• audio: Working at RAF Aird Uig

    by  • 5 August 2008 • Audio, History • 7 Comments

    Donald Matheson 6 Ardroil speaking in 2005 about working in the Sergeant’s Mess at RAF Aird Uig 1958-64; interviewed by Keith Stringer.

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    7 Responses to audio: Working at RAF Aird Uig

    1. Donald Smith
      6 August 2010 at 9:24 pm

      just a little more information re RAF camp at Aird Uig. We stayed in the house nearest the camp and I remember another sergeant Mitchell who was stationed there and also another Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader Jones.

      My father was the late Angus Smith (Carishader) and I will over the next few weeks check the many notes he left re life at “The Camp”

      Another of the civilian workers involved in the construction of the camp was my uncle John Smith (Sgrang) from Carishader.

      Anyway, hope I can help to fill in some more info re the influence that the camp had on Uig life

      Regards
      Donald Smith (Inverness)

    2. S Morrison
      7 August 2010 at 1:47 pm

      Audio Working at RAF Aird Uig how does one listen to it?

      • 12 August 2010 at 1:16 pm

        There may have been a bug in it but it should work now – click the arrow.

    3. John Macdonald
      15 August 2010 at 9:23 pm

      I’d be fascinated to read Mr Smith’s father’s notes on life at “The Camp”. I can only hope that Mr Smith’s research will prompt more people to delve into their memories (and attic shoe boxes!) to provide more information on this important aspect of Uig history.

    4. Lawrie Dickson
      17 August 2010 at 4:01 pm

      I was stationed at RAF Aird Uig from early February 1958 until October 1958 as a radar technician. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay up there and have always wanted to revisit the island.Unfortunately I live on the South coast now, which is about as far as you can get from Lewis. I made some good friends up there, both in the air force and among the civilians. I used to play football for the camp and we had many successful games against the Island teams. We could never beat Stornoway United though. They were a bit too good for us and I also think the amount of beer we drink did not help our cause. I remember one particular trip to Ness when we kicked off about 10.30 pm by the light of the midnight sun,I think. We had quite a few drams taken in a place which I think was a tank trap or a gun emplacement from WW2. It was an illegal still and I don’t remember to this day if we celebrated before or after the match, or what the score was! We used to have a drink or two in the Royal Hotel and a game of dominoes and darts with the local men before we went to the dance. ( I think it was called the Royal).
      We had a Polish Squadron Leader when I arrived and he was a great guy and did everything he could to make life easier for the airmen. My mate, Dave Knight actually managed to get him to ask the NAAFI fund for a boat so he could fish, and he came up with the goods. Dave kept up a steady supply of fish to the mess after that.We often had salmon for breakfast after one of his trips.
      I had an email from a Murdo MacLean last week who was at the camp with me and he lives in Stornoway so I am hoping to re-establish some connectios. I have visited a few web-sites and it is amazing at some of the changes that have taken place. My biggest problem is remembering surnames of even my closest pals. One of the joys of getting old, better than the alternative though.
      The man I remember vividly is our bus driver, I think it was John Angus, he was a fine charachter. When our bus met something coming the other way he would insist on pacing out who was furthest from the layby to decide who backed up. Not many argued with him.
      I look forward to reading your posts in the future,
      Lawrie Dickson.

    5. Gareth Hughes (Taff Hughes)
      21 February 2012 at 4:48 pm

      Just listened to Donald Matheson’s interview, very interesting as I knew most of the people he mentioned, it brought back lots of memories. I was stationed as an RAF Policeman at Aird Uig from Sep 1961 to September 1963 and enjoyed every minute of my time there. I visited there 2 years ago and it was sad to see the state of the place now. I remeber having to escort prisoners to their meals in the Airmens Mess as Donald mentioned. I used to write a lot for the camp magazine called The Uig Echo, I still havee about six copies of that magazine and one of them has a profile of Norah Macdonald the N.A.A.F.I shop manageress. I am married to a girl from the Island so still have a lot of connections with the Isle of Lewis.

      • Colin (Taff) Garvey
        22 May 2012 at 9:47 am

        What a lovely surprise to see your letter. Hope you and Morag are keeping well. Isobel and I are doing ok also been back a couple of times ( saw the camp) am hoping to take Miss Stornoway 62 back next year to celebrate our 50th. Keep to those lovely memories (we do).

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