Fruin secrets were revealed

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A VEIL of secrecy was lifted for Helensburgh Heritage Trust members and guests at the first meeting of the 2010-11 winter session on September 29. 

David W.Norman, whose father James was Superintendent of the top secret Admiralty Hydro Ballistic Research Establishment at the west end of Glen Fruin from 1950 to 1969, gave an excellent talk about the establishment.

Although the talk was based largely on his father's memories, he covered the whole history from the 1940s to its closure, and discussed the purpose, the facilities, the programmes, and some of the people who worked there.

AHBRE-exterior-wHe also drew on a unique collection of photographs of the establishment, and kindly prepared an illustrated article based on his talk which has been uploaded to the Heritage — Military section of this website. It can be found by clicking here.

David came to Scotland when his father took up the post, and is a former pupil of Larchfield (now Lomond) School and Hermitage School.

He graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in aero engineering and spent most of his career in the Ministry of Defence, including recurring interactions with Glen Fruin until its closure.

He said: “I and my wife Margaret, nee Burgess, now live in Dorset, but we welcome any excuse to revisit our old haunts — even public speaking!”

All the Trust's winter meetings are free of charge and are held in the upstairs meeting room at Helensburgh Lawn Tennis Club in Suffolk Street, and start at 7.30 p.m. Non-members are welcome, and tea and coffee are served at the end of the meeting.