Norway 1976 - The Hallingdal Valley

Courtesy of Garry Asbery

The trip to The Hallingdal Valley by members of 19 and 22 Squadron followed on from previous trips to the Voss area of Norway. I was surprised to find no mention of it in the Squadron history but even I’m pretty sure that a trip that long (10 weeks) can’t be a figment of my imagination, plus, I have photos!

It was my first trip to Norway and even before we left I knew it wasn’t going to be like any other exercise I’d been involved in. I still remember the surreal experience of sitting in Block 10 in early June of the hottest year on record trying to estimate how much I needed to order from the NAAFI to keep me going for 10 weeks. The list at the end of the exercise looked horrific but paled in comparison to some of the others I saw later.

The trip to Torpo went very smoothly although it felt very strange when we stayed overnight en route (I think it was at Catterick) to find that the barrack block was identical to those at Chepstow – spooky.

We were under canvas having hijacked the local campsite. Rows of 180 pounders set up in the meadow sloping down to the river. The only downside to this was that somebody had decided that because it doesn’t get dark in Norway in the summer we wouldn’t need lighting. In hindsight this was not a good decision as I’m sure this contributed to everybody spending the evening in the bar which was the campsite’s log cabin.

The exercise lived up to all expectations. It was hard work but great fun. Some highlights that stick in my mind are:

All in all it was a fantastic time. We missed the scorching summer back home but I wouldn’t have traded it for any price. The trip back was a bit stormy and coming off the ferry to a grey Newcastle day was a reminder that we were back to reality.

Group Photo

19/22 Squadron and AAC Detachment in Torpo Norway July – August 1976

Football Team

The football team
Back Row: [ ], [ ], [ ], Brian Hibbert, Taff Smytzki, [ ]
Front Row: Jock Stockley, [REME], Garry Asbery, Stevie Clarke, ?? Teague, [AAC], Dick Nicklin



Geilo Carnival
Dick Nicklin driving with Colin Chappell and Garry Asbery (scouse) on the roof


Garry (Scouse) Asbery doing his bit for the locals at the open day