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Report - RAF Long Newnton - October 2014

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by huey, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Another week and another first...and not to be confused with RAF Long Newton!

    Brief History

    Originally just some poor arable land suitable for a WW1 firing range and bomb practise,it was then used as a dummy airfield.Fast forward to 1940 when it was opened to flying and 11 Maintenace Unit were based there,buildings were erected and it became an official 'Q' decoy site for RAF Kemble.
    'K' decoy sites were designed to fool the hun,sorry enemy,by daytime so dummy aircraft,buildings and tyre tracks on the grass runway would suffice. 'Q' sites were designed to fool by night and were therefore by nature more involved-runway and building lighting,fires etc and a secret beacon so friendly fighters knew not to land there unless in difficulty.)
    Upgraded to full Satelite airfield status two years later,it received hard runways,hangers,fuel and ammo storage,more buildings although only two of the planned three runways were ever built.


    TODAY

    Today the site is broken into two farms-the main airfield is now home to 205 banks of solar panels producing 5mw of power (more than enough for Tetbury.) Several buildings have been demolished but plenty survive and most are being used by the farmer. One part of the WAAF site is closed due to rare bats breeding there-thanks to Mr Mike Tucknott for allowing me use of those two pics.
    To be read whilst singing the theme tune to Dads Army-come on,you know it, 'Who do you think you are kidding Mister Hitler,if you think we're on the run...'


    Starting with the gas clothing and respirator stores-gas warfare was a real concern then
    [​IMG]

    Several buildings shared the same design-Fire tender shed/maintenance/floodlight tractor and trailer shed etc,heres the workshop stores
    [​IMG]

    Link trainer building/lubricant and flammables store/morse lecture room are all the same too.

    A couple of Blister hangers and a D1 hanger (albeit reclad) survive
    [​IMG]

    Three bay link trainer,and Edmunds trainer,original doors stored in the back
    [​IMG]

    Whats a link trainer? The first real flight stimulator.The wooden 'plane' had full instruments,joystick and canopy.Compressed air bellows and valves were used to control it,it could do complete circles.Whilst the pilot tried to learn trajectory,distances and techniques the instructor could input drift and turbulence.The instructor sat at his desk with his intercom and duplicate instruments.On his glass covered table (over a map of the land the exercise was set on,)was a crab.This electric toy tricycle traced the pilots movements in red ink revealing any mistakes.
    [​IMG]

    The control tower
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    Briefing room inside
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    Not original but still cool heater
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    Enhanced map found in toilets
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    Cast iron cistern
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    The abloution block,laundry and hairdressers
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    WAAF and Officers Handcraft hut-well away from the rest of the men...
    [​IMG]

    Some of the paintwork has survived amazingly well
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    Lovely air vent
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    Hospital and sick quarter outbuildings all look like this and are well derp'd
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    Onto my favourite part- the gas decontamination centre, type KM. 'for gas effect treatment and/or before first aid..'
    [​IMG]

    Entry was through a foot disinfectant bath,through the double air-lock doors into reception room.Boiler room on right,chalk note reads 'empty-do not light' and 'enquire at station'
    [​IMG]

    In reception room,WC and valuables room on right,pressure stabilisers and generator room behind,looking down corridor towards all other rooms.Different coloured paints denote different areas?
    [​IMG]

    One ladies WC,shower and dressing room
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    Six mens showers,two toilets and dressing room
    [​IMG]

    Loved the original paint still on certain fixtures and the stalactites
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    Looks like a bullet hole in the air chamber exit door..
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    More lovely hand painted signs,untouched for seventy years
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    Back into another maintenance building,found this.Had to enhance it to bring it back to life,sorry.
    [​IMG]

    Over in the Communal barracks-which is out of bounds now-are these two wonderful caricatures.Copyright Mike Tucknott
    [​IMG]

    And the great man himself-copyright Mike Tucknott,cheers Mike!
    [​IMG]

    Some random period loveliness,inside parachute packing building
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Of the 139 RAF who gave their life over these local areas,one incident out of all the others seems quite apt.On Monday 8th January 1945 an Oxford I trainer crashed during a snowstorm into Newnton Priory House. The house was destroyed by the resulting fire but whilst the Pitman family escaped unhurt all three crew weren't so lucky.F/Sgt Harry Phillips,F/Sgt Frank Hutchinson and Sgt Francis Lewis all died. Cynthia Pitman ran the Land Army canteen at Long Newnton.
    Hearing little stories like that makes me agree with old Winston C himself-'never...has so much been owed,by so many,to so few.'
     

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  2. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Re: RAF Long Newnton

    Nice report that is mate, and well explained too. The control tower and Decontamination are great. Nice bonus finding the map as well. maybe not rare but there must be a connection.
     
  3. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Re: RAF Long Newnton

    Thanks man,not that rare no,but still a shame to see it falling apart.Love the old stuff!
     
  4. Oort

    Oort The spice expands consciousness.
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    Re: RAF Long Newnton

    Was a fun explore which got more fun as the day went on!
     
  5. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Re: RAF Long Newnton

    Nice write up on that, enjoyed the read :thumb
     
  6. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Re: RAF Long Newnton

    Lot of history there. Nice report :thumb
     
  7. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Re: RAF Long Newnton

    Really great report there mate, great pics and findings, thanks for postin':thumb
     
  8. Session9

    Session9 A life backwards
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    Re: RAF Long Newnton

    Very nice, enjoyed the post. Good snaps too.
     
  9. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Re: RAF Long Newnton

    Thanks for the comments guys,keeps me going..
     
  10. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Re: RAF Long Newnton

    Nice. You seem to have put a lot of effort into that. Decent photographs.
     
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