A real anorak - alvin booth
News item regarding our plane spotters in Greece. They were thought a bit unusual but there's nothing new.
Clearing the roof space the other day and found not only my Ian Allen train spotters books but also a gem.
Its the Grantleigh CAR SPOTTERS record book which cost 1shilling and threepence.
In the inside cover amongst the instructions it says."This book has been designed to assist CAR SPOTTERS in keeping an accurate and descriptive account of vehicles passing a given place.
It then goes on to grimly say.
"It is very essential that entries made are clear and easy to read as they may be of great assistance to the Police in cases where robberies or accidents have occurred and they must be carefully kept for future reference. REMEMBER.. YOUR vigilance may be of the utmost impotance to the authorities"
I have many entries recorded in Oct 1950 including number of passengers carried etc and then I must have got bored with it. There was just to long a wait before the next one came along.
My wife fell about laughing when she just looked at it,she would have been playing with dolls at this time a much more rewarding and important task.
But dosn't it say something of the innocence and difference in life style of today when kids have to have interests found for them.
My wife suggests I should take it down to the local Police station in case it could clear up unsolved crime. My answer was there would be nobody there after 4.0pm. Another thought was this was the precursor to cameras.
Re: A real anorak - steve paterson
Another thing occurred to me about the plane spotters. They were snapping military planes and claim that their hobby is accepted in the UK. Every MOD establishment I've ever been in or passed (specially the likes of Porton Down or Boscombe) is surrounded by signs stating 'No Cameras allowed'.
How do the spotters manage over here?
Re: A real anorak - alvin booth
Thats right Steve, I think our people in many ways find a culture shock when they go to a country and find that they actually enforce laws.
They are amazed on being arrested when they already know that something is against the law. The classic ones are drug dealers. After reading that they have punitive measures in place they suddenly expect that being British a good telling off will suffice for them, and if all goes wrong our silly Government will get them out of it. (which they often do).
Re: A real anorak - THe Growler
Absolutely -- if you are daft or naive enough to wander round military installations at this time with a camera, tough titty.
Re: A real anorak - Simon Butterworth
In the UK the no cameras generally means inside the base, Porton Down is not RAF. Many UK miltary airfields have designated areas for spotters, pre 11 September the photographing of a/c through fences etc was well tolerated as was listening to ATC comms using radio scanners. In the cold war era security would check you out and from time to time move you on. I guess they were sophisticated enough to tell who was KGB.

Civil and Military versions of the train spotters ABC guides are available in WH Smugs.

The internet has re written the rules. Twenty years ago roneo'd lists of movements were circulated among known groups, marked for private circulation only. It may well be that liberal publication of sightings on websites and newsgroups is at the heart of the Greeks concerns in the current case.
Re: A real anorak - steve paterson
Faced with large 'No cameras' signs around a British military base, I'm inclined to just look at things. And if a large group of 'foreigners' were in the designated viewing area taking photo's, I might just start thinking !
Re: A real anorak - Tomo
Last time I was at the Leuchars air show there were cameras everywhere.

Many years ago in a certain establishment with defence connections we could not find some information on an item of plant. The boss said "I bet they have it filed in Moscow". I said "And I bet they could not find it either".

My wife, who got to a lot of places in her occupation, was shunted to the side of Red Square, it turned out to let some vast cars hurtle across and disappear into the Kremlin.

There, motoring connection!
Re: A real anorak - pugugly
Maybe they mistook the Soeed Camera signs for "feel free to photograph anything you like"
Re: A real anorak - Andy P
I didn't know the Greek Air Force had anything that was that sensitive!

Having said that, if foreigners were arrested in this country for "spying", they'd get a lot better treatment than our folks are getting.

Re: A real anorak - Richard Hall
I got arrested for trainspotting once. I was in India, aged 13, with my father, tracking down some of the last steam trains. We were taking photographs at a large station when two military policemen came up and arrested us. Fortunately they let us go after a discussion with the stationmaster. It turned out that there was a large military base in the town. I suspect that even though the Indians didn't understand the concept of trainspotting, they had enough experience of the eccentricities of the British to realise that we were harmless.
Re: A real anorak - Cockle
The Greeks do tend to be a bit touchy about their bases, I believe, having spoken to some locals on Crete last year that it has a lot to do with their fear of conflict with the Turks. They seem to have been at loggerheads for years, particularly since the Cyprus invasion and seem to treat anyone 'snooping' about a bit suspiciously, just as the Met would if someone with a Irish accent parked a lorry up in Whitehall.

Value my car