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Report - RAF Morpeth - Northumberland - 08/01/08

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by sellers, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. sellers

    sellers Guest

    Visited RAF Morpeth today. This site is huge but with very little remaining. As well as what I saw there is probably loads of other stuff in the woods but be warned it is shooting season! and there were loads of guns going off in the area. I explored 3 different areas and have tried to identify the remains / structures wherever possible. However I would appreciate if anybody can help me in identifying the rest (or correcting me if I am wrong). Answers on a post card to……..?:D

    History of RAF Morpeth

    Opened in January 1942 as an Air Gunner School and fulfilled this role until December 1944. The site was home to No.80 (French) Operational Training Unit. Today the site has reverted to agriculture, several of the buildings remain and are used for storage. Parts of the hard standing remain and are used for a weekly car boot sale every Sunday.
    The official title of this airfield during WW2 was RAF Morpeth and initially housed No 4 Air Gunnery School (4 AGS). Accommodation was in 10 dispersal sites to the north and east of the airfield near Tranwell village and The Whitehouse Centre (following the war this area became a childrens hospital). The main aircraft used during its early existence for teaching air gunners was the unpopular Blackburn Botha, which was very heavy and under powered, often taking the whole of the runway to get airborne. Following several crashes and collisions, it was eventually replaced with the Avro Anson. Most of the air gunnery practice occurred off shore at Druridge Bay where several of the original war time structures still exist at the National Trust site.

    Anyway on with the pics.

    Main site next to houses.

    Hardstanding Area / Start of Runway?
    Miskin Blister Hanger
    Front View of Small Bunker
    Rear View of Small Bunker
    Main view of Small Bunker
    Unidentified Blocks on Structures Surface

    Site 2 - Approx 1 mile away from main site

    Side view of firing butt
    Rear view of firing butt
    Main view of firing butt
    Unidentified Structure
    Unidentified Structure with remains of runway infront.
    Unidentified Structure built into ground
    Row of unidentified structures adjacent to runway remains

    Area 3 – Opposite end of woods recently used for car boot sales

    Miskin Blister Hanger
    Remains of runway 23

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  2. IronMaidenFan

    IronMaidenFan 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Aug 26, 2015
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    Hi nice photo's but just to correct you.
    Photos 4,5,6 are a blast shelter.
    Photo 7 shows some tie-downs from after the war which were to hold large balloons to detect nuclear activity/contamination after a Russian PowerStation had an incident.
    Photo's 11,12,13,14 are the polices clay pigeon shoot used by the armed response for target practice.
    I have the plans for the site from the RAF which show all the buildings.
  3. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
    Staff Member Admin

    Oct 17, 2005
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    With all due respect, what Russian powerstation was this?
  4. IronMaidenFan

    IronMaidenFan 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Aug 26, 2015
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    Not known but it was in the 60's I think I will have a chat with my contact who should know. Sorry!
  5. Ordnance

    Ordnance Moderator

    Mar 19, 2007
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  6. IronMaidenFan

    IronMaidenFan 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Aug 26, 2015
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    Thanks for the info and the photo. Do not know how many balloons were there but if I remember correctly it was not run by the army or RAF. Will have a word with the farmer (who can remember it) he is still there now, he was just a kid then..
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