Photographs from the Falkland Islands
Please note that these photographs were taken with a 110 camera and not very well developed, consequently they are of rather poor quality and in most cases you are not going to see a better picture by clicking on the image to get the larger version. They are all I've got.
Views around Port Stanley
On the left is the Upland Goose Hotel, probably famous around the world after the conflict, and the less well-known Globe Hotel in the photo next to it. The chap who owned the Globe at the time had gone to the Falklands to get away from the hurly-burly of modern life and absolutely hated it when the bar was packed out every night with boistrous, boozy servicemen. Eventually we were banned but I had stopped going there anyway because I couldn't stand the noise and clamour. Besides them is a photo of the cathedral on the harbour front and a photo of a typical back street.
Be warned, the larger version of this will take ages to download, it's nearly 300k, but you might find it fun to scroll along the harbour front. Just to the left of center is the Sir Tristram, sister ship to the Sir Lancelot that were both bombed out in Bluff Cove. The Tristram was less severely damaged, see below, and was towed to the harbour to be used by the Royal Engineers for accommodation and workshops. At the center of the frame is the main jetty where we used to catch the landing craft to and from the ships, the composite photo was taken from the Rangatira where I was accommodated. Government House and all the main official buildings are away to the right of the frame.
As you might expect, the place was littered with the remains of the conflict. At the far end of the airfield, down by the harbour, was a collection of wrecked Argy aircraft, mostly Pucara and Aermacchi's. They had been stripped of anything and everything that might be a useful souvenir, there was precious little left for me by the time I got there. It was interesting to note that many of the aircraft had been flown to the islands straight from the factory and were still in their factory yellow undercoat. They then had to be hastily painted-over with paint bought in the Falkland Islands Store in Stanley. Since the Argies were keen to win 'hearts-and-minds' they had a policy of behaving like civilians and would go down to the store, stand in the queue and pay cash for the supplies they needed, rather than simply comandeer them. Next is the Sir Tristram, being used by the RE's for accommodation, they worked bloody hard when they were down there, to the wonderment of the rest of us, there was a staggering amount of work needing to be done, rebuilding the airfield was just for starters. The government have always maintained the invasion came right out of the blue and could not have been foreseen. The aircraft flown direct from their factories might indeed suggest the invasion was a hastily arranged affair, another clue comes from these Mercedes G-Wagen's. The Argies leased these by the score soon after the invasion and when they left them all behind afterwards, they stopped paying the installments. Well, wouldn't you? The problem for the German firm that had leased them was that they had broken German law by so doing and so they appealed to the British to give them back. They were disappointed. On the right is an arms collection point along the road leading out to the airfield, the whole area around Stanley was littered with weapons of every kind and in every state of decay - making the job of collecting them very hazardous indeed.
Where ever you find yourself, you try to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Here's me on the left in my 'stateroom' shared with five others, holding up a pair of camoflaged long-johns. They think of everything. Next is my good friend Olly Reiley working away in the workshop tent, we were looking after transmitters that had spent their working life being thrown around in vehicles permanently on exercise with the Tactical Communications Wing. They stood up to it very well but the battle was trying to get hold of spares, tools and test equipment because TCW were only equipped for the odd week away at a time. We had out own cooking facility on site because we were so remote from the airfield, but on camp the 'in' place to eat was "Slapp's Diner" where spam fritters were the most popular dish. They closed it down once and opened up a proper tented dining complex, but there was such an outcry that Slapps was reprieved. Later on we saw the arrival of the traditional Naafi wagon, two in fact, the registration plates reading "NAFF 1" and "NAFF 2".
Meanwhile, back at the harbour, a shot of the Rangatira, and one of a Townsend Thoresen cargo ferry being used for stores with the Norland, being used for accommodation, besides it.
On the left is a view up Philomel Road from the jetty. You might just be able to make out a shack by the start of the jetty, this is "Philomel Stores". The story behind that is someone bought it sight-unseen from England after the conflict mistakenly thinking it was the much larger Falkland Island's Store. He was not a happy bunny when he arrived to take over, I gather that he has since sold it back to the son of the chap who sold it to him. At a loss. Here are a group of us heading back at the end of a hard day's slog in the photo on the right.
And here's how we got back to the ships. The small boat has brought the helicopter ground-crew over, while in the next shot you can see a tank landing craft, either the "Antwerp" or the "Arromanche" packed with workers in the early evening. Finally, a view from the same as more arrive by helicopter.