Tales from the Control Tower


Tales From The Control Tower is based on the author’s personal experiences of the Royal Air Force. It starts in 1968 with anecdotes about Basic Training at Swinderby where recruits learned drill, marching and given an introduction to service life. From there the Tales move on to Gaydon, a ‘V’ Bomber station where Joe experienced the RAF at its best and its worst, being billeted in a hut with twenty rough necks from the RAF Regiment. At the Air Traffic School at Shawbury Joe was trained in air traffic procedures. During his time there both the piston-engine Provost and the D. H. Vampire were in the final months of service with the RAF. The station was also a storage facility and give details of the many different types of aircraft that were being housed there, awaiting scraping or repair…

Having passed out of Shawbury the story moves on to Manston, where there are various anecdotes about working in the control tower, the foam landings, diversions and one particular incident involving the Red Arrows, that could have lead them to being disbanded.

There are anecdotes about the life style of airmen, the drinking, the women and the strange humour! This period was interesting because it was the ‘Twilight Years’ of the veterans of WWII and of also of piston-engine type aircraft such as the such as the Beverley, Hastings and the DC4.

Joe Bamford has produced an amusing ‘easy read’ about air force life that is very different to the usual ‘Gung Ho’ type story.


Joe Bamford served for six years in Royal Air Force (1968-74) as an assistant air traffic controller. He served at Manston and Akrotiri in Cyprus. Joe has a B.A. Honours in Sociology from Warwick University.

He is the author of The Salford Lancaster, Eyes of The Night and Devotion To A Calling.


  • Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
  • Binding: paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • Illustrations: 35 b/w photographs

Details from: http://fonthillmedia.com

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