Archives  1971-1975

Please choose from the following years below.

1955-1960 1961-1965 1966-1970 1971-1975 1976-1980
1981-1985 1986-1990 1991-1995 1996-2000 2001-2005

Help us to make this website successful by adding some of  your pictures of events at RAF Akrotiri please Email them to us with a description of their content. Max four pictures in Jpeg or Gif format.


Dear Bill,
I have just found this site and have enjoyed an hour looking through it. I was posted to Akrotiri on 1st May 1975 to Supply Wing to relieve the families who were there during the Turkish invasion and who had their tours of duty extended. I was initially posted for 6 months to assist in the closure of the electronics MU only to find, on arrival that it was already closed and most of the equipment could be found for sale in shops around Limassol. I was then extended to 2.5 yrs.
During my tour of duty, I was a member of the Saddle Club (photos available), the RAF Akrotiri Volunteer Brass Band (Photos available) & Social Secretary of NEAFCA (Near East Air Force Cruising Association) (Many photos available).
Photos available include the RORO jetty, 105 Port Unit RCT staff and car rally team, Akrotiri Mole, some of the local staff, Limassol Old Port, and many places of interest around Cyprus.
I also have a copy of the Supply Wing photograph just before the run down and also of the Supply Squadron after the run down.
Anything to assist your website is available if required.
I cannot find any reference to NEAFCA on your site. Has it been closed down and if so what has happened to the 2 yachts Lady Heather & Highlight?
Kind regards,
Roy Lambeth
(SAC Lambeth K8080944 retired) Email Roy roylambeth@talktalk.net
Roy has been kind enough to send these photos below. Click on pics to expand
First day.jpg (103062 bytes)

May 2nd 1975. First day on the beach.
I left Brize at 5am May 1st 1975 on a Britannia. We had to wait while snow was cleared off the runway. Staged in through Luqa for refuelling and arrived in No.1 best blue uniform at Akrotiri to be welcomed by 86 degree heat. So May 2nd was the "get red and sore quick" day on beach!

roy1.jpg (80747 bytes)





 

Akrotiri Harbour in 1976.
The container with the awning is the old NEAFCA clubhouse soon to be replaced by one of the Port Unit RCT buildings on the top road.

The boats at the jetty are Right to left.
Lady Heather - a Nantucket Clipper of NEAFCA
Smoocher - owned by Flt Lt Jack Blocki, O/C RAF Nicosia and ex WWII Polish pilot
The green hulled yacht was the prototype Westerly Tiger owned by a Flt Lt
The small yacht nose onto the jetty was owned by a man from Pubs & Bricks (MPBW - now DOE)

roy2.jpg (102201 bytes)


NEAFCA 12 ton mahogany sloop Highlaight leaving harbour.
The only person I can remember is the lady extreme right. She was Wing Commander Vivian Spafford-Jones, the Akrotiri dentist.
Summer 1976

roy3.jpg (78916 bytes) NEAFCA club bar with WO2 Staff Sgt John (BUZZ) Bailey
and his wife Ella from 105 Port Unit RCT
Blockis.jpg (82433 bytes)

Ex WWII Polish pilot and O/C RAF Nicosia Flt Lt. Jack Blocki
and his wife Hilda at one of NEAFCA's BBQ evenings

roy4.jpg (105816 bytes) Sailing on NEAFCA Lady Heather, just round corner from Famagusta.
Guy on stern in red cap is Cpl Bill Glanvill. And a sparky from 84 Sqdn.
roy5.jpg (69636 bytes) Some of the members of Akrotiri Saddle Club in the clubhouse 1975
Me & car Troodos.jpg (87179 bytes)

Myself with my car - A Colt Lancer at Troodos Winter 76/77

RAF Troodos.jpg (52220 bytes) RAF Troodos
RAF Troodos b.jpg (79985 bytes) RAF Troodos Seen from the approach road
The Kemp Girls.jpg (65005 bytes)

Flt Lt Bob Kemp worked at Troodos but for a time was
Commodore of NEAFCA.  While mucking about one day by the
jetty I got this one of Bob's 2 daughters

Lady Heather Larnaca.jpg (76503 bytes)

NEAFCA Lady Heather at Larnaca after an overnight sail from Akrotiri

ayanapa.jpg (77674 bytes)

Ayia Napa as we remember it.
One hotel and a huge lagoon and only Cypriot holidaymakers.
In foreground Cpl Bill Glanvill/84Sqdn with
hole in head after trying to re-model forward hatch.

Buzz & Ella Troodos.jpg (86391 bytes)

S/Sgt Buzz Bailey/105 Port Unit RCT and wife Ella at Troodos

jacaranda.jpg (122610 bytes) Jacaranda Tree on Akrotiri SBA road to Limassol.
Saddle club Wreckers.jpg (94326 bytes) Akrotiri Saddle Club at Wreckers Bay 1975
saddle club sea.jpg (82618 bytes) saddle club in the sea at Wreckers Bay 1975
Arsinoe Church.jpg (83791 bytes) Arsinoe Church.
This church was reputed to be the oldest, smallest most complete original Greek Orthodox designed church in Cyprus. It was the traditional multi-domed church but had a new ridge roof to preserve the originality. It is supposed to have a painted mural inside about the evolution of man. But it was locked when we called. We had to be very careful as it was less than a mile from The Green Line.
It is this church that a certain beautiful Keo wine is named after
.
Dhows.jpg (70337 bytes)
2 Arab Dhows in Limassol Old Port
Fishing boat.jpg (98194 bytes) A typical Cypriot fishing boat with Akrotiri Bulk Fuel Installation
and a RORO pontoon behind
Archaios.jpg (72800 bytes) Archaios on the beach near Salt Lake City Aerial Farm just a
few days after it arrived
Archaios from sea.jpg (72236 bytes) Archaios from sea seen from 105 Port Unit RPL about a week
after the wreck arrived with the aerial farm behind

Sir Geraint.jpg (73748 bytes) Sir Geraint. The first RFA to use the RORO
Three Star.jpg (73917 bytes) The remains of The Three Stars wreck in Wreckers Bay 1975
The Three Stars wreck is the one in Wreckers Bay that we used to swim round with the Saddle Club horses. Branco was the name of the scrap man. The sacks of hard cement securing the legs of the cruising club jetty in Akrotiri Mole came from that wreck via Branco FREE OF CHARGE in return for a 40oz bottle of duty free Gordons Gin!
NAAFI staff.jpg (53771 bytes) Some of the local NAAFI staff outside the Fish & Chip Shop. On the extreme left is Kip who drove the NAAFI travelling cafe shop. He brought us our mid-morning sandwiches every day. He also worked the Berengaria NAAFI bar at weekends 
RAF launch.jpg (80610 bytes) An ex-RAF Marine Craft in use by 105 Port Unit RCT in Akrotiri Mole
limassol view.jpg (55812 bytes) On the hill behind Limassol, a new village was planned. This plan was abandoned with the Turkish invasion. All the concrete roads had been laid with the kerbs but no buildings had been built. A few of us went up there regularly to do roller-skating races on the beautiful smooth concrete.
While I was in Cyprus, someone sank a coaster in the entrance to Beirut Harbour which stopped all but the smallest shipping to gain access. So all the big freighters anchored in Limassol Bay and a fleet of Arab Dhows and other small craft were employed keeping Beirut supplied.
Here, in the gathering gloom of a typical evening we have a view of several ships in Limassol Bay, looking over the top of Limassol from this un-built village
Evdimou in summer.jpg (91815 bytes)
Evdhimou Jetty in summer
Evdimou in winter.jpg (65337 bytes) Evdhimou Jetty in Winter
Norman at Trimiklini.jpg (69908 bytes) In the high heat of summer my pal Cpl Norman Saunders of Supply Wing R&D and I used to head for the hills, often to (here is the bad spelling again) Kakopetrea (that is the pronunciation) on the North side of Troodos where we had found a good restaurant which had access to a trout farm.  Pan fried fresh trout with Dolmas was wonderful.  On the way we would often call in a cafe on the side of Trimiklini Dam for refreshment.  The owner was a Cypriot who had lived in London for some years.  Here is Norman on the right and me on the left.
Trimiklini Dam.jpg (67814 bytes)
Trimiklini Dam
rally b.jpg (56564 bytes) The 1976 Rothman's sponsored Cyprus Rally. S/Sgt Buzz Bailey of 105 Port Unit RCT, Akrotiri as driver and Sgt Dave McGrath/ Royal Sigs in their British Army Motoring Assoc sponsored Austin 1800 staff car/rally car
rally a.jpg (107208 bytes) 1976 Cyprus Rally with an Akrotiri sponsored air-portable Land Rover supplied by the Motor Pool RCT
rally c.jpg (76077 bytes)
1976 Cyprus Rally.
A Royal Sigs sponsored standard Land Rover supplied by Akrotiri Motor Pool near Platres.
The Army rallymen got a good name and improved relations with the locals by happily pulling crashed rally cars out of ditches while still taking part in the rally.

 

Marlins.jpg (80896 bytes) One day in 1977 a pair of 6ft long marlins arrived in Akrotiri Mole and stayed about 10 days.  They arrived during a storm and seemed reluctant to go back to sea.  We had great difficulty stopping the locals from trying to catch them.
fishing storemen.jpg (72379 bytes) If we went through Limassol on the Nicosia road, out near the Panku Chinese Restaurant there was a side road up into the hills. Part way along the road we had to pass quietly through an EOKA village stronghold to get to a reservoir stocked with fish for the Forces Angling Clubs. Here 2 Akrotiri Suppliers show off their days catch before putting them back.
orange.jpg (91134 bytes) Wonderful memories of Cyprus include the orange groves on Akrotiri SBA. I never knew that the fruit of one year was still on the tree with the blossom of the following year.
ploughing.jpg (150725 bytes) I spent a couple of days around Kalavasos Copper Mine and while there I saw this farmer cultivating his vineyard with 2 oxen and could not resist recording the event.
cameleon.jpg (82057 bytes) One day, returning to my barrack block, I found a chameleon on my bed, so never having seen one before I photographed it.
saddle club a.jpg (82108 bytes) Members of Akrotiri Saddle Club on one of the bondu roads around camp.
saddle club b.jpg (92539 bytes) More saddle club members
Mrs Pullen.jpg (69198 bytes) Mrs Stansfield, wife of Sgt (Jock) Stansfield, General office cleark and member of Akrotiri Volunteer Brass Band (on left) jokes with Joan Pullen,wife of O/C Akrotiri Volunteer Brass Band W.O. Bob Pullen at a band social evening in The Akrotiri Village Meze Restaurant.  Joan was once a member of the WRAF Military Band.
Jock Stansfield.jpg (70410 bytes) Sgt Jock Stansfield (right) and John the Cop (RAF Police) (centre) enjoy a meze in Akrotiri Village on a band social night.
Kebab a.jpg (67720 bytes) A band social night in Akrotiri Village Meze Restaurant.  Members of the 3rd Royal Anglian Band from Episkopi who used to come over for extra practice mingle with RAF Akrotiri band members
TPMH.jpg (66327 bytes) TPMH as seen from the sea aboard RPL05 of 105 Port Unit RCT
mantis b.jpg (66577 bytes) A preying mantis on a veranda support in Berengaria
Lizard.jpg (107756 bytes) A lizard basking in the sun at Akrotiri Mole, Cape Gata
RFA Hebe.jpg (54734 bytes) RFA Hebe one of the NAAFI re-supply vessels at anchor off Cape Gata
RFA & RPL.jpg (76603 bytes) Sir Geraint on RORO, 105 Port Unit RCT RPL05 and NEAFCA in the harbour
Curium.jpg (103277 bytes) Curium with Akrotiri Peninsular in distance
In 1976 for The Queen's Silver Jubilee, Cyprus had an official visit from Tribal Class Frigate HMS Mohawk which moored stern onto the RORO (photos to follow when I find them)
With Mohawk came a fleet oiler RFA Tidereach which anchored off Cape Gata. Some of the officers of Tidereach went sailing with us at NEAFCA and in return we were invited to a wine & cheese reception in the Wardroom on Tidereach. At the time I was Social Secretary of NEAFCA and I ran the bar and ordered & supplied food & drink in the club. While on board, The Bosun asked me if he could replenish his wine stock. We Tidereach Liberty Boat.jpg (95093 bytes) went ashore on the Liberty boat. When I asked how much wine he wanted, he said "5 demijohns" and promptly pulled from under the stern seat 5x4.5 gallon plastic Jerry Cans!
I took him in my car to the wine merchant in The Arches in Zigzag Street in Limassol, where the owner mixed wine to The Bosun's taste.
The 22.5 gallons of wine cost him 29.00cyp. The wine merchant gave The Bosun a free demijohn of 5 Kings Brandy and gave me a free demijohn of Commanderier, and asked me when I would bring him again!!!
I asked the Bosun how long so much wine would last. He said just a few days because they had called in at France, Spain, Portugal, Gib, Spain, France, Sardinia, Italy, & Greece on the way out and had topped up the wine stock at each port..........and they were going back the same way!!!
The next afternoon, the Liberty boat arrived with about 30 cardboard cases each containing 24 half pint cans of canned beer. These included Harp Larger, Guinness, Courage Best Bitter & John Smiths Bitter, with the message that these were part of the Wardroom bar stocks and if they took them home there would be questions asked about what they survived on without drinking beer!
Here we see the Liberty boat returning to Tidereach after their beer delivery.
Roy

From: Squadron Leader J.B. Fox CEng MIEE RAF (Retd)
Airfield Construction Branch 1957-1963
Engineering Branch 1963-1984
Email:- johnbfox@tiscali.co.uk

Memories of RAF Akrotiri Sub Aqua Club - BSAC Branch 107

I joined Akrotiri Sub-Aqua Club around April 1972 as a social member simply because it had good swimming facilities for my family and me and an excellent bar! Within a few weeks I had been asked to cox the diving boat, Davy Jones, a 26ft inboard diesel of local build, a few times and also agreed to be the club treasurer and gradually I drifted into diving.

Officers of the Club

The Officer i/c at the time I joined was Flt Lt Pete Scoffham, a Vulcan co-pilot on 9 Sqn, and the DO was Fg Off Brian Freeman, a helicopter pilot. Sgt Brian Gibson took over as DO early 1974 and I took over as Officer i/c in April 74. Sqn Ldr Keith Willis took over from me as O i/c when I was tourex in Jan 75. Brian Gibson was tourex just after me but I do not know who took over from him as DO.

The Three Stars Propeller

It would be about June 1973 that Pete Scoffham approached me in my primary appointment as OC Engineering Sqn 103 MU for assistance in recovering the phosphor bronze propeller off the Three Stars wreck. As I remember the story, the ship, laden with cement, was towed into Limassol Bay with engine failure during a storm around 1968/9. During the night, with the storm still blowing, it "mysteriously" broke away from its anchor and ended up on the rocks off the hospital beach.

Brancos of Limassol had the salvage rights on the vessel and had stripped it of everything worthwhile but couldn't get the prop. A previous Officer i/c 107, possibly Sqn Ldr Keith Ashley, had contracted to get the prop off for Brancos for the sum of 600. Over the following years several attempts were made to recover the prop with either thermic lances or brute force but all had failed. Pete was determined to succeed.

The plan was for the prop to be blown off its shaft with explosives; I was not required for this part of the operation, but was to provide the means of raising the removed prop from the sea bed and getting it ashore.

From photographs and measurements taken before the prop was blown off I calculated its weight and hence what buoyancy would be required. I "Borrowed" a tanker mooring buoy that was in the MU yard for prop2a.jpeg (77361 bytes) refurbishment, welded 3 x 45 gallon oil drums along each side for lateral stability and welded an angle iron gantry over the mooring chain hole that passed through the buoy so that we could sling a Tirfor hoist from it (Borrowed from the aircraft crash/recovery equipment) to lift the prop off the sea bed. This contraption was to be towed to and from the site by the Davy Jones.

The removal phase went as planned so at 0500 one Sunday morning we set off in Davy Jones with our contraption. Progress was slower than expected, due to the drag of the buoy. We lengthened the towline and whilst matters improved it was nearly 0900 before we were on site. The lift went smoothly and quickly and with the prop secured underneath the buoy in a horizontal position we set off for the return journey. At this point we hit a major problem. - the blasted prop tried to rotate!

The twisting action of the prop, plus the overall drag of buoy and prop, were such that the poor old Davy Jones could make very little headway and what headway was being made was in the direction decided by the towed load - out to sea. To overcome these problems we lashed the club's inflatable with 50HP outboard Mercury (which had been acting as support vessel) to the side of the Davy Jones. Progress was very slow and the inflatable had to leave us for a while to pick up more fuel for both the DJ and itself.

We finally entered Akrotiri Mole about 1700 hrs to be met by a Coles crane and Hands trailer driven by Sgt Dave Waghorn, the duty MT Controller, who just happened to be a club member! The prop was transported to the Sub Aqua Club for collection by Brancos. Here a second snag was discovered - it was too big to travel by road. Weprop1a.jpeg (62217 bytes) managed to convince Brancos that this was their problem and a local labourer spent several days with a bow saw cutting a large portion off each of the 3 blades.

As far as I can remember the prop weighed about 1.75 tons. I remember being very pleased with myself because the actual weight was within 50 lbs of what I calculated.

The enclosed scanned copies of photographs taken at the time show the prop being deposited at the Sub-Aqua Club and myself sitting on the trophy.

x1vulcans.jpg (64032 bytes)
Vulcan's and Victor's back in the days of Big A

1xcrew.jpg (62062 bytes)
9 Sqdn Crew

x1sqdnmasira.jpg (65697 bytes)
1X Sqdn detachment to Masirah our second home in 1972
Pics from Tony Regan