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Witnessing the End of an Era

Regardless of my feelings about the man (and, for the record, I consider him to be an epic balloon), watching Trump leaving the White House for the last time made me feel a little melancholy. When I thought about this over a lock-down whisky, I realised that I've felt the same way on almost every occasion when I've witnessed the end of something, regardless of whether it was an otherwise happy or sad occasion. The lowering of the Soviet flag for the final time on Christmas Day 1991 is another example.

Long after I had left the army, I was there for the Hong Kong handover. Being a lifelong pleb, I didn't have an invite to actually see the flags come down in person, but I was there when the Black Watch, RAF and RN marched off the square for the last time. No matter how much of a hard-faced bastard someone may have been, I doubt there were many dry eyes when the bands played Auld Lang Syn in the pouring rain. Even now, and despite it being one of the most memorable experiences of my life, I can't bring myself to watch the full handover ceremony on YouTube.

I can imagine that seeing bases closing in NI that had played host to British troops for 30 years (or in Germany for 50) must have had the same effect on people who were there. Ditto the fall of the Berlin Wall or the decommissioning of HMS Britannia.

So, please share your thoughts if you are as much of a sentimental old sod as me...
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
Bastion.
I wasn't there for it's closing but I was for it's founding. So much energy, expectation and action, sometimes it was hard to stifle the smiles for what we thought was to come.
It might have been different in a positive sense if DfID had been taken in hand by the F.O. - but that's a different thread entirely.
 

Doc Blackadder

Old-Salt
I was part of the team that stripped out Bastion hospital in 2014, that was an emotional time as i had seen troops being treated and had worked there myself. Seeing it go from a fully operational medical facility to a shell really hit me harder than i expected it too. Having a final walk around and seeing the "ghosts of the past" hit it home....hard!
 

Mufulira42

Old-Salt
Regardless of my feelings about the man (and, for the record, I consider him to be an epic balloon), watching Trump leaving the White House for the last time made me feel a little melancholy. When I thought about this over a lock-down whisky, I realised that I've felt the same way on almost every occasion when I've witnessed the end of something, regardless of whether it was an otherwise happy or sad occasion. The lowering of the Soviet flag for the final time on Christmas Day 1991 is another example.

Long after I had left the army, I was there for the Hong Kong handover. Being a lifelong pleb, I didn't have an invite to actually see the flags come down in person, but I was there when the Black Watch, RAF and RN marched off the square for the last time. No matter how much of a hard-faced bastard someone may have been, I doubt there were many dry eyes when the bands played Auld Lang Syn in the pouring rain. Even now, and despite it being one of the most memorable experiences of my life, I can't bring myself to watch the full handover ceremony on YouTube.

I can imagine that seeing bases closing in NI that had played host to British troops for 30 years (or in Germany for 50) must have had the same effect on people who were there. Ditto the fall of the Berlin Wall or the decommissioning of HMS Britannia.

So, please share your thoughts if you are as much of a sentimental old sod as me...
Indeed, good sir when IIRC the Union Jack was hauled down in many of parts of the Empire there was a keen sense of loss
 
When I was a kid I used to go fishing with my Dad on the White Nile in Uganda. We'd hire a cross-river ferry for the day and troll for Perch. We rarely saw people or other boats on the river once away from the crossings. One day we came across a dock, stone wharf, tall iron cranes, admin buildings. We had a look around and found makers marks on the machinery from Glasgow and Newcastle - it looked like it had just been walked away from but it must have been a long time before because the concrete stands and roads just ended in a wall of encroaching bush. That was a serious enterprise in its day but I'm sure that the world is full of such decaying signs of our Empire awfulness.

I had a similar feeling in the late 80's up above Creggan in Derry. I looked over a wall into what was just an ordinary field and saw the faded H of a helipad and then some other patches of concrete and realised that I was looking at the old Piggery Ridge camp. I'm guessing that most of those places are like that now.
 
Churchill School that I attended in Verden is now a German school, the camp and the pads quarters have been handed back.
Windsor school that I attended has been abandoned on JHQ when they handed it back.
Deepcut where I did my phase two is in the process of closing down.
My first unit 16 Regt RLC was disbanded in 1999 (or 2000).
My second unit 2CS/2LSR was disbanded in 2015
I did 3 stints in Germany 2CS once and 6 regt twice, the camp has now been abandoned after being handed back.

I swear Thanos is following me around clicking his fingers and erasing large parts of my past.
 
The old Terminal One Heathrow. I was doing night shifts there in its last week when it was open. Virtually all of it had been boarded up and it was only handling four flights a day. For nights we used to all meet at T3 and then a couple of us would walk out past Building 820, along past the Euro Pier and into the back of T1 via the Customs accommodation. End of an era really.
 
I had a similar feeling in the late 80's up above Creggan in Derry. I looked over a wall into what was just an ordinary field and saw the faded H of a helipad and then some other patches of concrete and realised that I was looking at the old Piggery Ridge camp. I'm guessing that most of those places are like that now.
One of my, few, claims to fame is I was one of the riggers who took down the radio mast from there. Not pleasant being up there in daylight taking it down section by section with the aid of a Wessex.
 
Churchill School that I attended in Verden is now a German school, the camp and the pads quarters have been handed back.
Windsor school that I attended has been abandoned on JHQ when they handed it back.
Deepcut where I did my phase two is in the process of closing down.
My first unit 16 Regt RLC was disbanded in 1999 (or 2000).
My second unit 2CS/2LSR was disbanded in 2015
I did 3 stints in Germany 2CS once and 6 regt twice, the camp has now been abandoned after being handed back.

I swear Thanos is following me around clicking his fingers and erasing large parts of my past.

Has anybody ever told you you're a fcuking jinx?
 
Has anybody ever told you you're a fcuking jinx?
I've been hanging around Dalton Barracks for ages hoping someone would make it disappear but the shithole is still there.
 
I doubt there were many dry eyes when the bands played Auld Lang Syn in the pouring rain.
A lot of Hong Kong Chinese who are not enamoured of the new regime and their PRC owners say 'that even the heaven's cried that day' when the Union Jack was lowered for the last time in Hong Kong.

Having spent two extremely happy years in Osborn Barracks, Kowloon Tong, I know what they mean.
 
List of RAF Units that I had visited, spent time at or inspected, that have closed (or transferred to the other Services) during my service between 1990 - 2019. Some of these were very obscure units but, nonetheless, had RAF Station status.

RAF Abingdon
RAF Aldergrove
RAF Barnwood
RAF Biggin Hill
RAF Boddington
RAFSC Bracknell
RAF Brampton
RAF Brawdy
RAF Bruggen
RAF Buchan
RAF Cardington
RAF Church Fenton
RAF Coltishall
RAF Cowden
RAF Donna Nook
RAFH Ely
RAF Farnborough
RAF Finningly
RAF Gutersloh
RAFH Halton
RAF Hereford
RAF Holbeach
RAF Innsworth
RAF Laarbruch
RAF Leuchers
RAF Linton on Ouse
RAF Lyneham
RAF Manston
RAF Mount Batten
RAF Newton
RAFH Nocton Hall
RAF Nordhorn
RAF North Luffenham
RAF Oakhanger
RAF Pembrey Sands
RAF Rosehearty
RAF Rudloe Manor
RAF St Athan
RAF St Mawgen
RAF Sealand
RAF Stanmore
RAF Stennigot
RAF Tain
RAF Wainfleet
RAFH Wroughton


Quite sad, really.
 
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List of RAF Units that I spent time at (or inspected) that have closed (or transferred to the other Services) during my service between 1990 - 2019. Some of these were very obscure units but, nonetheless, had RAF Station status.

RAF Abingdon
RAF Aldergrove
RAF Boddington
RAF Brampton
RAF Brawdy
RAF Bruggen
RAF Buchan
RAF Coltishall
RAF Cowden
RAF Donna Nook
RAFH Ely
RAF Finningly
RAF Gutersloh
RAFH Halton
RAF Hereford
RAF Holbeach
RAF Laarbruch
RAF Leuchers
RAF Lyneham
RAF Mountbatten
RAF Newton
RAF Nocton Hall
RAF Nordhorn
RAF Pembrey Sands
RAF Rosehearty
RAF Rudloe Manor
RAF St Athan
RAF St Mawgen
RAF Sealand
RAF Tain
RAFH Wroughton


Quite sad, really.
Donna Nook is still operated bt the R.A.F.
 
Last customer of the Costa Coffee at JARIC at RAF Brampton. Shredded documents to my hearts content (with regular breaks as the shredder over heated) and filled several skips for days. Quite a bit of the memorabilia we rooted out went to various museums and collections.
 
List of RAF Units that I spent time at (or inspected) that have closed (or transferred to the other Services) during my service between 1990 - 2019. Some of these were very obscure units but, nonetheless, had RAF Station status.

RAF Abingdon
RAF Aldergrove
RAF Boddington
RAF Brampton
RAF Brawdy
RAF Bruggen
RAF Buchan
RAF Coltishall
RAF Cowden
RAF Donna Nook
RAFH Ely
RAF Finningly
RAF Gutersloh
RAFH Halton
RAF Hereford
RAF Holbeach
RAF Laarbruch
RAF Leuchers
RAF Lyneham
RAF Mountbatten
RAF Newton
RAF Nocton Hall
RAF Nordhorn
RAF Pembrey Sands
RAF Rosehearty
RAF Rudloe Manor
RAF St Athan
RAF St Mawgen
RAF Sealand
RAF Tain
RAFH Wroughton


Quite sad, really.
Well you weren't using them
 
I've been hanging around Dalton Barracks for ages hoping someone would make it disappear but the shithole is still there.
I overnighted there in 1999 on my way to the Royal Tournament. I took a screw out of a notice board, to put in the wall of my room so I could hang up my on the piss kit. Jammed a crunchie wrapper into the notice board hole. I went back last year for a course and the crunchie wrapper was still there
 
I overnighted there in 1999 on my way to the Royal Tournament. I took a screw out of a notice board, to put in the wall of my room so I could hang up my on the piss kit. Jammed a crunchie wrapper into the notice board hole. I went back last year for a course and the crunchie wrapper was still there
The whole place was falling apart when I was there, The cuntbag CO insisted that we did block jobs because the civvie cleaners weren't good enough. But the QM wouldn't give us cleaning kit (because it was for the civvie).
Soldiers had to pay to do block jobs for civvies who were paid, just because the CO was a ******* cock.
 

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