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Strumble is on the North West tip of Pembrokeshire, west of Fishguard.
The area is known as the Pencaer Peninsula, although it isn't actually a
peninsula. Bordered on two sides by the sea and on the inland side by a
line of low hills, it does give the feeling of being cut off. The focus for
Pencaer is Strumble Head Lighthouse, perched on a tiny island just off
the coast and reached by a small suspension bridge. The Lighthouse is
automated NOW so there isn't any access onto the island.
During the 1960s and 1970s civil and military air traffic control officers worked
and trained together at the site which also retained an air defence and special
tasks role including that of supporting Research and Development flying
programmes from Farnborough and Boscombe Down and the early Concorde
flight trials. [IT] was in 1967 that I completed my Joint Military Fighter
Controller/Civil Area Radar Controller training at Southern Radar RAF Sopley
and in 1968 provided Summer Leave Relief on secondment duties from
London Radar. I remember during that time providing assistance to an Aer
Lingus flight en-route from Cardiff to Dublin, following an ATC clearance
to [RE]join controlled airspace at the Strumble DVOR • subsequent to being
caught in bad-weather en-route • by a process of guiding the pilot around
and between the rain clouds, because of the phenomenally detailed accuracy
of the Type 80 radar, in the detection of weather, as well as aircraft and other
unidentified flying objects [UFO's], which was an inherent nature of the beast
at that time. Oh how that Primary Radar capability swiftly disappeared with the
advent of Secondary Radar and then in more recent times GNSS.
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