I have visited this rock twice, first time on a cruise on the Ss Canberra in 1984, but we didn’t see much of the place as we went straight to the Airport and flew to Tangiers, Morocco.
But the second was with The Air Cadets in 1988 representing my squadron, it was this time I saw the Rock properly.
The Raf regiments Nick name comes from Gibraltar, the Rock apes, I recall, hopefully correctly that this was their first field of true combat.
The Rocks most infamous inhabitants, Barbary Apes, get out and about as we did on our first day, acclimitisation exercise, and you cannot avoid them.
Gibraltar also houses an elaborate system of tunnels that housed munitions during world war 2 which we were lucky enough to tour.
Also taking a rebound trip which was supposed to become an archetypal off shore swim, but one of the crew spotted a large fin, the swim was cancelled, the outboard roared into life and orders were given to keep hands inside the boat,.we were to investigate the shark. But it was only a large part of a torso, the boat crew suggested that it had probably been hit by a jet ski or power boat.
The flight in, was weird to say the least, as we could not see the airstrip only the sea.
Flying in and out of Luton the trip was lucky and seeingvgrear weather, but why the needles in the title, well it was our briefing for trips to the beach, not to take our shoes off, the downside of the Rock at the time, drugs! Discarded needles which were a danger at the time not only of needle stick injury but Hiv was also a threat.
But all in all great memories