End of an era for RAF base

Closing Ceremony at RAF Stanbridge
Closing Ceremony at RAF Stanbridge

In preparation for the closure of RAF Stanbridge in March 2013, the unit held its formal closure ceremony lowering the ensign for the last time which signalled the end of a long and illustrious history.

It was a spectacular, albeit wet, day with many local dignitaries present including the Mayor and Mayoress of Leighton-Linslade and senior military personnel.

The RAF Central Band provided a musical accompaniment to the parade which involved RAF Stanbridge military personnel and members of 1003 Sqn ATC. The parade started with an impressive spitfire flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

In the evening some 300 guests turned up to be entertained by a live band and table magician along with a fireworks display that lit up the sky to produce a fitting finale to the night.

Since its opening in May 1939, the unit has covered many roles from being a communications unit during the Second World War to the Joint Services Air Trooping Centre. In 1990 all other activities ceased at Stanbridge apart from the Supply Central Computer System which is still there today.

In 1988 the unit received the honour of being given the Freedom of Leighton-Linslade and the unit has had long ties with the town being present at the annual Battle of Britain service and providing personnel for the Remembrance Day parade.

Currently home to approximately 100 personnel most of these will be transferring to a new centre in Milton Keynes with a gradual drawdown already started and planned through to March 2013 when the gates will shut for the final time and the site will be handed over to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation for onward disposal.

> Do you have memories of RAF Stanbridge? Email news@lbobserver.co.uk.

For more pictures see the June 26 issue of the Leighton Buzzard Observer