Brian Currell

jf_TG S264, last in service

TG12 EGTG 264 John Faulkner suggests it might be the last one in service


TG13 D/F display at EGTG  John Faulkner

jf_TG Watchman, S264 & SSR

TG14 Radar display for EGTG, 264 primary radar plus SSR  John Faulkner

John  also sent this little piece of history at Filton. Its from  Brian Trubshaw referring to the maiden flight of 002, the first British Concorde.  The original memo will be held in the records of the Bristol Aerospace Museum, scheduled to open at Filton in 2017.

Brian Trubshaw – memo

Filton Tower, 1993

TG15 Filton Tower, 1993, with Red Arrows – John Faulkner

Jon Wallace

TG16 Jon Wallace, training in aerodrome control –  now at Southend – John Faulkner

S264 & engineers

TG17 The Marconi 264, with our admirable engineers, Scott McLeod and Rob Thomas – John Faulkner


TG18 JFs No 2 son – aspiring Atco? – John Faulkner

Stephen J Faulkner Video

TG19 JF’S No 2 son, 18 years later, with his own video company on the tower balcony – John Faulkner

EGTG Tower from flight deck A380 (1)

TG19a The tower taken from an A380 flight deck

BAC Filton Factory

TG20 The Filton Factory

Filton 1bdFilton 2bd

TG21 and TG22


TG21 from John Faulkner as are TG22 and 23

disused Filton

TG 22 above. Filton Tower, September this year (2017), looking rather unloved and overgrown, now just outside the boundary of the new museum – Aerospace Bristol – just opened to the public.

TG23 below. Well worth a visit – apart from the original Bristol Aero Collection, Concorde ‘AF at long last under cover in its own new building.

filton museumBarry Davidson visited the Museum in 2018 and says that the future of the tower is uncertain. When the police and air ambulance helicopters relocate to Avonmouth the museum will expand to their piece of land, however the tower is located about 30ft inside the developers land and they have said the museum can have the tower provided they dismantle it.

here is the rather sad view as it was during his visit

EGMC Southend Airport (formerly RFC later RAF Rochford)

EGMC Southend 2009 Newsletter


MC0 EGMC in 1960 from Bob Jackie also available as a download

EGMC 1960

MC Old control tower, 1996

MC1 the old control tower, 1996 photo from John Faulkner

EGMC - Ecko ARAA, 1980


MC2 EKCO ARAA Radar 1980 – photo from Leo Marriott via John Faulkner

We found this description of using the EKCO at Southend on PPrune

“Surveillance Radar Approaches, were carried out using an EKCO ARAA (Aerodrome Radar Approach Aid) This was an amazing piece of equipment, manufactured by a local electrical company, E K Cole.

It hung from the ceiling of the tower rather like a periscope in a submarine. The operator stood looking into a small ‘A’ scope tube. He was able to follow the aircraft by literally rotating the entire radar receiving unit by turning it on its axis. Azimuth control was maintained by turning two hand grips either side of the unit.

It was very, very basic but in the hands of a skilled operator, very accurate. If it was set up precisely, Surveillance Radar Approaches could be carried out down to half a mile with an OCL of about 250 feet.

Once the approach was commenced, the controller was committed to it. He stood upright looking into the ‘A’ scope. Both hands on the azimuth controls and at the same time talking on the R/T.”

next two photos by John Faulkner

MC 1995 DanAir One-Eleven fleet  & ACR430

MC3  1995 DanAir One-Eleven fleet  & ACR430

MC 1995 S511 & DanAir One-Eleven

MC4 1995 S511 & “hush kit” fitted DanAir One-Eleven

now some more items, from Barry Davidson








MC7a the new tower from James Granger as is MC7b below





EGMC 1977

MC9  1977

EGMC Old tower

MC9b Hubbardair Twin Otter G-BFGP with the old tower in the background

EGMC Marconi 511 plus vintage aircraft

MC9C. EGMC’s  MARCONI S511 RADAR. The British Air Ferry Viscount 802 is G-BLNB, which in an earlier life was BEA G-AOHV. Its last flight was auspicious. In 2009, in the Republic of Congo, registered as 9Q-COD, this Viscount made the last recorded flight by the type.



EGMC 1938

MC10  1938  was there ATC at Southend in 1938?


EGUF 1950s

LF0 from Barry Davidson  – if ever one photo says it all however the next one comes close




EGLF c1950

LF0a also from Barry, Dunlop Aviation Division Dove G-ALVD

EGUF c1950s

LF0aa Dragon Rapide G-AHXW

eguf dh-110 wg240 1952

LF0ab DH-110 WG240 possibly 1952


LF0ac Bristol Brigand TF.Mk.1, RH742. Test aircraft, Coastal Command

EGLF 1951

LF0ad Vickers Supermarine type 508 dated 1951

EGUF 1 1966

LF0b from Barry,  “Mobile Radar Unit for the 1966 Farnborough Air Show. One of the latest developments in air surveillance radar. This mobile unit will be on display. Known as AR1, the unit is a development of a static version already in use in many parts of the world as the first high definition radar. The movable AR1 has been developed for the RAF for easy transportation. Hope the techies like it.”

Another Malcolm Hemming input

farnborough LF1

lf ztLF2

ATC Archaeology – Farnborough N1 Building

controllers in LF1 above are Andy Hay, Mike Baggaley, Ted Winstone, Stan Chapman, (someone hidden), Vic Gibson, Ted Van-Dort, taken circa 1981 just before the new Cossor radar displays were bodge-tilted forward because they were too ‘laid back’, The PAR is out of shot on left (an SLA1).

Terry Clark added

“Cossor ‘Compass 9000’ consoles which ended up at Prestwick Centre when they were replaced by the Plessey Watchman consoles.  We retained the AR1 and S232 radars with the Cossor consoles as they were bought so we could have SSR displayed (Heathrow or Pease Pottage – we couldn’t select which one).  The three closest were for Farnborough and the far two were for Odiham.  

CCTV was for met obs, the Farnborough ob. being done by our own met office and the Odiham one had a vertically mounted CCTV camera at the far end of the room; every time we had heavy rain, water would pour from it! Andy Hay designed the workstations based on a visit to Dunsfold and got the ’tilt’ a bit wrong!
Farnborough nearly got the SLA3c PAR from Pershore but after sitting in the tower car park for a couple of weeks, it was re-allocated to Llanbedr.”
more pictures now from Tony Mannion
From when he did a couple of detachments therevfor the SBAC in 92 and 94.
Mark Davenport and ‘Isobel’
anon 17


Thanks to Andy Amor, Derek Pake, Tony Dann and Malcolm Hemming for sorting out the names on this group photo

This is taken outside RAE Farnborough N1 building (The old ATC tower). The photo was taken in September 1984. It’s a mixture of ATC staff brought in for the Airshow, the one where the De Havilland DHC-5 Buffalo crashed! Some are Farnborough staff, Nigel Green came down from Manchester I think, some are ATCO Cadets. I, as an ATCA was on a secondment from West Drayton, so that’s me, Tony Dann, back row, second from left, Nigel to my right. The chief ATCO was indeed Don Hickson and to his left is Jessie Price. Back row fourth from right is Ken Farthing I think. Tony Dann

Tall fellow in rear row in the middle is John Mayhew – Derek Pake

Back row Dennis Hill (EFSO), Tony Dann, Nigel Green, ?, ?, ?, Ken Farthing (Senior EFSO), Gordon Morehouse, Gerald Larmour (EFSO), ?

Front Row Malcolm Ferguson, Vic Gibson (D/SATCO), Jessica Price (EFSO), Don Hickson, ‘Auntie’ Hilda (Admin), The ‘Mike’ Land Rover driver was an EFSO, Wally Peake (?), Alan Foster (EFSO – Charts Office) – Malcolm Hemming


now from Simon Barry

eguf atc


Across top L-R
Gareth Parry, Stuart?, Sarah Lee, Dave?, Nicola Cooper, ??, Andy?, Linda Wood, Peter Pennie, Terry Clark
LHS top-bottom
Isobel?, Ian Harvard, Susie Court?, Alister Coffin
RHS top-bottom
Sally Reed, Harry Douglas, Dan Lewis, Dan Pryce
Bottom Row L-R
Colin Wyatt, Jim Scaife, Gerald Lamour, Simon Barry, Adrian Roberts, Neil?, Jonathan Bromley, Neil Turner, Graham Brett

and from Terry Clark trying to fill in some of the gaps in LF9
Top row L to R
Gareth Parry, Stuart Ellis, Sarah Lee, David Thomason, Nicky Cooper, Sarah?(Admin Officer), Andy Foyston, Linda Morrison (didn’t re-marry until after she left Farnborough), Pete Pennie, Terry Clark


EGBE 1950s

LF10 previously posted under Coventry, Barry Davidson’s photo has been relocated after Malcolm Hemming identified the  location about 1952 at the SBAC show – its an AW Apollo G-AIYN
LF10a via Barry
mystery fury pic
LF10b Terry Clark says this is Farnborough, SBAC Show c1948. The tower is the third one to be built at Farnborough and is in its Mk1 version; the VCR was re-modelled to its later ‘glasshouse’ Mk 2 form in about ’56 or ’57 and was demolished in 2003; we moved to the present tower (No 4) in late 2002.”
LF11 before ATC?   The Astra Torres Airship HMA3 at Farnborough in 1913 Barry Davidson’s photo collection
LF12 the RAE in about 1945-46? a visual circuit with this lot in the air would have been spectacular. From left to right are (I think) a Junkers 52, a Dornier 335 Pfeil, behind the Pfeil are two types I can’t make out and a V1. To the right a Heinkel 219 Uhu night fighter and two Focke Wulf 190s, one of them long nosed.
Our on call Luftwaffe guru, Malcolm V. Lowe, tell us that “Looks like the exhibition of captured German equipment at Farnborough, Oct/Nov 1945. The ‘long nose’ (FW190) is a Ta 152H-1, Werk Nummer 150168, AIR MIN 11. It was a genuine combat veteran from JG 301, and was flown twice by Eric (Winkle) Brown. The Dornier aircraft is a Do 335A-12, Werk Nummer 240112, AM 233. It crashed at Cove killing its pilot, Group Captain Alan Hards, who was CO experimental flying at the time.”
and our modelling guru tells that Frog brought out a kit of this very Dorner 335 in 1/72nd scale.
Barry Davidson has been in touch with Stephen Turner of Elvetham Publications. His company publishes a booklet entitled 1942 – Farnborough at War by a wartime French test pilot, Maurice Claisse. The booket is about to go out of print and Stephen has very kindly agreed that we can publish the booket on line. Imagine the work involved on Flying Control in supporting this activity
The book has also been on sale the Farnborough Air Sciences Museum.
If you haven’t visited the Museum its a great visit, why not pop in and help support the Trust that runs it. The Trust has vary kindly given us permission  to reproduce their Museum Guide which is a great introduction to the work of the Trust too. Have a look then go visit!
LF13 from Barry Davidson 74 Squadron Lightnings

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the above slide show photos from Dick Gilbert, taken in 2010

Elstree tower

elstree tower vcr

Dating from the early 60s, probably 1961, is this view of the inside of the Elstree tower visual control room, home to the London School of Flying. On the left is the controller Victor McClelland, the chap on the right is apparently one of the School’s students, Scott Crawford who seems to be having some ATC Familiarisation as he has the microphone in his hand.

Reproduced from the February 1962 issue of Aeronautics magazine and found by Barry Davidson.

Elstree ATC 1949

photo of the Elstree tower in 1949 from Tom Singfield. The “VCR” reminds us of a railway ground frame hut.


RNAS Culham/HMS Hornbill


Tom Singfield showed this to a contact (Lee Howard) who is very good on the FAA and the suggestion is that its RNAS Culham/HMS Hornbill.  The Seafire F Mk XV seems to be having a big makeover.


Culham 1949

Meteor T7 VW447 at Culham in 1949

EGSH Norwich Airport (formerly RAF Horsham St. Faith)


Maybe Norwich

SH0 a 1950s shot of RAF Horsham St Faith from Barry Davidson

The MR code on the Meteor aircraft was 245 Squadron  The photo is a line of their Meteor F8s so was taken between June 50 and June 55 at Norwich. You can just see the pre-war tower design with its distinctive curved windows on the front corners.

The WH code was worn by aircraft from the Armament Practice Station at RAF Acklington who had both Martinets and Tempests on strength. This unit was extant 1.5.46 to 27.7 56. Presumably down to help with target towing for gunnery training.

HstF 257F4

SH0a Meteor F4 VT175 from 257 Squadron. This aircraft was reportedly later converted into a Meteor U15 drone.

SH 1993

SH1 1993 picture from John Faulkner



and zooming in a bit

SH 1993 zoom




Norwich was the original home to Boulton Paul’s aircraft division and here are a couple of their designs, the P41 Phoenix Mk II (G-AAIT) and the P8 Atlantic (G-EAPE).


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