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Report - RAF Culmhead 08-11-09

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by rat256, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. rat256

    rat256 Guest
    Guest

    Ok, here goes nothing.

    RAF culmhead was opened in 1941 and was typical 3 runway airfield. throughout the war it operated 2 squadrons of spitfires,

    hurricaines and towards the end of the war it was used for training on Gloster Meteors. It was closed as an airfield in 1946

    with the site taken over for use as a 'composite signals organization station', which most people consider to mean it was a

    coldwar listening post. The surrounding land was given back to the farmers. The csos station was decommissioned in 1999 with

    the buildings being sold off to property consultants kingsturge who now run it has a secure industrial estate.

    The site was explored over the course of 8 hours with RTD from the airfield info exchange who needed to update his own

    website records.

    The pictures are not just one site, they are from the airfield and surrounding domestic sites which are 1/2 mile from the

    airfield and spread around the countryside. see the GE image for distribution.

    This is not going to be a short report, if you suffer from ADD, this may not be the thread for you!

    I took over 180 images on this visit, I'm going to be cutting that down a lot with various sizes of image, some quite small

    to help the load speed. Please visit the flickr page to see the whole lot with descriptions.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/owenhurrell/sets/72157622639303509/

    Cheers, let the report commence

    [​IMG]

    Domestic Site No1.

    Not a lot remains of this site, a few air raid shelters, and water tower base and this:

    [​IMG]

    which we think is the remains of a bath block, from kicking round in the leaves.

    Air raid shelter No1: Fail!

    [​IMG]

    Air raid shelter No2: Win!

    [​IMG]

    Water tower minus tank, and yes it really is sat at that angle.

    [​IMG]

    last two air raid shelters were a watery fail too! the last one we almost missed as it was soooo over grown.

    [​IMG]

    Moving on to site Number 2:

    this site was bigger and had more structures standing, but all the underground stuff had been sealed off.

    there were about half a dozen hut bases hidden in the grass:
    [​IMG]
    Two bulding standing but in poor condition:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    About half a dozen air raid shelters all sealed:
    [​IMG]

    And these, highlight of this site!
    [​IMG]
    after god knows how many years!

    moving on to the next site. the gymansium. this was in some pikey's yard and we didn't feel brave enough to venture in as

    their were dogs everywhere.
    [​IMG]

    last dispersed site we visited was the admin site. the only things remaining on this site were a hut, some air raid shelters

    and a water reservoir.

    [​IMG]

    Then we got onto the airfield proper.

    first thing we found was not encouraging
    [​IMG]
    busted up loo block!

    Pillbox Number 1 was more encoraging
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The moral of this visit was "the buildings are always the same except they are a little bit different" and as such i'm not

    going to post photos of all 8 pillboxes. suffice it to say they all look a lot like this one, with subtle differences. if

    you're bothered by the subtle differences visit the flickr page.

    we carried on down this field and came to a couple of dillapidated huts of indeterminate use that I'm not going to botther

    with. then a large stores building:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    followed by a toilet block:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    and then the parachute store:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    then Mechanical and Technical section garage:
    [​IMG]
    it looked like a 3 bay garage from the back, but closer inspection found it to be a 4 bay garage. which is apparently quite

    rare!

    Then we moved on to the original watch office which was used before the new control tower was built:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    after the new tower was built the office became the battery charging room.
    [​IMG]

    following that, the piece des resistance, the control tower. via the night flying store:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I took a lot of photos in this building, but i'm only going to post a couple.
    [​IMG]

    end part 1
     
    #1 rat256, Nov 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2009

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  2. rat256

    rat256 Guest
    Guest

    More pillboxes:
    [​IMG]

    Lunch?
    [​IMG]

    We then walked round the lower edge of the site and found lots of things that weren't very interesting to the casual

    observer. lots of earthworks defences. one very odd and home made looking zig zag defensive postion. It has been suggested

    that these may have been made by the home guard just to give them something to do!

    some more pillboxes followed, and then we found this, its a machine gun emplacement and we'd found one identical to it but

    filled in on the otherside of the airfield so it was really exciting to find a real one!
    [​IMG]

    just up the track from the machine gun emplacement the fighter dispersal pens started and they were defended by this, which

    is a long, open pillbox which stretched along one side of the first pen.
    [​IMG]

    culmhead is considered a bit of a rarity as the pens are all defended by these caponiers [​IMG]

    then a series of 3 connected huts for stores
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Another stores hut:
    [​IMG]

    And then a bath house:
    [​IMG]

    this was of course referring to the dope used to repair canvas wings:
    [​IMG]

    One of the few accessible shelters on the airfield site:
    [​IMG]

    The last remaining hangar on the airfield:
    [​IMG]
    its in pretty bad condition. very rusty and held up by telephone poles.

    Another machine gun emplacement, the same as before, only different. this may have accepted a bofors machine gun.
    [​IMG]

    last image of the day, very sorry looking temporary brick hut.

    [​IMG]

    I thankyou for your attention. Comments, questions and contructive criticism welcome
     
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