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This webpage started the search for information about RAF Siggiewi. After a 3 week stay on the island at Sliema in 2006, I managed, with the help of a friend of mine (Joe Borda. See Joe's site at http://www.joe-borda.de.vu/ for a fine selection of Police memorabilia) to make a brief visit to the old RAF station. I remember as we drove up thinking that it hadn't changed that much in the intervening years, sure the shrubs had grown and the buildings didn't look in as good a state of repair as I remembered them and oh yes, the Guard room had gone, along with the row of Quonset huts (workshops and cinema) on the right hand side of the station as well as the two located at the end of the Barrack block, but overall it looked much the same. I only wished I had aged that well in the 50 plus years since I first walked in through the front gate. February of 56, while everyone else wore greatcoats against the cooler temperatures of a Maltese winter, I was one of the "Moon men" running around in short sleeves and no coat, proof that I had only just arrived.

Please note that unless otherwise stated, all photos are the property of the author and are copyrighted and tagged.


Located on the island of Malta, roughly midway between the villages of Mqabba and Siggiewi, is a little known ex RAF Signals unit. 840 SU operated for many years from this location, right up to the time when the UK forces left Malta. For all of those staff who served at 840 SU, RAF Siggiewi throughout the many years and wondered whether it was still there, here are some photo's taken November 2006. From what I could see, very little had changed. The first thing you notice is the old guard room (Nissan hut) has been removed, but curiously the stone surround of the doorway is still there, complete with the original Kings Crown RAF cap badge.

Some of the photographs on this page were taken in the 1950's and others as recently as 2006, all of them are the sole property of the owner of the website. They are displayed for our visitors and we hope you enjoy looking through them. If you were stationed at Siggiewi and have any photographs, please drop me an email, and I will display them here for others to see.

rafsiggiewimalta@gmail.com



What remains of the main gate

 

While being posted to a small signals station meant there were a lot of privileges, such as very few parades, one of the main drawbacks was its location. There was no shuttle bus or truck to bring you back from a booze up in Valletta, the only way back was by local bus to the village of Mqabba and from there it was a good walk back to the guard room. Any of you who made this trip in the pitch dark will know the hazards of facing barking dogs in the village. The old corrugated steel hut (on the left) has long gone and all that is left in its place is the stone fascia and the RAF crest (note Kings crown) I am sure the guys who spent hours on "Jankers" polishing the floor are laughing about that now.

This is the orderly room, much the same way it was years ago, other than the colourful Bougainvillea trailing along the front of the building. Note one of the original main antennae in the background.


This "ditch" is immediately to the left of the maingate (opposite the guardroom). It actually runs behind the orderly room, see the top photo to see it's location. I think this was used as a range.

It looked as though a few of the antennae had been removed over the years, but a couple still exist on site.

This is an example of where the camp looks much the way it did pretty much in the 1950's, that is apart from the large plants and tree's.

The flagstaff in the centre appeared to be original and from that same period.

 

Below are a few old photo's from the time, I hope you find them interesting.

 

 
 

Kingsway, now Republic street Valletta

The photo on the left was taken from the top of the old main gateway into the city, looking down what was in those days the Kingsway, now Republic Street. This scene was normal for a summers evening, with people from all over the island descending upon Valletta to shop or just stand in small groups and talk to old friends, while others just window shopped. This part of the entrance has changed drastically, with a large piazza now the first thing you see as you enter through the gates. I won't go into the style of the gate itself, enough to say that it is very poorly designed and does not present this wonderful city in the best light. However there is a new design underway by an Italian Architect (Piano) and we hope his sense of design and balance will restore the grand entrance into Valletta, although word in the Times of Malta is that it is not going to be much better. 

 
 

Merchant Street Valletta and its series of covered balconies where those inside can peer out at the pedestrians below. A classic Maltese scene.

 
 

Luzzu

This was taken just as you enter Sliemma from Msida. I didn't get a chance to go back and check this out the last time I was there, but I am sure I could see the location from the bus running between Valletta and Sliema.

 
 

Sliema has had a total remake over the years and I really I don't believe any of these buildings still exist along the sea front, so it's a nice historical record of how it used to be. For those of you who haven't been back, the "Strand" is full of hotels, guest houses, bars and restaurants etc as the island has become very commercialized, but I have to confess the Maltese have done it very well and it is still a great place to relax.

Old Sliema

 
 

Clock in Barracca Gardens

The clock in Upper Baracca gardens, Valletta. The gardens date back to the 1661 when they were part of an Italian Knights estate and grounds.

 
 

The building in the foreground with pennants and flags flying was the HQ for the Royal Navy Command Centre Mediterranean Fleet. The series of arches along the building at the top right is Upper Baracca gardens

Med Fleet

 
 

Haggar Qimm

Hagar Qim is one of the oldest man made structures on the face of earth, with a history going back 5,000 years. Made from local limestone it has suffered quite badly from millennia of severe weather conditions and the elements. This is one of many temples on Malta and Gozo. One of the most interesting places has to be the area known as "Clapham Junction" where there are tracks cut into the ground, resembling railway lines. No-one is really sure how these came about and theories abound. Well worth a trip.  

It is worth noting at this point that the bus service in Malta takes you anywhere for a few euro's and renting a car while it is convenient in some cases, can be a major hazard in finding parking spaces in any of the towns, so my advice, take the bus it is cheaper and easier. 

 
 




During the mid 1950's Malta was once again turned into a massive military base. Here is a Valiant
bomber of the RAF being loaded with armament to be dropped on Egyptian bases (November 5th 1956)

 
 


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MALTA 2006 HOLIDAY PAGES