This Avro Shackleton is one of three aircrafts situated at Long Marston. After the small aviation museum had sadly closed its doors, the Shackleton MR3, serial number WR985, was among a group of larger airframes that were not relocated, and is still sat at the old World War 2 airfield today. With plans to tear up the old runways (one of which had been latterly used as a dragstrip) and build thousands of new homes on the site, the future prospects of the decommissioned Shackleton seem bleak. WR985 first flew in 1958 and was later relegated to ground training duties under the maintenance serial 8103M. It was disposed of in 1988 and moved to Long Marston airfield.
Also there's the Percival Sea Prince T.1 ex WM735 (ex G-RACA) ex Staverton, on display at the airfield entrance.
And finally a Gloster Meteor T.7 WL332 ex Cradiff.
More Pictures from the explore...
Come along on the explore and check out the video i made.
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RAF Church Fenton
'Twas a nice easy mooch from about a year ago with @Urbexbandoned. Because I'm so far behind in posting reports I always have to go back and read Tracey's report to jog my memory so I can write some shite here as an intro. I can remember it was a boiling hot day and the pollen levels were reading at about 4 billion parts per square metre. After hacking through a shitload of undergrowth for a good half an hour we eventually found something which resembled an RAF base. I was only a few more sneezes away from death. The jungle made it difficult to navigate around and I remember thinking at the time to make sure I returned during the winter so we could actually see where we were going, but I haven't returned since. I bunged my photo's onto my hard drive back then and only just had a look again recently, and to be honest I was pretty disappointed as they're all a bit samey. Derpy barrack blocks and a JR's mess, blah blah peely blah.. the Upwood of the future..
First opened in 1937, RAF Church Fenton is the former home of the first American Eagle Squadrons and was formally regarded as one of the UK's most important strategic airfields, offering rapid reaction fighter defence to the industrial cities of Sheffield, Bradford and Leeds during the second World War. Now, after decades of faithful service in defence of the realm, the air station stands as a lonely hostage to both time and decay.
On 1 April 1937 the station was declared open and on 19 April the first station commander Wing Commander W.E. Swann assumed command. Within two months, No. 71 Squadron RAF had arrived with their Gloster Gladiators. During September 1940 Church Fenton became home to the first "Eagle squadron" of American volunteers - No. 71 Squadron RAF and their Brewster Buffalos and Hawker Hurricanes. The airfield was also home to both the first all-Canadian and all-Polish squadrons, No. 242 Squadron RAF and No. 306 Squadron RAF respectively.
As air warfare became a more tactical and technological pursuit, the first night-fighter Operational Training Unit was formed at Church Fenton in 1940 and some of the squadrons stationed there began to fly the famous de Havilland Mosquito. After the close of the war, the station retained its role as a fighter base, being among the first to receive modern jet aircraft, namely the Gloster Meteor and the Hawker Hunter. In later years, Church Fenton became the RAF's main Elementary Flying Training airfield.
On 25 March 2013 it was announced that Church Fenton would close by the end of 2013 and By 19 December, all units had been relocated and the airfield was closed. Some equipment was be relocated to RAF Topcliffe and MoD security continued to secure the site until disposal. A NOTAM was issued suspending the air traffic zone at the end of 2013.
As always thanks for looking and feedback always appreciated
This was the first time at RAF Upwood Medical Facilty and it proved a good explore although heavilty trashed.
While we had to crawl under a broken piece of plyboard it didnt disapoint with stuff and debris everywhere, plus nearly every piece of glass was broken.
As well as it being pitch black and the only source of light was our phone torches it proved fun, we saw a lot of spent needles, gloves, dental aperatus and more.
Dental lights and aperatus trashed or broken.
Whilst walking around with nothing other than phone torches for light, the smell of recent fire damage from vandals whoever else, we heard foot steps, i told the girls to stay in she shadows and not move until i return, i wandered slowly until the noises got louder and hid behind a door until 2 people ermerged in which i shined my torch, they crapped it and asked if i was police or security or if i was going to harm them, i said no im a explorer and called the girls.... the look on thier face was PRICELESS.
Various forms of aperatus has been left behind as well as back up generators and switch boards.
The sad reality is these amongst a few other pic taken by others are the VERY last we will see of this lovely place as the diggers have moved in,,, but why??? it was in decent serviceable condition until vandals trashed it! The only facilty now is RAF Alconbury which some of the aperatus has been moved to, whilst it sits more or less disused there.
Sadly it now seems there will be room for 300 houses on the Raf Upwood site, and who knows who will occupy them, RAF Upwood was a great explore but sadly the level of decay is too much now.
I will personally miss the place.
I hope you all enjoy this report and many other to come
For the first time we actually gained access to RAF Raynham, NON permissive.
Its a cracking explore and one i will return to at some point as my mum took ill so we had to leave early sadly, anyway it was a warm sunday mid afternoon and we met up with harry and julian, access was fairly easy with various buildings to see.
The first building we seen was the airmans restaurant, a lovely sized building with cracking entrance and stunning staircase very much like RAF Upwood.
With very minimal decay and damage these buildings have been well preserved, even most windows are intact.
A very grand front entrance to the airmans restaurant.
Part of the Upper level, there is a lift here for food.
The accommodation blocks were failt good with ablutions of a high ranking nature and lovely staircases.
Lovely sinks and loos for what looks like high rank serviceman/women
Staircase within the accommodation.
One of the connecting corridors.
The base Headquarters.
One of the rooms.
The server room and telephone exchange within the hq
Top of the HQ
Views from the top.
HQ views - MOD police and sunset at raynham
New report and more detailled pics to follow at a later date.
Thanks for reading.
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.
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.
Thanks for looking.
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