Abingdon

ORIGINS OF THE NO. 1 PTS MUSEUM

GEORGE CHANGI 1957 ss
Sqn. Ldr. George Sizeland MBE. Changi 1957

Service biography compiled by Graham Hand*

Click link to open:

George Sizeland Life in Parachuting 2*

…During his time as RO, George started to assemble documents, artefacts and records as exhibits in a project to establish a museum within the PTS HQ. This idea had its genesis when Squadron Leader Ron Smith, a Ringway PJI veteran, and George had worked together at Aldershot. George continued this labour of love, both as RO and later as a civilian, well into his retirement years. The task involved voluntary working weekends to extend the range of exhibits and information boards and maintaining the integrity of the inventory. The PTS Museum became a popular focus for PTS visits and for historical research projects and was later to be named “The Sizeland Room” in his honour…

The PTS Heritage website comprises a selection from the Museum archives in digital form.

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The man himself

This website also gratefully acknowledges the unstinting assistance provided by Michael and Adam Threlfall, père et fils, PJIs both, currently (2020) serving at No.1 PTS.

Flt. Lt. Michael Threlfall
Sgt Adam Threlfall
Display area PTS Hangar Brize Norton 2020. Designed by Michael and Adam – see above
Display Cabinets
Royal Visit to Brize Norton 21 November 1991
DUKE 1991 3 ss
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh with George Sizeland
QUEEN 2 BRIZE ss4
HM the Queen with Graham Hand
WO BILL ALDRICH AFM (SS)
W.O. Bill Aldridge AFM. School Warrant Officer Abingdon 1950 – 54. Photograph courtesy George Sizeland
Ex PJI Doddy Hay, Martin-Baker ejection seat trials 1960. Doddy was a member of the British Team at the 2nd WPC in 1954
Source: Royal Air Force Historical Society Journal 37

Swiss Army Mountain Rescue Team Course September – October 1954
RAF Abingdon 1954. Photo courtesy Graeme Card
Mountain Rescue Team Course. Rear row OC PTS Wg.Cdr. Jimmy Blyth second left, Alf Card on right. Front row Flt. Lt. Bill Paul Course OIC. Photo courtesy Graeme Card
JIMMY BLYTH ABINGDON ss
HRH Princess Alexandra visit Abingdon circa 1956, with OC PTS Wg.Cdr. Jimmy Blyth and Ben Cass, tree lowering device demo. Photo courtesy Irene Cass
CRANWELL CADETS 1956 ss
Cranwell cadets course 1956. Instructors seated l-r Snowy Robertson, Ben Cass, Flt. Lt. Bob Wiltshire, F.S. Robbie Robertson, Frank Weatherley. Photo courtesy Irene Cass
PETE HARTLAND ss
Newly qualified PJIs: Pete Hartland, Keith Teesdale, Ron McKail with School WO Jock Fox 1956. Photo courtesy Ron McKail
XMAS 1956 ss
Christmas Ball 1956, Abingdon Town Hall.  Front row centre Pete Hartland, Ron McKail, Keith Teesdale, Tommy Moloney, Alf Card. Ron Ellerbeck second row between Hartland and McKail. Photo courtesy Ron McKail

There were also visits from various film companies. We acted as stand-ins for Alan Ladd (The Red Beret), Virginia McKenna (Carve Her Name with Pride), George Peppard (Operation Crossbow) and Brigitte Bardot (Babette goes to War), the latter comedy involving a balloon programme on the airfield. It was blowing about 20 knots, the cable was at a ridiculous angle and the exit height was about six hundred feet, but we all survived the subsequent dragging and were each £5 better off for the experience. Brigitte was scheduled for the Officers Mess for lunch, but was hijacked by Jock Fox to No. 2 Sergeants Mess where she perched herself on a bar stool, surrounded by PJIs and press photographers, with a pint of bitter in her hand and listening to our chat-up lines until we all had to head off back to work.

(Brevet p.7)

brigitte bardot
Brigitte Bardot with Geordie Platts (despatcher) on left, School Warrant Officer Jock Fox centre. 13 April 1959.

Alan Ladd, with CMC W.O. Bill Aldridge Sgts Mess 1953. Photo courtesy Sean Walsh
Brian Jones, Danny Sutton, Alf Card, Bert Shearer, Norman Hoffman. Abingdon circa 1955. Photo courtesy Graeme Card
ACD ss
PJI stick stand up C82 Fairchild Packet. Ron McKail second left, opposite Frank Platts. Photo courtesy Ron McKail
WALL:HASTINGS 1960 ss
Sgt Paddy Wall, Abingdon circa 1960. Photo courtesy Brian Smith (nephew) and John Griffiths
PAT SS
W.O. Pat Moloney BEM. School Warrant Officer 1964-67
REAR COVER SS
JIM HURFORD SS
W.O. Jim Hurford BEM. School Warrant Officer 1980-83.
PTS DETACHMENTS
SPECIAL FORCES DUKE OF YORKS HQ circa 1967
DY ENH ss
Rear row: Tommy Atkinson, Bert King,  Eric Harrington, Brian Jones, Frank Weatherly. Seated: Peter Burgess, Bill Last, Peter Hearn, Ben Cass. Photo courtesy Peter Hearn
RHODESIA OCTOBER 1961
RHODESIAN PTS
PJIs Flt.Lt. Ron Smith front row centre. Sgts Tod Suttie and Terry Hagan behind on right
PTS GRADUATES – ROD MURPHY TA COURSE 21/1961
MURPHY QUAL ss
Note Jake McLoughlin attesting signature
MURPHY LOGBOOK ss
Rod Murphy logbook entries
COURSE 66V ss
South African Parachute School first FF course. Rod Murphy back row second left. Photo courtesy Rod Murphy

See also: http://highabovefarbeyond.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-saviac-parachute-story-by-john.html?fbclid=IwAR36u_fmB7QhManORSSL42GKAXMRFrJGPTepk357AH4PF6NrZ0OqbHjhuWI

ABINGDON

Falcons 1973. Photo courtesy Denis Wreford
RAF Weston-on-the-Green
RAF Weston on the Green DZ 1961


Weston, oil painting by Falcons team member Pete George, circa 1972 Currently displayed in ADW HQ Brize Norton
HEARN SS 2
OC PTS Wg.Cdr. Peter Hearn on DZ, 28 April 1972
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OC Weston and RAFSPA Secretary Flt.Lt. Peter Burgess with racing driver Graham Hill. Photo courtesy Nicola Johnson
Minor Units Dining Hall Competition Winners December 1973
pb aoc ss
OC Weston Flt.Lt. Peter Burgess receives trophy from AOC 38 Group, Air Marshal Frederick Hazlewood. Photo courtesy Nicola Johnson
PTS Staff Abingdon 1974
PTS ss 1964
1974
59 way ss
PTS 59-way 5 August 1974, George Long facing camera. Photo courtesy Peter Hearn
59 WAY ENH ss
59-way C 130 emplane as above
Epilogue – April 1978 Operation Guardian Angel. Prince Charles and Prince Andrew para trained at Brize Norton
Prince Andrew TA3A/78
ANDREW WINGS ss
Receiving Wings and Certificate
TAVR:3A ss2
TA Course 3A/78. Prince Andrew centre, second right. Flt.Lt.Ed Cartner on his right
ANDREW CREWWROOM ss2
Crewroom presentation
Prince Charles, Colonel in Chief the Parachute Regiment, Course 841A/78  Basic
PRINCE CHARLES COURSE 1978 (Ed Cartner)
Instructor is Sgt. Glan Evans. Flt. Lt. Brian Stevenson, Falcons Team Leader 1983, is to the right of Prince Charles. Photo courtesy Ed Cartner
CHARLES WINGS ss2
The Prince presented with his wings by  Chief of the Air Staff, Sir Michael Beetham
CHARLES:OCPTS ss2
Prince Charles with OC PTS, Wg.Cdr. Jim Reynolds
CHARLES AND GLAN ss
The Prince and the Instructor: Sgt Glan Evans
CHARLES AND TEESDALE ss
With School W.O. Keith Teesdale and OC PTS Jim Reynolds

Former OCs PTS at presentation of Whitley oil painting Brize Norton 7 October 1989
WATSON ss2
Wg.Cdr.Peter Hearn, Artist, Wg.Cdr. Peter Watson, Station Commander Gp.Capt. Hurrell, Wg.Cdr. Jimmy Blyth. Photo courtesy Peter Hearn
BLYTH ss2
OC PTS 8 June 1953 – 7 July 1958. RIP

ENDEX

LINKS

PJI Canopy Club Association

http://www.pjicanopyclub.com

RAF Falcons

http://www.raf.mod.uk › Display teams › Falcons

PARADATA

http://www.paradata.org.uk/

https://www.paradata.org.uk/unit/no-1-pts-raf-ringway

Operational Codenames

http://codenames.info/about

TracesOfWar.com

https://www.tracesofwar.com/default.asp