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Report - - RAF Calveley - Nantwich, Cheshire - September 2021 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - RAF Calveley - Nantwich, Cheshire - September 2021


MK83

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
History - RAF Calveley was planned as a night fighter base for the defence of the cities of the industrial North West, such as Manchester and Liverpool. It was to perform as a satellite to the day fighter base at Atcham (Shrewsbury) in the Ternhill Sector, but by the time the Airfield was complete there had been a change of plan and Calveley was relegated to serve only as a flying training station.
Airfield construction commenced in 1941 and because it was to be used by twin-engine fighter aircraft types, it was furnished with three concrete runways and a perimeter track, but only a few aircraft dispersal points. However, three T2 type of steel hangars were erected, together with four Blister types, dispersed around the airfield perimeter. Aircraft firing butts were also provided and several dispersed living areas were sited towards the village of Wardle, which could accommodate over 1400 personnel.
The station was involved in providing advanced flying instruction to recently qualified pilots, who were destined much later in their careers for fighter squadrons. The main activity was circuit and landing practice, and these were performed both by day and night.
Towards the end of the war, activity started to decline and on 31st May 1945 all flying ceased. Like so many empty stations, Calveley Airfield was used for housing a surplus aircrew for the next few months until at the end of 1945 a post-war flying school was formed and it was issued with thirty Harvards. In 1946, The RAF were not keen on keeping any of the wartime airfields similar to Calveley, so as soon as permanent stations became available they were quick to move the flying units into them including those from Calveley.
Calveley was subsequently taken over by Maintenance Command, and for the next ten years it served as a sub-site to the aircraft maintenance unit at Hawarden, who used it for storage purposes and not for any form of flying. In 1959, the Air Ministry finally sold off the site.

Explore - The main reason we wanted to visit this place was due to it appearing to have a surviving control tower. Sadly it seems they are now in the process of demolishing the remaining buildings to build a new business park and the control tower along with many other buildings have now gone, the building work was going on around while we explored it and we were watching them destroying the taxiway's. There are still quite a few buildings remaining though and it turned out to be an interesting visit regardless. Some of the buildings have been re-used as businesses and they are full of all sorts of random odd junk, in one building you have to climb over a literal mountain of carpets to get inside. There are quite a few remaining buildings incorporated into the nearby industrial estate and occupied by active businesses but we haven't included these in the report.


Pilots outside the control tower.
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Miles Master training plane taking off from the airfield.
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Guard and fire party house.
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Didn't expect to find a creepy doll on an old RAF base tbh.
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Air Raid shelters.
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Battery charging hut.
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Private branch exchange.
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Thanks for looking.
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Really nice what is left. Shame when they demolish them. We have a lot of old world war two remains in East Anglia. And I have been a lot of them. Nice to see the Stanton shelter and in good condition as well.
 

MK83

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Really nice what is left. Shame when they demolish them. We have a lot of old world war two remains in East Anglia. And I have been a lot of them. Nice to see the Stanton shelter and in good condition as well.
Thanks. There were 4 Stanton shelters I think. I dont know how much longer this place will last tbh. Was gutted the control tower is gone.
 

tigger

mog
Regular User
Didn't you check out the pillbox, 25yard range or 'seagull' trench along the footpath ?

The watch office was on borrowed time with Boughey's rapid warehouse growth but it's a shame if they have removed it along with the combined Ops/instructional building and fire tender shed as they were in generally good condition and as a group of buildings a good example of the function.

Here's a 1947 aerial for you:
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and as it was when I first saw it in 1972:
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MK83

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Didn't you check out the pillbox, 25yard range or 'seagull' trench along the footpath ?

The watch office was on borrowed time with Boughey's rapid warehouse growth but it's a shame if they have removed it along with the combined Ops/instructional building and fire tender shed as they were in generally good condition and as a group of buildings a good example of the function.

Here's a 1947 aerial for you:
View attachment 919678

and as it was when I first saw it in 1972:
View attachment 919679
We checked out the pillbox but I think the seagull trench was gone. The footpath is no more and is now a big muddy clay road with huge dumper trucks driving up and down it. Pretty much everything past the buildings we did is now a massive building site. I've attached a shot the pillbox and you can sort of see I had to trek down a huge muddy road made by massive trucks. I had get down there and back quickly as there where 3 of the huge trucks going in a loop dumping clay and mud.
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tigger

mog
Regular User
We checked out the pillbox but I think the seagull trench was gone. The footpath is no more and is now a big muddy clay road with huge dumper trucks driving up and down it. Pretty much everything past the buildings we did is now a massive building site. I've attached a shot the pillbox and you can sort of see I had to trek down a huge muddy road made by massive trucks. I had get down there and back quickly as there where 3 of the huge trucks going in a loop dumping clay and mud.
mmm...No reason why the remaining seagul trench would be removed as it's nowhere near any buildings (other than the 25yard range), Your photo doesn't show a pillbox (possibly a SSA store) and I'd guess is close to the battery charging hut. If those works have impeeded access along any of the public rights of way you should report it to whichever local authority is now responsible since cheshire exploded. If that is on the route of one of the paths it is clearly dangerous.
 

MK83

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
mmm...No reason why the remaining seagul trench would be removed as it's nowhere near any buildings (other than the 25yard range), Your photo doesn't show a pillbox (possibly a SSA store) and I'd guess is close to the battery charging hut. If those works have impeeded access along any of the public rights of way you should report it to whichever local authority is now responsible since cheshire exploded. If that is on the route of one of the paths it is clearly dangerous.
I wonder whether we missed it then. I've crudely draw on the map where the building works were. The path crossed directly through the area were the work was going on. we approached the site from green ln and with all the work going on didnt cross the building works. I might go back and see if we can find more.
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MK83

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
mmm...No reason why the remaining seagul trench would be removed as it's nowhere near any buildings (other than the 25yard range), Your photo doesn't show a pillbox (possibly a SSA store) and I'd guess is close to the battery charging hut. If those works have impeeded access along any of the public rights of way you should report it to whichever local authority is now responsible since cheshire exploded. If that is on the route of one of the paths it is clearly dangerous.
In fact these plans from the company doing the development show the extent of the work they are doing.
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cunningcorgi

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nice bit of history and nicely done.

There is an old WW2 airfield down in West Wales that I am always meaning to do - runways still (basically) in tact, numerous buildings still splattered about the site, etc. I think the only thing that stops me is the copious amounts of sheep and cow shite that seems to be everywhere. And the surly farmer who owns the shit machines !

Get it done one day.
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Nice piece of history there. The shelters are cool. Nice photos. So much is being lost to big companies. Soon we will have no green space left :(
 

MK83

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice piece of history there. The shelters are cool. Nice photos. So much is being lost to big companies. Soon we will have no green space left :(
Thanks. It was a weird explore tbh. Not what we expected to find. It is sad to see things like this getting flattened for dreary industrial estates.
 

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