From Phil Holt, he’s recently come across these four photos. He thought it timely as MACCVETS are going to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the closure of MACC on 22nd January.
It is a little “off topic” being shots of the VCR, but this VCR cab has now passed into history twice over, first when the old VCR cab was replaced by a much higher, bigger one. Second when the VCR was abandoned in favour of a new stand-alone tower on the West side. That was inevitable on the closure of MACC as Apc Rad survived a few years in the old 4th floor but is all self-contained now in the new facility.
General description: A set of photos from ex Manchester ATCO Phil Holt. Taken, it is thought around 1992/3 and features the VCR that dates from the early 1960’s. It is “D” watch on duty. As always, feedback is valued to get accuracy.
Here are the descriptions of each photo:
EGCC VCR 1990’S
A general shot looking SW across all desks. An ATC unit is not complete without the plastic strip basket! Original windows and frames that rattled when a BAC 1-11 (and Concorde!) took off on full water methane power!
EGCC VCR “AIR” DESK
Occupied the easterly (left) side of the VCR, as the prevailing wind meant the usual rwy in use was 24 (now 23 right!). Nearest the camera, ATSA John Dale (not to be confused with John Dale ATCO, who, for identification purposes, was named John Dale Quebec!). AIR ATCO is Phil Holt. Note shirts, ties and jackets! Next to John’s computer screen is the “emergency desk” where a spare ATCO would come and plug in. On the desk are 2 clips – one for notams and one for met warnings
AIR DESK 2
On the right is the “(Not so) touch sensitive” lighting panel which often required 3 or 4 presses on the dark circles to light up a section of greens (just what you don’t want in complex LVP conditions!). Note that it stops at the northern edge of pier C (terminal 2 was under construction at the time). When it opened we got a new lighting panel! The air controller had a smaller panel to work the CAT 1 or 2/3 stop bars. Note the emergency grab boards above the anemometer dials complete with china graph propelling pencil. The upside down strip holder is to notify “Woodford Active” and had a slider to display their rwy in use. Above it is the ATM – what a difference from the old “DFTI”!
EGCC VCR “GMC” DESKS
Still well positioned with a good view out across the 3 piers of Terminal 1 (domestic pier A, international pier B, and the “new” pier C constructed in 2 parts, the latter having a “satellite” added at the end and the IDLEX (International departure lounge Extension) added alongside the existing terminal. Not so with Terminal 2, (behind you!). So the decision was made to take this VCR down, put in a plinth and build up a new layout. Nearest the camera, GMC ATSA Pauline Winter. GMC ATCO, we think, is Alan Steele, guesting from either B or E watch.
For a snapshot of Manchester in 1984 (no second runway and the old sub centre still in operation) click on ATC at Manchester International Airport Brochure 1984
and courtesy of Paul Eite via Steve Balfour is a 1985 staff roll
Steve Balfour has added several comments to this post that help identify quite a few people in the photographs. I’ve also added a pdf document about the engineering changes at Manchester over the years. There is a link to the CAA retired staff association in the text, their current web site in 2015 is http://www.caa-rsa.org.uk/
for the engineering changes doc, click on MCR Memories
Steve has also obtained from Manchester Library the following eight photos of Manchester tower and ATC between the late 30s and early 50s
CC0a early war pre 1939?
Steve tells me that the 1950s panoramic shot featuring the Aerovan, (1950s L), is courtesy of Mark Williams, who runs ‘Ringway Publications’. Mark also provided the 1952 aerial shot, which was taken by ‘Airviews’, a company with a long connection to EGCC.
The aircraft above is Miles Aerovan G-AISF. Meridian Air Maps operated Aerovan 4 G-AISF on aerial survey work from October 1955 until it crashed on takeoff from Manchester (Ringway) on 29 April 1957. The accident killed the pilot Jean Lennox Bird and two passengers. Jean Lennox Bird was the first woman to be awarded full Royal Air Force pilot’s wings, in 1952. Jean learnt to fly in 1930, aged 18, and served as a delivery pilot during the Second World War. She flew types such as Wellington bombers, Spitfires, Dakotas and Hurricanes. After the War, she qualified as a flying instructor, and earned her RAF pilot’s wings. She later became a civilian commercial pilot.
and has followed them up with a few more
“Steve says he thinks the history of EGCC is divided into 11 or 12 distinct ‘phases’. These are more photographs showing the ATC facility at Ringway, (which was a building comprising the first passenger terminal, ATC and a hangar), during the late 1930s. The airport opened fully on 25/06/1938.”
The hangars were numbered L-R as 1, 2 and 3. They were there during the 1940s, as pictures show them camouflaged, and they survived until the 1958-62 tower was built.
from Barry Davidson
and Steve has found another five early Manchester tower/terminal photos
1941 RAF RINGWAY.
and a print of wartime Ringway from both Barry Davidson and Steve Balfour
G-AGHL in the early BEA colours, would be named Lanoe Hawker after the WW1 RFC fighter pilot.
CC1a from Les Tranter August 1959 ATCA and ATCO positions in the tower. Note the lighting panel under the desk
Lamson tubes were a pneumatic system that delivered containers around ATC containing flight progress strips and weather information, Notams etc.
PAR far left, approach radar in shadows, approach procedural controller nearest now identified as Don Binks – Steve Balfour.
Manchester ATC Approach radar, controller Doug Handley?
now three views of the sub-centre dating the 80s (?) from Dave Smith. They are of Manchester TMA East sector when it was using mediator type flat screens and suites. Some names would be welcome. Those already received from Pete Hargreaves, Steve Balfour and John Pilling
4a Sitting L-R Dennis Gabriel, Pete Holland, John Pilling standing.
4b L-R Pete Holland, Jim Rankin and wings ATSA Kevin O’Grady.
4c L-R Pete Holland the CSC, Dennis Gabriel. Andy Whittaker, (leather jacket) and another John Pilling
CC4d from Barry Davidson
CC4e from Dave Smith. Photos originated with CAA PR dated 1988 and supposed to be “recent” photos. L-R Phil Jackson, Steve Bartley and John Harrington.
CC5a EGCC 1967 from Paul Funnell
CC5a BEA Vanguard and Manchester Tower 1967
CC5b 1971 BUA HP7 GAVEZ
CC6a bring the tower story up to date
CC6b from Barry Davidson as are the next three
The colour shot of the VCR shows the air controller’s position, occupied by ‘C’ Watch ATCO Alan Steele. (Ex EGPB).
The VCR shot is taken inside the new VCR cab that was added in the early 1990s to facilitate the visibility of Terminal 2. This was necessary as the 1962 VCR had a wall on it’s north side, behind which Manch’ approach was located. The new VCR was originally all on one level, as in this picture, but it was re-engineered sometime around The Millennium to accommodate the Air 1 and Air 2 positions required for Runway 2.
The centre colour shot is the MACC ‘West Bank’. L-R ATSA Tony Jones, Co-ordinator, (green pen), Mike Molyneaux, Radar, James Russell, then an unidentified lady. The gentleman at the far right (on what was then the simulator), is believed to be the late Brian Smith – Steve Balfour
The colour picture with the 17 on it is Bernard Curphey, (ex EGPH, ex CATC/EU ex 39 ATC Cadet Course, -(‘The Animals’), manning ‘Final Director’. Steve Balfour
Precision approach radar at Manchester (Talk Down)
PATCRU – Preston Air Traffic Control Radar Unit located at Manchester and provided lower level area radar services for the North. Took over from Antrobus at RNAS Stretton. Upper air service provided at various times by Northern radar at Hack Green and Lindholme
Al Lewis, manager ATC Manchester airport and sub-centre is seen accepting the new temporary Area training facility from Project Manager Keith Donald, Deputy Director of Projects (SCATCC and Manchester)
the ATCOs are Bob Roalfe and Tony McAndrew, who were both active in IPCS/IPMS. Steve Balfour
CC22 Runway Caravan from Bryan Brough
CC23 from Phil Holt
Taken close to GATCO’s 40th anniversary, somewhere in South East Manchester.
From left to right:
George Jones (last Centre Superintendent of PATCC), Phil Holt, Max Hundleby, Morris Hotchkin, Tim McKay, Gordon Butler, Pete Perry, Alex Patterson, ????? (did the last transmission from PATCC), ?????, Dave Schofield, Steve Balfour, Jack Day
Seated: Nigel Green, Fiona Hough
CC24 the first of three photo from Paul Funnell showing members of No 8 course at EGCC 1967
CC27 the first of three charts via Colin McKeeman, a landing chart for 1964.
CC27 and the first of two SID charts from 1976