1963 some of the ATC lads (I was omitted) were attached to Farnborough for a grand bomber exercise when all of the V force went to their diversion airfields.

One evening about 9.30 a knock came to my door and one of the ATC Corporals stood there. John’s wife has had to go to hospital and we need him back from Farnborough, would you be willing to take his place. I agreed, duly packed a case and off I drove, not really knowing where Farnborough was or what I would be doing, but I eventually arrived and the guardroom directed me to a dispersal site across the other side of the airfield.

When I arrived it was a wooden hut next to a 4 bay dispersal on which sat four mighty Vulcans with men in white caps wandering round with rifles. when I went in I found one of my colleagues who gave me the lowdown.

My job was to listen to the radio for certain words and scream as loud as I could ‘Readiness 15’ or ‘Readiness 05’ or ‘Readiness 02’ or the magic words ‘Scramble Scramble Scramble.’

In the end spent a happy 5 days there. Then in 1976 ish I was stationed at HQ 1 group and was then posted to the Vulcan Simulator at Waddington.

There were 3 ATC Sgts posted at same time and we spent most of our day in usual service style, arrive , coffee , act as operator in sim , coffee , no takers for sim so go and fly it ourselves, coffee etc. Strangest moment of my memory was one day we had OC Standards in and chatting afterwards asked ‘I wonder if any of you lads could actually land a Vulcan’ I immediately offered to be a guinea pig on his next SCT but never heard anymore about it.

I never did manage a sixth seat ride in a Vulcan but id later manage a trip in a Victor tanker.

Those were the days my friends.