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Arrival MPA !

Finally after many hours waiting at Gatwick, flying, waiting at Rio and flying again we arrive at Mount Pleasant Airbase (MPA) in the Falkland islands.

We have returned :

bobs familyIt was really exciting to finally arrive at the Islands and we had a brilliant view on the way in due to it being daylight and the weather and visibility was really good. I now started to get a little bit apprehensive as although I had been emailing my hosts Bob and Lynne for some time before the trip I had no idea what they were really like. However everything turned out to be fine as they were really friendly and down to earth people. Bob was in charge of all the road building on the Islands and Lynne worked as a PA to the director of the Falkland isalnds Company. They live on Ross Road West in Jhellum house opposite the actual wreck of the Jhellum, the house was originally built for the British Antartic Survey and then became owned by thye Falkland Islands Goverment. It is now a private dwelling in a very quiet and picturesque part of Port Stanley with views of the waterfront and Two Sisters mountains.

(pictured above is Bob, Lynne and son coming out of the front gate of Jhellum House ).

jh2

(pictured above is Bob and Lynnes house. It is named Jhellum after the ship wreck in the water opposite).

Jhellum: The Jhellum is a very old wreck of a Dutch trading ship and details of her can be found in the Falklands Islands Museum.

Mount Pleasant Airfield

planeOn arrival at MPA we were greeted by the RAF staff and were again divided into groups alphabetically for transport. It was all dealt with very quickly and painlessly. It was obvious a lot of planning had gone into this trip already. Tea and coffee was provided while we waited for transport to the Falkland Islands Defence Force Hall where we would get our introductory chat and meet up with our hosts.

 

FIDF Hall

fidfWe were taken by coach to the FIDF Hall to pick up our baggage and meet our hosts who took us to their homes to unpack and settle in. Later that night was a reception at the FIDF Hall where drinks and food was provided and we all had the chance to socialise with the Islanders and other pilgrims. (picture to the right is Dotty and Smudge with my host Bob at the Fidf hall reception).

 

First Day

round robinThe first day was an early start and I was picked up by 4x4 by one of Bob's foremen who took me to the FIDF Hall to join a convoy of vehicles which were to take us on a 'round Robin' of East Falkland' which would include a sevrvice at Blue Beach military cemetary at San Carlos. Meals were provided again by the RAF and they did a good job too considering the weather, numbers and location.

 

sancarlosThe service at San Carlos was quite emotional and although it started to sleet it did not ruin the moment. It was really uncanny to see HMS Clyde in San Carlos water which looked so such a small area of water considering the shipping that was packed in there 25 years ago. It made me wonder how lucky we were that so few ships were sunk during the air raids and how lucky that initially the Argentinians messed up by failing to prime their bombs correctly. If it was not for the media alerting the Argentinians to this fact then maybe less ships would have been lost. (Smudge and I at San Carlos cemetary, above right).


Matt Penny : Looks nothing like his Dad lucky for him.

Matt Penny

mattOne of the lads on HMS Clyde was the son of Dave Penny who was one of our lads from HMS Glamorgan in 1982. I was asked by Dave to take matthew's birthday present down and present it to him when we had our Glamorgan dedication service on HMS Clyde. The day this picture was taken mat had come ashore at Blue beach from HMS Clyde which was anchoired in San Carlos waters.

 

roundrobinAfter the service at San Carlos we were allowed to ask our driver to take us wherever we liked on the way back to Stanley. Our driver Lardy was well clued up already and took us to where Colonel H Jones was killed, to where Nick Taylor of 800 Naval Air Squadron was buried after he was shot down in his harrier jump Jet. We wenjt to Darwin, Goose Green settlement, the argtentine cemetery and memorials to thye Paras who dies at Goose Green. (Picture on right taken out of the front of Lardy's vehicle whilst on the move).

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Version: 19 March 2008