29 thoughts on “266 Squadron ATC C1962-64

  1. Hi guys,

    I was in the 266 Sqd ATC back in the 60 ties. Does anyone remember that we put a display of a ww 2 airfield in the Odeon Foyer in Stockton High Street when the 633 sqd, movie was released?

    Also, Dizzy Bowron used to be a solictor in Stockton. Anybody remember going up to Northumberland for air experience flights in the Chipmunks, one group on the range mornings shooting the old .303 Enfield and flights in the afternoon and the other group flew mornings and shot in the afternoon.

    I remember taking controls and actually flying after I submitted to aerobatics by a ex. spitfire pilot, can’t remember his name (Butcher I think).. glider flying at Catterick, and a visit to RAF Wyton for summer camp where I went on an exchange to the Yankee base at RAF Alconbury for a week!

    I made Aircraftsman 1 before leaving and had ATC and RAF Marksmanship badges and 17 hours flight time.

    Norman (Dusty) Miller from Billingham
    PS Anybody remember the Remembrance Sunday Parade in Stockton High Street in ’64 where 266 marched down the High Street to St. Peters church? Any Photos would be great.

    Like

  2. I joined 266 in ’66. The names that come to mind are FS Jeff Shutt, Sgt Colin Godfrey, Sgt Mike Cassel (spelling?), Corp Nellis. There was another Sgt that lived at the bottom of Central Avenue in Billingham but he was more at Catterick gliding school than the drill hall. Eddie Booth’s nephew was Ray Flett who emigrated to South Africa. There was a lad called Onions who got a lot of verbal. There was a lad called Catton who was the worst drill exponent, as he walked with both left arm and left leg moving out and back together. I recall an officer called (I think) Dick Quinton arriving and he was not popular and the reason I left.

    Like

  3. Hello everyone,
    I know this is a long shot but here goes anyway !
    I am trying to find out the true cause of the hole in the hand rails on Victoria bridge …some people state there where caused by shrapnel from a bomb and others say there where caused by bullets…I was told there are bullet holes does anyone know the true cause please .
    Thanks Kenny

    Like

    • The holes in the bridge are shrapnel damage from a direct hit on the bridge during a German air-raid on the night of 25-26 August 1940 . The bridge was not seriously damaged in the raid but one man was killed as he cycled to work across the bridge at the time. Thornaby was badly hit during the raid as were the steel works at Hartlepool, ICI Billingham was hit but escaped any major damage and bombs also fell in Middlesbrough and off the coast at Redcar and Seaton Carew. During this period there were six successive night time raids on the greater Teesside area by the Luftwaffe resulting in much damage and sadly many casualties.

      Like

  4. The lad 2nd row, 4th from the left is Les Watson who worked at Head Wrightsons Machine Shop, Thornaby & lived at Ragworth Estate, in the top photo.

    Like

  5. Yes Mel thats Zap, but I think he was in 206 entry as a Prop fitter. I’ve not seen or heard from him for about 8/9 years. So like yourself I would appreciate any info on his whereabouts.

    Like

  6. John Zapalski – was he the same lad who went to RAF Halton in 1966? If it is he was in 207 Entry (66-68) and last heard of 3 years ago in Saudi. If anyone knows his whereabouts please let me know – the Picture Stockton Team can provide my email address.

    Like

  7. I will try a few more names from the Kinloss picture, Bill. I will also try the Whyton one later.
    Back row L to R. Zap (John Zapalski),not sure,me, Jeff,Terry Bell,not sure,not sure,not sure,you, Eddie Grey,not sure.
    Middle,not sure,not sure,not sure,not sure,? Allison ?, ? Bowron,Brian Hawkesfield,Denny Hawkesfield,not sure,not sure,C.W.O Brown,Paul Simpson.
    Sitting, ? Cowan(he joined the fleet air arms),Malcolm Drinkel,Sqdn Ldr Bob Gowing,W.O.Eddie(Bodger)Booth,Ken Readman,not sure.
    Front not sure,not sure,not sure, Decca Weddle,not sure,not sure.
    Sorry if I have spelt any names wrong and, for those I have forgotten, it was a long time and 12,500 miles ago.
    If anyone can help with corrections please do so.

    Like

  8. Jimmy Wood/Terry Bell, I also have copies of the Wyton and Kinloss Photos. Other lads on the pictures include, Dennis Hawksfield and his brother Brian is the lad in the RAF No1 uniform when he was a Boy Entrant. Also Derrek (Decca) Weddle, John Zapalski, Paul Simpson, Joe Bloomfield (another Tilery lad). The CO was Bob Gowing before he went on to command the Durham Wing. And of course the 2 WOs, Eddie (Bodger) Booth and John Manuell. Two top blokes. Terry, I seem to remember we bumped into each other at RAF Akrotiri in the early 70s. Mike Nelson, There was a VRT Officer called Bowren, he took over command of 266 Sqn When Bob Gowing moved on. He was a solicitor, but unfortunately last time I saw Eddie Booth he told me he had passed away.

    Liked by 1 person

      • There was a notice of death in The Gazette on Friday for Edward Booth who passed away on 3 April , husband of Margaret and dad to Ian and Heather . I was a member of 266 between 1974 and 1985 and well remember both John and Eddie although I suspect that they were in their twilight years and not so much feared as revered , gentlemen both . Son Ian was also a member of 266 .
        I’m quite sure that Eddie and Margaret ran a flower shop in the original Whitehouse Farm store before Sainsbury’s took over ?

        Like

        • It is right they ran the florist shop in the Whitehouse Farm store, Eddie was 85 years old & played a very big part in the Stockton Football Referees Association.
          R.I.P. Eddie.

          Like

    • I remember most of these boys, John Zapalski, Paul Simpson, Derek Weddle, Eddie Booth and you Bill. Good times 266 Sqn. On the bus every week from Billingham. Bumped into some of you at Akrotiri 69′-72′.

      Like

    • I’m in the Wyton photo somewhere, Great days. I used to travel from Billingham on the bus with Zap & Simmo & a few others, to Stockton every week. I knew Decca, Jeff Shutt , Eddie Gray & yourself . Bumped into Eddie & Simmo at Akrotiri 69′ to 72′. Lost touch now for nearly 50 years. I finished on 10 Sqn Brize Norton, 88′. I now live in Somerset , retired cnc programmer. John Yates.

      Like

  9. Frank Bowron -no I never went to Stockton Grammmer- did you have a relative who was a reserve officer with 266 Squadron ATC at Stockton – the name rings a bell?

    Like

  10. Hi Terry Bell, I wonder how many others you can name from those pictures. Its been a long time.
    Ask Picture Stockton if they can supply my email address to you and I will respond.
    All the best (that’s me to the left of Jeff)

    Like

  11. In the early 1960s there was a lad by the name of John Myers from Billingham at Billingham Technical College who was a member of the local Air Cadets (266 Squadron?) John, I later heard, joined the RAF and was accepted for pilot training. In the early 1980s (1981-83) there was a report in the local paper that John had been accepted to fly for the Red Arrows display team.

    Like

  12. The Gloster Javelins belonged to 33 Squadron, while 92 Squadron at Middleton St George had Hawker Hunters. For a while 92 Squadron had a display team called the Blue Diamonds with blue painted Hunters, having taken over the official RAF display role from 111 Squadron – the Black Arrows – and their black Hunters from RAF Coltishall? Treble 1 Squadron having converted to EE Lightnings. Later Middleton also received Lightnings prior to closure of the station in 1964.

    Like

  13. Frank thanks for the info – hadn’t realised there was an army cadets there, I was CCF [Royal Artillery] – our training was done at the TT on the old Middlebrough road. I vaguely remember a squadron, number unknown, of Javelins known as the Black Diamonds. Again not sure if they were at Thornaby or Middleton – hope my memory is not completely faulty.

    Like

  14. Mike Nelson, aren’t you the same “Nellie” that was in the same class as me at Stockton Grammar? I met Brian “Grannie” Grantham on a bus about a year after I left Stockton and was surprised to see him in RAF uniform. He’d joined up as a Boy Entrant at St Athan but I never ran into him again – the RAF was huge in those days, about 160,000 strong I think. Apart from him, I’ve never seen any of the rest of the class since leaving.

    Like

  15. RAF Thornaby was an active Royal Auxiliary Air Force unit during the fifties and I went to many Battle of Britain open days there. In the early sixties the station had closed but was under care and maintenance with 1261 Sqn ATC as the last “light blue” unit to be based there. We had the top floor of an old barrack block and the Army Cadets had the ground floor. The barrack block is still there. There was a Spitfire and a Tempest at the gate of Middleton St George. The Spitfire was previously at the gate of RAF Thornaby but went to Middleton when Thornaby closed. It finally ended up at Coningsby, dismantled to provide spare parts for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The runways had an “X” at the threshold to show anyone trying to land there that they were not in use. It was the Hunters then Javelins and Lightnings of Middleton St George that aroused my interest in aviation and which led me to join the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice – and I’m still in aero-engineering today.

    Like

  16. Frank thanks for the information you’ve certainly given the memory a jolt with the names you mentioned. Was the airfield you refer to the old RAF station? – I remember it was still an active unit when I was a child/teenager. Recall there were two planes at the Middleton St. George entrance, I believe they were a Typhoon & a Tempest, but you’ll be able to confirm. My memory says there was at least one at Thornaby but maybe I’m getting the facts muddled. Also were there roundels painted on the runway tarmac?

    Like

  17. Knew them all Mike (and you too). That’s the same Jeff Shutt and he’s in another photo on here, of the Tilery Road School football team along with Alan Young and Graeme Pickup. Jeff was probably the only lad from down there who didn’t work for Keith Thomas. Malcolm Campbell and myself were in 1261 Thornaby Squadron, not 266 Stockton. 1261 had their own airfield at that time, of course. Not many squadrons could say that.

    Like

  18. During the fifties there was a Geoff Shutt & his sister Eileen who lived in Chadburn Road, bottom of Derwent Street, could this be the same lad?. Also during the early sixties a lad called Malcolm Campbell who was an ATC member – did you know him?

    Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.