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Report - RAF Church Fenton , Leeds(April 2016)

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by fatchebs, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. fatchebs

    fatchebs 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    One of my first reports, photo's aren't the best so please forgive the shoddy quality!

    RAF Church Fenton was opened on 1st April 1937, while it was still being constructed. It was built as a result of the RAF's massive pre-war expansion programme, in response to Hitler's move to increase the strength of the German armed forces. The base was designed as a fighter base from the outset, with the task of protecting the industrial regions of Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Humberside. It had decoy fields at Hambleton and Kelfield, both of which have long since vanished. It also had a scatter field at Sherburn-in-Elmet. The runway is still there, but its' use has now changed to a brake pad test-track. Sherburn Aero Club is on a grass strip next to the old wartime runway.

    After the war it at first retained its role as a fighter base, being among the first to receive modern jet aircraft, namely the Gloster Meteor and the Hawker Hunter. Between October 1950 and March 1957 it was the base of No. 609 Squadron RAF, within the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and named "North Riding". The unit was equipped with Gloster Meteors.

    Hunting Jet Provost of No. 7 Flying Training School which was based at Church Fenton 1962-1966 and 1979-1992
    In later years, its role was mainly flight training. No. 7 Flying Training School was based here between 1962 and 1966 and again between 1979 and 1992, equipped with Hunting Aircraft Jet Provost T3 trainers.

    For some years it was home to the Royal Navy Elementary Flying Training School (RNEFTS) using the Scottish Aviation Bulldog, and again 1979-1992, triggered by the introduction of the Panavia Tornado, being the first station to receive the new turboprop-powered Short Tucano T.1 basic fast jet trainers. From 1998-2003 Church Fenton was the RAF's main Elementary Flying Training airfield.

    On 25 March 2013 it was announced that Church Fenton would close by the end of 2013. The units would be relocated to RAF Linton on Ouse by 31 December 2013.[36]

    By 19 December 2013, all units had relocated and the airfield was closed. Some equipment will be relocated to RAF Topcliffe. MoD security continued to secure the site until disposal. A NOTAM was issued suspending the air traffic zone (ATZ) at the end of 2013.

    The Visit

    Showed up during later afternoon with not so ideal lighting - if I were to revisit I would return earlier on during the day, some of the large windows have the ability to let in a great amount of light for what I imagine would be some really dynamic photos.

    After searching around, and chatting to a local neighbour briefly, we were in with no problems. Here's a selection of photo's from the various buildings, including the barracks, kitchen, bar/club etc. I was very impressed/glad about the lack of vandalism, a lot of this place really is untouched since its decommissioning. Unfortunately, I couldn't gain access to the water tower, which according to other reports, has quite a few MOD remnants left over.

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    For some reason this particular room has turned into a jungle, very cool.

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    One of my favourite rooms, floor has all but disappeared and what's left of the wallpaper is hanging on by a thread.
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    Made a friend ^
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    And that's about it, was in there for a god few hours. So many buildings to explore. I'm planning a visit to Hight Royds asylum if anyone has any advice/fancies tagging along. Also, any photography tips are very appreciated as i'm still fairly new to all of this.

    Thanks for looking!
     
    TheMythicalBeast, MrDevla and Bolts like this.

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  2. The Amateur Wanderer

    The Amateur Wanderer 28DL Regular User
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    Nice to see someones trashed the sinks ffs...

    Some wankers out there...
     
  3. fatchebs

    fatchebs 28DL Full Member
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    Yeah, really unfortunate. There were a few teenage lads up on one of the roofs smashing and banging as we arrived but they scurried off. Makes me think this place might become a hotspot for vandalism pretty soon.
     
  4. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Pretty decent first report and nice pics....thanks for sharin' :thumb
     
    fatchebs likes this.
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