(Suggested by Keith Godden)
I too worked for the
UKAEA at Harwell laboratory. I was the electrical foreman in building 220
which was and probably
still is the main radiochemical experimental building. Because of the
nature of the work that was caried out in the building
it was manned 24/7, by shift technicians who reported to me.
The building also had a 24/7 armed AEA police guard, whose
duties included patrolling the outside of the building every hour.
One of the features of the building was that it had several large glass doors
around it (some sort of 40s design feature).
In the early hours of one winter morning myself and one of the technicians
were wandering around the building checking
pressures, temperatures, airflow etc.
As we were about to walk past one of the glass doors we noticed that one of
the AEA plods was stood outside the door staring
inwards or so we thought. At night we normally wandered around using only
the dim emergency lighting and torches because
we would have had to double back to switch lights off.The large sheet of
glass was obviously acting like a two way mirror ie
we could see through it but the guy outside just saw his reflection. We stood
there and watched as he kept whipping out his pistol
as fast as he could and pointing it at himself. Then with a cocky glance over
his shoulder and an "i've just slotted you Billy the
Kid" smirk he walked off into the night.We spent the next 10 minutes or
so almost crippled with laughter.
We made sure next day that as many people as possible knew of our strangley
bizzare but highly amusing encounter.
We had a call at Coltishall that a Jaguar had landed at
Brize Norton with an air conditioning, navwass and hydraulic problem.
We were told to get our stuff together as a VC10 was arriving to pick us up. You
didn't see many of these at Colt! But sure
enough it arrives but about three hours late. We climbed on board and were told
that thirty nuns from Oxford were the reason
for the delay. They had been given a trip around the countryside for some reason
and they had to be dropped off again! Before we
took off the load master handed out a couple of Penthouse magazines for the
journey (probably not from our predecessors) and off
we we went. First thing was a lightning strike on take off which made us close
the mags pretty quickly (divine intervention
and all that) and then after a 25 minute flight we proceeded to do ten or
so touch and go's. We landed eventually and found
our tiny Jaguar in the corner of the airfield and started work. Now I have
worked a few problems around the world and it always
amazes me the way bosses expect you to work as soon as you arrive at the
destination! This particular example I can understand,
but I have flown 13 hours in a Hercules after a 8 hour delay arriving in the end
at our destination in the States only to be told
" OK then lets get started!" Strange. Anyway the Jaguar was fixed but
what about getting home? Well we were allowed to
stay overnight and the Station commander at Coltishall decided to send his
car and driver down the next day to pick the
three of us up. Nice and a good result all round.
Just been having a surf through the Web site. I was trying
to think what I really enjoyed about working, not only in the RAF
but also where I am now. I am sure there are quite a few of the lads out there
that have been called at a moments notice to go
and fix an aircraft somewhere. These times for me have always been the most
interesting. You get the call, an aircraft is at
some place i.e. Iceland in December.(Its never Nellis Nevada!) and you pack your
bags and the adrenaline starts to flow.
This is mainly because the Pilots/aircrew never seem to tell the proper story.
Its the feeling of anticipation when you
arrive at the destination.