One day in 1988 a local builder, Paul Lincoln, drove past the upturned concrete base of a Nissen Hut. In the underside he recognised the tyre tracks of an American lorry hat had driven over the ground just before the concrete was poured. This triggered an awareness that we were in danger of losing some of our WWII buildings.
Paul approached my (Julian Horn’s) mother, Nell, because she was a keen videographer and asked her for help in recording the buildings of the RAF Camp before they were lost forever. Having an interest in wartime history, Julian offered to help and together, Paul and Julian embarked on what would become the Wartime Watton project.
We very quickly realised that it was the memories of people which were far more important and at much greater risk than the structures. Very soon after this, our first attempt to record the buildings of the station, the focus moved to a much more volatile record, that of the people who served here.Looking back, I am now sad that we weren’t able to put much more time into making a record of the buildings but all of us had families making other demands!
I have now edited the video and included an aerial picture of RAF Watton to help orientate you on the journey. The red ‘sonar’ indicates the approximate filming position. When we embarked on this project we knew nothing about making documentaries and very little about the history of the station. So please excuse the rather variable quality!
The people you will see and hear are Rod Rumsby, then Station Engineer, Paul Lincoln who narrates the video, the occasional shot of of one of Paul’s friends, Ken Pickering and the voice of Nell Horn.