"Oggin Trogging" 


To fill your days when you weren't playing sport or boozing in the numerous bars, you went "Oggin Troggin" which meant wandering around the shores of the island. The majority always went anti-clockwise around our little atoll. If you wanted to be a bit of a rebel, you walked clockwise. Gan island was only a couple of square miles in area but it was a decent walk and just something to pass the time and having a bit of a mess about on the way round. This was done almost on a daily basis unless you were working. 




We'd start off from the block and walk past the mess and the Blue Lagoon Transit lounge and then set off just past the 180 Club  which was nearly adjacent to the road. The 180 Club was the "X" shaped building bottom centre of the main picture above.

We would walk across the south end of the runway, and down on the shoreline. Seeing grown men paddling in the sea and wandering along the beaches, always making sure to wear your flip flops as there was always the danger of standing on a stonefish of which the spikes were poisonous and led to a stay in the medical centre if you weren't careful.

Back on to the road that went up past the "Paki" camp. That was where all the pakistani workforce lived. They had a mosque (picture below left, with Sean Byrne and me looking like a couple of weathermen!) , living quarters and a mess, where the food was mainly pakistani based. They did a mean curry over there, it used to burn your mouth out! They also had their own outdoor cinema. Well, when I say cinema, it meant a projector set up on the grass opposite the mosque with a huge white sheet that they used for a screen. The pictures they showed were mainly English speaking with subtitles for them. If we had seen the film at the Astra, we used to wander over there and watch whatever they had on. I even remember we sat one night in the pouring rain watching some film or other. Happy days!!

On up to the sea defence construction work that was going on. All the shoring for the wall was compressed beer and coke cans that had been crushed into squares and encased in wire baskets and then set in to the sea bed and it was just built up from that. They also used all the old beer bottles that were drunk on the island. They used to break them up, mix them with concrete and make them into blocks. They got the same treatment as the cans. You can just see the sea wall, about two inches down on the right hand side in the main picture above, just jutting out in the water.

Going up towards the top of the island, there were loads of trees and bush growing. This was a part of Gan that wasn't used for very much. Just  before you got to the runway at the top end there was the cemetery. Mostly asian tombstones, but one or two westerners were buried there. That was before the RAF moved in.

Heading back south you got back into the "Built up" area. This was the beginning of the site proper. Past the fuel dumps, MT section and the aircraft pans. Station HQ came next and then all different offices for this and that including the post office which was the lifeline back to the UK and the source of all your mail.

On down to the MCU wharf, we always walked down there to see if there was anything going on or a ship had docked recently. After we had satisfied our curiosity we set off back the way we came, stopping off at the NAAFI shop kiosk for a coke, an ice cold strawberry milk and a frozen Mars bar, very welcome after "Trogging" around the island, we'd sit there for so long and then set off down Main Street back  towards the block for a shower. A couple of hours slobbing around, go to the mess for tea and then it would be time to go up to the Astra to see the film. After the film it was into one or the other of the bars on Gan for some long earned refreshment after such a hard day!! 




                                                          Group Captain Sheppherds leaving do

 Below are a few photo's of Group Captain Sheppherds leaving do. He was the best C.O. that I and a lot of Gannites had ever had. Much loved by the lads, he had no airs and graces and would talk to you as an equal. He always had time for a chat and a pot of tea when visiting the different sections around the island.

I don't think the pictures below need much explanation and as for the Gannites, where beer was involved they would always attend.








Make a Free Website with Yola.