Princess Anne visits RAF Stafford

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Date:27th of April 1982

Description:Front Row (left to right): Wg. Cdr. Mike Barham, Wg. Cdr. John Andrews, Wg. Cdr. Don Rule, Wg. Cdr. John Pink, Princess Anne, Gp. Capt. ‘Dickie’ Allerton, Wg. Cdr. Stewart Adams, Wg. Cdr. Chin Lim, Sqn. Ldr. Kirkham.

Second Row: Mr Cockerall, Sqn. Ldr. Perkins, Mr Mann, Sqn. Ldr. Roger Wood, Sqn. Ldr. Brazier, Mr Hagerty, Sqn. Ldr. Bill Gordon, Mr Jack Beckinsale.

Third Row: Mr Pickard, Sqn. Ldr. Parkin, Sqn. Ldr. Phil Flucker, Fg. Off. Shillabeer, Sqn. Ldr. Smith, Sqn. Ldr. Trevor Redley, Dr Anderson.

Back Row: Captain Castelli (Italian Air Force), My Hyland, Rev. Sqn. Ldr. Jones, Oberleutnant Helgi Brasat (German Air Force), Sqn. Ldr. David MacInnes, Sqn. Ldr. Lyon.

During her visit to the Station Princess Anne opened the new Corporal’s Club, she also saw the Sergeant’s and Officer’s Messes, SADAC (Storage and Distribution Activity Centre), TSW (Tactical Supply Wing) and the Gymnasium where she watched a demonstration of sporting, welfare and recreational activities.

The Royal Air Force Rifle Association was founded in 1921. In 1946 it became the Royal Air Force Small Arms Association. Over the years the Association has been responsible for sporting shooting discipline and competition shooting with Service weapons. Around 1926-27 Nobel Industries provided a silver cup known as the Nobel Challenge Cup for competition winners. The founder of the Nobel Prize, Alfred Nobel established the British Dynamite Co in the early 1870s in Ardeer, Scotland. The company became Nobel Industries which later formed part of ICI (Imperial Chemical Industry) and around 2000-2002 ICI was bought by Inabata & Co.

RAF Stafford was formed 1 December 1939 following the purchase by the Treasury of 362 acres of land near Stafford. The main site was at Beaconside and originally known as No. 16 Maintenance Unit or more often as 16 MU and there were outlying sites around the area. The Unit's motto was ‘Instumenta Fundamenta’ which translates as 'Supplies are the Foundations'.

Apart from helicopters, the site was a non-flying base which formed part of a large and complex RAF logistics organisation. There were many enormous stores and warehouse buildings with facilities for the maintenance of equipment and storage of parts needed by the Ministry of Defence in order to keep front line aircraft flying worldwide. Later the site also became involved in supporting military aircraft for NATO partners in Europe and for India and New Zealand.

The site celebrated 50 years in 1989 and at that time stood on 670 acres with seven dispersed sites. There were around 1600 personnel of which half were service and half civilian. The stores held around 617,000 different items of equipment including airframes, aero-engine spares, complete engines (e.g. for the Tornado), guided missile spares, right down to nuts and bolts.

On 1 April 1999 the name 16 MU disappeared and two new agencies were created with the site renamed as RAF Stafford and DSDC (Defence Storage and Distribution Centre) Stafford, subsequently known as DSDC North. In later years, due to Government policy, there were many changes for RAF Stafford and airmen and airwomen began to relocate to other sites. On 17 December 2004 the Mountain Rescue Team relocated to RAF Valley after 42 years with RAF Stafford. During September 2005 DSDC North was closed and on 31 March 2006 RAF Stafford closed after 67 years.

The site was given a new future by the Ministry of Defence who required the Army to occupy the base and it was given a new name: Beacon Barracks, MOD Stafford. A major redevelopment of the site took place with new buildings and facilities for troops transferring to Stafford. Additionally a new estate of over 340 houses was created on one of the former Storage sites opposite to the Beacon Barracks main entrance.

Copyright for this image belongs to MOD Stafford (Ministry of Defence) and it may not be used for resale or commercial purposes without MOD Stafford’s express permission.


The timeline shows resources around this location over a number of years.

Officers and Service Personnel at RAF Stafford
Officers and Service Personnel at RAF Stafford

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The Station Farm, RAF Stafford
The Station Farm, RAF Stafford

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Outgoing Group Captain tours the site, RAF Stafford
Outgoing Group Captain tours the site, RAF Stafford

Pictured on a cold February day the outgoing Station Commander, Group Captain R ...

The Duke of Kent visits RAF Stafford
The Duke of Kent visits RAF Stafford

The Duke of Kent with Michelle Gilchrist, storekeeper in the SADAC (Storage and ...

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Creators: MOD Stafford (The Ministry of Defence) - Contributor

Donor ref:Princess-Anne-(1) (198/27844)

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