RAF Grove (Pic Heavy)

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hydealfred

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RAF Grove has previously been posted on DP but I have not seen any recent reports regarding the site. So I thought it time I put up my shots taken over two visits in April 2010.

Grove was built in 1942 as a three runway spare bomber airfield for 91 Group. In the early days of the airfields use Grove was used by 15 OTU flying Wellingtons. However with so much nearby gliding activity the Wellingtons left and the field transferred to Flying Training Command. During early 1943 Whitley’s and Horsas from Brize Norton used the airfield. Then Hawker Typhoons were at Grove taking part in Operation Spartan. At this time the airfield was far from complete but had been earmarked for use by the Americans. In 1943 the US 9th AAF Support Command took control of Grove and used the field for repair and maintenance of C-46 Commandos and C-47 Dakotas.

In March 1944 a dramatic event took place when the prototype Vickers Armstrong Windsor, DW506, force landed and was written off. This was a highly secret bomber being flown by a new pilot. Technical failure to one of the aircrafts propellers resulted in the forced landing which broke the bombers back. This incident led to a temporary halt to operations but flying did continue until February 1946. The Americans then left and the field reverted back to the RAF. It was then used as a relief landing ground and also by No 6 Maintenance Unit who were then busy dismantling surplus aircraft.

Grove has now reverted back to farm and industrial use. The airfield also has a resident ghost which is sometimes seen in full flying gear walking between the buildings. It is thought the figure maybe related to a nearby Lancaster bomber crash. The aircraft attempted to land at Grove after developing engine trouble en-route to Germany. The bomber failed to reach the field and crashed causing the bomb load to detonate. All on board were killed. Had I known about the ghost before I visited I would maybe have been a bit more unnerved when entering some of the very dark abandoned buildings on my own in isolation.

A view towards the firing range

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Firing Range gun butts

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This truncated pole would have held the range flag

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After a bit of urban excavation this aircraft tie down point came to the surface

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M&E Plinth

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Electrical equipment box within the M&E Plinth

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The makers name inside the electrical box

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The latrine block connected to the operations block

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A very old cast iron cistern

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The mens room

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Cubicles and sink units

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The Operations Room - the operations boards still exist on the far wall

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Close up of one of the operations boards

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Further view of the Operations Room

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One of the rooms within the Ops Building

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Remains of the electrical installation

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Abandoned buildings near the Ops Building

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I believe this may have been a guard house

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Internal view of guard house

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A fusing shed with the perimeter track on the left

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The airfields sewage farm

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Sewage farm settling tanks

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Further view of the settling tanks

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Elevated pipework runs

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One of the sewage beds

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Sewage farm buildings

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The inside of an abandoned Nissen Hut - the graffiti stems from another earlier era in automotive history

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A view from a window - Nissen Hut

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A decidedly old sink unit or is it - what else could this be ?

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A favourite place for spiders

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De Havilland Venom FB.54 - J-1758 now stands guard at the entrance to the former RAF Grove

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Thanks for looking.
 

Philostratus

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Carmania?

Great shots and great explore.

Strangely that picture of the old toilet cistern caught my eye, with the name "Carmania" on it..

I'm not an expert on toilet cistern manufacturers but it doesnt seem a known name on google, but I was wondering if it was reclaimed from the Cunard Ship Carmania (broken up in about 1932)...

http://www.chriscunard.com/carmania.php

Just idle chat really but intrigued all the same.
 

night crawler

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Nice one, lot of shot's Ive not seen before. It's a place not far from me that I have never been too though I have been along the edge. :)
 

highcannons

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Great shots and great explore.

Strangely that picture of the old toilet cistern caught my eye, with the name "Carmania" on it..

I'm not an expert on toilet cistern manufacturers but it doesnt seem a known name on google, but I was wondering if it was reclaimed from the Cunard Ship Carmania (broken up in about 1932)...

http://www.chriscunard.com/carmania.php

Just idle chat really but intrigued all the same.

It was, and still is, practice amongst some to name dull products with fancy names. You will see names like "Hurlingham" on old bell flush cisterns (notice the speech marks). I expect "Campania" is a such........there is a lively old trade in cleaning and polishing these old thunderbox's selling them to deaf people with lots of money!
 

klempner69

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Excellant report Alf..the cistern is interesting as its a pull chain operated one on a urinal sparge..never seen one in all my years of plumbing..as for the sink type slab,did it have a hole for drainage,if so it may have been used for rinsing off machine parts or body parts..(doubt that!).
 

krela

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Excellant report Alf..the cistern is interesting as its a pull chain operated one on a urinal sparge..never seen one in all my years of plumbing..as for the sink type slab,did it have a hole for drainage,if so it may have been used for rinsing off machine parts or body parts..(doubt that!).

Some airfields did have their own morgues. There is a fully intact one at RAF Westonzoyland near Bridgewater...
 

Munchh

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Great report alf. It's as expansive and interesting as you said it was. I've the feeling that I've seen a similar sink on another report where it was identified but I can't remember where or what. Seem to recall it being on the floor though and longer. Happening a lot these days to my poor old brain. :)
 

hydealfred

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Excellant report Alf..the cistern is interesting as its a pull chain operated one on a urinal sparge..never seen one in all my years of plumbing..as for the sink type slab,did it have a hole for drainage,if so it may have been used for rinsing off machine parts or body parts..(doubt that!).

Thanks all for the comments I appreciate it.

I'm not sure if the sink has a drainage hole but I would assume it has.
 

gingrove

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I live on the estate that was built on the airfield but I haven't been there for years. The range was in use up to the 70s by the Harwell pistol club, I took part in a pistol competition there in about 1973. After that it was used by The Grove clay shooting club until the the late 80s or 90s when I think that the owner declined to renew the lease. I Never realised that the ops block was still there but I have seen the Memorial that was put up at the end of the runway by the Ridgway Military And Aviation Research Group.
 

R9WElut

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I live on the estate that was built on the airfield but I haven't been there for years. The range was in use up to the 70s by the Harwell pistol club, I took part in a pistol competition there in about 1973. After that it was used by The Grove clay shooting club until the the late 80s or 90s when I think that the owner declined to renew the lease. I Never realised that the ops block was still there but I have seen the Memorial that was put up at the end of the runway by the Ridgway Military And Aviation Research Group.
Hi I live near is the RAF buildings still up and there
 

Mearing

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Hi. As a teenager I was on holiday in East Challow in 1943 and construction work was in progress on the airfield then. Now derelict! Time flies!
 

Openfields

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I'm not even sure if the DH Venom is still there. A 'gate guardian' with no gate to guard! I thought it was a replica rather than a genuine aircraft but it seems to be an ex Swiss Air Force aircraft that was only sited there in 2007. There were many USAAF married quarters in the village of Grove itself. Many of these were equipped with US electrical power sockets to enable US service families to use American domestic appliances. These were still in some of these houses until the early 1990s but presumably disconnected. Other than that there is virtually nothing left of RAF Grove.
 
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