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RAF men with 100 years of experience between them step down

PUBLISHED: 10:29 02 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:35 02 February 2020

Bob Brown and Steve Lay-Flurrie have helped to keep British airspace safe for decades from the Neatishead radar base near Wroxham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Bob Brown and Steve Lay-Flurrie have helped to keep British airspace safe for decades from the Neatishead radar base near Wroxham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Archant

Two men who have given a combined century of service to the Royal Air Force have retired from their posts, having spent some 20 years working side-by-side at a Norfolk radar base.

Bob Brown and Steve Lay-Flurrie reflect on their military careers at RRH Neatishead as they reach retirement.  Picture: Neil DidsburyBob Brown and Steve Lay-Flurrie reflect on their military careers at RRH Neatishead as they reach retirement. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Steve Lay-Flurrie and Bob Brown enjoyed 22 years working together at Remote Radar Head Neatishead, Warrant Officer Lay-Flurrie most recently as detachment commander and Mr Brown as an area authorised person.

Last week, WO Lay Flurrie, 62, of Little Plumstead, was given the traditional RAF send-off - being carried of the base in full uniform after 45 years of rising through the ranks of the military organisation.

Joining the air force in May 1975 as a telegraphist, WO Lay-Flurrie had a range of different roles and bases, before relocating to RAF Neatishead in 1998, overseeing the downsizing of the base. He took on the role of detachment commander in 2012, a post he held until his retirement on Wednesday, January 29.

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While this time saw him fulfil a variety of key roles linked with ensuring the British air space is kept safe and secure, he said his biggest joy was seeing improvements in the people he worked with through the years.

He said: "My proudest moment came on my very last day of service. Over the years I have helped so many young people through the ranks and on my last day somebody I had not seen for a good few years approached me.

"He joined when he was young and to be honest was quite a troublesome lad to begin with, but I never gave up on him. He came to the presentation specifically to see me and told me that he had risen to the same rank as me - and thanked me for all the help I gave. Hearing that meant the world to me."

Mr Brown, 70, meanwhile, is retiring after 55 years of work, much of which saw him working at the radar base on behalf of a contractor called Amey.

Fond memories. Bob Brown and Steve Lay-Flurrie call time on their careers at the RRH Neatishead base near Wroxham. Picture: Neil DidsburyFond memories. Bob Brown and Steve Lay-Flurrie call time on their careers at the RRH Neatishead base near Wroxham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

He said: "Steve and I have become very close friends over the past 20 years, it's been a privilege working with him and keeping him on the straight and narrow. The proudest thing for me is knowing that our work is keeping so many people safe."

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