In my early days before mobile phones, it was the trusted land line or the local Police that called you out. The RAF Mountain Rescue Teams were controlled by two Rescue Coordination Centres at Pitreavie Castle and Plymouth. In Scotland it was Pitreavie Catle that called us out when we were at home, usually in the middle of the night and a call the kids at home would fear as it meant you were away on a call -out. The photo above was sent to me by Ian Stewart and it was a first day cover celebrating 50 years of Pitreavie Castle near Edinburgh that I signed as Team Leader RAF Leuchars. It was well known in the early days of SAR as “Edinburgh Rescue” and along with Plymouth Rescue controlled the military SAR Forces until they moved to the sole ARCC at Kinloss in 1997. Many in SAR in the helicopters and MRT will remember the call sign “Edinburgh Rescue and Plymouth Rescue”. I went to the Castle on several occasions for meetings and the odd bollocking. It was an impressive place and was the main line of communication on all Rescues.
After the Second World War Pitreavie Castle became the headquarters of the NATO North Atlantic Area, home of the commanders of air forces and of naval forces in the North Atlantic, and the home of the Air Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland (AOSNI). The base closed in 1996, and role as a maritime rescue co-ordination centre was moved to RAF Kinloss. The castle has now been converted into several apartments with most of the surviving gardens developed as private housing (MacLean Gate) and the Carnegie Campus business park.