Report - - AVRO - Woodford Aerodrome - February 2014 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - AVRO - Woodford Aerodrome - February 2014


28DL Full Member
I've long been fascinated by this airfield. The history of British aircraft design and production that went on here is astounding, many of the big names of classic aircraft were born here; Lancaster, Shackleton, Vulcan and Nimrod to name just four. The aerodrome came about in 1924 when Alliott Verdon Roe (A.V.Roe - AVRO) moved his aircraft factory from Alexandra Park Aerodrome in south Manchester, to some farmland and sheds near Poynton, Cheshire. Once established and the with the spectre of war on the horizon, the airfield expanded, ready of supply Bomber Command with it's most accomplished aircraft. However, glory days of World War 2, the dawn of Jet Age and the Cold War were not to last. Despite the success of the HS 748 turbo-prop airliner, the updated version, the ATP or 'Advanced Turbo Prop" didn't quite catch on. The BAe 146/AVRO RJ series of jetliners were successful, but sadly, never quite hit the big time like the Boeing 737 and smaller Airbus aircraft.

The last straw came with the Nimrod MRA4 upgrade for the Royal Air Force and with the 2010 'Strategic Security and Defence Review' the project was cancelled. The Nimrod MRA4 was £789 million pounds over budget and 9 years late. The airframes and some of the completed aircraft were scrapped outside the hangars in which they had been built. Bringing to an end 8 decades of pioneering aircraft development and production, the airfield ceased flying operations on 25 August 2011.

The site was purchased by Jo Bamford, heir to JCB, with the intentions of building a housing estate. To date there has been little work done towards this. No buildings have been demolished, some have been stripped, but everything appears to be intact and the AVRO Vulcan has been moved next to the fire station.

I first visited a few weeks ago. At night. In the rain. Just getting to the fence was like being on the Somme in a bin bag. When I got to the fence I decided it was pointless fumbling around on a wet and moonless night, so opted to return for a dawn raid at the earliest opportunity.

Arriving at the fence just as dawn broke, I hauled myself over the fence and moved up to the corner of a building, next to this building is a CCTV mast complete with dome-camera. I'd been stood there no more than 30 seconds, getting my bearings when I hear a vehicle approaching. Thinking I'd been rumbled already, I decided to not hang around to see what would happen and hauled myself back over the fence, developing stigmata in the process. The vehicle was the what appeared to be the old 'Airfield Operations" SWB Shogun, now being used by security for their patrols.

Once the Shogun had gone I headed back over the fence and headed straight for what I believe was a canteen. This was pretty derpy, so I grabbed a few shots and headed back outside, listening for cars as I went. I decided to cut to the chase and try the 2 hangars in the South-West corner of the airfield. After trying the rear of the Western most hangar, checking all it's nooks and crannies with no joy I wandered around the front to find the Hangar doors wide open. Inside was a large stack of straw and some agricultural machinery.

Next I moved on to the bigger hangar. There were no open doors on this monster, I checked everything I could see, even venturing on to the roof hoping the recent gales had made me an entrance, but no. Back on the ground and standing at the corner of the hangar, I could see cars leaving the CAE Oxford and Fire Station area as well as a number of cars parked outside there. A bit dejected, I began the slog back to the car. But, then I noticed a way in ;)

I will let the pictures do the talking now, I've rattled on far too much. However, I will say this, this report is in here for 2 reasons. 1) I want to go back soon and try the bigger hangar and offices at the North of the airfield, but I feel two heads is better than one around there. 2) Scroll down to see why.

More history.



















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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice report and pix ,very interesting historically great stuff


Choose life, choose tunnels
Regular User
It's rapidly turning into a housing estate. A good chunk of the taxi/runways are now non-existent.

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