Village Bay St Kilda, former Guided Weapons Range Tracking Station (Hebrides)

abemnik

Swinger
The company I skipper a boat for is currently offering a discount of 15% to visit Village Bay from Stein on the Isle of Skye which I thought might interest former gunners who served on Hirta, the sailing takes roughly 3.5 hours each way on a 12 seat 13.5 m purpose built Redbay Cabin Rib, big changes have recently happened , the Puff In. As Monty Python would say is no more, it fails to breathe, it is no longer of this world but the island still remains one of the most beautiful places in the British Isles.
The discount is valid for all sailings this year until September if you add SKYETIME when visiting the website www.gotostkilda.co.uk
We can also pick up passengers from Berneray Harbour if folks are stayinf are staying in Benbecula, South or North Uist, Berneray island is now connected to North Uist by causeway
 
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I thought it was just a tracking station for Benbecula and no guided weapons were fired from there.
 
I thought it was just a tracking station for Benbecula and no guided weapons were fired from there.
That's right, there was a radar station up on the hill and a sizeable detachment to look after it. BTW, no firing was done from Benbecula, which was admin and accomodation. Rangehead was on South Uist, about 10 miles south.
 

abemnik

Swinger
Still an active tracking station, under Qiniteq, same crowd that run the under water evaluating center at Kyle, think the last Ra involvement was about 1993,
 
Still an active tracking station, under Qiniteq, same crowd that run the under water evaluating center at Kyle, think the last Ra involvement was about 1993,
Do they still fire from South Uist? I was there in early 1970s when the range was just ramping up.
 
That's right, there was a radar station up on the hill and a sizeable detachment to look after it. BTW, no firing was done from Benbecula, which was admin and accomodation. Rangehead was on South Uist, about 10 miles south.
Thanks for pointing that out. I’d never really thought about it, despite crossing the causeways hundreds of times.
 
Do they still fire from South Uist? I was there in early 1970s when the range was just ramping up.
They were always looking to stop using it because of the expense of getting up there and many thought once rapier went out of service it would cease to be.

I’m not so sure though. Land Ceptor/CAMM is due to replace Rapier, it’s range is 25km (or 45km for the big bugger) which will require a huge template if they are to conduct live firings. I don’t think Manobier could manage it. HVM is currently fired there (7km range) and I think that’s pretty much it’s limit, unless we are thinking of attacking Ireland.

it may be that modern systems rely more on virtual firings for training, removing the need to maintain ranges such as the Hebs.
 

philc

LE
Stein Inn is cracking pub, with rooms worth an overnight.
 
Wow, a blast from the past for me!
My dad was stationed in Benbecula in the 70's, possibly '75/5/6 (we moved to Woolwich afterwards and were there for the Queen's Silver Jubilee).
I'm not sure what he actually did, I was about 5 at the time but recall it well enough. We lived in Touzo Close. I remember on several occasions not being able to get to school because a storm had thrown seaweed onto the road and blocked it.
Great days.
 

HE117

LE
Don't forget that the range is not just for surface fired natures..

Anything you launch that has a potential to go ape in spherical space needs a lot of it to play in! I haven't been there for many years, but Fraggle Rock is still working as I understand..
 
Stein Inn is cracking pub, with rooms worth an overnight.
Where was that? The nearest pub to the admin site was the Creagorry (just before the Causeway), otherwise you had to flog out to one of the ferry towns (either 'Boisdale or 'Maddy). The one we liked to go to was the Newton Ferry up on the northern tip of North Uist which was owned by the local magistrate (Sheriff) smashing bloke, but it was 26 miles away from the accomodation.

RA Ranges Hebrides were originally a part of TERA at Ty Croes on Anglesey, but there were so many days when they could not fire because of Irish Sea traffic that they closed it down and built up South Uist instead. The CO went from being an RA Colonel to a Brigadier in a matter of weeks and the LAD became a workshop with a half Colonel REME in charge instead of a Captain.

When I was there we were trialling the Canadair Drone and 22 Locating and 94 were regular visitors. Rapier was just coming in as I was posted out.
 

abemnik

Swinger
Stein Inn is cracking pub, with rooms worth an overnight.
Now owned by a celebrity chef Paul Rankin, so for a small township with maybe a dozen houses and four businesses, one a diving instructor, one is us, the Stein Inn, and Michelin starred Lochbay Tearoom owned by Michael Smith@mnairb Stein is where the boat sails from, had a great passenger the first year I was skippering the boat, General Leask (ret) former CO of 1 Scots Guards, had his wife, daughter and son in law, the CO of 1 Scots Guards at the time, not sure if he sstill is CO.
when I left the army back in 96, I bought a boat from Askernish quarry in South Uist, a red Island Plastics IP24, it was the former range boat from Ballivannich.
as for closing the place, they were testing a new system last year, but am pretty sure the range head is one of the proposed sites for The UKs spaceports,
We can also pick up passengers from Berneray Harbour if folks are stayinf are staying in Benbecula, South or North Uist, Berneray island is now connected to North Uist by causeway
 
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philc

LE
Where was that? The nearest pub to the admin site was the Creagorry (just before the Causeway), otherwise you had to flog out to one of the ferry towns (either 'Boisdale or 'Maddy). The one we liked to go to was the Newton Ferry up on the northern tip of North Uist which was owned by the local magistrate (Sheriff) smashing bloke, but it was 26 miles away from the accomodation.

RA Ranges Hebrides were originally a part of TERA at Ty Croes on Anglesey, but there were so many days when they could not fire because of Irish Sea traffic that they closed it down and built up South Uist instead. The CO went from being an RA Colonel to a Brigadier in a matter of weeks and the LAD became a workshop with a half Colonel REME in charge instead of a Captain.

When I was there we were trialling the Canadair Drone and 22 Locating and 94 were regular visitors. Rapier was just coming in as I was posted out.
Its on Skye

 

philc

LE
Now owned by a celebrity chef Paul Rankin, so for a small township with maybe a dozen houses and four businesses, one a diving instructor, one is us, the Stein Inn, and Michelin starred Lochbay Tearoom owned by Michael Smith@mnairb Stein is where the boat sails from, had a great passenger the first year I was skippering the boat, General Leask (ret) former CO of 1 Scots Guards, had his wife, daughter and son in law, the CO of 1 Scots Guards at the time, not sure if he sstill is CO.
when I left the army back in 96, I bought a boat from Askernish quarry in South Uist, a red Island Plastics IP24, it was the former range boat from Ballivannich.
as for closing the place, they were testing a new system last year, but am pretty sure the range head is one of the proposed sites for The UKs spaceports,
Its great part of the world, far enough from the bridge over to be quiet, closer to the main land seemed to be getting spoilt by campervans etc.

As for Lochbay Tearoom, we ate their 4 years ago and unless its improved would not rush back, under wellemed would be the polite word if I have spelt it right.
 
Its great part of the world, far enough from the bridge over to be quiet, closer to the main land seemed to be getting spoilt by campervans etc.

As for Lochbay Tearoom, we ate their 4 years ago and unless its improved would not rush back, under wellemed would be the polite word if I have spelt it right.
I don't know how to tell you this, but Skye is a LONG swim away from Benbecula! We could occassionally see the Cullins from the bus to rangehead if the weather was clear, which wasn't very often. There was a rumour that there was a Chinese restaurant in Portree which meant that it was near civilisation, but no one had actually seen it.
 

B42T

LE
Don't forget that the range is not just for surface fired natures..

Anything you launch that has a potential to go ape in spherical space needs a lot of it to play in! I haven't been there for many years, but Fraggle Rock is still working as I understand..
Had many a sub Hunter missile, always good for a laugh, and the ones that went straight up after leaving beams and straight back down again. While the blokes dived for cover :-D
 
I don't know how to tell you this, but Skye is a LONG swim away from Benbecula! We could occassionally see the Cullins from the bus to rangehead if the weather was clear, which wasn't very often. There was a rumour that there was a Chinese restaurant in Portree which meant that it was near civilisation, but no one had actually seen it.
Not that much of a swim, try the North Channel not far away far more challenging about 35km takes in excess of 10hrs, is one of the Ocean’s Seven swims.
 

abemnik

Swinger
It
I don't know how to tell you this, but Skye is a LONG swim away from Benbecula! We could occassionally see the Cullins from the bus to rangehead if the weather was clear, which wasn't very often. There was a rumour that there was a Chinese restaurant in Portree which meant that it was near civilisation, but no one had actually seen it.
The Fat Panda, it is rumored to be a Chinese restaurant but like the two Indian restaurant guaranty, I won’t eat at any of the three in Portree, the Chinese is just a takeaway, but if you have had a poor meal on the mainland, then you really won’t want to eat there as in my opinion it is rubbish,as are the two Indians, although one is more Bangladeshi, a decent Chinese at Kyle of Lochalsh, and the Indian at Kyleakin on theSkye side of the bridge is supposed to be good, but never eaten there.
@philc The tearoom was taken over about theee years ago, and it’s the former chef of the Three Chimneys that owns it now, supposed to be very good, but that is one thing about Skye, it has plenty of good eateries to visit, Scorrybreac in Portree, owned by Calum Munro, son of former Runrig frontman Donnie, who sometimes does the dishes, Edinbane Lodge, and Edinbane Inn, Uilinish Lodge, that’s all within 20 mins of the boat trips base
 

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