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Thread: RAF Croft, Warrington - March 08

  1. #1
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    Default RAF Croft, Warrington - March 08


    Visited with Romanian1.

    Can't seem to nail down a date as to when this place was first opened, the closest I've got is early 1941. The base was used by the RAF from that period up until the mid 50s when it became tenanted by the USAF as a processing station for Burtonwood airbase (the largest USAF base in the country until it closed), which is also in the area of Warrington.

    Nowadays though what remains is used by a farmer for storage and whatnot, it makes for an interesting mooch around as there are quite a number of original features in the place, it's certainly somewhere I'll be revisiting, as we didn't arrive until it was close to getting dark and we only had one torch between us.

    Anyway, enough of this jibber jabber, on with the pics!!









    The stage in the theatre, a theatre ffs!!



    Projection room windows.



    Lovely parquet floor, sadly covered in mud and filth...



    Arkwright's till...Gra..Gra..Granville..





    Original signage, we were quite impressed by this for some reason.



    And that's that, I quite liked the place.

    TnM


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    Default Re: RAF Croft, Warrington - March 08


    Ah nice one, not seen any pics of this place for a while.
    Its a great looking explore

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    Default Re: RAF Croft, Warrington - March 08


    Nice one TnM, i love these WW2 airfields, i have a few on my doorstep although most of them have nothing left theres still a couple i hope to explore as the days get longer
    Getting pretty derelict myself - anyone wanna take my pic?

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    Default Re: RAF Croft, Warrington - March 08


    This is a base I hadn't heard of before now. Love that theatre, its huge, I know a lot of the air bases had theatres/cinemas but that place is great. Love seeing the nature taking the place back from through the broken windows.

    Cheers, *goes off to find more info on the place*

    Sal

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    Default Re: RAF Croft, Warrington - March 08


    Excellant pics and very interesting report too.
    The Pyestock widow

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    Default Re: RAF Croft, Warrington - March 08


    Echo all of the above...foxtrot and tango as well, if you like!
    Love the till.
    Look forward to seeing more pics of this place when you revisit. Really nice explore.

    Cheers
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

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    I come from the west country and I can drive a tractor.


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    Default Re: RAF Croft, Warrington - March 08


    I found this on the web

    QUOTE

    Croft is one of the most northerly of the airfields built during the Second World War for use by Bomber Command. Construction work started in 1940 and it was developed into a standard bomber airfield with three concrete runways. Known officially as Croft but frequently called Neasham by local inhabitants, the airfield opened in 1941 as a satellite for Middleton St.George.

    The airfields were in No.4 Group, Bomber Command, and the first squadron to arrive at Croft was No.78 Squadron which brought its Whitleys in from Middleton St.George on October 20th 1941

    On October 1st 1942,No.419 Squadron RCAF arrived from Topcliffe, but on November 9th, they moved to Middleton St.George after equipping with Halifax Mk.IIs. No.427 (Lion) Squadron RCAF which formed at Croft on November 7th 1942.

    On January 1st 1943, Croft was transferred to No.6 Group RCAF and sometime during March, the station became No.64 Base Sub-station under the control of Middleton St.George.

    In early May 1943, 427 Squadron converted to Halifax B Mk.Vs and on the 4th of the month moved to 63 (RCAF) Base at Leeming. The station now had a brief change of roles, and on May 10th, No.1664 HCU formed at Croft. Equipped with Halifaxes, the unit's role was to provide conversion training on these aircraft. Training was continous, and with such a crowded circuit there were many crashes, and sadly, many fatalities. No.1664 HCU moved to Dishforth on December 7th 1943.

    On December 10th, 431 (Iroquois) Squadron arrived from Tholthorpe, and the following day was joined by No. 434 (Bluenose). Both Canadian units were to make Croft their last home in England. During March 1944, 431 Squadron re-equipped with Halifax Mk.IIIs, and the following May, No.434 Squadron followed suit. 431 & 434 Squadrons converted onto the Canadian built Lancaster MkX & Xa during December 1944 and it was these aircraft that they flew home in to Dartmouth Nova Scotia in June 1945

    After the departure of the two RCAF units, which were disbanded at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on September 5th 1945, Croft saw very little activity until being brought back into use in the Autumn as a satellite For No.13 Operational Traning Unit which flew Mosquitoes from Middleton St.George, finally closing to flying in the summer of 1946.

    Today the site is home to a motor racing circuit. Parts of the runways remain although most of the buildings have been demolished. A memorial has been erected at nearby Dalton village.

    UNQUOTE

    No mention of the USAF but then I found this RAF Croft USAF connection with lots of pictures and some in black and white showing what it looked like. Love the picture of the RAF copper on the gate. He looks so rigid to attention it looks like he's going to do himself an injury. LOL
    Last edited by DarkShadow; 2nd Mar 08 at 10:10.
    Was it you who brought me to this place beyond the moon and stars.

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    Default Re: RAF Croft, Warrington - March 08


    Brilliant link. Loved the account of life there written by Bill Doyle. Particularly chuckled over this bit:

    "There was a bus turnaround with a flag pole in the center and during one foggy night an Air Policeman found a slightly drunk airman following the curb trying to find his barracks. He spent about 20 minutes going round in circles."

    Cheers for that, DarkS. That made very interesting reading.
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

    I can't read and I can't write, but that don't really matter,
    I come from the west country and I can drive a tractor.


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    Default Re: RAF Croft, Warrington - March 08


    I think that is referring to a different RAF Croft, there is no motor racing circuit at the one we explored, interesting read nonetheless.

    TnM
    Beware the weird woman of Welbeck!

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    Default Re: RAF Croft, Warrington - March 08


    Think this one is the link to the one TnM explored.

    http://www.rafburtonwood.org/croft.html

    Cheers,

    Sal

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