One for the ATOs incident 74/75 Northern Ireland

#1
One for the old timers,
Speaking to a work colleague today (ex scaly back) he told me of an incident back in 74/75 were a Ford Popular with yellow wheel trims had a controlled explosion carried out on it outside the main Naafi in Lisburn across from the camp.
Yup it was his he bought it for a tenner in the pub and never registered it as it came with no tax and MoT
 
#2
Quite possibly. The walls of the bar at 1 Section, GCH Belfast were covered in hundreds of car number plates, from vehicles 'tended to' by one of the three teams, Tigercat, Bearcat & Bobcat. Wonder what happened to all the plates when GCH/old Post Office was vacated?
 
#3
still21inmymind said:
Quite possibly. The walls of the bar at 1 Section, GCH Belfast were covered in hundreds of car number plates, from vehicles 'tended to' by one of the three teams, Tigercat, Bearcat & Bobcat. Wonder what happened to all the plates when GCH/old Post Office was vacated?
When I was the Bearcat Operator in Girdwood, there were still several number plates on the walls of the Catz Club, I even put up about 5 there myself! Dont know what happened to them (and all the painted blast walls) when we moved out of Girdwood Park SF base - really hope they weren't just thrown out!
 
#4
brettarider said:
One for the old timers,
Speaking to a work colleague today (ex scaly back) he told me of an incident back in 74/75 were a Ford Popular with yellow wheel trims had a controlled explosion carried out on it outside the main Naafi in Lisburn across from the camp.
Yup it was his he bought it for a tenner in the pub and never registered it as it came with no tax and MoT
It should have been dealt with by the Lisburn Team (24E). There were 4 teams in Belfast and I'm going to blush fecking badly here because they were Tigercat, Bearcat & Bobcat and - A.N. OTHER possibly Wildcat ?:oops: And I commanded No 1 Sect 321 EOD!

My excuse is was my Birthday yesterday and I'm getting so old I smell of wee!

I have no idea where the number plates went but there were literally hundreds of them.
 
#6
You've obviously addled your remaining brain-cells R-M.

Wildcat was/is the OC.

Might have been a tomcat at one stage?
 
#7
This is getting worse. I need to make telephone calls!

Tomcat - oh I don't know FFS? I am looking at the photo of mes'en in front of Belfats City Hall but still no fecking idea. It was 1979 - can anyone smell p1ss?
 
#8
When locations were closed in NI, any memorials and Unit plaques, signs etc, like the ones up the side of BBK, were removed to KGR. Units were than asked if they wanted them for museums etc. Memorials unclaimed were going to be placed in the Garden at PBK.
So as too the Number Plates I would suggest 321 have either stored them or more likely disposed, you'd have to ask 321.
As for the murals on the Blastwalls, sadly they have been painted over and removed by the contractor. Unless the unit managed to cart the wall away. Which I am pretty sure 321 didn't. But there were photgraphs taken.
Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrows springs to mind.
 
#9
If the incident happened then Stats Cat, if there is still such a beast would be able to dig through the records and come up with an answer. I remember having to trawl through the records for 1971 after a bloke wandered into an RUC station about 15 years later claiming to have blownup a pub on the Springfield Rd and he wanted to be arrested. They wanted me to confirm whether he was a Walt nutter or an actual bomber nutter. IIRC he was of the former kind.

OTT
 
#10
I was the last Stats Cat. The post folded last August along with EOD Branch HQNI when 321 was absorbed into 11 EOD Regt. The records are all still there though and I still frequently go over to NI to dip into them for academic research purposes. If I had a more specific date (74/75 was a busy time) and if I could be arsed I could have a look the next time I go over - which is next month.
 
#11
Bullet_fixer_BDH said:
still21inmymind said:
Quite possibly. The walls of the bar at 1 Section, GCH Belfast were covered in hundreds of car number plates, from vehicles 'tended to' by one of the three teams, Tigercat, Bearcat & Bobcat. Wonder what happened to all the plates when GCH/old Post Office was vacated?
When I was the Bearcat Operator in Girdwood, there were still several number plates on the walls of the Catz Club, I even put up about 5 there myself! Dont know what happened to them (and all the painted blast walls) when we moved out of Girdwood Park SF base - really hope they weren't just thrown out!
I would have thought most of the GCH stuff went to Sydenham sometime in the late 70s. No 1 section moved out of Sydenham into Moscow camp in Oct 82 and took all the stuff out of the Felix club. There was a fair number of plates left, but not as many as were in GC. There was only one team at Girdwood in those days, with only minimal accommodation as the team only stayed there 24 hrs..

We also moved location in Girdwood that summer - originally the team location was by the main gate in a couple of Nissan huts. The new accomodation was in a building at the back of the camp - was this the one that got the "murials" on the blast wall?
 
#12
Sir Rowley Birkin QC said:
I was the last Stats Cat. The post folded last August along with EOD Branch HQNI when 321 was absorbed into 11 EOD Regt. The records are all still there though and I still frequently go over to NI to dip into them for academic research purposes. If I had a more specific date (74/75 was a busy time) and if I could be arsed I could have a look the next time I go over - which is next month.
Cheers I'll push him for more info but with time he's forgotten things like the reg etc of the car I'll try and jog his memory a bit more
 
#14
This may not be quite relevent to this post but it happened in July '75.

I am an ex A.T and was at Kineton from 1973 to 1976.
Cal Brown and Gus Garside were killed at Forkhill on 17 July.
I was a good friend of Cal and was one of the coffin bearers at his funeral and Gus was one of my instructors at Chepstow.
A couple of weeks ago I attended the RAOC Online weekend at Kineton, the main reason for going was to see the EOD Memorial facing the main gate.
I went and saw it as soon as I arrived at midday.
This was the first chance I have ever had to see the memorial and to pay my respects to a good friend and other AT's I knew in my service.
Seeing the names on the plaques was very emotional for me but it is something I had to do and had been wanting to do it for years.
On Saturday we laid a wreath at the foot of the statue and took a few moments silence.

When I left the depot on Sunday morning I felt good in myself for what I had done, and even better knowing I will be back next year.

John Hubbard
 
#15
The new 321 bar in Aldergrove is now up and running. I was pleased to see that the best of the historical stuff is up and on display. Old number plates and team photos amongst other stuff. The bar has been done out well and a credit to the lads who had the job of sorting it all out. Only a few months ago 321 was just a mess of empty offices and MFO boxes.
 
#16
Hi 'Old Mother'
I've just seen your entry Re Gus. Made a great change from the sometimes sniggery chat.
Gus took over from me as AT at RMCS and he and I were very close on the AT's promotion roll.
We (WO2s) were dispatched together on the train and boat to Belfast. I slunk off to Albert Street Mill and he to cowboy country.
He was supposed to meet me at Belfast when I returned from R&R, but he didn't make it.....
For what it's worth, whilst making out duty rosters at the Mill I decided It would be more inventive to change the names of the teams to types of pussy-cat rather than boring numbers, hence bob cat, bear cat etc
Very best wishes
Peter
Catalonia
 
#17
Peter511 said:
Hi 'Old Mother'
I've just seen your entry Re Gus. Made a great change from the sometimes sniggery chat.Gus took over from me as AT at RMCS and he and I were very close on the AT's promotion roll.
We (WO2s) were dispatched together on the train and boat to Belfast. I slunk off to Albert Street Mill and he to cowboy country.
He was supposed to meet me at Belfast when I returned from R&R, but he didn't make it.....
For what it's worth, whilst making out duty rosters at the Mill I decided It would be more inventive to change the names of the teams to types of pussy-cat rather than boring numbers, hence bob cat, bear cat etc
Very best wishes
Peter
Catalonia
Do you have a problem with it? Deal with your problems in your own way :evil:
 
#18
Thank you for your sensitive comment; I didn’t appreciate that my remarks would offend the resident senior member.

This was my first visit to the ARSS site; I came across it accidentally whilst researching the AT/ato memorial at Kineton. John Hubbard’s touching comments brought back a flood of memories. (Apologies to John, I confused him with an old buddy, Roger Hubbard.)

My four-month summer of ’75 tour in Belfast was typical. My notes show 113 operational call-outs. Double 24-hour shifts were common, especially when PIRA was on field-training.
The majority of the time we were confined to Albert Street Mill. Our morale was good, as was the grub, and squadie wit was usually irreverent and funny.
Zapping an RUC chief inspector’s suspect package to reveal pairs of oversize fishnet tights was funny. Jumping over a two-foot garden wall to avoid shots, only to land six feet down the other side, was sort-of funny. Spending five hours in a dank Ulster drizzle, sorting a very real anfo-filled milk churn, whilst trying to imagine what the previous two ATs (who were shredded doing the same thing) had done wrong, wasn’t funny. Trying to comprehend how a fellow human could place a device in a car (her daddy’s) which literally blew off a little girl’s head, really wasn’t funny.
To my surprise, I’m now 70 and seeing Gus’s name again after such a long time hit a nerve and brought back memories of others not as lucky as me. It made me very sad.

To end on a positive note, I was part of the team which helped to sort and commission the brain-child of one of my heroes, Col Mike Watkins, ‘Comtrack’, and I spent a lot of time at HQ 11 Regt EOD and some detachments.
I attended several licensing exercises, which was the first time I’d seen tri-service EOD/IED teams in action. It was interesting to see that each team had its own ‘service’ personality.
My pride in, and admiration of, contemporary officers, soldiers and EOD operators couldn’t be higher (even the Mud-Muppets!)

Sua Tela Tonanti - Peter R
 
#19
Peter511 said:
Thank you for your sensitive comment; I didn’t appreciate that my remarks would offend the resident senior member.

This was my first visit to the ARSS site; I came across it accidentally whilst researching the AT/ato memorial at Kineton. John Hubbard’s touching comments brought back a flood of memories. (Apologies to John, I confused him with an old buddy, Roger Hubbard.)

My four-month summer of ’75 tour in Belfast was typical. My notes show 113 operational call-outs. Double 24-hour shifts were common, especially when PIRA was on field-training.
The majority of the time we were confined to Albert Street Mill. Our morale was good, as was the grub, and squadie wit was usually irreverent and funny.
Zapping an RUC chief inspector’s suspect package to reveal pairs of oversize fishnet tights was funny. Jumping over a two-foot garden wall to avoid shots, only to land six feet down the other side, was sort-of funny. Spending five hours in a dank Ulster drizzle, sorting a very real anfo-filled milk churn, whilst trying to imagine what the previous two ATs (who were shredded doing the same thing) had done wrong, wasn’t funny. Trying to comprehend how a fellow human could place a device in a car (her daddy’s) which literally blew off a little girl’s head, really wasn’t funny.
To my surprise, I’m now 70 and seeing Gus’s name again after such a long time hit a nerve and brought back memories of others not as lucky as me. It made me very sad.

To end on a positive note, I was part of the team which helped to sort and commission the brain-child of one of my heroes, Col Mike Watkins, ‘Comtrack’, and I spent a lot of time at HQ 11 Regt EOD and some detachments.
I attended several licensing exercises, which was the first time I’d seen tri-service EOD/IED teams in action. It was interesting to see that each team had its own ‘service’ personality.
My pride in, and admiration of, contemporary officers, soldiers and EOD operators couldn’t be higher (even the Mud-Muppets!)

Sua Tela Tonanti - Peter R
Not the senior member - on here all men are born equal! And there are far older barstewards than me on here.

PM me

You may want to edit your post to remove the name of an previous ATO though.

And welcome :D
 
#20
Unfortunately Mike died in tragic circumstances a few years ago. 'Comtrack' is a fitting memorial to an exceptional senior ato and loyal friend.
 

Similar threads


Latest Threads

Top