THE T1154/R1155 RAF STATION - IN MOUNTAIN RESCUE?

Posted by STEVE MYCIUNKA on

Well, an iconic airborne station forms the subject of today's blog.  Here we have a still, captured form the 1951 film, The Clouded Yellow, featuring Trevor Howard & Mrs. Granger, sorry, Jean Simmons.   As fugitives from justice hurrying though the Lake District, the police brought in a radio lorry, fitted out with an R1155/T1154 station, courtesy of RAF Mountain Rescue to co-ordinate capture.  In our first picture you can see Kenneth More ( Douglas Bader himself!) as the arresting Detective. 

The Clouded Yellow was based on an original script by Janet Green. It was developed by Sydney Box but he had decided to take a year long absence and gave the project to  Betty Box.  Janet Green was paid £1,000 for the screenplay.

Betty Box managed to secure a distribution contract with Rank, which enabled her to borrow enough money to finance 70% of the budget with the remainder coming from Rank and the National Film Finance Corporation with each stumping up fifty percent of the total cost

Jean Simmons, who had made So Long at the Fair with Box, agreed to play the lead with Trevor Howard , borrowed from Herbert Wilcox, playing the romantic counterpoint and  male lead.

Shooting took part mostly on location in the Lakes District and interestingly, production coincided with a crisis in the British film industry - Betty Box went on record to state that The Clouded Yellow was the only film being made in England in the first half of 1950.

We turn now to the radio lorry seen in the film and provided by RAF Topcliffe, an RAF Bomber Command Station.  RAF Topcliffe,  opened during September 1940 and was home to 77 and 102 squadrons flying the Whitley heavy bomber.  During 1942, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)  moved in and flew Wellingtons and later Halifax's  

By the end of 1943 Flying Training Command had decided that the service provided by the R.A.F. Mountain Rescue Sections which operated at several R.A.F stations  - Topcliffe included - deserved official status as during 1943, some 220 military crashes had accounted for 571 aircrew deaths on the mountains of Britain.

In January of 1944, the Air Ministry recognised the need for the work of the RAF Mountain Rescue Teams to be coordinated and accepted the need for specialist equipment and adequate training for the volunteers and so annnounced the official formation of Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Service. with Mountain Rescue Teams had been established at RAF Kinloss, RAF Topcliffe, RAF Wick, RAF Millom, RAF Llandwrog, RAF Montrose, RAF Wigtown, and RAF Marley by June 1945.

Because of their expertise, they were drafted in for civilian rescue too hence the guest appearance of the Radio lorry in The Clouded Yellow was certainly representative of actual practice and procedure and the film serves as testament to this interesting development in social history..

 

 


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