Web
Analytics
Report - - RAF Driffield (with RAF West Raynham Comparisons) - March 2022 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - RAF Driffield (with RAF West Raynham Comparisons) - March 2022


Wastelandr

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member
THE HISTORY

This airfield is no stranger to explorers, nor has it had a quiet past, and as such has had its history thoroughly covered online. However, I will recover it below. Also, to make up for this place having been done to death I've added a few side-by-side comparisons with another very similar airfield in a different part of the country (scroll down).

RAF Driffield opened in 1935/1936 after being rebuilt on the site of the earlier RAF Eastburn operating from 1918 to 1920. The airfield had a tumultuous time in WW2, being used initially for training bomber crews but soon for bomber sorties to the European mainland. It was outfitted with four typical Type-C hangars; several of which were heavily damaged during a severe air raid in 1940. It reopened in early 1941 after repairs, with fighters operating for a short period under No.13 Group Fighter Command. Bomber Command returned in April 1941, mainly using No.4 Group Halifax bombers sent off to Europe almost every night. Air raids were executed upon Bremen and Hornum in Germany and Le Havre in France to name a few places of strategic interest. Aircraft also were sent ‘Nickelling’ in the Ruhr; sorties to drop propaganda leaflets.

937924

One of the bomb-damaged hangars after the severe 1940 raid

Post-war from 1946, Driffield was used by several training establishment, including No.10 Air Navigation School, No.204 Advanced Flying School, and in 1949 the No.203 Advanced Flying School specialising in jets. In 1955, Driffield reverted from training to a fighter station for No.13 Group Fighter Command. No. 219 and 33 Squadrons used de Havilland Venom night fighters until 1957 when both units were disbanded.

In August 1959, the base was armed with huge American-made PGM-17 Thor intermediate range ballistic nuclear missiles, although due to changing technologies they were decommissioned by April 1963.

In 1977, the airfield was transferred to the Army and became a driving school called Alamein Barracks as it is partly still known today The base returned to the RAF briefly from 1992-96. As of present times, the flying ground is now the Driffield Training Area, although the technical area; still bearing its WW2 infrastructure, is almost all abandoned.


-----------------------------------------------------

THE EXPLORE

On a short excursion to Hull to see some friends, I decided to drag them along to this place which I'd previously had to research for non-exploration purposes but had not yet seen in the flesh. I almost didn't bother,. as from what I could see online this place was derped to heck and frankly it just looked a bit nasty. However, given the scale of what survived, my prior knowledge of the airfield, and its similarity to RAF West Raynham which I'd visited in November 2021, I figured it was worth at least a cursory look. It ended up being one of my most enjoyable casual explores to date, probably because it was all just sitting there to be free-roamed at one's leisure. There's always something peaceful about these post-apocalyptic wastelands.

TERRACED ACCOMODATION

We found ourselves on the edge of the base quickly, and began working our way towards the imposing terraced houses which I can only assume were married and officers quarters. These were largely unsafe to even walk in given their rotted wooden floors, but we made it into one and it had a nice room with a fireplace and peeling light blue wallpaper.

937897


937899


937900


937901


937898


H-BLOCK ACCOMODATION

After this we headed to another type of accommodation block here of the Air Ministry's H-shaped design of which I had seen an almost identical block at West Raynham except for this having several large open hall-like spaces. I'm guessing this is where the grunts would've stayed. Evidently you were punished for being single in 1940. But if there was one luxury they were afforded, it was an air raid shelter in the basement of the building itself. I knew they were likely to be present given the similarity in design to the block at West Raynham. One unexpected difference however was a nice big asbestos-lagged pipe framing the entrance, so we swiftly moved past and down into the shelter. These shelters really are mega cool. Not only do they feature big metal doors and nifty escape tunnels, but also feel very European given that they are accessed in the basement of the building itself. The rest of the building had a somewhat worse-off bathroom than that at WR but its nicely lit art-deco staircases still made for some nice shots.

Below I have made several rather fancy comparisons with RAF West Raynham of similar period (late 1930s-1940), with Air Ministry H-blocks of a similar design. These shots were never intentionally similar, it just happened I must've gone for the exact same angles in each location (shows how original I am ;)). It was very satisfying to put these side-by-side and realise how close they are. All it really proves is that WR is just a much nicer Driffield, although it still has a few merits of its own.​

937921

H-Block Entrance at RAF Driffield​
937935

H-Block Entrance at RAF West Raynham​


937905

Shelter at RAF Driffield​
937938

Shelter at RAF West Raynham​

937908

H-Block Staircase at RAF Driffield​
937937

H-Block Staircase at RAF West Raynham​


937903

Bathroom at RAF Driffield​
937936

Bathroom at RAF West Raynhan​


937902


937909


937904


937906


937907


937919


OTHER SECTIONS

The rest of the airfield was pretty cool but the condition really deteriorated (if even possible) when it came to the canteen space. It felt like some kind of strange western saloon with a crackhead twist. Nonetheless, these vast spaces were still cool to see. There was a lot more around but having reached the fence line of the MoD-controlled sections and with the day pressing on, we decided to call it time. Still a great explore that made for some lovely shots.

937911


937920


937910


937912


937913


937914


937915


937916


937917


937918




 
Last edited:

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nicely done. Funnily enough I went here a few weeks back. And it's trashed badly. But did find bits what were not trashed too much. I spent far to long here really. Some of the old houses are pretty vandal free as well, apart from the metal theft.
 

KPUrban_

Surprisingly Unsurprising
Regular User
Strange how similar and "copy and paste" RAF buildings are. The H-Blocks are the same almost everywhere such as Upwood and Newton were. Nice to see the shelter at west Raynham.
 

Wastelandr

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member

Wastelandr

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member
Nicely done. Funnily enough I went here a few weeks back. And it's trashed badly. But did find bits what were not trashed too much. I spent far to long here really. Some of the old houses are pretty vandal free as well, apart from the metal theft.
Thanks Mikey, ah yeah sometimes its a matter of having to dig for the good stuff. I only really passed over the obvious stuff given the time I had but I bet a lot more time could be spent here. It definitely makes up for condition in scale
 

Wastelandr

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member
Strange how similar and "copy and paste" RAF buildings are. Nice to see the shelter at west Raynham.
It is indeed, the more airfields I see the more the differences and similarities become clear
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Thanks Mikey, ah yeah sometimes its a matter of having to dig for the good stuff. I only really passed over the obvious stuff given the time I had but I bet a lot more time could be spent here. It definitely makes up for condition in scale
Yeah I know exactly which bits you covered. And your right there is so much more to see. It might be trashed but it's nice to wander around a large site finding things.
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Nice report. Relaxed wanders are my favourites too, no rushing or breaking my tripod etc. Good research there. The comparisons are great to see. Obliviously a blueprint for these airfields were followed, but its great to see the side by side evidence
 

Wastelandr

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member
Nice report. Relaxed wanders are my favourites too, no rushing or breaking my tripod etc. Good research there. The comparisons are great to see. Obliviously a blueprint for these airfields were followed, but its great to see the side by side evidence
Yep I think one of the biggest struggles with urbex is trying to get good shots and battle with your kit whilst finding yourself in some of the least convenient situations possible :rofl. There must've been standardised blueprints but seems difficult to find much about them online.
 

Wastelandr

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member
So folks I have an extra bonus here in the form of some 35mm film photography goodness taken on an early 90s Canon I found in a box of junk at the bootfair going for a fiver. Just got these developed and chuffed with the results!

b&wfilmearly2022-12.jpg


937970


937971


937972


937973


937974


 

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nice film shots there. Your right about standard design. The officers mess at Coltishall, Raynham, Upwood and at Driffield which I think go demolished are all of a similar design. All have having the three arched door entry.
 

Wastelandr

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member
Nice film shots there. Your right about standard design. The officers mess at Coltishall, Raynham, Upwood and at Driffield which I think go demolished are all of a similar design. All have having the three arched door entry.
Nice, haven't got to see Coltishall or what's left of Upwood but sounds like a good next step
 

Wastelandr

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member

Similar threads


Top