RAF Lyneham, in 1983
Written by Mark Walmsley
It's 1983 and this 17 year old lad (me) arrives at one of the most awe inspiring bases in the UK. During the next 5 years I am detached to a whole host of different bases (Greenham, Falklands etc.) before being posted away from Lyneham. No other base quite had the same feel about it, nor had the same amount of friendship that was to be found at Lyneham. It saddens me to think of the base closing in the near future.
I would like to pass on my congratulations to all the people of Wootton Bassett for the respect and dignity they have shown to our returning personnel from current conflict areas. It is the saddest duty that RAF Lyneham undertakes and I remember vividly the return of the Bandsmen that were killed in the bomb attack in Germany.
Thanks to RAF Lyneham, all the friends I made there and the memories that will last forever.
RAF Lyneham, in 1961
Written by William (Taffy) Morris
I remeber arriving at RAF Lyneham for the first time in 1961, straight from Trade Training at RAF Freckleton. SSQ was an old building not too far from the airfield. it had seen better days, but was still very functional. The lads were all National Servicmen, not a regular amongst them, all marking the days off individual calenders until their demob.
It was a busy place, building work was still going on, new barrack blocks going up all the time. I particularly remember the NAAFI and also the Airman’s Restaurant (the Mess really). We had good grub always.
Not having much money, we used to visit the Station Cinema whenever we could, and also if we had an evening off, we used to try to get permission to fly with the aircrew doing ’circuits and bumps.’ all very exciting!
Some evenings we used to sneak up to the Station Telephone Exchange, and visit the WRAF telephonists (What dirty minds you have). Several times the Duty Officer would arrived unannounced, and we would have to hide behind the tall telephone equipment until the coast was clear. Happy Days!
I remember the opening of ’The Route Hotel’ a grand name for a transit barrack block.
I also remember an event which caused consternation at the time, and a lot of laughter. We had a new Medical Officer posted to the station with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. It was a lady doctor. In those days a WRAF Officer of that rank would be a Flight Officer. It transpired that lady doctors were not in the WRAF but in the RAF and so had a man’s rank. Also she had to be addressed as ’Sir.’
She was not amused, but it had to be.
I was demobbed in 1962, but never forgot all my mates that served with me. If any of them reads this I wish them well.