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Report - RAF Snaith, Selby Munition Stores - Summer 2011

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by The Amateur Wanderer, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. The Amateur Wanderer

    The Amateur Wanderer 28DL Regular User
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    RAF Snaith & The RAF's Selby Munitions Depot

    Evening all,

    I wasn't going to share this, as I didn't believe there to be enough content of interest to really supplement a report... However having been prompted to do so I thought why not? Perhaps the history more than epicness will appeal to some?!

    RAF Selby - Bomb Store

    Sadly there's not an awful lot of history on the bomb store itself, much more on RAF Snaith, however I can tell you that during the second world war the site was created as secure storage for weapons. These weapons consisted mainly of 1000 pound steel bombs and .303 rounds, the weapons where delivered by rail and then moved under the cover of darkness to the local Bomber Command Stations of RAF Burn or RAF Snaith. As mentioned the complex had it's own internal rail link, guard house and accommodation, storage and air raid shelters. Today the bomb store has been taken over by a local farmer who uses the bomb store as a barn for his cattle...

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    RAF Snaith - Green Goddess Grave Yard

    Before moving on to the main station, I wanted to share with you the Green Goddess Fire Trucks that are abandoned near the bottom of the airfield... The Fire Trucks must have been brought here at a later date after the station closed as they are too modern to have been used during the second world war... I really need to go back and have another look at these, when I visited back in 2011, I hadn't been into exploring long, and it's safe to say that I perhaps wasn't quite as subtle as I am now... Safe to say a rather angry chap appeared accusing me of been from the local council and asked me to sling my hook, so I did... :wanker

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    RAF Snaith and Memorial Service

    RAF Snaith was completed in 1940 and the first operational squadron to operate here was 150 squadron who flew Vickers Wellington's, a twin engine bomber for those who aren't familiar with WW2 aircraft. As I grew up only a mile and half from here I've heard many interesting stories from the base, one particularly has always stuck in my mind though, and that was from an elderly gentleman I knew who worked on the construction of the base. He and a few others where driving a lorry out of the base when their truck was strafed by a stray Messerschmitt BF 110, narrowly missing them and blowing up part of the fuel dump behind them! I guess this must have been around the time of the Baedeker raids on York... The next squadron to operate out of Snaith was 51 squadron, who arrived here in October 1942 and remained until the end of the war in April 1945, they flew the big four engine Handley Page Halifax Bombers out of the station... Hawker Typhoons of 266 squadron made a fleeting visit in 1944 too, and Airspeed Oxfords of 1508 & 1516 Radio Aids Testing Flights were also based here between 1944 and 1946 when the base was closed.

    Today the base has been cut clean in two by the M62 Motorway, however the majority of the buildings remain and are in use privately... There is a memorial garden and annual service that still takes place, and the Brewers Arms pub in Snaith is well worth calling in and having a pint, they have a small shrine to the base with plenty of old images, artifacts from here...

    The remaining 'J Type' Hangar

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    Handley Page Halifax's Taxiing...

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    Bomb Trolleys... Would fancy sitting on top of that lot myself...

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    Control Tower

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    Vickers Wellington

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    A few from the service too, I personally think it's great to see the RAF still honoring the base over 70 years since they moved out... I turn up every year been a local, to pay my respect to these brave men and see the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight pass over head.

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    A 150 Squadron Veteran, I was having a natter with this chap for a good while, he was a tail gunner on a Vickers Wellington, still got his original bomber jacket slung over his shoulder, sadly fewer and fewer of these heroes turn up each year...

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    And that's all folks, not your usual report but I hope you all enjoyed it! I'm pretty knowledgeable on Bomber Command and these two sites so happy to answer any questions! :) Cheers guys!
     
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  2. Ordnance

    Ordnance Moderator
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    Re Green Goddess Fire Pumps

    The Green Goddess is the colloquial name for the Bedford RLHZ Self Propelled Pump, a fire engine used originally by the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS), and latterly held in reserve by the Home Office until 2004, and available when required to deal with exceptional events, including being operated by British Armed Forces during fire-fighters strikes (1977 and 2002). These green-painted vehicles were built between 1953 and 1956 for the AFS. The design was based on a Bedford RL series British military truck.

    In March 2004, the Government announced that it was conducting a test sale of 40 of its remaining fleet of more than 900 vehicles, and that it was planning to dispose of the remainder. The sale of the fleet has been completed, and most of the vehicles have been sold on to fire brigades in developing countries, mostly in Africa.

    Some appliances were used by ROF's and Power Stations however, and not disposed of by the Home Office disposal, but looking at the pictures at least of them are late Home Office update.
     
  3. The Amateur Wanderer

    The Amateur Wanderer 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks for that comment, very interesting :)

    I remember seeing them out and about in 2002 on the news!
     
  4. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Thanks for posting this, definitely worth it.

    About RAF Selby, did you see any more of the main building, or any other buildings?
     
  5. Ordnance

    Ordnance Moderator
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    As far as I know, there was no 'RAF Selby' as such, and the building is of an unusual design for a bomb store as 1000 lb bombs were simply stored on dunnage and not stacked to height, so why the need for what looks like a two story building? possibly a RAF MU railhead secure store for the 2 airfields for various other stores as well?
     
  6. Dwaynepipe

    Dwaynepipe 28DL Full Member
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    Thank you for the information. I have lived very close to this site but wasnt aware that there was anything left.
     
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