Life at Ibsley circa 1951

by Robert Leeder
(Staines, Surrey, UK)

I was stationed at RAF Ibsley in 1951 having finished my basic training at RAF Padgate in Lancashire I was shipped to Ibsley in July '51. The actual camp was situated on the outskirts of Ibsley village and on the edge of the New Forest. Then I was a trainee telephonist and the PBX was in the forest and directly in line with the airfield runway which then still existed. The camp itself was a very ramshackle place and horses and cattle roamed freely amongst the huts. There was no point in walking the length of the camp to the guardroom because all one had to do to get out was to climb over a sty. After a few weeks passed by and I was promoted to LAC I started dating a girl called Janet Futcher who lived in "The Old Beams" tearooms on the main Salisbury/Ringwood road and we became engaged in early December '51. If anyone is interested and needs more information contact me via New Forest Life website R A Leeder ( Staines, Surrey)

What a lovely memory - thanks for telling us all about this time Robert. I don't know if you have been back to the area but the Control Tower is still standing and is (hopefully) about to undergo restoration work in the future. The guardroom area is still in tact and each year, in August, Bygone Days takes place on the field and amongst the buildings. The Old Beams is still on the A338 and is now a restaurant.
Thanks you again - Christina

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