Ascension : RAF Leeming Staff Ride 2012
Submitted by The Islander (Islander Editors) 10.01.2013 (Article Archived on 24.01.2013)
A party of five Staff Ride personnel from RAF Leeming comprising Sergeant Darren Hart,
RAF Leeming Staff Ride 2012
A party of five Staff Ride personnel from RAF Leeming comprising Sergeant Darren Hart, Sergeant Julie Sanderson, Corporal Stuart Roberts, Senior Aircraftsmen Lauren Palmer and Tomas Salt arrived in Ascension Island on Thursday 13th Dec 2012. Their mission was to renovate the Hood guns that sit above Georgetown on Jubilee Hill back to there original pristine condition as they were when they were removed from HMS Hood in 1935. The last time the guns were refurbished was 1984, it has been clear to any visitors that a concentrated effort was needed to tackle the weather battered guardians overlooking Georgetown. Immediately on arrival onto Ascension Island the team took the bull by the horns and willingly threw themselves at the task. Thankfully three team members had visited the Island in previous years so the usual Island familiarisation and bedding in was not required. After a morning of administration the team moved up to Jubilee Hill and met with Mr Drew Avery of the Ascension Island Heritage Society who explained in detail what was required to get the guns back in shape and able to withstand the next ten years of weather. The tools were handed over, safety briefs were explained and the team were ready for the off. Drew was on hand at all times to help the project move forward, with the Ascension Island Government, CSR and Interserve all donating material and equipment for the project.
The first few days were tough going as the morning rain showers hampered the efforts to clear the old paint and rust from the first of the two guns. With much perseverance the Staff ride personnel prepared the first of the guns for the undercoat of paint. They soon had this done and moved onto the second of the guns as the paint was not to hand. With a flurry of activity the paint arrived and the final coats were applied. The guns were now handed back to the Island Heritage Society preserved for the next few years by the determination and enthusiasm of the RAF Leeming Staff Ride,
Visitors can now see the Hood guns at their very best thanks to the efforts of all involved. A brief handover ceremony took place with Acting Island Administrator Peter Clements, the AIG Director of Resources Hamish Stewart, Wing commander Mark Taylor, Mr Drew Avery and Mrs Alison Blunt of the Heritage Society, Sergeant Paul Staley and the RAF Leeming Team.