Did you ever recieve my experiences of Padgate?
I arrived at Padgate in Oct 1946 as a 17 yr old recruit about to start a 2 yr National Service stint in the RAF, this was for the initial enrollment, which took but a few weeks, -- I never saw any 'gate-guardiains', or any other aircraft in the area, to me it was a very grim univiting place composing of long dimly light wooden huts each of which slept 20/30 people, nearly everyone who had to report to that place hated it, & expressed their feeling in very strong words --- a very mild/common remark to new recruits from anyone with experience of Padgate would be :-- 'You'll be sorry' -- & they were not wrong --- it was a frightful place for a 17 yr old on his first experience away from home, & it would remain a stain on his brain for the rest of his life. it was very much like a 'prison camp' to us. Many thousands of other youths who entered those gates would reiterate my comments I feel sure -- no doubt in much stronger language than mine. Your students should count their blessings that they do not have to spend their precious early days of youth in such places followed by two yrs of enforced service.
The younger generation, who it now seems are taught on the very ground where we had so many bad memories, should feel it a priviledge to be sitting in the comfort of a modern building, with all amenities, on the very ground where we had to tolerate so much discomfort - displeasure in our youth.
Nice to know that at least the ghastly past of RAF Padgate is now covered for ever by a high school, instead, which appeared to our young minds,'A school of torture'.
For years Padgate was a name dreaded by all fit youngsters who awaited the 'call-up papers to arrive by post, ---even until it was finally closed --- may I ask when that was ?
I would very much like to hear some opinions of your scholars to my remarks.
Leslie R M
I'm a Governor of Padgate High School which is on the former RAF Padgate site. To your knowledge, were any static aircraft there as a Gate Guard or for recruits to familiarise themselves with?
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