Weapons Systems Tuning Group Reunion

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Sad News

Bert Norris

It is with sadness that we also have to report the death of Bert Norris who passed away on Sunday 9th October 2016 at the age of 96.

Bert’s was a veteran of the Arctic Convoys and also saw service in the Mediterranean and the Far East.  His eventful life and career is well documented on “Bert’s page” in the members section of the website. Bert’s funeral will take place at Portchester Crematorium on Friday 28th October at 3.30pm.

WSTG Honours Boards Reinstated

The WSTG Honours Boards in their new location in the Victory Building, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth. (Click on the image for a larger view)

The WSTG Honours Board was conceived as a way of using a generous gift from a retired colleague, Bill Gerrish, based at Ensleigh, Bath. It was, for a number of years, in a prominent place at Milldam House after being unveiled at the ‘WSTG Coming of Age’ celebrations in 1980. From then until the demise of WSTG the names of staff members with 21 years service in the Group were added to the board. Within a few years the board acquired side extensions for the surprising number of staff who had served the qualifying time period.

The tradition continued when WSTG transferred to Central Office Block 2 in the Naval Base where the Boards including one showing the Heads of WSTG were re- mounted.

With the demise of WSTG there were concerns that the boards could end up being scrapped, so in the summer of 2006 Adrian Wright sought permission from Lt Cdr Bill Legge to store the boards at the HMS Collingwood Museum where a small contingent of retired WSTG colleagues worked as volunteers. After almost 10 years in the museum’s safe keeping, once again, there was concern for the future of the boards as the museum was undergoing reorganization and accommodation changes. A stroke of luck occurred, however, when the collection boards were being examined for examples to be recycled for use by HMS Collingwood.

The WSTG boards including that showing the past heads of WSTG were spotted and thought suitable to be re-sited with others in Victory Building Portsmouth Naval Base. Similar items had already been acquired by MCTA  (Marine Capabilty Trials and Assessment) which is the successor organisation to WSTG and CWT (Captain Weapons Trials). The boards have been installed in the MCTA office complex and not only fill a void of bare walls but provide a sense of history, or at least a connection with the past.

As a result 23 September 2016 saw the Boards unveiled again, this time by MCTA Captain Mike Magan RN in the presence of Adrian Wright, Ken Wingate , Dick Barton, Neville Quick (currently MCTA Capability Assurance Group) and Paul Bunyon (all ex WSTG).

Thus the WSTG  Honours Board continues its unusual life from a chance conception to a formal reinstatement  in the Victory Building. For this we are indebted to a number of people: MCTA Captain Mike Magan RN; Navy OP TRG-MWS WE BEMT RADAR Lt Christopher McCaughan RN (Museum Liaison Officer) and the Officer Under Training who first noticed the Boards.

A piece of (WSTG) history

Peter Horrocks

We regret we have to report the death of Peter Horrocks at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth on Christmas Day 2016. He was 81 years old.

Peter joined WSTG in the early 1960s transferring from Devonport Dockyard to Portsmouth. He worked on the first four County Class Destroyers (DLGs) on the Ops Room displays and links to the sensors and weapons. On the second batch of DLGs he continued with work on computer systems (DAB) before preparing to work on CAAIS employing the FM1600B computer.

In the mid-1970s Peter was promoted to SPTO following a successful application arising from a vacancy notice for the Section Leader of the HMS Dryad operator-training equipment encompassing ADAWS and CAAIS based systems.

He was further promoted to Grade 7 in the early 1980s and served at ASWE Portsdown, followed by a short spell back in WSTG and then with DGSS (Portsdown) from where he retired in 1995.

Peter will be remembered for his resourcefulness and determination. Despite poor health it is recalled that he re-wired the whole house where he had lived in Widley Portsmouth in ‘the noughties’.

In retirement he also devoted much of his spare time to Lawn Bowls.

Our sympathy is extended to his wife June and his family.