Welcome to the final post of 2017, I hope you have all had a pleasant weekend and tomorrow we will start the fifth year of the blog! It seems a little strange putting it like that, but the blog started back in 2014, and I have covered a lot of ground in that time. I think I am right in saying (although I have no empirical evidence), that Tales From the Supply Depot is the most popular British and Empire militaria blog in the world (if only because there are very few others out there!). This would not be the case if it were not for you, the loyal reader who keeps coming back to read more of my twaddle! My thanks go out to you for reading, commenting and interacting with the blog and all being well I will keep buying bits of military junk, I will keep writing about them and you will keep reading it!
Tonight being a Sunday we have our customary photograph to look at and tonight it is a fine study of HMS Eagle, an Audacious class aircraft carrier:This photograph was taken at Capetown, as can be seen from Table Mountain towering up in the background:The ships pennant number, R05, can be seen painted on the central island, giving us an easy way to identify the ship:Note the massive Type 984 radar above the bridge. The whole island and bridge was completely rebuilt when the carrier underwent refit in 1964. Arrayed in front of the island are part of the carrier’s air group. She carried a mixture of Sea Vixen, Scimitar and Buccaneer aircraft as well as Fairey Gannet reconnaissance planes, one of which can be seen on the stern, just in front of the ensign:The ship is clearly manned for entering or leaving port as the decks are packed with sailors, all lining the sides:The following account is of HMS Eagle’s time in Capetown:
We were certainly glad of our blues for the ceremonial entry into Capetown. The helicopter brought out the pilot and the Admiral- Flag officer, Second-in-Command of the Far East Fleet. We watched as the first rays of sunshine dissolved the table-cloth and crept down from the tiny lift house at the top of Table Mountain to the flats and office blocks below, and we listened to the noise of the saluting guns as they echoed around the rocks. Berthed as centrally as one could hope for, we were quickly ashore for a ‘leg stretch’ and the first chance to savour the tremendous hospitality that became a feature of the cruise. Special offices were set up on board and ashore to cater for invitation to lunches, for drives and barbeques.
For those who enjoy sightseeing there was, of course, the cable-car trip to the top of the mountain. Some visited the Rhodes memorial at Rosebank, and many took coach trips farther afield; either round the Cape and to the Cape of Good Hope itself, or along False Bay, past Cape Hangklip and up into the mountains to the flatness of the plateaux behind them; from the barrenness of the mountainous moorlands to the fertile apple growing areas and vineyards.