gib uk

My Travels | Home

1- The Rock
The Runway
Beach 3
Beach 4
Catalan Bay 1
4-Catalan Bay
Catalan Bay 2
5-Catalan Bay
Both Worlds
6-Both Worlds
Main Street
7-Main Street
Governors House
8-The Guvner's 'ouse
RAF North Front
9-RAF North Front
Top of the Rock
10-Up the rock
Europa Point
11-Europa Point

Click on any image (1-11) for a larger picture

Apes Rock Apes
You cannot visit Gibraltar and not see the apes. Be careful - they will steal anything they can and took more than a few Army Berets when I was there. The apes live near to St Michael's Cave, a vast grotto. Don't miss seeing it, although I only did so on my return in 1990. There is a bit more about Gib on my Army page.
The Runway The Runway
Landing at Gib can be worrying if you are not prepared. The aircraft drops low over the sea, and as you land, the sea at the other end rushes to meet you. On my last trip the lady next to me was clearly terrified of flying. Across the isle where some Brit workers returning from leave. As the wheels touched they braced themselves and shouted "Brake! For god sakes Brake!" It was funny at the time.
When Spain shut the road border, foot passage was still allowed and so most servicemen (and women)  walked across the runway and into La Linea for a good night out. Then Spain stopped that too. We used to take a ferry across the bay to Algeciras, and then a bus to La Linea. After about two hours we would be just the other side of the gates where our friends were on duty. Some people stayed on the bus as it went along the coast to a Spanish town that was just beginning to take off. The town is called Torremolinos.
1 The Rock
At the bottom left you can see the roof of the WAF block, which will give you a perspective to this picture if you look also at picture 9.
2 and 3 Me, John and Barry
My first visit to Gibraltar was in 1968 when I was posted to RAF North Front. Was the sea really as blue as it is in picture 2 ? Indeed it was. The three of us, John De Naeyer on the right in picture 2 and 'Brum' on the left, were pretty good friends during that time and we often went to this spot for some swimming and spear gun fishing. The actual place where we swam is just around the corner in picture 5. I have long given up smoking by the way. I did a six month tour in 1968 and was sent back in 1969 before my tan had even faded. In 1990 I went back to take a look around. All the other pictures were taken in 1990. There is ongoing land fill that is extending The Rock into the sea, and on this new land buildings are springing up all the time. Of our swimming haunt, sadly just the hand rail down to the rocks was still there ( in 1990), the rest lies beneath tons of land fill.
4 and 5 Catalan Bay
These are views of Catalan Bay and it was unchanged from 1968, when I returned in 1990. Picture 4 looks into the bay and picture 5 is taken from the far side, looking back across. There is a terrace bar (still there) from which picture 5 was taken. Many afternoons were spent in that bar, overlooking the beach. Behind my standpoint in picture 4 was (is?) a great Cafe where I ate when I went back in 1990.
6 Both Worlds
Just along from Catalan Bay is a development called 'Both Worlds'. In 1968 many people from the RAF camp took part time jobs there as it was being built. I stayed there in 1990 and although it was no palace, it was clean and cheap and made a good base. Along from Both Worlds is a tunnel that joins both sides of The Rock. In 1968 this was only open to the military but now it is public and makes navigation of the Rock easy.
7 Main Street
This is a shot looking up Main Street( the Governor's residence is at the very top, out of shot). From here it looks much the same as it aways did. Behind my standpoint, it is changed out of recognition, and it is Gibraltar's loss. The whole of Main Street used to be a warren of back streets, clubs and bars. Now, the lower end has been redeveloped and even has its own Marks and Spencers. All the character has gone, but at least the rest still has the charm it always had.
8 The Governor's residence
This is the Governor's residence, at the top of Main Street. On one special parade we did a drive past in our Saracen Radars. As we went by we rotated the aerials by hand as a salute. Up on the Rock our Sergeant was in radio contact and watching to make sure we all turned together. Anyway, at least the house is still there.
9 North Front
This is RAF North Front. As you can see, the beach was at the back door. On my Army page. there is a picture taken on a boat just off that same beach which shows just what a good location the RAF Camp is in. I am sure there are worse postings. Now, if you find yourself on holiday in Spain and you are near to Gib, make it a day out - you can pop into Marks for a sandwich.
10 Top of the Rock Ma
When I returned in 1990 the rainy season had come early to Gib. This is a view from the rock over the dockyards.
11 Europa Point
From the Airport the road crosses the runway and then a left turn takes you on to RAF North Front. Driving on past the camp you will reach Catalan Bay and then Both Worlds. Now, you can continue on through the tunnel and emerge here, at Europa Point. ( In the 1960's the tunnel was under the control of the military and it was not possible to drive 'around The Rock'). Africa can be seen quite clearly with the naked eye, eight miles across the straights.
So there it is, Gibraltar. I did two 'tours' there, had a lot of fun, learned to 'DeeJay' and to drive. I could have had a worse posting...
For more information about Gibraltar checkout these links:


Home | Childhood | My 1960s | The Army | Army Gallery | The Mike Williams Roadshow | Career
My Travels | The Cars | Short stories | Open University | CV | Interests | Projects | My Top 100 | Camcorder stills