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Report - Raf Upwood. A house and Grocery shop. Fenlands. April 2015

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by norfolkexplorer, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. norfolkexplorer

    norfolkexplorer av u seen my marbels
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    I have decided to place this report into others as it it a mix mash of a days trekking around East anglia. Separated I think they are a bit crap, but altogether it seems ok

    Went on one of those random drives that you do.. Just out and about looking for what cool stuff you can find. We had 2 things we wanted to see, one we could get in, but we would have got busted very quickly and then it would have been sealed up and nobody would be getting in for a while, so we gave it a miss, the 2nd we got seen by security while walking about. So it was now a case of lets just drive and see what we find..

    It was mostly old houses that we found, and also some random fibre glass place, that looked smart from the outside, but megar trashed inside and not even worth getting the camera out.

    I came across this old house that was obviously part of a smallholding in the area, it was located just outside Ramsey Forty Foot, and we did notice that there was a good few of them along the road.

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    So next stop was RAF Upwood. One of those places that get done to death, and as I was in the area and had never been I thought I would go and have a little look around. This was one of those sites that just look the same as most others and after 30 mins of walking around you have shot most things, well until you come across the tanks.

    History
    Royal Air Force Upwood or more simply RAF Upwood is a former Royal Air Force station adjacent to the village of Upwood, Cambridgeshire, England in the United Kingdom.
    In the early 1930s, Britain realised its air defence capabilities were in urgent need of expansion. The major expansion of the Royal Air Force announced in 1934 resulted in many new airfields opening over the remainder of the decade. One of these was RAF Upwood. The old First World War airfield site was selected to be reactivated and expanded. The new station was designed to accommodate two medium bomber squadrons with room for a third. By 1936, construction had begun in earnest with two of five C-type hangars started.

    On 27 February 1937 the first flying unit arrived at Upwood in the form of No. 52 Squadron RAF flying Hawker Hinds. This unit was joined on 1 March 1937 by No. 63 Squadron and its Hawker Audaxes.

    During their time at Upwood, No 52 and 63 Squadrons became training units and took on both Fairey Battle and Avro Anson aircraft. In August and September 1939, the two squadrons were reassigned opening the field up to its new tenant, No. 90 Squadron flying Bristol Blenheims.

    With the end of the Second World War came a change in missions for the two squadrons at Upwood. No 156 Squadron was tasked with bringing food to Holland in support of Operation Manna then help repatriate former Prisoners of War as part of Operation Exodus. On 27 June 1945 the squadron was moved from Upwood.

    In place of the departing No 156 Squadron came No 105 Squadron, also flying Mosquitos. Both 105 and 139 Squadrons continued flying from RAF Upwood until February 1946. On 1 February 1946 No 139 Squadron moved to RAF Hemswell. On 4 February 1946 No. 105 Squadron was disbanded.

    Flying operations didn't cease for long. On 15 February 1946 Upwood became home to No. 102 Squadron flying Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers. They spent the next several months bring British troops home from India. On 1 March 1946 the squadron was redesignated No 53. Squadron. The squadron was disbanded on 25 June 1946 soon after its last ferry flight.

    Two new squadrons of Lancasters called Upwood home starting on 29 July 1946 with arrival of No. 7 Squadron and No. 49 Squadron. On 4 November 1946 No. 148 Squadron and No. 214 Squadron were both reformed at Upwood. These new additions were part of a transition of Upwood from a training to attack mission. Both of the new squadrons also flew Lancasters.

    The four squadrons continued to fly their Lancasters until 1949 when they were transitioned to Avro Lincolns. Lincolns from 148 Squadron deployed to RAF Shallufa in January 1952 to reinforce British units in the Suez Canal Zone. This was in response to riots in Cairo and a generally unstable political situation in Egypt.

    During 1954 each of the four squadrons deployed to either RAF Tengah in Singapore in support of anti-communist operations in Malaysia or to Kenya in support of operations against the Mau Mau. Additionally, Lincolns from No 214 Squadron and No 7 Squadron took part in a secret mission in connection with nuclear trials conducted near Woomera, Australia. During this time a film production company produced a war time film play called Appointment in London. The company used three Lancasters in making the film but the background shots are of the four Squadrons of Lincolns and the film uses much of the airfield and buildings in its production showing a good view of Upwood at that time

    On 31 December 1954 Upwood lost one of its four flying units when No. 214 Squadron disbanded. This unit was replaced on 22 May 1955 when No. 18 Squadron moved to Upwood from RAF Scampton. This squadron brought something completely new to the base in the form of their English Electric Canberra jet bombers. This was followed by more Canberras when No. 61 Squadron moved in from RAF Wittering on 3 July 1955.

    Two more Lincoln squadrons disbanded on 1 August, 49 and 148. This was followed by the disbanding of the last Lincoln squadron, No. 7, on 1 January 1956. These were replaced throughout 1956 by more Canberra units; No. 50 Squadron on 9 January, No. 35 Squadron on 16 July and No. 40 Squadron on 1 November. However, this last squadron was disbanded on 15 December 1956.

    Eight Canberras B2 each from Nos. 7, 18,35,50 and 61 Squadron flew to Cyprus on 19 October in support of Operation Alacrity. Over four days in early November, these aircraft took part in raids on various targets in Egypt. This was the first combat operations by Upwood aircraft since the Second World War. The 32 planes returned to Upwood just in time for Christmas, arriving home on 24 December 1956.

    The next two years saw a series of unit disbandments and arrivals culminating in a slow winding down of flying operations at Upwood. On 1 February 1957, No. 18 Squadron was disbanded. On 31 March 1958 No. 61 Squadron disbanded. No. 542 Squadron arrived on 17 July along with No. 76 Squadron. No 542 Squadron was renamed to No. 21 Squadron on 1 October. The year 1959 saw the disbanding of No. 21 Squadron (15 January) and No. 50 Squadron (1 October). On 31 December 1960 No. 76 Squadron disbanded. The final flying unit No. 35 Squadron was disbanded on 11 September 1961.

    With the disbanding of No. 35 Squadron Upwood was transferred to RAF Strike Command who quickly set about transforming the airfield into a hub of various support activities. Over the next several months the station became home to No 4 Ground Radio Servicing Section, Radio Technical Publications Squadron, the Aeromedical Training Centre, the Joint School of Photographic Interpretation and three squadrons of HQ No 33 Field Wing, RAF Regiment.

    The different units had barely settled in when change came again. In early 1963 the RAF Regiment units departed. In 1964 the other units left as well, leaving Upwood with only a token care-taker staff.

    In March 1964, 22 Group of Technical Training Command arrived and set up their School of Management and Work Study. July saw the arrival of the School of Education and the RAF Central Library, followed in September by the School of Administration. Upwood was again becoming focused on training. Later training units included the Equipment Officers Training Centre and the Air Cadet Training Centre.

    These various training activities lasted, in one form or another, until the late 1970s. By 1981, the station was again almost dormant.

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    Then it was time to start making the drive home, but we decided to stop of at a old green grocers on the Norfolk suffolk borders to have a look. It was trashed, Signs of a fire, dodgy roofs and full of junk, so after salvaging a few images we decided to call it a day and head home.

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    #1 norfolkexplorer, Apr 25, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
    The Wombat likes this.

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  2. The Wombat

    The Wombat Mr Wombat
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    Mate, that is a lovely report :thumb
    We had another mooch round Upwood last month, and got loads of shots of us on the tanks - they are great fun
    And looks like you braved the pigeon shit to the top of the water tower
    And thanks for posting that old house - we drove by that, and ran out of time before visiting it
     
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  3. sageman

    sageman 28DL Full Member
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    lovely as always mate well done
     
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  4. Miss Mayhem

    Miss Mayhem 28DL Regular User
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    That is one brilliant report , I love the shot through all the windows but all
    The photos are just stunning.
    Cheers for sharing :thumb
     
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  5. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Some good pictures there mate, I actually quite like the white wooden house.

    Do us a favour though, edit all the Wikipedia spam backlinks eh
     
  6. norfolkexplorer

    norfolkexplorer av u seen my marbels
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    Cool buddy. Will get them sorted in a bit
     
  7. norfolkexplorer

    norfolkexplorer av u seen my marbels
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    How that looking
     
  8. sageman

    sageman 28DL Full Member
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