Ex-TA paratrooper recalls high-flying times at Doncaster barracks

Soldiers pictured at Scarborough Barracks in 1958.
Soldiers pictured at Scarborough Barracks in 1958.

A former territorial army paratrooper has shared his high-flying memories of life on an army base in Doncaster.

Tony Adams was a member of the parachute field squadron of the royal engineers and based at the Scarborough Barracks Territorial Army base in South Parade between 1957 and 1960.

Tony Adams about to take off on a training mission in Norfolk.

Tony Adams about to take off on a training mission in Norfolk.

As a young man, the now 78-year-old used to juggle his job as a plumber with his role in the territorial army.

He fondly remembers his rigorous training regime.

Tony, originally from Armthorpe, said: “We had to make 13 drops in total to get our wings at air bases all around the country, including in Norfolk, Abingdon and Northumberland.

“The first couple of jumps were from a barrage balloon that they used to use in World War Two to try and stop enemy planes.

Soldiers out on a training operation in Tickhill.

Soldiers out on a training operation in Tickhill.

“They would put you in this box and then you would float up to about 800ft and then make your jump. All of the rest were from 1200ft out of aircraft.

“They were basically testing your ability to deploy your parachute, which of course was very important!

“It was nerve-wracking at first but you got used to it and in time come to actually enjoy it.”

Following his time in the TA he went into teaching plumbing and building services.

He lectured in the subject at Shirecliffe College in Sheffield, Hertfordshire College of Building, York College of Further Education and Derby University.

Tony now lives in Derby but decided to send in the pictures of his old barracks after he was reminded of his time there during a recent trip back to Doncaster. The barracks has since relocated to Balby.

He said: “I remember there was a great camaraderie there. I haven’t seen many of them since then so it would be great to hear from any of them if they want to get in touch.”

Tony can be contacted on 01332 557550.