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Gareloch was WW1 seaplane base

HOW, when and why the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment based itself at Helensburgh and Rhu during World War Two is well documented, but the Gareloch was also a seaplane base during World War One.

Retired Merseyside newspaper editor Robin Bird, who has written two books about what was officially named RAF Helensburgh from 1939-45, has uncovered information about a Royal Naval Air Station Helensburgh in the Great War.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 November 2014 11:52 )


Memory honoured in two countries

THE memory of a Helensburgh man named on the Cenotaph in Hermitage Park as losing his life in World War One was honoured in Australia in August 2014.

On the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of what is known as the ‘Great War’, a poppy was placed beside the plaque on the Australian War Memorial in Canberra bearing the name of Corporal Ian Stewart Campbell.

Last Updated ( Monday, 27 October 2014 19:03 )

Burgh woman was Bletchley code breaker

A WORLD War Two code breaker from Helensburgh has told of ducking from bombs and being chased by geese during her time working in secret underground bunkers at the famous Bletchley Park.

Mrs Betty Balfour, 87, signed up to the Wrens aged 17 and attended the Government Code and Cipher School before being stationed at the Milton Keynes facility — home of the Enigma machine.

Last Updated ( Friday, 14 November 2014 17:44 )

Marching off to World War One

BRITAIN declared war on August 4 1914, and that day the Helensburgh Company of the 9th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders were on the march.

On Monday August 34 2014 the commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the ‘Great War’ began, and many a local family recalled with pride, and often sorrow, the part relatives played in the conflict.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 August 2014 16:35 )

Doubt cast on WW2 crash cause

SATURDAY March 15 2014 was the 70th anniversary of the fatal crash of a flying boat which took off from the Gareloch off Rhu Hangars.

An expert on the design of hulls of flying boats was on board on a cold and frosty morning when the top-secret experimental aircraft took off from the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at what was then called RAF Helensburgh.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 June 2014 10:56 )

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Next Open Meeting

BB-logo-wThe next Open Meeting will be on Wednesday October 26 at 7.30pm prompt at Helensburgh Civic Centre, East Clyde Street. After the AGM, the Rev David Clark will talk about 100 years of the BB in Helensburgh.

Winter Talks 2016-17

  • Wednesday September 28 2016 — Ewan Kennedy: The Leiper Legacy
  • Wednesday October 26 — AGM; then The Rev David Clark: Helensburgh Boys Brigade Centenary
  • Wednesday November 30 — Ian MacEachern: The Luss Slate Quarries

  • Wednesday January 25 2017 — Bill Anderson: The Anderson (Local Collection) Trust
  • Wednesday February 22 — Dan Atkinson: The Samphire Project — marine archaeology in Argyll
  • Wednesday March 29 — Professor John Hume: West Dunbartonshire Churches and their history

Meetings in Helensburgh Civic Centre, East Clyde Street, at 7.30pm prompt.

Charity Number

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation