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Thread: RAF Long Marston april/oct '17

  1. #1
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    Default RAF Long Marston april/oct '17


    A liitle history...


    Before the airfieldís construction by John Laing & Son in 1939, arable farmlands and fields fields stretching over 1000 acres was owned by a family - the Hodges. By 1940 and with the outbreak of war 600 acres had gone; the Air Ministry took 426 to build the airfield and nearby another 200 became a Royal Engineersí depot otherwise known as the Long Marston Army Barracks.


    At the end of the airfield's construction the standard 'A' configuration layout produced three tarmac runways with the main runway measuring 1,500 yards and the other two 1,100 yards each. This was later changed when runway two was extended to 2,400 yards. Three hangers were also erected and billets for over a 1000 permanent staff, RAF and WAAF trainee air crews were built and stationed across what is now the B4632 Stratford to Cheltenham road yards from the airfield's main entrance. This was one of many satellite airfield's in the area; the closest being RAF Honeybourne.


    During the war years Long Marston Airfield became the home to hundreds of Royal Air Force servicemen who operated the RAFís Group of Ferry Commands in 1941. The RAF also provided training flights and missions to Gibraltar and the Middle East before the mighty twin engined Wellington Bombers (otherwise known as the flying coffins) started pounding the runways in 1942.

    Legendary aircraft such as Beauforts, Doninies, Hudson's, Bristol Bombay's, and the American built Marylands also flew missions from the Warwickshire RAF station. Some missions were a success, others were not so lucky.
    (Our History)


    The station closed in 1954 and is currently being used by various different businesses including a flying school, clay shooting club and is the home of the Shakespeare County Raceway dragstrip.

    Over the years it has become a well known venue for summertime music festivals, including the Godskitchen Global Gathering, the Bull Dog Bash and the Phoenix Festival.

    It is also the home of 3 of the unusual Oakington or F.C. Construction ďMushroom Ē pillboxes.
    On 26 November 2015, a Stratford District Council planning committee approved plans by CALA Homes to build 400 houses on the site, part of their proposed development scheme which aims to eventually feature 3,500 houses. As a consequence, the remaining airfield buildings will be demolished, the runways and drag strip removed and the businesses will be forced to close or relocate.

    The site is still open for business so it was no problem wondering around looking for some interesting features to and capture. However Iím about five years too late for seeing the planes that have since been removed, including the bright yellow helicopter that mysteriously vanished one night, not your usual transit van or pickup truck job.



    The explores...


    Thanks to Chris for letting me know about this place These pics were taken over 4 visits as I seemed to manage to get myself caught in some rather hectic weather conditions on this site. On my first trip I made use of an hour or so trying to keep dry sheltering inside the Percival Sea Prince by photographing some of the little buttons and controls, whilst the rain turned to large clumps of freezing hail which managed to sting me through the open windows and making it sound like the plane was being sandblasted with shingle. I returned a few weeks later to photograph the lovely Shackleton, only to find myself hiding beneath its huge wings before legging it into an adjacent building whilst a massive thunderstorm lit up the blackened sky.


    There arenít many original buildings remaining on the airfield, sadly most have been demolished a few years ago. After a little research I saw some photographs of the small control tower, I wasnít sure if it still existed so I set out to have a look for it on my third trip. I was surprised to find it as a lot of things seem to be rubble when Ive found them lately. I also got stuck inside it for nearly an hour as torrential wind and rain battered the little brick box, nearly ripping its windows off and lifting it onto the runway. Then the sun came out as if nothing had happened.


    My fourth trip was an attempt to find the strange mushroom pill boxes which apparently are rather rare. If I could have got online it would have made the search a hell of a lot easier scanning Google maps, but i couldnít. So I spent a couple of hours wandering around where I thought the mushrooms would be chillin, but they werenít anywhere to be seen. I huffed my way up the grass slopes above the drag strip, stopping for a roll up to catch my breath, and to see if I could get a better look over the whole site, but I still couldnít see them. Oh hold on, it totally pissed it down on that day too, it was almost instantaneous, as if the clouds were waiting for me to get up to the top of the hill before dropping their load, thunder and lightning, I hadnít put me lucky draws on so I quickly headed downhill for lower ground.


    So it was actually on my fifth visit that I finally found the field of shrooooms, 3 of them in total, they all looked and are constructed exactly the same but Iím sure they have totally different personalities, well thatís what they told me. I already have a favourite.
    Iíve really gota get me shit together if itís taken me 5 visits to see this place, Iím gona blame the weather this time...oh, it was lovely and sunny when I eventually found the shrooms


    On with a few picís then...




    _MG_3751 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr


    The Percival Sea Prince



    _MG_3717 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    _MG_3694 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr


    _MG_3707 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




    _MG_3628 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




    _MG_3753 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr





    _MG_3756 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    _MG_3782 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    _MG_3788 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




    _MG_3800 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




    _MG_3809 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




    _MG_3816 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




    _MG_3820 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




    _MG_3835 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    _MG_3842 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




    _MG_3844 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    _MG_3850 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    _MG_4783 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr


    The Avro Shackleton



    jags and marston 235 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    jags and marston 287 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    jags and marston 294 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    jags and marston 343 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    marston 002 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    control tower 154 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

    The control tower previously been used as a bar for the flying club.



    control tower 006 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    control tower 033 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    control tower 072 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




    control tower 092 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    control tower 147 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    control tower 064 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    _MG_4791 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

    The Gloster Meteor



    jags and marston 387 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    jags and marston 384 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    long marston 005 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

    On the hunt for the mushroom pill boxes...the drag strip.



    long marston 039 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



    mushrooms 012 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

    Finally found them! This is the easiest one to get into.



    mushrooms 020 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

    This oneís exactly the same...but by a hedge. You donít really need to see the third one, you can imagine what its like...same as this but not by a hedge



    mushrooms 160 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

    My favourite one again



    mushrooms 122 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

    I spent some time inside this mushroom, Iím easily pleased



    mushrooms 143 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

    Well hope you liked Long Marston, thanks for lookin folks!
    ...

  2. Thanks given by: brickworx, Hugh Jorgan, HughieD, jsp77, krela, MD, Mearing, Mikeymutt, Newage, oldscrote, rockfordstone, Rubex, stu8fish, theartist, thorfrun
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  4. #2
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    A nice history write up and a nice collection of photos. That bog roll in the tower has seen better days. But the tower is in not bad condition. A nice collection of pill boxes.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

  5. Thanks given by: prettyvacant71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Jorgan View Post
    A nice history write up and a nice collection of photos. That bog roll in the tower has seen better days. But the tower is in not bad condition. A nice collection of pill boxes.
    Thanks HJ, I enjoyed lookin for them mushrooms:)...I don't suppose that bog roll will be "walking off" like some bits do!
    ...

  7. Thanks given by: Hugh Jorgan
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    Great photos prettyvacant.
    Have you thought of rain dance for a hobby? sounds like you'd be good at it.

  9. Thanks given by: prettyvacant71
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    You caught this perfectly and a very comprehensive report of the place.you still do the best write ups.sadly the site is nearing the end of its days.i do love a good pillbix.covered plenty over the years.even done a report on them ha ha
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

  11. Thanks given by: prettyvacant71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electric View Post
    Great photos prettyvacant.
    Have you thought of rain dance for a hobby? sounds like you'd be good at it.
    Thanks Electric, hahaha, with my kinda luck I'd get nicked or sectioned
    ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeymutt View Post
    You caught this perfectly and a very comprehensive report of the place.you still do the best write ups.sadly the site is nearing the end of its days.i do love a good pillbix.covered plenty over the years.even done a report on them ha ha
    Thanks Mikey yeah more housing ruins our fun yet again as work is meant to start soon, I won't get political today hahaha. I have to admit I'm lookin at pill boxes with more affection since I've become aware of the different types and locations they are in, as they aren't all square concrete bunkers in a field there's some unusual ones, pill boxes are sweeeet
    ...

  15. Thanks given by: Mikeymutt
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    what a great report and photos. I do love your write ups, they always make me chuckle. 5th visit must be a record, but you have done the place justice

  17. Thanks given by: prettyvacant71
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    Quote Originally Posted by prettyvacant71 View Post
    Thanks Mikey yeah more housing ruins our fun yet again as work is meant to start soon, I won't get political today hahaha. I have to admit I'm lookin at pill boxes with more affection since I've become aware of the different types and locations they are in, as they aren't all square concrete bunkers in a field there's some unusual ones, pill boxes are sweeeet
    I ain't done many pill boxes later.i use to do loads.it was world war two remains that got me in the hobby.there is a few varieties of pill boxes here

    https://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/mai...pillboxes.html
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

  19. Thanks given by: prettyvacant71
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    That's a stunner PV. Really thorough coverage of the interior of the places and that wide angle of yours came in handy. And that bog roll shot. Lol. AND some mushroom pillbox action too. What more could you ask from a report!

  21. Thanks given by: prettyvacant71

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