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TOPIC: Syerston

Syerston 18 Jun 2010 11:39 #51

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Hello Everyone,

The photo I took is definately SHQ.

I was stood with my back to the entrance drive, with the Guardroom to my right. You will also notice the sign for 644 Gliding School for directing visitors as they entered the Station.

Regards

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Syerston 24 Jun 2010 21:52 #52

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Spent an interesting afternoon at RAF Syerston, or is it.......'Syerston detachment' of RAFC Cranwell? Courtesy of ACCGS.

If you were travelling along the A46 today and thought your eyes were playing tricks with you, no you did actually see a Tiger Moth on finals over the Fosse after its flour bombing sortie (along with the Chipmunk) against Cranwell's Officer Cadets who were exercising out on the airfield. Honest, I am telling the truth, the RAF's latest training aid was the 'DH Strike Force' with three bags of flour assigned to each aircraft: well times are hard and MoD budgets are scarce!

Reason: they have all been taking part in the Instructors Development Course (IDT) run by ACCGS where the best (nominated) instructors from all the VGSs around the country are sent to Syerston for a week to learn new skills and try their hand at flying other types they would not normally fly.

Aircraft used on the course included: Squirrel helicopter ZJ274, a variety of different civilian sailplanes, Robin G-BSSP, Pitts Special G-BTUL, Chipmunk WG308 (ex-7 AEF Newton) and Tiger Moth G-ACDC.

But, the highlight of the day was at 15.48, when BAC Strikemaster Mk84 G-MXPH from North Weald landed, okay for you pureists out there, I know its not strictly a JP, but its as near as......anyway, today was the first time a JP (okay its a Strikey) has touched down at Syerston since the days of 2 FTS. This airframe wasn't strictly being used on the course, but was flown in for show by one of the instructors who flies her in his spare time.

At least today made up for the absence of PA474 on 30 May due to high winds.

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Last Edit: by stevie.

Syerston 25 Jun 2010 14:16 #53

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Hope you managed to see some aircraft this morning Mick, as the Tiger was leaving at lunchtime, closely followed by the Strikemaster and Robin (the taxi back for the passsenger) who were heading to Wattisham before displaying at Biggin.

Well, what a morning! As you can see from the piccies I went for a trip in Chipmunk WG308 courtesy of CGS and Messers Higgins, the civilian owners of 308, which was closely followed by a trip in the civilian owned Pitts: all I can say about the Pitts is "Wow!" what an extreme machine compared with the 'ol Chippy. Looking at my 3822, the last time I flew in 308 was with 7 AEF at Newton on 2 Dec 89. If there are any former ATC cadets out there: it still smells the same, nothing changes, the atmosphere, everything....marvellous.

Plenty of reference material gained today to help complete some aviation paintings for the Syerston book.

A big thank-you to all concerned at RAF Syerston who helped make this morning possible.

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Last Edit: by stevie.

Syerston 27 Jun 2010 08:26 #54

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Now Im going to get pedantic, again.

Is Syerston a detachment of RAFC Cranwell, or RAF Station Cranwell? TheCollege and the Station are two seperate entities.The College has an Air Commodore as Commandant, the Station has a Group Captain as Station Commander. Having had the bad luck to be stationed there I know of the problems the protocol can cause.

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Syerston 28 Jun 2010 09:09 #55

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Canberra,

Hope the attached photo I took in the spring of 2009 goes some way to answering your question.

It is the sign that was installed circa 1995/6 when Cranwell took over from Newton who had parented Syerston since it was put on C&M in 1970. In the late '90s Newton and Syerston were both designated as detachments of RAFC Cranwell. The sign in my photo stands by the brick guard post at the main gate and I understand it will be removed very soon following the installation of new fences and a replacement sign.

The new sign, which has been installed on the opposite side to where this old one stood says something like 'Welcome to RAF Syerston' accompanied by numerous badges. The sign that appears on CGSs website was only installed fairly recently along with others around 7 hangar.

Talking to ACCGS today, and they have confirmed that Syerston is parented by RAF station Cranwell and not the college hence the change in signage. As soon as I find out more about this topic, I'll let you know.

Tim

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Last Edit: by stevie.

Syerston 28 Jun 2010 16:07 #56

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Always remember that the key register in the guardroom at Cranwell had RAF College on the front, but the keys for Station Headquarters RAF Station Cranwell were kept in the guardroom. And in the phone book 3 FTS before the College, and the callsign CWL01 was the Station Commander, 04 was the Commandant.

I know I may have sounded pedantic, but you should have been there!!

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Syerston 28 Jun 2010 19:18 #57

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Having the college crest on that old sign installed in 1995/6, certainly does confuse matters if the college is classed as a seperate unit.

So why does the MoD use the college crest to confuse us?

Has anyone else come across this, and enlighten us as to the reason why?

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Syerston 29 Jun 2010 06:33 #58

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On whats called Cranwell avenue it says "welcome to RAF College Cranwell", but as I said the College is a seperate entity to 3FTS. In my time there OASC was also a seperate unit with an Air Commodore in command.

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Syerston 29 Jun 2010 21:18 #59

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Canberra

I have asked around various contacts, and the answer which seems to make most sense came from someone who was based at Newton in the late '90s; so they would have witnessed the various signs/rulings etc.

Apparently, there was a period of time (several years) when Cranwell was always referred to as RAFC Cranwell and quite specifically so across the RAF. Nobody could understand why, but that was the convention and they had to stick to it! Then as suddenly as the ruling came in, it suddenly disappeared (a few years ago). Now it is only referred to as RAF Cranwell and the College seems to have stepped into the station's shadow.

The general feeling is that it may have had something to do with the hierarchy of the day as the Commandant of the RAFC wielded greater power than the Cranwell CO!

Hopefully this answers the mystery of RAFC being on the sign?

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Syerston 29 Jun 2010 21:40 #60

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I remember when I was at Cranwell reading the minutes of the station charities committee. The new deputy commandant stated "why am I chairman of this committee when I am college not station?" There was always this problem, well I say problem but it wasnt really a problem apart from when OASC moved in from Biggin Hill. To celebrate their arrival they had a dining in night in York House mess which was the station officers mess. The CO inquired why he hadnt recieved an invite and he got the reply " well we are OASC were not part of the station". Apparently the co replied "well if your not part of the station Ill withdraw the fire medical and police cover that you get from the station".

But thats got nothing to do with Syerston! Although at one point in 1994 Cranwell did look at Syerston as an RLG due to Barkston going to EFTS.

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