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Found 14 results

  1. History Going to be brief as this is everywhere, I'd recommend rafchurchfenton.org.uk if you're looking for a solid reference on the subject. RAF Church Fenton was opened in 1937, during WWII it had a defensive role protecting the northern Industrial cities from bombing raids. It also hosted the first American volunteer 'Eagle Squadron' during this period. Much of its postwar history was dominated by an emphasis on its role as a training airfield and from 1998 to 2003 Church Fenton was the RAF's main Elementary Flying Training airfield. On 25 March 2013 it was announced that Church Fenton would close by the end of the year. The site was bought by a local entrepreneur in late 2014 and the airfield now caters for private flights, having been renamed Leeds East Airport. The Explore Not much to say here. There's a bit of building going on on some adjacent land, whether this means the airfield owner has more significant plans for the derelict portion of the site I have no idea. All in all despite lots of talk of run-ins with police and security it was a very relaxed mooch, albeit slightly disorientating at points with the overgrown and repetitive nature of everything. There's not a great deal in the way of ephemera or artefacts, just lots of peely paint, first-floor ferns and other fairly natural pretty decay. By and large aside from some new (crap) graffiti very little changed between my visits. The Pictures I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. XVII. Thanks for looking. If you're anywhere vaguely near Sheffield and want to link up then drop me a line. Cheers, Thirteen.
  2. History RAF Spadeadam is an active Royal Air Force station in Cumbria, close to the border of Northumbria. Covering 9,000 acres, it is the largest RAF base in the United Kingdom. It is currently used as an Electronic Warfare Tactics Range, to train the Royal Air Force and NATO allies. It is also the only mainland UK location where aircrews can drop practice bombs. Spadeadam has always been a remote and uninhabited part of England, until 1955 when the Intermediate Ballistic Missile Test Centre was constructed for the Blue Streak missile project – a project that was launched to develop a nuclear deterrent missile. The RAF took over the base in 1976 and under their control it became the Electronic Warfare Tactics Range in 1977. The range itself contains ground-based electronic equipment, including some that was manufactured in the Soviet Union, that create simulated threats to train aircrews. Across the site there are different real and dummy targets which include an airfield, a village, portable buildings, tanks, aircraft, anti-aircraft guns and vehicle convoys. The site was originally used in secret as part of Britain’s Cold War nuclear weapons programme. This information was only made public in 2004 when tree-felling work uncovered the remains of abandoned excavations for a missile silo. Since then, the RAF and English Heritage have attempted to survey the site and record what was so secret about the place, because there are no official records or plans for the base still in existence from the Cold War period. What is known, however, is that Spadeadam was chosen as a launch site because of its isolation, access to road connections and the surrounding environment which supported it with plenty of water. It is thought that Spadeadam was meant to be one of sixty launch sites across the UK, but most of these were never built. This report is based on the practice airfield area of RAF Spadeadam. It is hidden away in a small forest and completely surrounded by a peat bog. The airfield itself comprises a triangular shaped runway which features a number of aircraft (mostly MIG fighter jets), military vehicles and anti-aircraft guns. Our Version of Events It was a decent sunnyafternoon and we were a little tired of being indoors, so we decided to follow up a lead we had on an abandoned airfield somewhere in Northumbria. The journey was great, all the way up to the borders of Northumbria at least. But, from that point on the heavens opened and what had previously been a glorious day was now a very shit one. Nevertheless, rather than turn back we figured we’d just get wet and have a look for abandoned aeroplanes anyway. We arrived, in the middle of absolutely fucking nowhere and were getting slightly concerned about how long it had taken us to get there. It took a moment to get our bearings, since there is no signal out in the sticks, but we had a vague idea which way we had to walk. So, ready to rock and roll we ditched the car at the side of the road and headed off into the vast bog in front of us. Fortunately, at this point the rain had stopped, but unfortunately we instantly got soaked as we plodded across land that deceived us into thinking it was solid. This epic struggle continued the entire way. If anyone has ever seen the Vicar of Dibley sketch, where she jumps into the puddle and completely disappears, this was exactly like that. After much scrambling around in the bog, and wandering through dense patches of forest, we were well and truly lost. No signal, no map, no food, but plenty of water… It was bad craic. For some reason, though, we decided to have one last wander through some pine trees. We were feeling pretty deflated at this point, so I’m not sure what was driving us on, but in the end we were glad we did carry on. After another ten minutes of aimless wandering, we caught a glimpse of something that looked conspicuously like the tail of a fighter jet. I’ve never heard of mirages in a peat bog before, so I instantly decided that what we were seeing must have been real. Instantly forgetting about how miserable we’d been feeling, we waded on, working our way towards a great big silver MIG that was glistening in the fading sunlight. Once we reached the runway, we were surprised to discover that it wasn’t tarmac. It was some shitty gravel substance that was just as waterlogged as the damn bog. But, right in front of us were two shiny MIG fighter jets, and they looked fucking awesome after all the walking. So, conscious that daylight was rapidly turning into night, we whipped out the old cameras and began our invasion of the airfield. We began with the first two jets and then made our way towards what appeared to be an abandoned fuel truck further in the distance. It took a few minutes to get there, but it was well worth it since we could suddenly see six or seven more aircraft and several guns a little further ahead. Our assault had been successful, and we soon found ourselves surrounded by more guns and bombs than even Rambo could handle. We also found a few unused smoke grenades which is something we’ve never encountered on an explore before. We hung around the airfield until darkness was nearly upon us, then decided to call it a day because we suddenly remembered we had to walk back through a forest and a bog to get back to the car. So, still having been undetected by the RAF, we made our way back to the treeline. A little more worried about stepping on a mine now after discovering the grenades, or some sort of unexploded bomb, we headed off back into the bog. The same shit journey we’d endured an hour or so previously began all over again. Splish, splash, splosh… Those three sounds were back again, and they all sounded just as shit as before. Explored with Rizla Rider. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22:
  3. That moment when you turn on your computer and nothing happens.... And its a case of oh heck It has a bloody Virus big time... So a quick phonecall to my buddy the next county over and he says drop it off in the morning and he will have it sorted. So I decided to take the camera as that is always a great way to pass a few hours.. I decided I would go and have a look for this ROC post. It was not to hard to find after getting out of the car and looking around in a muddy field that was nicely overgrown. I had not seen anything pop up online from this so thought it had to be looked at, and with it being in the middle of nowhere and attached to a live private airfield I was hoping it would be in good condition. I opened the hatch and was greeted by a scene from arachnophobia. So I lowered my camera bag down first to clear the way and then climbed down. I was a bit gutted when I got inside and it was rather bare, but also glad that it had not come a cropper to one of their normal ends. What was inside and had not been cleared was still in good condition, and it had also attracted a few field mice that had got stuck inside. So I took the few obligatory photos and popped up the top to get a few more. The Locking bar was missing, the lock was also missing and had been cut, and a few of the fittings from on the surface were also damaged. All things considered it was nice way to spend a few hours on a damp midweek day. Images 2,3,4,7 and 8 were taken using the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 A HISTORY OF THE AIRFIELD IT IS LOCATED ON Beccles aerodrome was completed in August 1942 and opened in 1943. It was constructed under the direction of the London-based company Holland, Hannen & Cubitt and had three concrete runways built to the specifications of a Class A bomber airfield. The main runway was a good 1,800 metres (6,000 feet) long and 50 metres (150 feet) wide. There were fifty loop-shaped aircraft dispersal points each designed to accommodate one or two heavy bombers, and two T2 hangars. The airfield was intended for the use of the USAAF (United States Army Air Forces) Eighth Army Air Force but was never used by the Americans. In its heyday (December 1944) the aerodrome dispersed campsites accommodated 2,667 male and 27 female personnel. The station, which was locally always known as Ellough airfield and in official documents is referred to as RAF Beccles [Ellough], was the last to be built in Suffolk during the war and the most easterly aerodrome in wartime England. It was designated USAAF Station 132. The USAAF, however, had no use for the base and in the summer of 1944 it was transferred to RAF Bomber Command, and a few months later to Coastal Command. In September and October 1944, the 618th Squadron, flying De Havilland Mosquito aircraft, used the main runway at night for practicing the dropping of "Highball" bombs, the smaller version of the "Bouncing Bomb". The 618th was the sister squadron to the 617th Squadron, the famous "Dambusters". The tests were carried out under great secrecy and the level of security was heightened with the arrival of a Special Police unit in early September. From October 1944 to October 1945, the base was used as an Air-Sea Rescue (ASR) post. The squadrons involved were the 280th, flying Warwick aircraft, No. 278 Squadron flying Walrus floatplanes and No. 119 Squadron, flying Albacores. No. 279 squadron, flying Warwicks and Supermarine Sea Otters, the last biplane in RAF service, used the base for anti-shipping duties. The airfield was closed to military flying in the winter of 1945 and transferred to care and maintenance under the control of RAF Langham. All medical supplies held at the small base hospital were handed over to the local hospital in Beccles. The accommodation was used by the Royal Navy for training reservists and for a short period the airfield was designated HMS Hornbill II. In 1946, a Prisoner of War camp was opened and up to 1,000 German prisoners were held there. The Officers' and Sergeants' quarters located in College Lane were used for housing some of these prisoners, who worked as labourers in the vicinity. By the time the camp was closed in 1948 the airfield was disused and the land had returned to agriculture, but in the 1950s a De Havilland Vampire jet fighter running low on fuel made an emergency landing on the flying field; the hot efflux from the aircraft's jet pipe set the grass on fire. The Vampire was the last military aircraft to land here. Many of the temporary buildings located on the various dispersed sites, all of which were located to the west of the flying field, were dismantled or demolished, and most of the runways have since been broken up for aggregate. The airfield's Watch office was pulled down in 2009 due to it having fallen derelict after many years of neglect. It was located on the edge of a field to the south of Benacre Road. The underground Battle Headquarters (BHQ) situated in the near vicinity, which for many years had been inaccessible due to being flooded, was filled in at around the same time. The only structure still in place is a brick-built blast shelter that adjoined the Watch office in the north-east. ROC POSTS Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Posts are underground structures all over the United Kingdom, constructed as a result of the Corps' nuclear reporting role and operated by volunteers during the Cold War between 1955 and 1991. In all but a very few instances the posts were built to a standard design consisting of a 14-foot-deep access shaft, a toilet/store and a monitoring room.[1] The most unusual post was the non-standard one constructed in a cellar within Windsor Castle. A third of the total number of posts were closed in 1968 during a reorganisation and major contraction of the ROC. Several others closed over the next 40 years as a result of structural difficulties i.e. persistent flooding, or regular vandalism. The remainder of the posts were closed in 1991 when the majority of the ROC was stood down following the break-up of the Communist Bloc. Many have been demolished or adapted to other uses but the majority still exist, although in a derelict condition. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
  4. Predannack Airfield is situated near Mullion on Cornwall's Lizard Peninsula in the United Kingdom. The runways are operated by the Royal Navy and today it is used as a satellite airfield and relief landing ground for nearby RNAS Culdrose. Building work began for an RAF advanced night fighter base to protect the nearby ports of Falmouth and Penzance during 1940 and RAF Predannack Down opened in 1941 as part of Portreath Sector. It later transferred to RAF Coastal Command until it went into care and maintenance on 1 Jun 1946. During the Second World War Coastal Command squadrons flew anti-submarine sorties into the Bay of Biscay as well as convoy support in the western English Channel using aircraft such as Bristol Beaufighters and De Havilland Mosquitoes. World War II memorial at Predannack main gate, April 2007 A plaque at the entrance, commemorating those who served at RAF Predannack Down during World War II was unveiled on 11 June 2002. It reads: "Like a breath of wind gone in a fleeting second only the memories now remain". Royal Navy After a short period of experimental use by Vickers under the supervision of Barnes Wallis around 1951, the base was taken over by the Royal Navy on 15 Dec 1958. The airfield was allocated the ICAO code EGDO but this fell out of use as it became a satellite airfield for nearby RNAS Culdrose, to handle intensive helicopter operations and as a relief landing ground. There is also a small arms range on the site and the RN Fire Fighting School moved here in 1971. Current use It is also home to RAF 626 Volunteer Gliding Squadron unit and the Royal Naval School of Fire Fighting, which holds a number of dummy aircraft for fire extinguishing practice, together with a number of retired airframes for personnel rescue practice, such as this disused Westland Wessex (above, right). Looking closely at the satellite photos from around 2005, a former Hawker Hunter and English Electric Canberra can be seen parked in the southwest. The Hawker Hunter was moved to Bristol in November 2007. In 2009 images, there are a number of Sea Harrier airframes to be seen in the area, with a group of four further to the east. The runway is also used by "Goonhilly Model Flying Club" (with MOD permission) and hobby model flying has been carried out on the field since the 1950s. The site is currently in use by international disaster relief agency Shelterbox as part of their Academy for Disaster Relief.
  5. UK Nazeing Decoy Airfield

    Nazeing Decoy Airfield One of World War II's carefully kept secrets was the building of dummy or decoy airfields. Nazeing Common was one of many sites, designed to be a decoy for nearby North Weald airfield. The lighting was mounted on wooden poles of varying lengths, so as to keep the proportion and angles right in its appearance from the air. The command and control bunkers are still in good condition and were built away from the layout of the airfield so as to give the RAF crews that manned this site some protection. These buildings housed generators for powering the lighting and had an ops room where the lights were operated from, and where contact could be maintained by telephone to the controlling station i.e.: North Weald itself. This site was in operation from June 1940, but it is thought the Germans had detected Nazeing as a decoy site by the end of December. The site probably closed by the end of July 1941 as land was needed for increased agriculture and this was put to the plough in August 1941.
  6. So 1 freezing cold wet winter morning we headed out to take a flight to sunny spain thanks to SK's dodgy directions we ended up here economy class sucked And that was our holiday down the swanny
  7. UK Goxhill Airfield 2013

    Back ground history, Goxhill air field (RAF Goxhill, also known as USAAF Station 345 and nicknamed RAF Goathill) was an airfield 240 kilometers north of London. During World War I a Royal Flying Corps landing ground existed near Goxhill. It was abandoned immediately after the war however. At the beginning of World War II, the site was used by a barrage balloon unit to protect the port of Hull. In 1940 the Air Ministry returned to survey the land once again for its suitability as an airfield. That same year, the site was transferred to Bomber Command, intended to be rebuilt as a Class-A bomber airfield. Several hangars were built; two T-2's, one J-Type and four blisters, as well as parkings for 50 aircraft. Accomodation was provided for over 1700 personnel. The airfield soon proved to be too close to the air defenses of Hull, however. It therefore became an airfield for 1 Group on 26 June 1941, providing towing practice targets with Lysander from 25 October 1941. Between December 1941 and May 1942, the airfield was a Fighter Command airfield, operating Spitfires from 616 Sqn. Between May and August 1942, the airfield served as a satellite airfield to RAF Kirmington (todays Humberside Airport). It was then transferred to the United States Army Air Force, in a ceremony attended by Dwight D. Eisenhower, as it was the first such handover. Facilities at Goxhill left a lot to be desired. Its wooden barracks were supplemented by a number of metal fabricated buildings (nicknamed 'tin cans') for living quarters. It were the USAAF units that began calling the airfield "GoatHill'. The USAAF used Goxhill as a training airfield though the balance of the war. Several squadrons used it after their initial deployment to the UK and then moved on to their permanent facility for operational missions. Both the USAAF 8th and 9th Air Force utilized Goxhill. Was a relaxing explorer for some snaps.... hope you like.... Thanks for looking.
  8. A Run at The Airfield - 2013

    Splored with Silent Night
  9. Paid a visit to Predannack Airfield in Cornwall which is an amazing place and well worth the trip if you are down this way with plenty to see History Admiralty surveyors first started preliminary surveys of land near Helston in 1942. RNAS Culdrose was commissioned as HMS Seahawk five years after these initial surveys. The station was originally designed to be a wartime airfield lasting about ten years. The initial plans were for Culdrose to serve as a Naval Fighting School, it soon developed other roles. These varied roles included such things as the trials of the Navy's first jets, training of Airbone Early Warning crews and as a home base for carrier based aircraft. Over the years the stations emphasis changed from fixed wing aircraft to rotary wing, although its main role remains largely the same. On with the shots ..... , ,
  10. Ok I have visited this place various times now but never got round to posting it up. Others I have visited with have posted it in various places. The condition of the plane has gone down hill each time I have returned which is a real shame. There is a small amount of history if you hunt around but it has been covered so here are the photos.
  11. Every time I go on an explore my two youngest look at the photos and I hear "Dad, Dad, can we come with you?" So today I decided it was time, armed with a torch, their £20 Argos cameras, and their Grandad, I took them to the decoy airfield at Nazeing History taken from http://merlinsroared.tripod.com/id20.html Nazeing Common 'KQ' site. One of wartimes carefully kept secrets was the building of dummy or decoy airfields. Nazeing Common, just to the south of present day Harlow, was such a site. Designed to be a decoy for nearby North Weald airfield, this site was for day and night use, hence the designation 'KQ'. The idea for dummy structures or installations was designed to attract bombs away from the real airfield, It stemmed from an idea by Colonel John Turner, a Civil Engineer who became head of 'Works & Buildings' with the Air Ministry. He was instrumental in conceiving these decoy airfield sites, of which over two hundred and thirty were built. He was himself a pilot and also understood the infrastructure and design of military airfields. With his HQ in the Shepperton Film studios, his department had the knowledge of deceptive construction, the big film company's were masters at creating an illusion from canvas and wood. Dummy Hawker Hurricane aircraft made from These materials, among other things, were produced by a company called Greens Engineering, and were deemed very effective when in place. On these sites these dummy aircraft were moved around to simulate day to day movement on the 'airfield' to German reconnaisance aircraft and also their night bombers. Regular RAF airmen were used to man these 'airfields'. They were also protected by anti-aircraft guns and had the same lighting system in appearance as a normal airfield. By the use of some very clever lighting the men could simulate moving aircraft and create flarepaths, the illusion to German bomber crews was very effective. and for all intents and purposes, from a height, these dummy airfields looked like the real thing and succesfully attracted bombs away from the real airfield. Command and control bunkers were built away from the layout of the 'airfield' so as to give the crews some protection. These buildings housed generators for powering the lighting and had an ops room where the the lights were operated from, and where contact could be maintained by telephone to the controlling station ie: North Weald itself. The other bunker at Nazeing was used for shelter and a general area for sleeping and cooking. There were two incidents involving aircraft trying to attempt a landing on the decoy airfield at Nazeing common. A Vickers Wellington of 9 squadron from Honington Norfolk was returning from an operational flight and made a less than perfect landing. It was dismantled by an RAF recovery crew from North Weald and sent for repair. A Percival Proctor training aircraft also suffered the same fate. The land on the site is as it appears today, very hilly, and not at all what you expect from an 'airfield'. The lighting was mounted on wooden poles of varying lengths, so as to keep the proportion and angles right in it's appearance from the air. These sites were in operation from June 1940, but it is thought the Germans had detected Nazeing as a decoy site by the end of December. The site probably closed by the end of July 1941 as land was needed for increased agriculture. The decoy was originally built on common grazing land, and this was put to the plough in August 1941. The Control Bunker The Generator Building The kids were banned from this one due to it being very unstable, just me and their Grandad He just had to sneak down didn't he, Hmmm Thanks for looking
  12. Wisley Airfield - Hampshire - 2008

    Wisley airfield was once an raf base but over the years all the buldings bar one have been demoed the place is now used to store farm equipment and as an emergency landing facility die die die mwhahahahah
  13. The subject line is a bit vague as the owners were spot on with us and asked us not to put the location out there. If this report tickles your fancy and you would like to visit, drop me a PM and I'll give you Tims mobile number. The best spot in the site (the room with the drawings / maps) is under lock and key and they were more than happy to unlock it for us. The Chapel. Brick cross on the wall. Shot from the bottom end of the site. Prefab roof joist. Demolished building with urinal and chimney still present. Boiler room on the left of the photo. Close up of the boiler room. These were hanging just above the entrance to the boiler room. Fancy a climb?? Look strong? Not so strong from this angle. Captian slow and hood_mad at one of the locked buildings. Demolished. Other ranks accomodation. Accomodation to the left, toilets to the right. Water storage in the tower visible on top of the building. Lightweight trailer. Officers quarters. Drying room. Two I beams had corroded away leaving only one to support this boiler. Water storage? Fireplace in the NAAFI. This had four fireplaces all using the same chimney. A bit out of focus, but you get the idea. Outside the NAAFI. There were a load of drawings on the wall inside the locked building, est @ about 1950ish. Drawing of a Sea Vampire. You can just make out "Shell" and "Esso" trademarks on these cans. Original Phone. After we'd done the accomodation side, we headed south west to the airfield proper. Shelter identical to the ones at Carew airfield. Underground HQ nearby. (Captain slow has some inside pics.) A great day out, we spent about 5 hours wandering about the site. Again, the site is well open, but if anyone wants above board access or just wants to see the drawings and maps, drop me a PM and I'll give you Tims number. J.
  14. On the way down to Pembroke Dock for the day, hood_mad and I stopped off near Carew Airfield to have a look at the radar protection site the other side of the main road. Inside one of the little bunkers. The flooded one. A small explore, but the little bunkers were fun. After we left, we went to the St Twynnells ROTOR Station HERE J.

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