Its been some time since we reported on the progress of the documentary
"Wattisham from Both Sides of the Fence" but we are very pleased to report that we are nearly there!
Many more interviews have been carried out covering a wide variety of topics which will help us bring the documentary to a conclusion. Viewpoint Production are now starting the complex process of editing all the many hours of film which have been taken over the last two and a half years since we started this mamouth project.
We are aiming to have the documentary finished and ready for release by the end of September 2017. This date was chosen because it will be exactly 80 years since the base then known as RAF Wattisham started being constructed in 1937 since then the base has undergone many changes all of which have been documented all the way up to the present time with the base now being occupied by the Army and is now refered to as Wattisham Flying Station and is the home of the Apache Helicopter Attack Force.
The base continues to evolve and we have been privileged to have been allowed to document and film events which represent the ever changing face of Wattisham Flying Station such as the last Sea King SAR Squadron to be based here also we been able to film and interview the National Police Air Service which is leaving Wattisham at the end of March 2017.
To give you a flavour of the range of topics covered, below is a small sample of the stories which we have recently filmed for the production.
- We interviewed – Tim Smith from the USA whose grandfather Maryon served as an aircraft technician at the 4th Strategic Air Depot, and was befriended by a local family who treated them as their ‘son’. Maryon also met a local lady who became a ‘war bride’, and spent the rest of her life happily married in the USA.
- Wing Cdr Mark Manwaring, navigator of Phantom XT914, Wattisham’s display Phantom ahead decommission of the aircraft type nationwide in 1992.
- A lady who was the wife of a Gloster Meteor pilot at Wattisham in the 1950’s who eloquently described life and times of post war Wattisham from a female perspective. Very sadly this lady passed away shortly after being filmed.
- The very last RAF station commander at Wattisham, historically handing the station over to the army.
- The last flying RAF unit to leave Wattisham, B Flt SAR.
- United States Army Air force former pilots and ground crew reminisce about their aircraft and missions from Wattisham during the second world war.
- Jack Johnson, a local boy who during the war years observed tragic events on and around the airfield during the war, and post war years.
- Steve Taylor Snr, whose father lost his life close to the airfield in the late 1950’s whilst carrying out a demonstration flying a Gloster Javelin, he was a USAF exchange pilot
- Recollections of the many Royal visits and ‘tales from the Mess’
- The present AHF Commander, and the Station Staff Officer give unique interviews.
- Life as groundcrew with an English Electric Lightning engineer, during the 1960’s.
- Mike Bettell, flew both the Lightning and the Phantom at Wattisham, and settled in Suffolk.
- Interviews with the National Police Air Service.
- Aviation artist Geoff Pleasance and Dave Eade recall their teenage years attending the magnificent air shows put on by RAF Wattisham in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s
We have a few areas we would like cover in a little more depth and would like to appeal to our followers to come forward in order that we may interview anyone who worked at
- Anglia Radar in the 1950’/60’s,
- Female civilians who worked at Wattisham in the 50’s 60s and 70’s, equally any WAAF’s surviving who were stationed at RAF Wattisham.
If you would like to contribute to this documentary with any of the above then please contact us via our contact page.