Sunday, January 10, 2010

Condor Troop Outline 1981

January - March

Exercise Cold Winter
Troop based in Sleiniger with the Squadron.

Weymouth Bridge Camp
Based with the Squadron, for 2 week Bridge Camp.

May 1981

Durness, Cape Wrath.
The troop deployed to Cape Wrath, to build a Single-Single Bailley Bridge, on the approach to the Mountain, crossing the river at the bottom.
Accommodated in 10 man tents, for the two week duration.
The Bridge abutments and box crib pier, were made from local rock.
The Highland Council funded the project and laid on a function for the troop, after completing the bridge.

With Joe Laverick as the "Captain" - he was good at hand signals, the Air Portable Bridge was used to ferry vehicles over The Kyle of Durness.
A Heliport was manned by Marines, for bringing in our equipment and Bridge parts, by Sea Kings.
Centre Crib Pier

Tich Hines
An incident involving the 'sad' looking Landrover crossing the bridge, was reported as:
Our Chef - Ronnie Kerr, was on a 'Jolly' with others, when the vehicle caught fire.
The state-of-the-Art Clansmen Radio, fitted in the back, was 'melted' somewhat, the vehicle and radio were "right-offs".
The 'official' driver of the Landrover - Chris Hovey, denied anything to do with the fire, stating he "was in-disposed at the time".

Joe Laverick at the front, Jack Frost pushing at the drivers side, Marti Williams (REME) is the driver, Angus MacMillan pushing on the passenger side and Sooty White behind Angus.

Titch Hines was despatched with an LWT to recover the burnt-out Landrover, only he got the vehicle bogged down (how & why?), now the Troop had two vehicles to recover. Eventually both were recovered and a request was made to 45 Cdo RM, for a flatbed 3 tonner, fitted with a hyab self loading crane, to recover the burnt-out Landrover back to Arbroath.

The only vehicle available, was from Condor Helicopter Flight (M Flight), however, they were due their Annual Vehicle Inspection and were reluctant to release it. Condor Troop promised to look after the vehicle and return it in good condition - ready for the Inspection.
The 3 tonner safely loaded the Landrover and set-out for Arbroath, with a Condor Troop driver (who?), he ran off-the-road, straight into a Telegraph Pole.
Borrowing vehicles from the Commando Group, became difficult after that and then only with their drivers behind the wheel..."Sour Grapes" or what?
Recreational Climbing and abseiling was carried out on the mountain.
One lad - Tex Dallas got stuck and had to be rescued by Chris Hovey and Floyd Patterson.

NATO Exercise
Troop boarded HMS Hermes, sailed into the West Atlantic.