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Report - - Colleyweston bomb store (RAF Wittering), Northants, July 2022 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Colleyweston bomb store (RAF Wittering), Northants, July 2022

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Lndnpdd

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Reposting...

The History

Collyweston was originally set up in WW1 around 1916, next to the Stamford airfield (which later developed into RAF Wittering which is still an operating RAF base). It started off as a Training Depot Station (TDS) for the then Royal Flying Corps (later RAF), and was the first unit set up dedicated to training new pilots prior to them being into battle. The airfield was closed at the end of WW1 in 1918.

The base was reopened during WW2 in 1940 with a grass landing strip as a satellite to the now named RAF Wittering. In 1943, due to a high number of landing accidents at Wittering, the runways of Collyweston and Wittering were merged, giving Wittering a much longer 3 mile, well-lit, runway capable of taking crippled heavy bombers. After that, Collyweston ceased to function as an operational base however was used as the home of the famous 1426 Enemy Aircraft Flight (nicknamed the RAFwaffe) which flew captured captured German aircraft (see belowFokke Wulf 190 left and Junkers JU88 right) in RAF markings from Collyweston.

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After the end of the war, Collyweston was again shut down and absorbed into RAF Wittering.

In 1955, the site was turned into a remote weapons store for RAF Wittering, for storage of bombs and other ordnance, although none of the weapons stored there were nuclear (as reported on some of the youtube videos).

The site is laid out as below (stolen from google earth) and is split out into different areas as highlighted and explained below.

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The site was decommissioned in 1995 and is sat still awaiting “adaptive Reuse”. Although not still actively patrolled, it still technically remains an active military site and is to some extent maintained still.
The site is completely surrounded by high fences but access is easy enough, and it was for the first couple of hours a very relaxed explore until I had the absolute **** scared out of me by a maintenance team who came to cut the grass, the first I knew about it was when a petrol strimmer fired up about 5 metres away from me.

The blue area on the aerial above is the site main entrance, consisting of the remains of a pillbox, a guard house, power sub station and some form of office. These buildings are empty now, but are a slowly mouldering away wirh some lovely peeling paint.
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The orange area in the aerial picture above consists of 10 near identical buildings which were used for bomb maintenance (I didn’t realise how much maintenance a bomb requires). Inside is a mass of cable inuslation (where the copper wire has been stripped out for scrap), graffiti and general rubbish. It is interestingto see that the pulleus and lifting gear is still in place for lifting and maintaining the bombs.
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As you move into the larger site, (the green area to the top of the aerial picture, or on the right as you are walking in there are 3 rows of 10 “Dutch barn” storage areas (of which one row is nearly entirely flattened), used to store BL755 Cluster Bombs. These are big, about 10m wide by 25m long, with asbestos roofing and millions of pigeons.

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The red area in the aerial photo above used to have storage units for 1000lb high explosive bombs, but these have all been flattened., so I havent bothered with photos of this. The purple highlighted area in the aerial shot has 3 storage unts for 68mm SNEB rockets (unguided air to ground pod rockets usually fired from helicopters, or in this case from Harrier Jump Jets, as used in the Falklands conflict). These are still standing and are in relatively good condition, with a steel framed structure insulated concrete walls and sliding doors. Either side of each structure are concrete and earth shields, presumably as some form of blast protection.

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Finally, the yellow highlighted area in the aerial picture (at the bottom of the picture, or on the left as you come in the site) consists of 9 concrete sunken shelters called “igloos” which have filtered air and power supplied to them. I have not been able to work out what was stored in these, but assume something big and scary. These are unfortunately all securely locked up and have been heavily graffitied, some very skillfully I might add. The first two photos show them from behind, and then in front.

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I particularly liked this big rabbit.
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StolenMonkey

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Great report and pics, this ones on my list as I pass it regularly when heading for the Peterborough depots look after for work and I spotted it recently on a quiet Sunday shift. Some of the graffiti is superb, and really want to check out the intact lifting gear!
 

Webbs0710

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Great report and pics, this ones on my list as I pass it regularly when heading for the Peterborough depots look after for work and I spotted it recently on a quiet Sunday shift. Some of the graffiti is superb, and really want to check out the intact lifting gear!
I'm not sure it's doable at the minute, unless I got extremely unlucky, I think a logistics company of some description may now be using the site. Signage outside was brand new, and there was a lorry halfway through the gate when I went to do it a couple of months ago. Purplerock, I think.
 

Lndnpdd

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I'm not sure it's doable at the minute, unless I got extremely unlucky, I think a logistics company of some description may now be using the site. Signage outside was brand new, and there was a lorry halfway through the gate when I went to do it a couple of months ago. Purplerock, I think.
You are right - I think the site has now passed into private hands with plans to develop it into some form of depot. Hopefully they will keep most of the old buildings but I suspect it will make it harder to visit
 

StolenMonkey

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
You are right - I think the site has now passed into private hands with plans to develop it into some form of depot. Hopefully they will keep most of the old buildings but I suspect it will make it harder to visit
Found it on Google earth whilst down there so drove past and I noticed the new signs, and googled the company but it’s got to be worth scoping out, couldn’t scope it at the time as my van is on a tracker and I don’t think getting caught trespassing in a liveried van would go down well 😂 hoping to take a trip down in my own time to see if it’s possible soon
 

Bikin Glynn

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Found it on Google earth whilst down there so drove past and I noticed the new signs, and googled the company but it’s got to be worth scoping out, couldn’t scope it at the time as my van is on a tracker and I don’t think getting caught trespassing in a liveried van would go down well 😂 hoping to take a trip down in my own time to see if it’s possible soon
There is armadillos on site now but its so big I'm.sure a walk round paremeter would find another way in
 

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