Jump to content
Seeker1701

UK RAF Sculthorpe 20/11/13

Recommended Posts

The plan was to get picked up by another explorer to go and look at a site just for a recon in the pouring rain with the idea of protecting our cameras with bags and umbrellas and then move on to the real goal which was one of two airbases. Once in the car we decided that RAF Sculthorpe was to be the one with the other maybe being done if we had the time and off we went.

For my fellow explorer who went by the name of Kubix_Uk this was to be his first visit to this base, I had been here twice before.

The last time had a couple of surprises for the group and today was to be no different!

These first two pictures are from my last excursion and i am sorry for the date in the first picture, different camera.

The first shows a Firetruck from RAF Mildenhall which was in mint condition.

SUNP0102_zps6290c517.jpg

And this thing which had found laying in the grass not far from the control tower

DSC_0259_zpsa8e60b87.jpg

This is just small piece about the start of RAF Sculthorpe with a link to the Wiki page that this came from.

RAF Sculthorpe was built as the second satellite airfield of RAF West Raynham a few miles to the south, the first being RAF Great Massingham. Work was begun in the spring of 1942 and the airfield was laid out as a standard RAF heavy bomber airfield with concrete runways, dispersals site, mess facilities and accommodation. Much of the construction work was completed by Irish labour working for the construction company Bovis.

And the link to the rest of the history

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Sculthorpe

we arrived at the gate that leads to the runway with the tower and a couple of buildings on the other side of the fence!

DSC_0166_zps095e2c80.jpg

It did not take us long to gear up and enter and we started to look in the buildings.

DSC_0073_zpsbc777702.jpg

I did not take many pictures of the inside of these building as we were busy looking around however Kubix_Uk decided to make a phone call on the phone we found in the middle of the floor!

DSC_0052_zpsf324cf5c.jpg

We moved on through the buildings we found this room which i found impressive

DSCF6001_zps2726b5ac.jpg

One thing that Kubix_Uk found interesting was the amount that was left behind like this wonderful switchboard.

DSCF6005_zpsa8766a19.jpg

Hidden in the corner was a smaller version.

DSCF6018_zpsc9aade2a.jpg

The floor was covered in paperwork and glass and who knows what else but we did find this really interesting.

DSCF6010_zps907ccc76.jpg

So after a good study of the map and a cig we decided to move back outside and see what else there was and head to see the firetruck by the tower,

we passed this section of the building hidden at the back so we decided to have a quick look.

DSC_0068_zpsbc56adc1.jpg

most of the space was taken by whatever this was so we got a couple of pictures before moving on

DSCF6026_zps1b313ab0.jpg

Kubix_Uk noticed this

DSCF6025_zps710959e0.jpg

And so we left these buildings and aimed for the control tower.

DSC_0077_zpsf4933c11.jpg

That is when we noticed movement outside and using the cameras zoom this is what i saw

DSC_0080_zps1e04b58b.jpg

as we walked closer i carried on using the zoom to confirm what i had feared when i first saw them.........MOD! in this case possibly the army! :errr:

DSC_0086_zps67257339.jpg

For some reason that i simply do not know, i just carried on walking closer and looking back on it i know we would be caught but i felt we might be able to slip under them as it seemed they had not seen us but on close inspection of this picture it is very possible that they were waiting for us to get closer before saying hello and clear off!

As we got close to the tower i was more concerned by how many cars were hidden behind the control building but i should have been more concerned by who was watching us. A Sergeant came out from some tree's and walked towards us, we were told that we should not be here as the area we were in was for training and that we would have to leave.

DSC_0088_zps06cd6789.jpg

After being told to move on and feeling fortunate we still had our cameras and SD cards we went to look at the accommodation blocks going with the idea that we were out of the area mentioned and as such should be ok. The strange thing about Sculthopre is that the whole base looks disused including the tower so it is easy to make the mistake we did! ;)

DSC_0124_zps4b609f96.jpg

DSC_0151_zps59f5b16a.jpg

Although i think these are two different buildings but they look the same both inside and out.

We were more interested in simply looking than taking pictures unless we saw something as the buildings we entered were trashed in a bad way!

DSC_0136_zpsa314fb46.jpg

DSC_0159_zps1997e62c.jpg

looking out of the window gave a sense that i have felt many times while on excursions which is one sadness, these buildings were built to serve a use and now that they are no longer needed they are left forgotten for the most part.

DSC_0140_zpsb281bbf3.jpg

DSC_0142_zps3a7e00b0.jpg

After we had gone around a couple of the buildings we decided to start to think about making a move and having a look at the other airbase nearby but sadly i had to return and call it a day but i am sure that Kubix_Uk would be up for visiting the other airbase soon!

There was no red tea pot to be found this time so i thought i would finish this report with these two pictures

DSC_0141_zpsae75befb.jpg

DSC_0171_zps94dbea25.jpg

It was a great day even with our encounter with the MOD and certainly a laugh.

I hope you have enjoyed this report and again, if there is anything i could have done better then please let me know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They seemed to be only concerned with the Tower and the runway, even the MOD police building where the shot with the phone did not bother them. A local told us that the military are there often doing all sorts there and flying a good selection of aircraft, while we were there we saw a Tornado and possibly a couple of F15's were in the air above us while we were walking about!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Couple pics out of focus but nothing to detract from a super read, looks like you had a great dat out. Cracking Share :thumb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice report. Good to see MOD were pretty decent with you.

I'm sure I've read that This place, Sculthorpe and Coltishall have all been sold off by MOD and are owned by either council or private owners now. Guess there could have been a clause which allowed MOD to still practice there though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely love this report, echo what Lara said about feeling like I was there with you, the running commentary works a treat! The control tower shots made me :o and then :P !! Hats off to you for getting that little bit closer :thumb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked as a Air traffic Controller at RAF Sculthorpe in the late 80s when RAF Alconbury deployed with their TR2s because they were re-surfacing their runways.  I was part of the 1st Combat Communications Group at the time.  Stayed in the "Z" dorms there while deployed for other exercises, and in the base housing for the Alconbury deployment.  I remember the "Birdman" who was responsible for keeping gulls and other larger birds off of the runway.  He had several birds of prey that he used, but the one I remember most was the Peregrine Falcon.  Went out with him to watch the bird work.  Simply amazing!  That bird was like a missile!  RAF Marham was just up the road (we could see it from the tower) and they used to call us for approval of airfield attacks bu RAF Tornados.  Fun times.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By Stevepg
      There were four different types of munitions factory:
       
      Engineering factories producing the metal casings for bombs and shells or, in some instances, producing parts, rifles, guns and tanks.
       
      Small-arms factories producing the bullet casings. (These factories were often existing engineering factories turned over to war production.)
       
      Explosive factories manufacturing various explosive agents.
       
      Filling factories to fill the bomb and shell casings with the explosives.
       
      This site produced Cordite and was chosen for its distance from German bomber bases in Europe, while having good rail networks and a rural location that provided a good supply of labour. This ROF  employed circa 13000 during WW2 mainly women. 
       
      The Ministry of Works built a large water abstraction and treatment plant , just to supply the plant.
       
      To connect the site to the national rail network, a large marshalling yard of 10 separate roads was constructed, and these connected to the works' internal network of rail lines. A passenger platform was built for military usage. All the cordite produced at the plant was taken by these sidings to Crewe.
       
      The site was well defended, both on the ground and from the air; several Type 22 Pillboxes and Type 24 Pillboxes and the entire site was under a mile away from RAF base, which was home to at least one fighter squadron, for defending the region's industrial assets from bomber attack.


































    • By Landie_Man
      Visited back in November with Mookster after seeing the Typhoo Factory.  Another one ticked off the list which has been kicking about for years.  I really enjoyed this one; though quite bare and largely sealed, it had a lot of nice things to see down there.  The air was pretty bad though in places!
       
      History - Borrowed!
      The ‘Shadow Factory Tunnels’ are what remain of Lord Austin’s secret plans that were created to increase the force of the British military against the German military aggression in the arms race that led up to the start of the Second World War. 
       
      Munitions workers produced Merlin engines to power Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes which were used to regain control of the British skies during the 1940 Battle of Britain.
      The Shadow Scheme involved two stages; the building of nine new factories and the extension of  existing factories.
       
      This extension included here; the Longbridge plant. Australian-born industrialist and Conservative MP, Lord Austin, whom founded Austin Motors; had already contributed to the war effort during the First World War, turning his factories to munitions and engine production.
       
      The tunnels which ran beneath Austin Rovers Longbridge plant are mostly all that is left of the plant; a large housing development increases in size upon the former footprint.  These tunnels ensured that production of the engines and munitions could continue underground in relative safety. 
       
      After WWII; the factory returned to producing automobiles and the tunnels were soon abandoned. By the late 60s, the  plant was the second largest car plant in the world. 
       
      After the collapse of MG Rover, the site saw its redevelopment.  Famously; a mini was kept down here after workers damaged it in the 70s and it was hidden from bosses.  The mini is now in a museum.  
      This is a very small portion of the tunnels.  Lots is bricked up
      #1

       
      #2

       
      #3

       
      #4

       
      #5

       
      #6

       
      #7

       
      #8

       
      #9

       
      #10

       
      #11

       
      #12

       
      #13

       
      #14

       
      #15

       
      #16

       
      #17

    • By Landie_Man
      In classic Harry style; this forms part of another explore backlog!  I visited here in November 2018 with Mookster.  It formed part of a little Midland Roadtrip we did that day.  
      We all know what to expect with this place; its pretty pillaged now, access was a doddle and it was full of other explorers; something which seems to be a much more frequent occurrence these days!  
      We met some really nice people here and had a relaxed half hour or so before moving to the next site.
       
      The Typhoo Tea Factory, founded by John Summer in 1903 and was known a local landmark in Birmingham. 
       
      Tea production began here in the 30's; and survived bombing by the Luftwaffe in WW2. in 1968; Typhoo merged with Schweppes and with Cadbury the following year, forming Cadbury-Schweppes. 
      The factory eventually closed in 1978 as a tea making facility; but remained open as a clothes warehouse until around 2008.
       
      The grounds, which are currently being used as a 148-space pay and display car park (very handy for exploring!), have been granted planning permission as part of a £14 million project to  turn the site into a brand new university campus for the Birmingham City University.
      #1

       
      #2

       
      #3

       
      #4

       
      #5

       
      #6

       
      #7

       
      #8

       
      #9

       
      #10

       
      #11

       
      Thanks for Looking, more at:
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/albums/72157704773968425
    • By Andy
      RAF Coningsby is a partially active RAF base and was opened in 1940 as a bomber station. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find more about the history of this place. So I don't know when the abandoned part has been closed.
       
      Stupidly I had forgotten the plate of my tripod at home. That's why I had to take the photos without a tripod and with a higher ISO setting.
      Visited with @The_Raw and others, before we joined the "End of summer party" in September last year.
       
       
      1

       
      2

       
      3

       
      4

       
      5

       
      6

       
      7

       
      8

       
      9

       
      10

       
      11

       
      12

       
      13

       
      14

       
      15

       
      16

       
      17

       
      18

       
      19

       
      20

       
      21

       
      22

       
      23

       
      24

       
      25

       
      26

       
      27

       
      28

       
      29

       
      30

       
      31

       
      32

       
      33

       
      34

       
      35

       
      36

       
      37

       
      38

       
      39

       
      40

       
      41

       
      42

       
      43

       
      44

       
      45 - The_Raw's new friend   

       
      46

       
      47

       
      48

       
       
×