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RAF Long Marston april/oct '17

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prettyvacant71

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A liitle history...


Before the airfield’s 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 Engineers’ 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 RAF’s 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 “Mushroom ” pillboxes:encouragement:.
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 I’m 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:applouse: 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 aren’t 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 wasn’t 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 couldn’t. So I spent a couple of hours wandering around where I thought the mushrooms would be chillin, but they weren’t 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 couldn’t 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 hadn’t put me lucky draws on so I quickly headed downhill for lower ground.


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


On with a few pic’s then...




24816294448_f95b68cd13_b.jpg_MG_3751 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr


The Percival Sea Prince



24816295228_22d6ff11b4_b.jpg_MG_3717 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



37971622304_8647b381b0_b.jpg_MG_3694 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr


24816295898_8d0e4a297a_b.jpg_MG_3707 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




24816296438_e760bf8a7e_b.jpg_MG_3628 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




38656710412_9482607c1d_b.jpg_MG_3753 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



24816293038_8c0920e104_b.jpg_MG_3756 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



24816291888_d32cae3044_b.jpg_MG_3782 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



24816291498_b5c2e9f6ec_b.jpg_MG_3788 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




24816291048_bc74ff3a74_b.jpg_MG_3800 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




38656708542_fae60c0058_b.jpg_MG_3809 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




24816290188_29b3d1e909_b.jpg_MG_3816 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




24816278418_a449481ce7_b.jpg_MG_3820 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




24816289668_fc0724342e_b.jpg_MG_3835 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



38656707022_db5e09d656_b.jpg_MG_3842 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




24816288438_ed8369d3e8_b.jpg_MG_3844 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



38656706472_c5199bf545_b.jpg_MG_3850 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



24816287198_fa78b8b5ef_b.jpg_MG_4783 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr


The Avro Shackleton



38689172451_3ea3160bb1_b.jpgjags and marston 235 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



26913083469_fb7cc7e982_b.jpgjags and marston 287 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



38632812686_a77d6a10bd_b.jpgjags and marston 294 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



26913082789_c9b357a4ca_b.jpgjags and marston 343 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



38632816796_5fac45e1c7_b.jpgmarston 002 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



26913084589_fed5555988_b.jpgcontrol tower 154 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

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



24816285838_382fee89f5_b.jpgcontrol tower 006 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



38689174001_0e9192799e_b.jpgcontrol tower 033 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



38689173581_11f938b48b_b.jpgcontrol tower 072 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr




26913085839_dbc42b3dc4_b.jpgcontrol tower 092 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



38689173041_0f541eccfb_b.jpgcontrol tower 147 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



24816285258_a6b4ea50af_b.jpgcontrol tower 064 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



38689174581_eed5c629f5_b.jpg_MG_4791 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

The Gloster Meteor



38632818536_2b713def39_b.jpgjags and marston 387 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



24816282378_4643dbc819_b.jpgjags and marston 384 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



24816281308_a82215b917_b.jpglong marston 005 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

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



38632817396_a0fe7f47a7_b.jpglong marston 039 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr



24816280228_705f6efe80_b.jpgmushrooms 012 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

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



38632815266_bb893cf59d_b.jpgmushrooms 020 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

This one’s exactly the same...but by a hedge. You don’t really need to see the third one, you can imagine what its like...same as this but not by a hedge:culpability:



24816277748_16d990019b_b.jpgmushrooms 160 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

My favourite one again:triumphant:



24816279018_20bffe1392_b.jpgmushrooms 122 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

I spent some time inside this mushroom, I’m easily pleased:rolleyes:



38632813716_5c3fcddd82_b.jpgmushrooms 143 by Pretty Vacant, on Flickr

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

Hugh Jorgan

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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.
 

prettyvacant71

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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.

Thanks HJ, I enjoyed lookin for them mushrooms:)...I don't suppose that bog roll will be "walking off" like some bits do!
 

Mikeymutt

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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
 

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

Thanks Mikey:encouragement: 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:triumphant:
 

jsp77

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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 :applouse:
 

Mikeymutt

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Thanks Mikey:encouragement: 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:triumphant:

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/main/military-sites/29200-norfolk-pillboxes.html
 

HughieD

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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!
 

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