First sung circa 1961 (Amended July 1967)

Sung to the air of the old Irish ballad “The mountains of Mourne”

Contributed by Dan Reavy (Ex 4 JSTU) who found an old copy of this song in his possession.


We were out there together, a very mixed crew,

We’d served in the desert, we’d served in the blue,

We’d served under canvas, as anyone could,

But this was the first time we’d served Underwood.


 So, remember you airmen as you shout and you curse,

You were in this 4th Air Force for better or worse,

Let’s raise up our glasses with no more ado,

And drink to the health of 4 J.S.T.U.


You’re bound to have met our famed S.Equip.O.,

He published his presence, all over the show,

With vouchers and memos and chitties galore,

We got nothing but paper from our unit store.


Wrapped up in this paper was a heart made of gold,

And a strange Cropp of Corporals, were nominally rolled,

So, raise up your glasses with no more ado,

And drink to the health of 4 J.S.T.U.


Way up on the airfield was our own R.S.F.,

It was staffed by some airmen who seemed to be deaf

If you tried to ring them they might be on Mars,

They stayed in the back room all mending their cars.


So, remember you airmen as you shout and you curse

You were in this 4th Air Force for better or worse,

So, raise up your glasses with no more ado,

And drink to the health of 4 J.S.T.U.


Sarge Webb was a man who had plenty of ‘gen’,

Of matters beyond, a more useful Ken,

At all unit functions this talent we used,

But then came an infant to keep him amused.


His Christmastide concert went according to plan

But we’re sure that in future, we’ll ban the Can Can,

So, raise up your glasses with no more ado,

And drink to the health of 4 J.S.T.U.


With mud in wet weather, and flies with the sun,

Our Armourer’s empire was second to none,

Those P and L airmen breathed air filled with balm,

With the loading bay next to the camp sewage farm.


So remember you airmen as you shout and you curse

You were in this 4th Air Force for better or worse,

So, raise up your glasses with no more ado,

And drink to the health of 4 J.S.T.U.


In 124 building was W.S.S.

But just what that stood for, is anyone’s guess.

We took up the query with the men at the top,

And came back the answer, it’s Watson’s swop shop.


So remember you airmen as you shout and you curse

You were in this 4th Air Force for better or worse,

So, raise up your glasses with no more ado,

And drink to the health of 4 J.S.T.U.


The main sweat and toil that we’d had up to date,

Was aimed at increasing the unit birth rate.

We found later on that with work by the ton,

To service a missile is not quite such fun.


If you ponder the facts there’ll be no deception,

That we were in labour from a boffin’s conception,

So, raise up your glasses with no more ado,

And drink to the health of 4 J.S.T.U.


One day near the end, Shirley said he must leave,

And we who remained there all started to grieve,

We drunk up our beer and felt with remorse,

That this was the end of our private Air Force


Each heavy with heart as we all watched him go,

But this is the way with the Air Force, you know,

So we raised up our glasses with no more ado,

And drank to the health of 4 J.S.T.U.


Quite early next year a new Wing Co. arrived,

His name was Tim Fennell, so we were advised,

But our fears were dispelled when one day from the blue,

He said “let’s have a party, an airmen’s stag do”.


So, we raised up our glasses with no shout or curse,

We were in this 4th Air Force for better or worse,

We all raised our glasses with no more ado,

And we drank to the health of 4 J.S.T.U.


Now we’re up there together in Gainsborough’s old hall,

Though fewer in number, we’ve answered the call,

But one thing we must do before wending our way,

Let’s remember those friends who are absent today.


They’re spread o’er the world, some are back in that land,

Let’s drink to them now with a schooner in hand,

So, raise up your glasses with no more ado,

And drink to the health of 4 J.S.T.U.

To:- The friends and relatives of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Issued in solemn warning this . . . . . . . . day of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1961

Very soon the above mentioned will return from Australia, dehydrated and demoralised, to take his place once more among civilised people with a freedom of justice for all engaged in life and the somewhat delayed pursuit of happiness. In making your joyous preparations to welcome him back into organised society you must make allowances for the crude and miserable environment which has been his lot for the past . . . . . . . months. Lock up your daughters, sisters and wives and fill the icebox with cold bottled beer. In a word, he might be a trifle aboriginal!

Show no alarm if he prefers to squat on the floor instead of on a chair, always kicks his boots against the door before entering the house and spends his spare time throwing boomerangs in the back-yard or Aboriginal spears at your neighbours chickens.

Since leaving England he has become used to continuous sunny weather, so try to refrain from mentioning sunshine or warmth, as the thought would undoubtedly render him delerious. Fog, rain and even clouds will be completely strange to him and should he be subjected to such inclement weather it may have a deep, far reaching effect. Leave him alone if he sits at the window gazing hypnotically at the rain. Do not be amazed if he stands transfixed for hours staring at green pastures and trees, Australia has neither.

It is just possible that, after living for such a long time in a virtually uninhabited desert (i.e. Australia as a whole) he will be shy of humans. It may be necessary to reintroduce him quietly into the comparativel y dense English population. On the other hand, he may have led rather a hectic social life which is usually the case if Australian drinking habits have been installed into his way-of-life early upon his arrival in Australia. In this respect he will always be striving to organise beer parties, will stay out until all hours of the morning and will prefer several women ‘on a string’ rather than one in particular. However careful treatment can remove either of these traits.

For the first few months be especially watchful when he is in the company of young women, especially beautiful specimens. He will be polite and amusing and his intentions will be most sincere, even though entirely dishonourable.

His language may be rather embarrassing at first, but in a relatively short time he can be taught to speak plain English again. Don’t be annoyed if he greets you with “Gday Blue” or “Good on Ya Blue”; He’s not being offensive but using one of the many peculiar Australianisms.

Don’t ask him about Australians unless you are prepared to sit for at least 3 hours listening to a morose (yet accurate) account of their lack of manners, inadequate sanitary systems and excessive drinking.

Unless you have an iron nerve it is advisable not to travel with him when he is driving – he may have adopted an Australian driving technique. Don’t ask him if he watched the 1958 – 1959 test Series in Australia and avoid the use of the word throwing. Above all never whistle or sing “Waltzing Australia”; it might well jeopardise your chances of living to a ripe old age.

I would sincerely ask you to keep in mind that beneath this tanned and rugged exterior there beats a heart of gold. Treasure this, it will be the only thing of value he has left. Treat him with kindness, generosity, tolerance and a frequent quart of good liquor. Your efforts will be rewarded when you see the first smile on his face of this, the hollow shell of a boy you once knew.


Contributed by Dan Reavy.

(The initial(?) issue of this letter, from Darwin, was less polite than this version. Ed)


Happy Days below contributed by John Evans



After my time serving with 2nd TAF as a NAV(B) I spent a while with Saunders-Roe as a founder member of the Black Knight project-round about the time of the first Sputnik. Doug Bolton was trials team leader there. He left to join the I.N. division of Elliotts' in 1959 and I caught up with him about two months later. After a brief stay at Boreham Wood I was posted to the BS trials team at Woodford. Here the real fun started. It is safe to say that life was a constant succession of highs with minimal down time between!

Most newcomers stayed at either The Flower Pot in Macclesfield or at an en pension discovered by Clive Nicholas. I finished up in the top floor of a mansion in the Riverlands area of Wilmslow. We occupied an office/lab setup in the corner of a hanger-like factory building. The production line for Vulcans was continuing in another section of the building. As each aircraft left the line, they were prepared for their first test flight. With minimum fuel and to avoid entering the Ringway control zone, it was held off on brakes with motors flat out and airborne by the first intersection. Flattened out at about 4kft and screamed away towards the Peak district at a rate of knots. The noise was something. Some
humorous character sighted the Elliott analysis hut close to the main runway.

At this time our team consisted of Pete Wilson, John Keeble, Bob Barclay, David Lloyd, Pete Bryan, John Ison, Clive Nicholas, Ron Moseley, Win- the typist, and Elsie our tea /scrub lady. We were occasionally visited by Pete Reffan, Alan Fraser(always took the team out to dinner), Norm Morehen, Ron Bristow and other people from Boreham Wood. The AVRO team occupied the second floor immediately above us. Their team leader was Tom Baker (ex RAF pilot) and their members included Frank Longhurst. RAF 4JSTU was very much in evidence, they were based at RAF Wilmslow. At this time we had the prototype aircraft equipment installed as a suite in our lab, hitched up to the platform on its' trolley. There was still much work being carried out on GPI.6, GSR and BS/JB--ironing out bugs, changes etc., After the temporary mods had been carried out and air proven, the individual unit would be accompanied to Boreham Wood by a team member , then tidied up to production standard by prototype technicians. During this trip a large insurance and secrecy was mandatory, each unit being the only one in existence.

Our social life was always pleasant and varied, we had more than our quota of practical jokers in our midst--namely Ron Moseley. Most happenings centred around visits to the mess at Wilmslow, the local hostelries and eating places. Names that come to mind include ---The Swan at Kettleshume (complete with French Barmaid), The Bell at Prestbury, The Cat and Fiddle on the moors, and The Hanging Gate in Macclesfield Forest. Probably the most frequented being the Club in Prestbury, where Moseley introduced me to a local dignitary as Lord Montague's brother. After forcibly keeping up this farce for about a month or so, there was near murder when the aforesaid gent found out the truth. Weekends saw us departing to our various points of the compass. PeteWilson to his boat at Lymington in the New Forest, Ron Moseley to the home counties, Bob Barclay to Scotland, John Keeble to the London area, Clive to Buxton, myself to the I.O.W. sometimes picking up David Lloyd in Gloucester - he had been to the land of our fathers - around 3a.m.. Mostly to reassemble at 0900 on Monday.

Fairly early in the piece, it became evident that the system needed a device to simulate the mother aircraft during ground runs. Bob Barclay and I were given the job to come up with this contraption. It was a pretty hideous device - mostly made up on a platform of Dexion with huge castors to trundle around- but it worked!. George Dewey immediately demanded one of these for the Australian field of ops. As a result Bob and I spent about two weeks getting together the required components and paperwork, then grabbed the contract aeroplane to Australia. The second trolley was put together with the expert help of John Ison, Fred White and George Elmes in the Salisbury Workshop.

After the completion we returned to UK. The Valiant WP206 was undergoing an extensive mod at Marshalls, so I was given the job to see that this was carried out successfully, and at its' conclusion to return to join the Australian team on a permanent basis. During this return to UK I spent my time between Woodford and Boreham Wood, also getting together my personal bits and pieces ( including taking a Riley 1.5 to the docks at Tilbury.)
I must claim distinction in one small area - that is to have a brand new string bass - complete in canvas bag - airlifted alongside two BS's from Woodford to Salisbury in a U.S military aircraft(Globemaster) - unaccompanied and free of charge ! To conclude I would like to relate a small story relating to an occurrence at Woodford.

At one time Elliotts' employed a Polish engineer in another division engaged in some sort of Radar research. He had a prototype of this secret monster, and was eager to have it flight tested in one of the V bombers. With this end in view he had obtained permission to visit the Vulcan production line at Woodford for a looksee. I was given the job of escorting this gent and introducing him to a senior AVRO engineer on the production line. Upon entering the aircraft and exploring the interior for a while, to everyone’s astonishment he asked in all sincerity if it would be possible to " to cut a hole through here about a metre square" indicating an area that encompassed the main spar. I don’t know what happened to him.


Contributed by John Saxon formerly of Elliott Bros, now a permanent resident ‘down under’.


GREAT DAYS Stop me if I get too long-winded. Unlike most other BS’ers, my memory of those crazy days at Woodford and SA is very patchy. I definitely tend to remember the fun times. Work - not a lot. This is also horribly auto-biographical, so feel free to skip!

In early 1960 I was Works Manager of a firm called “Seismic Instruments” in Borehamwood. Sounds a grandiose title but we only employed about 20 people making Geophones as a subsidiary of an American company. Despite the fact that we were the only European plant actually making money, the parent company suddenly shut us down. So off I went to the CES (or equivalent Govt employment office). They in turn sent me to Elliotts for an interview. Don’t remember too much about it, except remarking that I knew absolutely nothing about Inertial Navigation equipment – “No problem” came the reply, “no-one knows anything about it”, and they gave me a job in the development lab. Nothing can beat low unemployment! I was put to work on the design of some high stability amplifier and I was decidedly unsuccessful at making much improvement. So they quickly sent me off to Woodford to join the Trials team – talk about a life changing decision!

What a blast! Woodford was a great place, working with a super bunch of guys! I had (for its time) a sexy looking fibreglass Ford special car. Actually it was a total heap, running on a hotted up Ford side-valve engine. But it looked vaguely like an Aston Martin DB2/4 (or so I thought) and as I fancied myself as a bit of a James Bond type, the car was ideal for me. When we got some snow it was great to drive around the Airfield on full reverse lock using the throttle to steer – got up to 70mph sideways on more than one occasion. The Data Analysis section used a hut out on the airfield with a car park covered in cinders out front. My big thing was to come screaming into the car park and do a nice handbrake induced slide though 180 deg with the object of being neatly parked at the end of it. Unfortunately I overcooked it one day and side swiped Doug Harris’s Rover. As he was also my boss he was definitely entitled to take a dim view of this. I remember that Doug was remarkably good about it, but I know what I’d say to my son if he indulged in such behaviour!

I can remember the Vulcan production line – very impressive and very noisy – all those air drills and rivet guns, and various wooden mock-up and real Blue Steel components lying around. Mostly I remember the pubs! The Hanging Gate at Macclesfield, and some great ones in Prestbury and the Derbyshire hills. There was also a club in Prestbury where you could dance upstairs – rock and roll was the “in thing” and one could really get moving to Buddy Holly or “The King”. Then finally the great day came and it was time to move down-under.

We stayed overnight at RAF Lyneham on Salisbury plain. There was a light covering of snow on the ground, and the coke braziers in the Nissan huts hardly made a dent on the clammy interiors. But we survived the night and were herded in a large shivering bunch out to the waiting Comet 4. Rearward facing seats and cardboard lunch boxes. The RAF really did things in style! But first stop was El Adam? in the middle of the Sahara desert. What a contrast! Hot as heck and camels wandering about, etc. The next night Aden, even more of a culture shock. Then the two night lay over at RAF Changi. Some may remember the downwind landing leg in the evening and seeing all the small fires burning in the main village street. The fires were lit by the shop keepers staying up waiting for the RAF plane to land, and wanting to make sure that we realised that they were still open for business! A little different from the Singapore International airport at Changi today.


I also remember bribing the rickshaw drivers to race into town– not something one should admit to these days. Bargaining in the Changi shops was great! One would know in advance what to buy, and get them all at the same shop. They would sit you down with several beers (Tiger of course) and send all the kids out to get items that they did not stock. Finally the bill would be totalled and about 1/3rd would be offered. Then a walk out and drag back, followed by more calculating. Finally after several walk outs, displays of wives, kids and aged dependants, they would despair and let you go. At that point you returned and suggested a couple of extra shirts and an 8mm film and all was smiles! Took several trips and consultations with old hands to work out the technique. Then the bumpy ride to Darwin – always hot and humid as heck, finally the long drag over the incredibly ancient and ground down red landscape, and touch down at Edinburgh field Salisbury. Took a week or so, but an extremely civilised way to fly. No jet lag!

Initially not good. Everything seemed to be hung on poles! Could those be gas mains as well as Electricity, phones, and innumerable signs? Amazing those wooden poles – why didn’t they collapse under all that junk? The corner shops with peeling paint and crazy laws about what you could and could not (legally) buy on Sundays. No one seemed to take much notice of the laws – the “right of way from the right” rule seemed to be a game of bluff. Each driver pretending not to look at the other! As for the 6 o’clock swill – madness! Traffic speed doubled around 6:30 pm. I remember we used to eat at a Greek restaurant in Rundle? street. The owner would bring around some potent illegal brew in coffee cups, and

after a furtive over the shoulder look would announce – “when I say drink, you drink”! But the Largs Pier pub was great and later we moved a couple of doors away to number 179, The Esplanade, Largs Bay. Over the road to the beach, and a ramshackle garage behind to keep the various cars and the 50hp outboard motor boat that we conned Elliotts social club into buying for us.

We got reasonably fit pretty quickly. I remember going water skiing in Port Adelaide (around the mangrove swamps and cargo boats – apparently a breeding ground for sharks and sting rays) at around 4am. Non stop action with the water like glass and a thin layer of warm water on the surface. Then back to number 179 for a huge breakfast fry-up, then off to work, back home after a few quick games of Squash, then out to dinner followed by 10 pin bowling. No problem for us young, single, types! Brought one of the very first Ford Falcons – Ken Quinn has already described the seat conversion job! Got almost written off waiting for someone to come out from the right on the long Port road near the bone factory. The road was dead straight East /West, lethal in the evening with a low sun which was the undoing of the guy who hit me from behind at quite high speed. Suddenly I was doing 30mph down the road, flat on my back (the lay back seats couldn’t cope with that!), and all the doors could not be opened when I finally got it stopped – don’t think the build quality was too good. But the only physical damage was a bruised arm where I had been making the old “I am slowing down, stopping, or turning left “ signal! Got the car rebuilt – but it was never the same. So then brought the great little Fiat 1500 in British racing green – loved that car! I won’t describe the slow roll that Ken and I did – Ken’s description is much better that mine. But I brought the car Tax and Duty free and eventually shipped it back to U.K. The only trouble was that it was an all alloy motor with a huge “export” radiator. In U.K. I used to drive with the radiator blocked off, the t he rmo s t a t ic fan switched off, and it would still go off the dial on the cold side when driving down motorways!

Of course as many of us were young, single and primarily hormone driven, there were plenty of parties! Number 179 was often the venue and getting rid of the empties was quite a chore. As we had a decent sized mantelpiece in the kitchen we piled many of the empty beer bottles there, eventually reaching a towering triangle 12 or so rows high. Then someone discovered that due to uneven stresses, many of the bottles could be removed. All was well for a few days, then perhaps there was a small earthquake or John Ison jumped or something, but the roar of bottles flying in all directions was very impressive, and there was hardly a room in the house without it’s Me looking vaguely fit! Almost new Fiat 1500 share of broken glass. Somewhat to our surprise, no one got cut.

I believe we did occasionally go to work in between the social activities. My primary job was in the trials data analysis group. I don’t remember too much except I guess we used to compare tracking data from the range, to telemetry and recorder data from the Inertial navigator system. We got fairly proficient at error curve filling by solving 4th and 5th order simultaneous equations by hand! We did have some motor driven mechanical calculators to help with the multiplication and division, but the noise of the calculators got a bit much on the days after a trial. I was lucky enough to fly as observer and navigator operator on many of the trials. In the early days we flew in Valiants (I believe there were 3 of those aircraft). Someone can remind me if we actually did any launches from Valiants? Or were they just carry over trials to test missile systems, launch procedures, navigation accuracy, etc? Either way I enjoyed the operational aspects. Setting up the next fix points, gradually compensating for gyro drift errors, keeping detailed written logs in sometimes difficult conditions, taking photos of the instruments at specific times, starting recorders. We often compared launching a Blue Steel to launching an ICBM or large rocket, but from a moving launch platform travelling 5 miles up.

The countdown was a real team effort, everything had to be completed perfectly by each crew member, and no countdown holds were allowed with the launch point which had to be met accurately in position and time approaching at 600+ mph! Most of the technology was fairly new and so it was not really surprising that many of the earlier launches were aborted at some stage of the flight – no one wanted to be responsible for letting loose a million £ plus missile in less than optimum shape!

When not flying on trials we often travelled up to the Woomera range to observe the instruments on the ground and return with the records for intensive analysis before the next launch. Mostly we flew on the regular service between Edinburgh (or was it Adelaide airport?) and Woomera village, and we often stayed overnight at the Senior Mess – the parties there were legendary! But sometimes we drove up in the firm’s Standard Vanguard station wagons – those cars were really tough. The 6 cylinder one often cruising at an indicated 100mph or so on dirt roads, and getting airborne for substantial distances over the railway crossings! I just reread a letter where I mention that we averaged over 74 mph for the 300 plus miles from Adelaide to the range and arrived with 20 mins to spare before the launch. Apparently we missed the plane after stopping in to John Evans’s flat for “a couple of drinks” the evening before. Then we drove back the same day to start the analysis. Over 700miles round trip – we had to be fairly tough as well as the cars! Eventually I was asked to return to U.K to get trained for the higher altitude flying in the B.2 Vulcan and Victor Aircraft.

Back up to Woodford again and renewed many old friendships – but by this time I was missing the weather and easy living down under. Went down to Farnborough (or was it Boscombe Down?) to do the training for the B2 aircraft operations. Learning how to “pressure breathe” where oxygen is forced into your lungs at altitudes above 46,000ft – hard work, the reverse of normal breathing. The highlight was a spell in the decompression chamber where we got subjected to “explosive decompressions” from approx.
20,000ft up to 56,000ft in a couple of seconds. The air goes white with condensation and life jackets and things inflate as any remaining gasses expand to 10 times (or so) their normal volume. But they didn’t warn us that all our internal bodily gasses also expand by the same ratio. Didn’t seem too bad in the chamber, but one certainly realised just how bad it was when we eventually got a sniff of the outside air!

Did some Vulcan flights out of Woodford and learnt a bit about star sights and other Navigational techniques. On one night flight the AVRO airfield was “socked in” so we had to land at the Manchester Ringway domestic airport. The pilots had great fun trying to find their way in the maze of taxiways. Eventually we had to walk through the passenger terminal in full flight gear. Got a few sideways looks from the airport staff and passengers! Then..

It seemed familiar and comfortable to get back into the swing down-under. Work went on with more launches and a hairy incident in a Victor which I have described in an other article. During that period I believe I held the record for the most accurate launch - only 59ft 6.5 inches from “the pin” - but I am not sure really what that meant as usually the ‘target’ was a nominated point some 10,00ft up. But more importantly the social life was as good as ever! I learned to fly light aircraft and after getting my licence and night rating, did some nice long distance flights up to Ayers rock and various other interesting spots. Learned to snow ski at Falls Creek and loved it so much that I did ten weeks skiing in Austria when I went back! Travelled to NZ and visited numerous relatives as well as a good portion of the country. When I eventually married my australian girl friend back in the U.K. we had no savings but I never regretted doing all the things that would be impossible with a young family. The whole experience of living in australia was superb and like manu others on the Trials - never regretted returning to settle permanently.




MANY readers will recall the occasion, seven years ago, when a Vulcan aircraft flew non-stop to Edinburgh Field, South Australia, in record breaking time. On their arrival, the crew was surprised to find that a special Ball had been organized in their honour at short notice by the members of No 4 Joint Services Trials Unit, based at the Weapons Research Establishment near Edinburgh Field. The Ball was made possible by the unique social organisation of the Unit, and this article describes briefly how it was built up.

In November, 1965, a new name appeared on the Australian scene. A town, to be called Elizabeth, in honour of Her Majesty the Queen, was planned on the sweeping sheep grazing plains, north of Adelaide, between the foothills of the Lofty Ranges to the East, and the Spencer Gulf, six miles to the West. The designers and contractors, the South Australian Housing Trust, envisaged a population of 50 000 people by 1968, accommodated in twelve sub-divided districts. It was to have broad, tree-lined thoroughfares and parks, neat well-spaced houses and adjacent amenities, including a main centre for shopping and community affairs.

The problems were considerable. The building programme undertaken was, of necessity, aimed at rapid growth with synchronised industrial expansion to support the ever-growing population. Water was piped 60 miles overland from the River Murray, to be supported by local earthment schemes as they became available. Utilities and services were to be created, and highways laid across previously undeveloped land. Lacking clay, bricks were made of sand and mortar, and a special foundation was devised to combat the shifting soil, Industry was well established, contributing in the automotive, electrical, and building fields. Some specialised industries were in evidence but the Weapons Research Establishment at Salisbury, the Governing seat of Elizabeth, still absorbed most of the work force. At this stage, by virtue of its population, Elizabeth qualified for City status which was granted some time later after much resistance by the Governing Council of Salisbury. Perhaps in deference to the largely English population, a "Pommie" style pub was opened, complete with un-English galvanised iron roof and Aussie beer. However, the atmosphere of an English Hotel was somehow captured by comparison with the usually functionally austere Australian Hostelry. The City Centre was nearing completion by 1965, and offered a very wide scope to shoppers. Three banks had been built, and the whole area shaded by shrubbery and overhanging awnings. Adjacent to the shops, a Civic Centre building and more recreational facilities had been added, together with a 26 acre car park.

Today(1969), the City has reached the planned completion. and extends for a number of miles along a National highway and a mile or so on either side of it. It is served by road and rail and lacks little. Adherence to the original concept has resulted in an extremely spacious and attractive City, designed more for living and enjoyment than commerce. The factories and commercial buildings which lie on the outskirts of the City are surrounded by spacious lawns and gardens which tend to add to the general atmosphere of prosperity.
The mixed population of over 50,000 is predominantly English, but other European National groups are well represented, resulting in an interesting, if diversified culture. Entertainment is still developing but requires additional stimulus. Buildings alone do not a City make; much depends on people to give it life and purpose. Thus, the Elizabethan is justly proud of the progress and position the City has achieved in such a short time, largely through his own efforts. The full potential of Elizabeth has yet to be reached; but meanwhile it stands as a monument to its planners and the successful interpretation of their aims by the very small group of citizens who saw it through the teething troubles during those first, few years of growth.



Ten thousand miles from the site of the proposed new town of Elizabeth, a small group of Officers and NCO's of the Royal Air Force were posted to a Unit operating in the Weapons Research Department of Messrs A. V. Roe and Company Limited at Woodford, Cheshire, during January, 1957.

Numbering less than a dozen, they were to form the nucleus of No 4 Joint Services Trials Unit to assist. in conjunction with the manufacturers, in the research and development of the "Avro Stand Off Bomb", later code named Blue Steel. The early days brought to light a number of domestic problems in that the majority of civilian workers were ex-service (war-time vintage), and were convinced that our primary object in life was to get as much time off as possible. Further to this, they took a lot of convincing that Air Force personnel could be in any way "clued up" technically. I am happy to report that this attitude changed as time went by; and there were even times when civilian staff asked for advice from servicemen.

Apart from the usual problems arising from civilian/service integration, there did occur, occasionally, some very amusing incidents. For example, a Chief Technician, leaning against a scale model of a missile, was sacked on the spot for lounging. The situation showed much potential for the Service personnel, and might well have led to other things. Luckily, our Officers were by this time highly skilled in the ancient art of diplomacy, and the ruffled feathers were quietly smoothed over.

Most of us felt that the factory was run on 'Royal Navy' lines, and this was supported by some of the orders that were inevitab1y published from time to time. One "gem" stated, "Drinking vessels will be stowed away after Stand Easy". Married personnel were accommodated in married quarters at the old RAF Station, Padgate, and it was here, I think, that the true and lasting character of the Unit was moulded. If any of the ladies or children were taken ill, or in hospital, and at Christmas time, the Commanding Officer, Wing Commander S. T. Underwood, OBE, and his good lady would pay an unscheduled visit, complete with flowers, books, sweets, etc. In this way, the families were made to feel as much a part of the Unit as the menfolk, a feeling which was to last throughout the eight years of the Unit's existence.

Late 1959 saw much activity, and excitement mounted as the unit prepared to transfer en bloc to Australia. The reaction of Unit members was somewhat mixed when we found, on arrival, that the new town had very few facilities, roads were levelled and graded but became quagmires during wet weather, and schools were begging for money and volunteer labour for development. The town had no cinema or dance hall, and the trees at the side of the roads were diminutive in size. However, we were housed in pleasant semi-detached bungalows dotted over the town, and the feeling of "being away from it all" improved our general outlook. We more or less unanimously decided that something had to be done about the faci1ities. Little did we realise that we were subsequently to take a major role in the improvement of these facilities.

We were now some 40 strong and looking forward to the interesting task ahead. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen technical difficulties at Woodford, it soon became obvious that apart from writing up our notes from the factory, it might be some time before we received the first missile. This state of affairs led to rumour and counter-rumour until eventually the CO called a meeting to explain the reasons behind the delays.
At the conclusion of the meeting it was agreed that each Officer and SNCO would contribute the sum of 2/- for use in emergencies at the discretion of the CO, and the sum of 24/- was collected. It was also to be used as a float for entertainment although the latter was to be as self-supporting as possible. It was decided that any monies left in the Fund at the conclusion of oar stay in Australia would be used to purchase the usual gift presentations to the various Messes. At a subsequent meeting we decided to send
a sheaf of flowers to all ladies who became ill or were admitted to hospital. The flowers were obtained locally from a lady who afterwards opened the first f1ower shop in Elizabeth and offered us a discount as we were her first customers. From this emerged a "get you out of the 'dog house " scheme whereby personnel could have a bunch of flowers delivered to their home within minutes simply by telephoning a representative on the Unit. This proved very popular with people, like most of us, who were apt to forget birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

Two months after our arrival, we visited the TV studios in the City of Adelaide, and shortly afterwards enjoyed the hospitality of the Cooper Brothers (Brewers) with whom we maintained a friendly relationship for the remainder of our five-year tour. A nominal charge of 1/- was made for these visits, and this was paid into the Social Fund, as we now called it. From this modest start, recreational facilities grew in leaps and bounds and included Treasure Hunts, Dances, Barbecues, Xmas Parties, River Boat Trips, and many others. Some of these showed a loss, and others, a profit, but, very slowly the Fund increased in size. The Unit was actually based inside the Security Area of Weapons Research Establishment at Salisbury, some distance from the RAAF base at Edinburgh Field. This was very inconvenient at times as a great deal of time was wasted daily by personnel requiring cigarettes, stamps, etc. With this in mind, a Chief Technician bought a few packets of the more popular brand from the canteen, using a f1oat from the Fund of £3. The cigarettes were sold at a penny profit, and after four months returned a net profit of £6 15s 3d to the Fund. In view of this remarkable sale and the obvious need for such a service, we contacted the Rothman group of distributors. and they agreed to supply us at a good discount if we formed a "club". Hence the Astral Social Club was born.
The Astral Social Club was taken to include members of the Unit and their families in Australia.

Accounting was separate from the Social Fund but profits were fed into that Fund at regular intervals. No charge was made for membership. The account was audited periodically by the Commanding Officer. To put the distribution on an organised basis, a Corporal took over the sales and increased the turnover of £250 a week to £5.000 a week when he handed it over ten months later. At this stage, with the large amounts involved, a Warrant Officer volunteered for the position of Sales Manager (Honorary). At
the end of 1961, the South Australian Breweries offered us discount facilities, to "club" members only, and another Corporal volunteered to collect and deliver the beer to the members' houses in Elizabeth.... in his own time. This was soon followed by offers from various companies, and a list was made showing members where they could obtain large discounts on goods ranging from Electric Frypans to biscuits, silver ware, sweets, etc. The list was widely publicised, and I believe it helped both Unit members and local traders considerably.

Social activities continued at regular monthly intervals and the increased revenue from sales was used to subsidise these to an even greater extent than before, especially with the children at Christmas. For the parties at Christmas, we always purchased good quality gifts for every child up to the age of 15 years, and a Tree was obtained and fully decorated each year. The Tree, complete with lights, decorations, and a labour force was always donated to the local church.

We made it a policy from the beginning to include as many local personalities as possible at our functions, and this established a very real bond with the townsfolk. We also made a point of taking visiting aircrews to the vineyard of Mr Hermann Thumm who made the most excellent Yaldara wines. The crews were invited to imbibe as much as they could and one SNCO, in a. letter to UK, wrote, "We had a short course (three hours) of wine-tasting today. I am proud to say, we all passed out successfully." Hermann Thumm. an ex-member of the Luftwaffe, showed us the most extreme courtesy during our visits. So much so, that we decided to present him with a plaque for "services rendered to members of the Royal Air Force ". On the occasion of the presentation, he was overcome with emotion, and we were overcome with the 32 bottles of Pink Champagne which he laid on for the benefit of Unit members.

When the record breaking Vulcan crew arrived from UK on Friday. 23rd June 1961, a special Ball was arranged in their honour. In all 213 guests attended. During the evening, the Marching Girls of Elizabeth gave a unique demonstration in the hall. This was the first time such a feat had been attempted, and we had to put resin on their boots halfway through the demonstration to prevent slipping. For this task, we had 202 volunteers, the CO being the only one who remained aloof. I do not subscribe to the theory that the citizens of Elizabeth and the News Service contributed to this by writing up our various activities in somewhat glowing terms. Further, as our married personnel were living in civilian houses on loan to the Service, in the town of Elizabeth, we gradually became an integral part of that community. With the ample funds available, we were able to include our civilian friends in our monthly functions and this served to tie the bonds of friendship even tighter. Due to our close association with the denizens of Elizabeth, our members found themselves co-opted onto many committees and in time we were represented in almost every organisation in the town. From our ranks we supplied leaders for the Scouts, Cubs, Guides, Brownies and the Sea Rangers were actually proposed and organised by the wife of our Senior Equipment Officer. The Elizabeth Singers were also supported by some of our members including the wife of the Commanding Officer. Every year, a week was set aside in Elizabeth to celebrate the anniversary of the foundation date of the town, and among the organising staff were representatives of 4 JSTU, including a Squadron Leader, Flight Lieutenant, Flight Sergeant and two Sergeants. We sold £200 worth of Aboriginal curios on behalf of the Aboriginal Mission in Arnhem land and contributed gifts to the Aboriginal Children in Adelaide. On one occasion, a dance organised by the CO's good lady, realised £100, which we donated to the cost of an air-conditioning plant for the local hospital.

Towards the end of 1963, in keeping with the original objects of the Fund, items were purchased for presentation to the various messes and the cost defrayed from the Social Fund Account. These included a silver rose bowl for the Officers' Mess, a silver punchbowl for the Sergeants' Mess, and a large soccer shield for the Airmen. These cost approximately £120 in all, a sum far in excess of that anticipated in 1960. In addition to these, the Senior NCO's had a special plaque made for the Sergeant's Mess bar. This took the form of a Vulcan in silhouette surmounted by a model Blue Steel missile. Around the edge was inscribed the unofficial Unit motto which was taken to mean "We arm the Eagle ", Just before actually leaving the Mess, a parchment scroll was presented to the CMC, officially handing the property back to the (ab)original occupants, to gather all duties, etc, and having been duly fumigated and passed by the Adelaide Ice Cream Company. This caused much hilarity and cries of " Go home POM " filled the air. A fitting end to a very pleasant tour in Australia.

Wing Commander Underwood left the Unit to return to UK the day after the punchbowl was presented to the Sergeants' Mess, but not without being called upon to fill that vessel which he promptly did with pink champagne. Unfortunately, the bowl appeared to have a graduated leak rate, as it took 14 bottles of the dreaded " bubbly " to fill.

Wing Commander T, M. Fennell, AFC, took over the onorous duties of Commanding Officer of No 4 JSTU early in January, 1964, at a time when the main operational task of the Unit was in full swing and yet at the same time, preparations were already in hand for the inevitable run-down. The task must have seemed formidable to him, being confronted with over 200 Officers and Airmen (some of whom) had not been in the Air Force proper for the last seven years and who were to say the least, individualists to the last man. However, the change-over was effected with a minimum of upsets and the Unit task continued apace. At the first opportunity, a stag party was organised to celebrate the arrival of the new CO and was held on the eve of St Patrick's Day. A total of 99 gallons of beer was consumed and one bus light was damaged during the return of the airmen to Edinburgh Field. Of the 99 gallons of beer, it is only fair to say that a small percentage was used during a schooner race to pour over the competitors' heads. A novel way to remain cool in a heated moment.

Due to the ever increasing workload, entertainment during the following year was limited, but a small number of successful dances were organised by a select committee culminating in a Grand Ball at the very end of the year to which associated civilian firms were invited.


The Unit finally closed at the end of 1964, leaving a skeleton staff to "mop up " (and prepare the

This tour of duty was most unusual and it is certain that the good folk of Elizabeth will long remember the members of No 4 JSTU. To be sure we will be well remembered in the maternity wards of the Llyell MacEwin hospital not only for the fact that our Unit ladies were so familiar with the place but we had the pleasure of contributing £100 to the cost of supplying a cooler for the hospital. In retrospect, it may be claimed that we helped to build the Elizabeth of today.... and by the way, contrary to public opinion, we also serviced missiles.