RAF Sculthorpe, Norfolk, August 2016

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HughieD

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The Explore:

It was an up early and short drive to this place. In some ways it reminds me of RAF Nocton in terms of the vastness of the site plus all of the corridors. I was blessed with nice weather so I parked up and looked for a way in. At first it looked pretty well fenced off then I found a big whole in the fence and we were in. The place was incredibly quiet and peaceful to the point of it being unnervingly so but all-in-all a very enjoyable explore.

The History:

RAF Sculthorpe is a MOD military training facility just west of Fakenham in Norfolk. Home to many visiting airmen and support crews of the RAF and United States Air Force (USAF), the MOD retained the airfield in 1997 but sold the entire technical, domestic and administrative site to The Welbeck Estate Group.

Work began on RAF Sculthorpe in the spring of 1942 and was laid out as a standard RAF heavy bomber airfield with concrete runways, dispersals site, mess facilities and accommodation. In May 1943 the first squadrons started to arrive including one from the Free French Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Air Force (SQ no. 487) and Royal Australian Air Force (SQ no. 464). Mosquito’s followed in September 1943. In January 1944 Royal Air Force No. 214 Squadron RAF moved in with Boeing Flying Fortress. n April 1944 its squadrons moved on leaving it empty for redevelopment as a Very Heavy Bomber Base. Work was completed until the spring of 1946. After a quiet period the base sprung back into use in the early 50’s in response to the Soviet cold war threat. NATO decided to expand their tactical nuclear force by introducing the North American B-45 Tornado to the UK, stationing about 100 of these four-engined jet bombers there.

As mentioned above, in the mid 1990s the entire technical and domestic site was sold to The Welbeck Estate Group by Defence Estates, including a large number of single storey "tobacco houses". After refurbishment the housing estate was renamed "Wicken Village" and the houses were sold off. The remaining technical site including barrack blocks, post exchange, church, guardroom, gymnasium and community centres were sold to a single purchaser and there is now a fledgling industrial park.

The airstrip area remains in military hands as an army helicopter training area and is currently being used by the USAF 352nd SOG based at RAF Mildenhall as an area to perform low flying, airdrops, and rescue and recovery mission training.

The first block I came to:

29507456615_0ea4cdce8a_b.jpgimg7260 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Viewed from outside the site:

29398849632_64e19443af_b.jpgimg7261 by HughieDW, on Flickr

29473383036_b5b1c86f14_b.jpgimg7262 by HughieDW, on Flickr

29398768502_e576884211_b.jpgimg7263 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And in we go;

29473098946_8c24e2ea3d_b.jpgimg7265 by HughieDW, on Flickr

28885032253_cb1d858d4d_b.jpgimg7266 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The site is a bit samey architecturally but its uniformity and sheer scale make it a worthwhile visit:

29473018266_9bc69b6c9a_b.jpgimg7267 by HughieDW, on Flickr

29472753396_f7a4d71ced_b.jpgimg7277 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Not much left inside:

28882239624_77775b5bb6_b.jpgimg7268 by HughieDW, on Flickr

28881924284_1af1c96832_b.jpgimg7280 by HughieDW, on Flickr

28884558223_b80a74f2ed_b.jpgimg7286 by HughieDW, on Flickr

But it’s all about the corridors:

29217812350_1126623213_b.jpgimg7269 by HughieDW, on Flickr

29217761070_491bb3bcc3_b.jpgimg7271 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Plenty of peeling paint:

29472847556_69ae7d3c68_b.jpgimg7272 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Block after block:

28881740164_57c93fc1af_b.jpgimg7288 by HughieDW, on Flickr

28884476103_1a9a2c6ee9_b.jpgimg7289 by HughieDW, on Flickr

29218165560_154fdd58d9_b.jpgimg7303 by HughieDW, on Flickr

29506641445_f582ee9f6e_b.jpgimg7290 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And more corridors:

29506591955_9a90496fbd_b.jpgimg7291 by HughieDW, on Flickr

…and smashed up rooms:

29426444831_24b8943328_b.jpgimg7293 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On too the childcare/nursery block:

28881537664_8333392e34_b.jpgimg7295 by HughieDW, on Flickr

29217259020_f7ec1c0157_b.jpgimg7294 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And bad graff:

28884233083_bcd076f928_b.jpgimg7296 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And good graff:

28884177683_2206f84ed6_b.jpgimg7297 by HughieDW, on Flickr
29472013076_301c6f9629_b.jpgimg7300 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Thanks for looking!
 

Brewtal

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Nicely done mate. Great write up and pics. Some lovely peel, and I really like the lighting in the corridor pics. Good work, thanks for sharing.
 

HughieD

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I love the corridors here, great report and lovely photos as always HughieD :)

Cheers Rubex! Hope you are good. Looking forward to see your next reports...

Lots of good corridors...
Always like your reports; good work Hughie

Cheers Wombat - hope yer well mate.
 

Conrad

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Nice one, sweet shots. I love expansive places like this.
 

mookster

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I did like this place, it's a polar opposite to West Raynham just down the road, both places I need to spend more time in.
 
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