There was a fair turnout at the Main Gate of old RAF Turnhouse, at 1300 hours, on the 1st April 2010, in fact, a total of over thirty persons. This was for the unveiling of a plaque in commemmoration of the unit, and all those who had served on it, from its opening on the 1st April 1915 'til its closing on the 1st April 1999.
The whole idea for the ceremony was thought up over 18 months ago, by S & NI branch member John Brogan. In fact, John arrived at the branch AGM last October with a very heavy bronze plaque under his arm. He had ordered and paid for it by himself, total cost £530.
At a recent visit to the Scottish Parliament, branch secretary Gus McGowan met and asked Dan Needham, the penultimate Station Commander of Turnhouse, if he would like to unveil the plaque, and he accepted most willingly. Others, at the Parliament visit, like RAFA and the Benevolent Fund, and 603 Aux Sqn, were also informed, and had some of their personnel there on the day.
At 1300 hours precisely, Dan Needham unveiled the plaque with the assistance of John Brogan, Nine other members of the branch mingled with the other representatives, whilst serving branch member, Gp Cpt Jim Leggatt represented Air Officer Scotland.
After a short speech, in memory of all those who had lived and served on the unit, Dan established that an elderly man in the company, had served as a bowser driver with 603 Sqn, on the unit, in 1938. He is now 90 years old, and was very pleased to be presented with the small RAF Ensign which had been used to veil the plaque. We are still trying to find out the man's name, but so far, to no avail.
On completion of the formalities, Dan invited all those attending, to his nearby Golf Club, for a celebratory drink which was accepted, by most, with grateful thanks.'
l to r, Bill Watson's hands, Dan Needham, John Brogan, Ian Gordon mit standard, and Jim Leggatt, our in-house Gp Cpt, but representing AOS on this occasion.
The Scotland and Northern Ireland Branch have presented this plaque to Edinburgh Airport to be displayed to show the history of this long serving airfield.
Anyone who has served there and wish to contribute to the cost of this impressive plaque, please contact John Brogan
Just to keep you up to date we are proceeding well with the event which will be carried out at 1300 hrs on Thursday 1st April. There are only the two gate posts left of the original unit so they will be painted up on Sunday 28th March ready for the plaque to be fixed to one of them.
At present we have arranged for Gp Capt Dan Needham (Rtd) who was the last but one Stn Cdr, to carryout the unveiling and present will be Gp Capt Jim Leggat (representing the AOC Scotland) and Gp Capt Bob Kemp, Director RAF Benevolent Fund (Scotland) along with representatives of 603 Sqn RAF Aux who are still in being! We have not been able to trace any other sqn personnel but we are happy to have some! I have advised the RAFA and local RAF Cadets so we hope that some of them will come along. Media have been informed and will be attending including one of the biggest reporters for the "Scotsman" newspaper (he is ex-RAF). Unfortunately I will not be there as I will be at my granddaughter's wedding down south but I have arranged for plenty of photos.
In the event that there is anyone up here at the time please come along you are all welcome.
Having said that I have attached a couple of copies of the photos of the Holyrood day with the RAFA, a very good day.
I have just seen the photograph of the plaque presented to Edinburgh Airport by the Scotland & Northern Ireland Branch. It is absolutely fantastic and what an incredible reminder of what the airport started out as and what went on there over the years. Clearly without your contribution much of this information would have gone completely unnoticed or forgotten. An excellent idea by whoever came up with it in the first place.
Please pass on my personal thanks, and that of the RAF Police Association in general, to your Branch and all those involved in such an exceptional project.
I trust the airport management will find a suitable, prominent location in which to site the plaque.
Congratulations and well done to you all for bringing the RAF Police Association to the fore in a very positive way.
RAF Police Association
This has been the complete project and work of our member John Brogan who first brought the idea to last years Branch AGM. The matter was discussed with approval being given for deeper enquiries to be made regarding whether or not there were any other branches/units out there who could assist - contribute etc. To date none have come forth but John felt so strongly about it he went ahead and had the plaque made at a personal cost of £500. We are therefore appealing to any of our members who served at Turnhouse asking them to consider making a contribution to the event. (This should be made direct to John Brogan) I have written to the Air Officer Commanding Scotland Air Cdr R J Aitkinson ADC MA RAF advising him of the project and requesting that he considers our invitation to perform the dedication on 1st April 2010, 1st April being the date the station was first opened. We have the permission of BA to attach the plaque to one of the two remaining gate stanchions at the entrance which are about all that is left of the old unit. In the event that the AOC cannot attend we have requested that he nominate someone to represent his office and reminded him that our own Gp Capt Jim Leggat is stationed at Craigiehall. We have also requested a small RAF contingent be present. Hopefully we will have other media coverage by the time it all comes together. Finally we have also written to Sqn Ldr Derek Morrison R Aux AF, OC 603 (City Of Edinburgh) Sqn R Aux AF, advising him of the project and inviting him to attend and or participate.
Scot & NI Branch