Background to visit:
We had a very successful visit back to Jever for about 60 shareholders in August 2006. In May 2008, there was a further visit, largely by ex-members of 101 Signals Unit who lived at Jever but worked in the bunker at Brockzetel. As a result of those good ambassadors' efforts we were invited back by the German Air Force for the disbandment ceremony on the final closing of the Brockzetel bunker. These ceremonies took place at Aurich and Brockzetel on Friday 8th October 2010.
We co-ordinated a visit back to Jever for the day before, Thursday 7th October 2010. 9 travelled out by air on Wednesday 6th October 2010 via Bremen Airport and returned on Saturday 9th October 2010. The rest made their own way there by surface means.
Wednesday 6th October 2010
Shareholders flew, or made their own way, from UK to Bremen.
For the visit in August 2006 half of the 60 visitors travelled by coach via Harwich and the Hook of Holland. This required an overnight stop, both ways. The Jetfoil fast car ferry service from Harwich to the Hook of Holland no longer runs and the alternative is either an overnight ferry or via the Chunnel. This would almost certainly lead to 2 drivers and 2 overnight stops. Thanks to Brian Walker's diligent research we found that there are many ways to fly to Bremen and it is then a short 65 minute coach ride from Bremen to Jever. Therefore we left it to shareholders to make their own flight arrangements and for the nine going to Bremen we arranged a German coach from Wilhemshaven to pick us up and return us to Bremen Airport.
Brian found that there are, at least, 11 KLM flights from UK to Bremen. All via Schipol Airport, Amsterdam with one final connecting flight "The City Hopper" from Schipol to Bremen as shown below. The departure gate for the "City Hopper" should be shown on your boarding pass which is helpful as Schipol is a very large airport:
Wednesday 6th October 2010
Depart Arrive Bremen Flt Nos. Price Rtn Jun10
Glasgow 06:00 hrs 10:55 hrs KLM1470/1753 £206:69
Newcastle 06:05 hrs 10:55 hrs KLM952/1753 £162:60
Durham/Tees Valley 06:00 hrs 10:55 hrs KLM1530/1753 £196:10
Leeds/Bradford 06:00 hrs 10:55 hrs KLM1540/1753 £174:90
Humberside 06:10 hrs 10:55 hrs KLM1486/1753 £185:50
Liverpool 06:05 hrs 10:55 hrs KLM1034/1753 £154:50
Manchester 06:00 hrs 10:55 hrs KLM1072/1753 £162:90
Birmingham 06:00 hrs 10:55 hrs KLM1420/1753 £160:86
Cardiff 06:10 hrs 10:55 hrs KLM1058/1753 £168:10
Bristol 06:15 hrs 10:55 hrs KLM1046/1753 £182:20
Heathrow 06:30 hrs 10:55 hrs KLM1000/1753 £194:07
Saturday 9th October 2010
Depart Bremen Arrive Flt Nos. Price as Outbound above
Glasgow 18:15 hrs 21:45 hrs KLM1758/1481
Newcastle 18:15 hrs 21:45 hrs KLM952/971
Durham/Tees Valley 18:15 hrs 21:00 hrs KLM1758/1739
Leeds/Bradford 18:15 hrs 21:20 hrs KLM1758/1551
Humberside 18:15 hrs 21:20 hrs KLM1758/1449
Liverpool 18:15 hrs 21:05 hrs KLM1758/1045
Manchester 18:15 hrs 21:15 hrs KLM1758/1097
Birmingham 18:15 hrs 21:40 hrs KLM1758/1435
Cardiff 18:15 hrs 20:50 hrs KLM1758/1069
Bristol 18:15 hrs 21:15 hrs KLM1758/1057
Heathrow 18:15 hrs 20:50 hrs KLM1758/1033
There are other flights, of course, and the most noteworthy is the Ryanair flight from Stansted direct to Bremen - and it is easily the cheapest route:
Wednesday 6th October 2010
Depart Arrive Bremen Flt No. Price Rtn Aug10
Stansted 06:40 hrs 09:00 hrs Fr3632 £10 - YES TEN £!!!
Return Sat 9th 17:40 hrs 18:00 hrs Fr3631
It was recommended that those attending should plan to stay the extra night on Friday 8th October. Lt Col Joachim Linke told us that there was to be a formal ceremony, which they traditionally call Zapfenstreich, arranged by the Aurich/Brockzetel planners and it would be held in Aurich around 21:15 hrs and finishing at about 22:30hrs. We were invited as a group. (See below for more details).
There are later flights from some of these airports but they would probably get you to Bremen too late for our German coach. The Bremen Tourist Office web site is: http://www.bremen-tourismus.de, email mailto: email@example.com Telephone: 0049 1805 1010 30. The Bremen Airport web site is http://www.airport-bremen.de
Research showed that the cheapest recommended car hire firm was Holiday Auto Hire. They could provide two Ford Focus 5 seaters from 1000hrs on Wed 6th October to 1600 hrs on Sat 9th October for £392 - so £49 per person. One quote we have recieved from a Wilhelmshaven bus company is for a 19 seater coach both ways for a total of £322.81 or with the current 10 persons curerently booked in (21Sep10) Euros40 (£33.92) per person. The hired bus option gets cheaper per person as more come in on that flight. The car option will never get below the £49 per person if we limit ourselves to 4 per car. This maybe necessary because of the luggage. One more person requires an extra car and the cost rises to £65 per person. As more people join the party it reduces to £49 once there are extacly 4 more people. Therefore for an extra £10 per person we have two cars for all our time at Jever. By coach we have no wheels once the coach drops us off and picks us up on Saturday. There is no requirement for attendees to share in the cost of a car. Rail travel was also an option and would be much cheaper currently about £33.22 return. The train times are: Leave on Wed 6Oct Bremen Hauptbahnhof 10:54 hrs arrive Jever station 12:35 hrs. Return Sat 9Oct Jever Bahnhof 11:23 hrs arrive Bremen Hauptbahnhof 13:05 hrs. FOR THE 9 TRAVELLING BY RYANAIR FROM STANSTED TO BREMEN WE HAVE NOW GONE FIRM ON THE EUROS45 EACH OPTION FOR A 19-SEATER COACH FROM BREMEN AIRPORT 1000HRS WED 6OCT10 - RETURNING 1300HRS SAT 9OCT10. PLEASE BE READY TO PAY ME EUROS45 ON THE COACH. The coach, kindly arranged by Gunter Kipp, was waiting for us outside the Bremen Terminal when we cleared customs at 0900hrs. We were in the Schutzenhof by 1030hrs.
If there are insufficient numbers to justify a coach from Bremen to Jever, or shareholders wish to travel at other times and use the train from Bremen air port to Jever or Wilhelmshaven, then here is some guidance on this route.
On Arrival at Bremen Airport:
From outside the airport terminal (25 yards from Arrivals) a Number 6 tram runs every ten minutes to Bremen Hauptbahnhof. The journey takes approximately 17 to 20 minutes. A single ticket costs approximately 1.95 euros (£1.63) and is purchased from a machine on the tram. Have some change handy. Allow 20 minutes for a taxi journey depending on traffic.
Hourly trains from Bremen run North in the direction of Jever (for Emden, Wilhelmshaven). There are two very easy changes on the journey, one at Oldenburg, the other at Sande. The connecting train at Sande for Jever is usually waiting in the station to board directly. Buy a Niedersaxon ticket from the Bremen ticket office. If you happen to miss a train through having to queue for a ticket (as we did in 2008) then worry not as another will be along in an hour and there's a good concourse with cafes and shops to watch the world go by while you wait.
For train information go to http://www.reiseauskunft.bahn.de and fill in your journey details. The journey including the two changes takes approximately 1hr 40 minutes. One is not able to book the journey until 80 days or so beforehand - i.e. Sunday 18th July 2010. The exact name of Jever railway station is ZOB/Bahnhof Jever. Rail travel will be much cheaper currently about £33.22 return. The train times are: Leave on Wed 6Oct Bremen Hauptbahnhof 10:54 hrs arrive Jever station 12:35 hrs. Return Sat 9Oct Jever Bahnhof 11:23 hrs arrive Bremen Hauptbahnhof 13:05 hrs.
If you want to go by car, then you can get information about the ferries at http://www.FerryTo.eu/NorthSeaFerries. The car journey routes from Holland to Jever can be traced on the http://www.maps.google.com 'Get Directions' finder. The car journey from Rotterdam to Jever via Utrecht and Zwolle for example takes four to five hours depending on traffic and comfort stops.
The main hotels in Jever are the Friesen Hotel in Harlinger Weg, The Pellmeuhle on Muhlenstrasse, the Schwarzer Adler in the Alter Markt and, of course, the Schutzenhof on Schutzenhofstrasse, where, thanks to Gunter Kipp, we have arranged a special cheap room rate of €50 (£41) for a single and €78 (£68) for a double. Give the discount code "RAF JEVER" to ensure these rates. Maurice Parker, our man in Jever, tells us that the Schutzenhof has recently increased its rooms to 65. Some of our shareholders who travelled by car last time in 2006, stayed there and found it very satisfactory.
It will be very convenient if the bulk of us can stay there as it is the closest to the airfield being on the road to the main gate. We have just learnt that thanks to our old friend Joachim Linke, the GAF will provide coach transport from the Schutzenhof on Thursday7th to tour the camp and airfield and also on Friday 8th to and from Aurich/Brockzetel. So if you do not stay at the Schutzenhof you will have to find your way there to join the coach. The web site for booking at the Schutzenhof is at: http://www.schuetzenhof-jever.de. Tel: 00-49-4461-9370. Best way to book is to e-mail from the web site and ask for RAF Jever rate.
The last time Brian looked, the Schwarzer Adler was booked up for that October week, but keep checking. Prices per double room for four nights are around 300 euros (£250). There are equally good hotels in Wilhelmshaven and slightly cheaper. (Click to see Brief on Wilhelmshaven). Type Jever or Wilhelmshaven hotels into Google to check. On the last visit in August 2006 we all stayed at the City Hotel Valois, which is very convenient as it is just by the Wilhelmshaven railway station in the centre of town. We found that very comfortable. There are two or three smaller hotels in Jever which also look very nice. The Jever Tourist Office email address is mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone number 0049 4461 710 10.
For the visit in May2008, Maurice Parker provided details of Jever accommodation. Whilst this is now 2 years out of date it is a useful guide. Click to see.
Thursday 7th October 2010
This was the programme for the first day.
09:00 hrs Left Hotel Schutzenhof aboard the GAF coach. This large luxury GAF coach had only been delivered the day befiore and we were the first to use it!
09:15 hrs Arrived GAF Jever met by Lt Col Joachim Linke GAF (Retd) and Camp NCO Dirk Jacobs, who both hosted us so well in 2006.
09:30 hrs Brief on Visit by GAF Jever by Captain Knapper, a representative of Colonel Kubiak's staff, in the Officers' Mess - it was an excellent briefing on the current role of GAF Jever and their duties in Afghanistan.
10:30 hrs Then there was a conducted tour of the entire camp and airfield, nothing was held back and we were encouraged to go everywhere. GAF Jever has 3 main roles now, a Phantom Maintenance Unit with the air testing done from the base, a Tornado unit where high value items are stripped and re-packed before the airframe is scrapped, and a very large GAF Regiment.
13:00 hrs Excellent self-service lunch which cost Euro3.70 in the Officers' Mess.
14:00 hrs Continue tour of camp on foot to see accommodation blocks, married quarters, chapel, cinema etc.
16:00 hrs Return by our coach to Schutzenhof.
Map showing location of the old Downtown Jever Married Quarters for those who may wish to spend the rest of the day exploring Jever town.
We had 21 who signed up for the Supper served in the Officers' Mess on the Thursday evening 7th October 2010.
This was the programme:
17:45 hrs Coach left Schutzenhof for Officers' Mess.
18:00 hrs Supper in the Officers' Mess Jever.
Before Supper Padre Marcus Christ of the German Navy at Nordhorn, joined us and held a moving service to remember the dead. He printed Orders of Service cards and Ernie Lack, Brian Walker, Mick Ryan and Pat King between them read out the 40 names of those shareholders who had died in the last 4 years. We held a minutes silence in their memory and also in the memory of the GAF soldier from the GAF Jever unit who had been killed in Afghanistan that day. Maurice Gavan read a short passage during the service.
Supper was laid for us in the Mess Ante-room.
The mess staff then served a meal which was both cooked and presented to first class standards. Their menu would be the envy of many a professional restaurant. The GAF can only charge us the basic cost of the food - and this was a ridiculously small amount.
They provided us all with mini-bar books on which we could harge all our drinks from the bar and then settle it with one payment at the end of the evening. Catain Knapper was our Guest of Honour during the evening and Air Cdre Pat King, our President, presented GAF Jever with a framed mounting of the badges of the six squadrons which were, at one time or another, based at RAF Jever Captain Knapper on behalf of Col Kubiak the Commanding Officer of GAF Jever, who unfortunately was being dined out in Cologne that same evening, presented us with a wonderful painting of the GAF ground forces necesary to support and protect the flying of the GAF Eurofighter.
We had hot and cold buffet with self service. We collected a tip for the staff as they are all volunteers from the other messes, both servers and cooks. It still made it an excellent meal for very little money.
Supper Buffet Menu for Thursday 7th October 2010
Soup: Cream of Leek Soup
Cold and Gravalux - Sliced Dry Cured Salmon in Dill Sauce
Hot Starters: Smoked Filets of Trout with Creamed Horseradish
Smoked Salmon with Creamed Horseradish
Hot Main Pork Medallions with Mushroom
Courses: Roasted chicken breasts
Salads: Tomato Salad
Iceberg Lettuce Salad
Red/Green Pepper Salad
Feta Cheese, Olives, Pepperoni
Various Dressings for Salads and for the Starters
Vegetables: Potato Gratin
Dessert: Red Fruit Jelly with Vanilla Sauce
Price for Food alone: €20 / £16.70
Estimate of cost with generous tip: €25 / £20.70
21:30 hrs Returned to Schutzenhof by GAF luxury coach.
Attendees at the Supper:
- Pat King President Jever Steam Laundry
- Joachim Linke
- Mick Ryan
- Pete Hunwick
- Maurice Gavan
- Brian Walker
- Phil Riggott
- Mick Davis
- Alan Cavanagh
- Ernie Lack
- Elizabeth Lack
- George Beaton
- Bert Parsley
- Zeke March
- Kevin Wallis
- Maurice Parker
- Lori Parker
- Michael Collins
- Barrie Palmer
- Veronica Palmer
- Rob Nichols
Plus 2 guests Captain Knapper and Marcus Christ
Friday 7th October 2010
Map showing position of Aurich and Brockzetel.
Lt Col Konig, Commander of the Tactical Air Command and Control Sector 4, at Aurich and Brockzetel sent us a letter suggesting the following:
"The best period for a trip to Germany would be in October, because at the 8th, we will have a big celebration at the city centre of Aurich. The Tactical Command and Control Service (TACCS) of DEU will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the conduct of the German operations within the "bunker" of CRC Brockzetel and 50 years of TACCS operation within Germany.
At this opportunity it will be possible to visit an exhibition of the future of TACCS presented by the TACCS 1-3 (Messstetten, Erndtebrück and Schönewalde) at Aurich city centre. TACCS 4 (Aurich / Brockzetel) will arrange all surroundings of this exhibition and will present a historical overview with old equipment, films and other material at the main station of Brockzetel which is reachable with a bus shuttle going from city centre to main station and vice versa."
Military coach transport was provided from the Schutzenhof Jever to Aurich and back - by Lt Col Schär's Einsatzführungsbereich. It collected the whole party at 1300 hrs outside the Schutzenhof and return them to the Schutzenhof after the Military Tattoo finished at approximately 2330 hrs.
Radar Servicemen Leave Aurich
Bundeswehr Grosser Zapfenstreich (similar to our Military Tattoo)
A 'Grosser Zapfenstreich' was held in the outskirts of Aurich on 8th October to commemorate 50 years of Luftwaffe Control and Reporting Centre and also to mark their disbandment at the end of the year. All remaining service personnel will be posted to Erndtebrück. The era for Aurich and the old bunker at Brockzetel will then come to a end.
The Luftwaffe Music Corps 3 gave a performance at 1400 hrs. Buses shuttled guests and members of the general public from the Market Place in Aurich to the bunker at Brockzetel. Our bus was at 1435hrs.
In Brockzetel there was an excellent briefing given in both English and German by Lt Col Konig, followed by a walk through the bunker. This brought back memories for the lads from 101 SU. Upstairs there was coffee and a short film showing the history of the bunker.
We were driven back to Aurich where there were lots of good restaurants. After a quick meal we met again in the square and walked to the StadtHalle where there was a large reception of over 600 people, with speeches of welcome to Generalleutnant Friedrich W Ploeger, the senior ranking officer of CRC in the Luftwaffe and local dignatories. Air Cdre Pat King was invited up on stage and presented another set of squadron badges to Colonel Schar.
This was followed by the 'Zapfenstreich' or 'Military Tattoo' at about 2130 hrs. There was a short coach ride to the outskirts of town where our whole group was invited into the VIP enclosure which surrounded two sides od a large car park. Pat King was seated in the VVIP stand. A detachment of sailors marched on and lined up at the back - all carrying flaming torches.
The Ceremonial Guard Battalion of the Bundeswehr from Berlin, consisting of 350 men then marched on and the brass band entertained us to a musial tribute. Behind the VIP seating, the citizens of Aurich and its surrounding area watched from the back in rows six or seven deep.
We were brought back to Jever Schützenhof by coach after the Zapfenstreich was over. The organiser of our visit, who shall be nameless, was found after the event by our President, hiding in the back of a Bundeswehr ambulance cuddling up to a lovely German military nurse. His excuse was that he was cold - we have heard THAT one before! He was extricated and dragged back to Jever protesting loudly.
Attendee Arrive Bremen
- Air Cdre Pat King 118 & 93 Sqn President of JSL Jul56-jan59 09:00
- Mick Ryan 93 Sqn May58-31Dec60 09:00
- Pete Hunwick 118 & 4 Sqn Aug56-Sum59 09:00
- Bert Parsley 101SU 09:00
- Zeke March 101SU 09:00
- Kevin Wallis 101SU 09:00
- Michael Collins Armourer 4 & 93 56-59 09:00
- Barrie Palmer Snr Sec Con Sum77-Sum79 09:00
- Veronica Palmer 09:00
- Alan Cavanagh 101SU Dec56-Aug58. 07:40 hrs Dusseldorf Rail to Schutzenhof
Total Both Parties: 24
- Lt Col Joachim Linke GAF Retd Host for 2006/8 visit. Lives near Aurich
- Günter Kipp Co-Author of "Hunters in RAF Germany". Lives near Oldenburg
- Maurice Parker Armament Sqn Tech Wg Feb57-Aug59. Lives in Schortens
- Maurice Gavan 101SU Dec56-Jul58. Hull/Rotterdam car ferry to Pellmüle
- Phil Riggott 101SU 57-58. Ditto
- Mick Davis 101SU Dec58-Jul58. Ditto
- Brian Walker 101SU Dec56-Jun59. Ditto
- Marcus Christ German Navy Padre. Staying in Jever
- Nigel Walpole 124 Wg & author of book on Cold War. Staying in Steenhuidermeer
- Margreet Walpole Staying in Steenhuidermeer
- Ernie Lack 4 Sqn pilot Mar52-Oct53 Wed Schutzenhof
- Elizabeth Lack Wed Schutzenhof
- George Beaton 4 Sqn pilot 51-Sep54 Wed Schutzenhof
- Robert Nichols Ground Comms 1960 Wed Schutzenhof