above is Bill Breckenridge’s story via Heather Bain
the 1985 brochure on Glasgow ATC is here ATC at Glasgow Airport 1985
Alastair C Campbell has provided me with some scans from a book that he thinks was printed to celebrate the Queen’s official opening of Glasgow Airport on 27th June 1966 (it was raining, so no surprise there! – Alastairs words, we couldn’t possibly comment). I’ve produced it as a slide show
Slide 1 is the front of the book which cost half a crown (2s 6d).
Slide 2 is the start of the chapter about ATC and shows one of the old Marconi 264 A/H radars.
Slide 3 starts the text about ATC. Don’t know who the controller and Assistant are. When I arrived the controller would have been in the GMC position. It might be Ron Brown but I don’t know that.
Slide 4 is another view of the VCR with different staff and I have no idea who they are.
Slide 5 continues the text with a picture of the Apron Tower staff. They would have been employed by Glasgow Corporation who owned the airport at the time.
Slide 6 is the approach room. The chap with the beard is on the Approach position, a procedural position, as it still was when I arrived in 1979. The chap alongside him is the Radar 1 controller, what would now be Intermediate Controller. Behind them you can see the Assistant. I feel I should know the chap with the beard and wonder if it is Jan Card, but that is a guess. The radar controller might be John Nordbo.
Slide 7 took me back to my youth, although about 10 years after this was taken. The viewing balcony was on what was the International Pier but is now the Low Cost one that handles Easyjet, Ryanair, Loganair and the like. It shows a British Eagle Viscount and 2 Vanguards, probably BEA’s.I spent many happy hours up there.
Slides 8 and 9 show the airport facilities when it opened.
atchistory tried reproducing it as a pdf file but the quality wasn’t good enough
The aerial of Glasgow Airport is from 1961 when it was RNAS Abbotsinch (HMS Sanderling). The picture shows aircraft parked on the disused runway awaiting breaking up or disposal. The airfield name can just be made out to the south of the runway alongside the loop where the PAR used to be sited. It still exists in the grass today and the airport company go through phases of rediscovering it and painting it. At the bottom of the picture you can see the slipway from the White Cart that was used to take aircraft that had been delivered by boat up onto the airfield. If you look on the satellite view on Google Maps you can still see a little bit of it. The large hangar that it connects to is now the Long Stay Car Park. – Alastair C Campbell
PF0a1 from John Bennett’s box brownie in 1966
PF0b photo by and copyright of David Jaffray
“Glasgow Airport CTB is how it looked when I arrived in 1979 for ATCA Famil and when I was posted back here in 1980. I don’t know the date of it, however. The full size window on the right, below the VCR, was the old Approach Radar Room. The small window to the left of it was where the headset lockers were.” – Alastair C Campbell
Alastair has provided numerous new photographs for the EGPF Collection. Combining them with the photos already on line they give a good historical overview of a typical ATC units’ transition between the mid 1970s and 2016. In particular the photographs of the approach radar room show (if our interpretation of the photos is correct) four generations of approach radar systems.
PF0c Caravelle PH-TRS is from Barry Davidson
PF0c via Heather Bain
PF2a above and below, two photos of the of the current Control Tower building. PF2b below taken in late 2015 – Alastair C Campbell
PF2c from Barry Davidson
above and below Bev Taylor on Air and Gus Robinson on GMC – Alastair C Campbell
L-R Andy Comber being trained by Billy Craig on Air, and Angus Kennedy on GMC. Unidentified ATSA beyond that – Alastair C Campbell
shows the same two on Air to the right of the picture but don’t know who is doing GMC – Alastair C Campbell
Steve Morell who looks as if he’s doing Air. – Alastair C Campbell
the old radar room sometime in the 1980s.
R-L Dave Barrett on Radar 2, Alex Fleming on Radar 1 and judging by the shirt, Martyn Pawson on Approach. Can’t see who the assistant is on the far left. – Alastair C Campbell
PF8a First of three photos of Glasgow Approach Radar taken in November 82 by Alastair C Campbell
“These are all of the Glasgow Approach Room taken on one of my nightshifts in November 1982. You can just about make out the date on the handover board attached to the position. Number 1 is of the Radar 1 and Radar 2 positions, Radar 1 on the left. These would now be termed INT and FIN, I think. Picture 2 is of the Approach position. As you can see, purely a procedural position that doesn’t exist today. This position and Radar 1 shared a frequency. App did all the strip marking until an arrival was transferred to Radar 2 and did all the chat to VFR traffic whether in, out or overflying. There was no use of strips by the radar controllers, they employed the old written T with callsign at the top, headings down one side and altitudes down the other. Picture 3 is of the 3 controller positions. When this was a Navy tower prior to 1966, this was the level of Flying Control, hence all the windows. When HMS Sanderling became Glasgow Airport in 1966, a VCR Cab was put on the top of the building and this was converted to the Approach Room. Out of sight to the left is the Approach Assistant’s position.” – Alastair C Campbell
PF8d a photo of Alastair Campbell taking over the Radar 1 position from Dave Kirk (who is now (2016) a Captain with BA?). This would be in the late 80s, probably 89.
PF8e It’s a picture of the Radar 2 Director position taken on the same nightshift in November 1982 as the pictures already on the site.
is the current ACR although with NODE G. L-R Ron Kirkwood recording an ATIS on the ATSA desk, with the letter above showing that Yankee was current. Bill Gray who was the Watch Supervisor, Roger Cooper on Radar 1 and Gus Robinson on Radar 2. – Alastair C Campbell
Roger Cooper again – Alastair C Campbell
PF10a the first of three pictures of the Glasgow ACR from 2005
the next incarnation of NODE G. It’s a bit blurred because the photographer took a long time exposure to make sure he got a good shot of the equipment and not so much of the people. Anyway, the ghosts L-R are ATSA Maureen Cuthbertson, Senga Sinclair training Chas Berry on Radar 1. This is an indication that the Approach position is no longer being used, although the radar screen and desk is still there. 10b and 10c are both of the Radar 2 desk.- Alastair C Campbell
PF10d the INT and FIN positions (L-R). The picture was taken on a night shift in July 2014 – Alastair C Campbell who also provided the next four photos about which he says
“Came across these pictures showing some of the Staff Members ‘at play.’ They were taken by Martyn Pawson who has recently retired. I think these would be the early nineties since we’re in the current radar room which commenced use during 1988 or 89, I think. We started using NODE G in 1994 so it’s before that. It shows the large number of staff we used to have on a watch! Bear in mind that there would be at least another 2 controllers and an assistant in the VCR, plus, if this was a morning shift, the trainee would be out on the roll run!”
PF10e shows Dave Kirk, Me and Gill McNab doing the work on Radar 2, Radar 1 and Approach respectively. In the background L-R are ATCA John Coyle, John Steven (I think) and the late Hugh Brown.
PF10f shows Dave Price on Radar 1 and Dave Kirk on Approach
PF10g was specially posed for the photographer and shows Gill on the left, me in the middle, Dave Kirk on the right! That would be our original Watchman RDP, I think. We had used the Marconi 264AH before that so the smallness of the blips came as a shock! As said, our next RDP was NODE G in 1994, still being fed by the Watchman and that was probably when we ceased being a Primary only unit and got SSR for the first time ever.
PF10h shows Ron Paris on Approach, John Steven on Radar 1 and in the gloom at the far end, Jim Thomson doing Radar 2. We were still using the same system as we’d used in the ‘old approach room’ whereby approach did the strip marking and the Radar controllers used the written Ts. Radar controllers didn’t start using the flight progress strips until some time after NODE G was introduced. That led many years later to the Approach position being done away with.
DTO Bob Mylchreest in the Equipment Room. – Alastair C Campbell
PF12 and 13 show Mike Kent at the Equipment Room desk – Dave Lacey
show the construction or deconstruction (depending on whether they’re in the correct order) of the Marconi 264AH. When I arrived in 1979, there were two of these beasts on the far side of the airfield. Out at 50nm the blips were inches wide. They were eventually replaced by a Watchman which I think was coincidental with the current ACR coming into service. – Alastair C Campbell
we’ve just received another batch of photos from Alastair C Campbell
” Amongst them were these of my old unit at Glasgow. I’m not very sure when they were taken but at a guess I’d say the early 1980s. It’s certainly before 1987 because I think there’s a British Caledonian 1-11 sitting on the apron!”
PF18 – “is the CTB as it was when I arrived. The brown part at ground level on the right is the Telecommunications area. The part immediately to the left of that was built on and became our current Approach Radar room. In this photo it’s on the floor below the VCR.”
PF19 “is of one of our two old Marconi 264AH radars. They were replaced by a Watchman but I can’t remember when; probably early 90s.”
PF20-22 “are all of the Glasgow VCR. Again I’ve no idea when. The DFTI is the second version I worked with. It has no labels but shows something like a 15nm radius of the airfield, so unlike the first version, didn’t need a metal cursor turned to the runway in use! These have been taken on a nightshift and since it’s light at 0501Z, likely sometime during the summer. The ATCA was at the far end of the desk next to GMC. AIR is closest and has the headset on it. Ah, paper strips! It was never quite the same when we went electronic.”