Shouldn't that be RAF Barnham and Me? !
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Regarding Top Secret - RAF Barnham & I, by Bruce Barrymore Halpenny, this book is available and can be bought direct from us at £7.99 with post and packing free in the UK.
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Shouldn't that be RAF Barnham and Me? !
Quite right Dave, the title fails to inspire one to buy it.
This book is not on general release and is only obtainable from the address listed earlier. The price is £7:99 including p&p.
The lack of editing or proof-reading, the poor quality and incorrect descriptions of some of the photographs make me think this may be a pre-production copy especially as the black and white pages seem to be copies from a colour original.
The content seems to be padded with strands going from the B36, Vulcans and chemical weapons to Blue Steel. There are no source notes.
As a matter of record Tabun is not the most lethal chemical weapon Sarin, VX and the bipolars are much more virulent. There is no record of Tabun resting anywhere in the UK except in Llanberis, Llandwrog, Rhydymwyn, Porton Down and Sutton Oak. It was all dumped in the Beaufort Deep in the years quoted under Operation Sandcastle not Sand Castle.
Barnham was not the only nuclear weapons store in the UK.
The description of the mustard gas storage on a separate part of Barnham is just ill-informed.
I had further trouble in reconciling the idea that one RAF SP and his dog were at one point the sole guardians of Britain’s nuclear security. It makes me think he was not fully in the loop and there were other safeguards at a higher level.
However the positive side is that it tells the story of initial training in the RAF 50-60 years ago and adds some detail as to how high security remote sites were manned and administered.
It is an interesting story and perhaps the full production version will do it more justice.
Cornetto di Bassetto
Call me old fashioned but surely, if a book is published than it is published - end of. I know even the best books, that are proof read by experts very often contain mistakes etc. I have had a brief look at this book, supplied by Carnaby and I will not be buying it.
I don't want to jump on the BBH bashing bandwagon but I paid good money for "Ghost Stations Lincolnshire" He's got trademarks all over the book, (including The Metheringham Lass...... I must ask her when she materialises at Metheringham someday if she will be claiming royalties) it is badly written and full of flights of fantasy. Shame really Action Stations and the first couple of "Ghost Stations" were really good.
Last edited by WiganMick59; 24-11-2010 at 23:40.
Interested in ColinBa's review above. as I've been loaned a copy from a colleague who described the book as 'dreadful' I agree with Colin's remarks - my own additional comments:
The photos are very poor quality indeed, as are many of the captions. For example one caption reads 'Like all my others, this photo gives you some idea of the vast size of the airfield' He's talking about Netheravon - and the photo doesn't give you any idea of the size.
Another reads, 'These are unique photographs; and they are they only ones ever taken.' If you think about it it could be said that probably 99.9% of all photos taken are unique in some way.
Frequent mention is made of Barnham Top-Site being THE RAF nuclear weapon store. What about Faldingworth and the SSAs?
He mentions that he has been unable to find out 'why Tabun bombs were brought to the UK, why weren't they dumped at sea along with all the others? - and that if those questions were answered today (Feb. 2009) it would be a lie! The answer is easily found in several of the few records in TNA dealing with the subject - 'When discovered at the end of WWII, they would be "nice to have" as the Allies had nothing like them. Where does 'the lie' come in?
This Top-Site had limited storage facilities - where were these chemical weapons located - between the nukes? Where were the essential decontamination facilities?
There are also inconsistencies about Barnham's sites:
'Warren Woods was the fifth Main Depot and its forward depot that it spawned was RAF Barnham - Bottom Site, which was a Bulk Chemical Depot known as 1FFD, Little Heath'.
In fact RAF Barnham (94MU) was the first site. Later Warren Woods was made available to the 8th AFSC as station 587. Little Heath (Stn 517) was constructed in Triangle Spinney well to the south of Elveden Road.
'RAF Barnham - Top Site was built on Little Heath' It wasn't, it was Thetford Heath.
On page 115/6 photos 2 and 3 depict 'where the original chemical tanks were put. They actually show the westernmost of the three HE stores in the original FAD - nowhere near the FFD and its tanks.
However I did enjoy reading the book - fascinated as to why the front perimeter of the site was changed, but I did have to use Google to discover the meaning of the famed 'DA Haircut'.
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