WAAF Balloon Command Grouping
Paperwork and photograph grouping to WAAF Vera Ash, 460447 who trained at 1 BTU (Balloon Training Unit), Cardington in Bedfordshire. The grouping is comprised of the following items :
1. Balloon Command - Notes For Balloon Operators, P/b, 19 x 25cm, April 1942, 23p plus diagrams. This covers balloon handling, maintenance, hydrogen, fabrics, ropes, wres, balloon armament, winch notes, engine notes and general notes for winch drivers. There are pull-out diagrams at the back detailing the 'Wild' Kite (barrage) balloon winch and winch controls. Condition is very worn with heavy creasing, soiling and separation of the cover in parts. Fascinating document nonetheless.
2. Balloon Theory Notes - Typed sheets stapled at the corner, 11p. Covers a general description of balloons, their dimensions, description and position of principal componants and of their action; fabric types, seaming tape, repairs, ropes, whippings, wires etc. Again this has heavy wear and soiling with creasing, dog-eared corners and edges. One page is loose from the staple.
3. Notebook, h/b, 19 x 23cm with handwritten information on Balloon Theory. Some illustrations. Appears to have some later 'graffiti' courtesey of a child. Fair condition.
4. Framed photograph of Ms. Ash in her uniform. Image size approximately 10 x 15cm. This is mounted on card and held within a period free standing glazed wooden frame. Frame is glazed front and rear - glass, mount and photos slide in from the open top for easy change. The photo is clear, the mount grubby and the frame good but dusty. Mount is marked in pencil 'Balloon Unit 1943'.
5. Large photograph of members of No.1 BTU doing PT. Barrage balloon and balloon winch can be seen in the background. Approximately 20 x 25cm. Nice picture but has soiling, creases and repaired edge tear. Stamped 'Copyright Newsphotos Press Agency, Sheffield' to rear.
6. Framed photograph of members of No.1 BTU dated 1943. Approximately 16 x 11cm including frame. Good condition.
7. Photo of Balloon operators, approximately 13 x 9cm. Names written on the back and wording 'In memory of the best days site 78'.
8. Photo of RAF Sergeant approximately 8.5 x 12cm. Captioned to rear 'Flying Officer (?) Bould, Balloon Training Unit, 1943'. Creased.
9. Photo of Ms Vera Ash in uniform, approximately 6 x 8cm. Edge creases etc.
No 1 BTU was active at Cardington throughout WW2 and had responsibility for the training of barrage balloon operators. The WAAF began training there during May 1941 and there were courses for Balloon Riggers, Fabric Workers, MT (Mechanical Transport) and Balloon Handling. A fascinating grouping to this member of the WAAF. Stock code M20204.