Witnessing the End of an Era

You know something........you're a fuc@#g Jinx.
I didn't even mention that I was stationed in the old St Omer, that got bulldozed or the Nato base in Naples that closed down about a year after I left.
 
I've seen some my places erased or transformed.
All traces of the coal and iron industries in my valley and others have been landscaped away.
This is not in itself a bad thing; the Garw Valley, for example, was beautifully done. But traces down to harmless retaining walls have been pulled down, as though the driving force behind modernisation of my country - and England - had never existed.
My wife and I went to Merthyr Tydfil with an archaeologist friend to see the end of the canal there, having explored lengths of the well looked after canal through Cwmbran.
Standing in the road, my friend took bearings and looked down.
"Er... We're standing on it!" Said he, with a little surprise and much disappointment.

Away from coal, I worked the last night shift at the old Llanelli General Hospital. At breaktime, a friend took me to the already deserted Paediatric Ward. It's walls were lined with large illustrations of characters from nursery rhymes, all made up from tiles by Royal Doulton. I had no camera.
I hope they were preserved.

Leaving Bridgend Railway Station on a Swansea train (from Cardiff) I was poised at the window ready to show my daughter Bridgend General Hospital, where I had trained and, opposite, the Nurses Accommodation where I had lived.
The hospital is gone, our Accommodation now offices. I was too astonished to feel anything at the time.
 
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 used to like the old Terminal 2 and the Queen's Building. They oozed 1950s, even after various refurbishments. A big treat as a kid was the public viewing area on top of the Queen's Building, which was closed down, I think, when the boyos started buggering around. All flattened (along with the old control tower building) a few years ago.

The old Templehof Airport in Berlin is an impressive building. Closed down as an airport some years ago and I don't think the Stadt really knows what to do with it. The airfield is a public open space and I think the building area found use as a refugee centre, which seems an awful waste and probably means that it will be burnt down at some stage.
 
A big treat as a kid was the public viewing area on top of the Queen's Building, which was closed down, I think, when the boyos started buggering around. All flattened (along with the old control tower building) a few years ag
I used to take par avion junior there when he was a kid for a day out to look at the aeroplanes. I used to love looking at the groups of plane spotters with their big lunch boxes, CB radios so that they could listen in to the conversation between ATC and the pilots. All clutching their copy of 'Aircraft registration numbers of the world.' They all seemed to know each other and a good social scene between them. They probably had their christmas party up there as well. The Visitors centre was good as well. All gone now.
 

Polyester

War Hero
No, I heard that it was going to be contractorised at the Cranfield campus, which is not that far from Henlow.
It would make sense.

It'll be interesting to see how they shift all the equipment if they decide to reuse it. Big task.

Edited for gash spelling
 
I used to love looking at the groups of plane spotters with their big lunch boxes, CB airband radios so that they could listen in to the conversation between ATC and the pilots. All clutching their copy of 'Aircraft registration numbers of the world Ian Allen Civillian Aircraft Registrations.
You’ve just described my early teen years. I grew up 11 miles from Heathrow and during the school holidays I’d spend most of my time on that roof.

Now where did I leave my Anorak...


Mind you if I’d not had that distraction and hung around on the shitty sink estate I lived on I’d probably still be in Dartmoor...
 

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