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Thread: Uxbridge

  1. #21

    Default Re: RAF Uxbridge, Middlesex

    St Andrews Gate, RAF Uxbridge - 6 August 2012





    Last edited by Richard Flagg; 31-10-2012 at 19:49.

  2. #22
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    Default RAF Uxbridge, Middlesex , 2012 Heritage Open Day

    I've pinched this off Subbrit but on a general note some of the places open during the Heritage Open Days of 6-9 September are well worth the effort in seeing as a lot of them are normally out of bounds to the public ; http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/

    As part of the Heritage Open Days, the restored Fighter Command No.11 Group Operations bunker underneath the former RAF Uxbridge will be open to the general public on three days next month (Sept).

    Normally only open to guided tours, this is chance to go inside if you haven't been before without needing to arrange a special tour group.

    http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/hod013911e

    A number of military sites across the UK will be open - I suspect the Greenham Common decontamination centre will interest some.

    http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/d...dvanced-search

    Select Military from the "Type of venue/event" drop-down menu.
    Last edited by David Thompson; 17-08-2012 at 21:19. Reason: Title amended

  3. #23
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default RAF Uxbridge

    Does anyone have any old pictures of RAF Uxbridge that I can use in a couple of reports I am compiling please, or indeed have anything that I can use in connection with the station, either as RFC / RAF Armament School, No.1 Depot, The RAF Depot, RAF Hillingdon, West Camp, East Camp or any of the units based there since 1917. Thanks

  4. #24
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    Default Re: RAF Uxbridge

    This may not fit the bill, but I'll post it just in case.

    I joined the RAF HQ(Unit) at Uxbridge in 1967 shortly after it had moved there from RAF Kenley. The main purpose of the HQ(U) was to provide the full range of administrative services normally found on RAF stations to personnel parented by RAF Uxbridge regardless of whether they were actually located there. Unusually, most of the unit's customer's worked 'off camp' with several hundred of them occupying posts thousands of miles from their parent unit. More precisely, the HQ(U) was responsible not only for the majority of locally based Uxbridge staff but also for RAF personnel at the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Technology (London/Harrogate), RAF Careers Information Office's (throughout the UK), British Army and Royal Navy Establishments (Larkhill/Lee-on-Solent etc), Military Research Units (Aldermaston/Chertsey/Chobham/Fort Halstead/Farnborough/Malvern etc), Military colleges (Latimer/Shrivenham etc), Medical and Dental establishments (civilian hospitals/London Dental Centre etc) and other locations I've forgotten.

    Further afield the unit was responsible for RAF Air Attaches' and their staff at British Embassies' and High Commissions around the world as well as British Defence Liaison Staff in other far away parts. Overseas clients also included a large number of RAF personnel loaned to other Governments such as Kuwait, Oman and the United States. A very mixed bag!

    At that time the RAF was very much bigger than today with many more senior officers in high posts, several hundred of them on the unit's books. As a quick example of what was considered by many as a 'top heavy' organisation, the Chief of the Air Staff's Department at the MoD consisted of CAS himself (an Air Chief Marshal), the vice chief VCAS (an Air Marshal) the assistant chief ACAS (two Air Vice Marshals) and several other very senior subordinate officers - imagine the monthly wage bill for that lot! This was fairly typical, however, with numerous other MoD departments headed by Air rank officers' with similar high ranking deputies and assistants. Nice work if you can get it!

    Working in the unit for five years I learnt a lot about the British Defence organisation through daily telephone or teleprinter contact with our varied and distant clients (no fancy computers in those days') and was pleased to occasionally accept invitations to visit some of their interesting workplaces. My geographical awareness was also improved thanks to hundreds of little coloured flags pinned to a huge wall mounted map of the world showing exactly where our customers were located. Still don't know what that man was doing in Spitzbergen! Happy days'.

    This was all from memory so apologies for any errors that may be apparent. Regards.....Paul

  5. #25
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAF Uxbridge

    Excellent reply there Powers. Thanks very much. Were you stationed in barrack block 146A (Mons)? Which I understand was the SHQ in your day. It housed the accounts, sq, cash sq, clerical services etc. The HQ unit at Kenley previously to 1 April 1964 was known as the Air Ministry Unit, but on a reorganisation of MoD, the name changed to RAF HQ Unit. Once the unit relocated to UXB, Kenley was retitled RAF HQ (Kenley) Detachment. From 15 November 1966 the title RAF Uxbridge was disolved and replaced with RAF HQ Unit (Uxbridge) under the command of Group Captain EL Frith. (Well thats my understanding)
    Last edited by Paul Francis; 30-01-2013 at 23:32.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Barney's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAF Uxbridge

    As a soldier based at Dishforth in Yorkshire I had a married quarter at Uxbridge, 20 Jupiter Heights if memory serves. My wife was a Wren based at the Admiralty Comcentre in London which was in turn headquartered by HMS St Vincent, based in a former hotel in Kensington, with married quarters borrowed from the RAF at Uxbridge. We had a really good time there, it was a very friendly station. When the late Mr Hussein invaded Kuwait and my regiment was on a short notice to move to stop him invading Saudi Arabia as well, I had a weekend arrangement with the Guardroom so my regiment could contact them and they would tell me to get back to Dishforth on the hurry up.
    The Uxbridge MT section would always allow me to park a Land Rover or 4 tonner in their yard when a stores run meant I was passing with the potential to have an overnighter at home.

  7. #27
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAF Uxbridge

    Ah the infamous jupiter heights (only joking) a block of flats still in use as MQs I think

  8. #28
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    Default Re: RAF Uxbridge

    Re: norwichpaul's post 2

    Thank you for your comments and for reminding me again of those far off Uxbridge days'. As you mentioned, an old converted barrack block served as our HQ's and I began working there in the P3 'airman's movements cell' in the south wing of the ground floor in late 1967. This wing was also occupied by civilian staff in the large central registry and post office, with the Civilian Admin Officer in a separate end office. The central lobby area of the ground floor was dominated by the staircase leading up to the upper two floors and the main entrance doors. The rest of the central staircase area was taken up by toilets and a rear entrance lobby. The north wing of the ground floor consisted of the Group Captain's main and outer office, the Wing Commander's office (deputy CO) and three or more smaller offices occupied by other staff officers' and the Station Warrant Officer. I rarely set foot on this hallowed ground and can only remember going there to escort prisoners who were appearing in front of the CO or on a few nicer occasions when receiving verbal commendations for good work from the hierarchy.

    After a year or so in 'movements' I was re-assigned upstairs to the busy P3 section (airman's records) in the south wing of the 1st floor, where for the next two years I carried out a variety of personnel admin tasks. This office was a large open plan type with four small individual offices between it and the central staircase. These smaller offices were occupied by the Warrant Officer P3A, the Warrant Officer P3B, the Flight Lieutenant P3 and the Squadron Leader commanding Personnel Services Squadron. Two years later I was shunted a short distance along the 1st floor corridor to the north wing and into the P2 section (officers record). This open plan office was situated alongside the P1 section (discip. matters) and backed onto the civilian female manned typing pool - a popular place! Back towards the central staircase area there were more individual offices for the Warrant Officer P2, the Flight Lieutenant P2 and the Flight Lieutenant P1.

    Above us on the 3rd floor were the various accounts sections with yet more smaller offices for the officers' in charge. I rarely went there as I could never understand their financial language!

    The Headquarters building itself faced the old Uxbridge Main Gates and was a very handy workplace for me as I lived in the barrack block immediately behind it. My daily 'home to duty' travel time was less than a minute with absolutely no expenses incurred. Bliss!

    Thanks for jogging the memory. Regards.....Paul

  9. #29
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAF Uxbridge

    Wicked reply there Powers. So your barrack block was 146B (Ypres). Interesting. I have a question for you did this have an open plan dorm or did you have an individual room all to yourself?

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    Default Re: RAF Uxbridge

    Re: above.

    Being identical in basic layout to the HQ's building, Ypres block had the same three floor configuration as its near neighbour with a similar central staircase with north and south wings leading from it. Ablution facilities on all levels were located in the block's rear extension, adjacent to the staircase.

    Each wing consisted of four or possibly six 3 man rooms separated by a central corridor (two or three on each side) with two other rooms in between them for laundry and luggage. At the central staircase end of each corridor there was at least one single room.

    The 3 man rooms had three beds, three bedside lockers, three double door wardrobes, one small table and a couple of chairs. Unlike today, no provision was made for personal electronic equipment and the available space was only sufficient for portable radios and alarm clocks. Towards the end of my residency however, the odd record player or small black and white television set began to appear on tables in some of the rooms. I would guess that the 3 man rooms were originally 4 man rooms when the much smaller single door wardrobes were installed.

    Although I spent most of my time in this block I moved to others during Ypres refurbishment periods which, I think, on one occasion included the construction of a substantial fire escape staircase at the far end of each wing. During one of these moves I was told by someone who seemed to be a local Uxbridge historian that a particular bedspace I occupied was once the home of one of the RAF's most famous individuals - Aircraftsman J H Ross (later changed to T E Shaw) after his world famous exploits in Arabia. This always stuck with me and a quarter of a century later I was one of many visitors to his country home at Clouds Hill in Dorset.

    Anyway, I hope that this answers your question.

    Regards....Paul

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