Challenge 17 – Nailed It!

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This one was a whole lot of fun!

Five Year 10 students are with the Royal Air Force on work experience this week. They have had a superb time working in a number of different locations, learning about the history and different roles in the RAF. Today they were going to RAF Stenigot to see what happens when members of the RAF, including the Royal Signals, are sent there for training and assessment. They knew that they needed a head for heights but they weren’t quite sure why.

RAF Stenigot was a Second World War radar station. It was part of the Chain Home radar network which assisted the British Army to identity and respond to enemy planes. After the network was decommissioned, Stenigot radar tower remained as the only memory of this important work.

The RAF continue to use the radar tower as part of their training and assessment programme. Our students had the chance to climb to the 50m and 90m stations, the two platforms shown on the photo below. Somehow, they also managed to arrange for me to go to the top at 360 metres…all the way up a maze of ladders. It was hard work, on the shoulders and arms mostly, as lactic acid set in during the climb. But our efforts was wonderfully rewarded with the views at the top!

When we got to the top we were also greeted by an ammunition box and a book that all successful climbers sign to say they have visited! My fellow climber and trip arranger, Aggi, wrote in the book and proceeded to drop the pen…watching it tumble through the tower and onto the grass below. Muppet!! Needless to say, she didn’t climb down to bring it back up again!

What a fabulous day…a challenging climb, superb views and fabulous company. Thanks to Aggi, John and all the gents at the RAF for making this possible. This is one experience for the memory book!

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