RAF Wyton Photographic Factory - May 2016

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jsp77

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This was just a quick solo visit, I had wanted to have a look for a while and finally found the time, this is totally trashed with lots of peely paint.

History

RAF Wyton fulfilled a unique role during the Cold War as the home of Bomber Command's strategic photographic reconnaissance squadron. Specially adapted Valiants, Victors and Canberras routinely took off from the base, flew over the Iron Curtain (or the current hot-spot) and took hundreds of aerial pictures. The planes then returned to base where the film would be developed and analysed.
They knew from the outside that they would have a problem. A mission by a single Victor alone could produce over 10,000ft (3,048m) of film so a photographic processing facility was required on an industrial scale. Therefore a dedicated "Photographic Factory" was built in a separate compound to the south of the airfield in the 1950s. Film was taken to the factory from the aircraft, rapidly developed and then sent to RAF Brampton for analysis.

The factory processed photographs for over forty years. But parts had fallen into disuse, or were pushed into storage for the airfield, by the start of the 1980s. The death knell came at the end of the 1990s: overtaken by both technological advances (with digital and satellite images becoming standard) and the end of the Cold War, the buildings became surplus and were offered for sale. The new owners did little with them, and the photographic factory has stood derelict ever since.

As RAF Wyton’s role was unique, then its requirements were unique, so it’s believed that this small anonymous building was the only example of its type built during the cold war.

on with the photos

26995727025_b4cf83c8f2_b.jpg 1 by JSP 77, on Flickr

26390033304_dc25fce305_b.jpg 4 by JSP 77, on Flickr

26995672795_05b6768858_b.jpg 2 by JSP 77, on Flickr

26391880823_a9923bc75e_b.jpg 5 by JSP 77, on Flickr

26722106960_7925a355af_b.jpg 6 by JSP 77, on Flickr

26391855293_cc2dc952c0_b.jpg 7 by JSP 77, on Flickr

26901444072_56a5b84f22_b.jpg 8 by JSP 77, on Flickr

26391816723_46a05266da_b.jpg 9 by JSP 77, on Flickr

26927251621_5ea2fe8922_b.jpg 3 by JSP 77, on Flickr

26962407266_f2c56d9dac_b.jpg 10 by JSP 77, on Flickr

26927306421_123ab5d70c_b.jpg 11 by JSP 77, on Flickr

26962376956_14f29618f8_b.jpg 12 by JSP 77, on Flickr

26390094724_1ab58f4399_b.jpg 13 by JSP 77, on Flickr

thanks for looking
 

degenerate

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It seems that every time I login there's a new report from you - I love it don't stop :) Great pictures.
 

Dirus_Strictus

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If only the walls could talk!!

Loading film magazines into a mechanised developing/printing line, is one of the most boring jobs out there when done on a continuous and repetitive factory scale. The 'Walls', if they did talk would be repeating the WAAF technicians 'racy' chatter about their latest boy friend or conquest, or moans about the Flight Sgt who kept sticking his nose in and stopping said chatter! It's the walls of RAF Brampton that might come up with a few interesting details from these missions.

Interestingly; it is people who served in the Royal Signals listening posts on the East/West German boarder, monitoring the cross boarder radio traffic, who can sometimes tell an interesting tale. It certainly wasn't all boring and mundane at the time!
 

jsp77

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It seems that every time I login there's a new report from you - I love it don't stop :) Great pictures.

Cheers degenerate, I have had a few reports of late, I think there is still one outstanding, will have to leave it until I get back as i'm away for a few days, I have to spend sometime with the family.:D
 

Mikeymutt

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You got a nice set here considering how dark it is in here.I really enjoyed my trip here
 

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