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Report - - RAF Kemble October 2016 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - RAF Kemble October 2016

Salmon

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
My first report!

Went with Clebby to 'Colin's Barn', somewhere I had wanted to see for a long time and which was better (bigger) than I had expected. After an undisturbed look around we went to the Cotswold Airport and Business Park to have a look at what was left of RAF Kemble.

History

Royal Air Force Kemble was constructed out of the third phase of the RAF’s ‘expansion plan’, which concentrated on training and maintenance bases. Work started in August 1936 when contractors began clearing the site in preparation to receive aircraft the following year for storage. At the end of 1939 there were already well over 600 aircraft on the airfield.
During 1942 the main runway was constructed and late in 1943 it was extended to its present length and the short cross-field runway was added.
The Gloster Aircraft Company had set up a satellite production facility at Kemble and was turning out Hawker Typhoons, which they built under license.

Kemble’s role completely reversed after the war, aircraft were now being received back from the disbanding squadrons and were either held in storage pending sale or scrapped on site. The site is still an aircraft graveyard.
Kemble was home to the Red Arrows for 16 years.

The RAF handed over the base to the United States Air Force in 1983. After spending a lot of time and money upgrading the station the Americans surprisingly left in the early 1990’s at the end of the Cold War and the airfield was returned to the MOD.
All military flying ceased at Kemble airfield in March 1993

Local businessman Ronan Harvey who had moved his company into buildings at Kemble, eventually purchased the airfield from the MOD in March 2001 with the intention of keeping it as an airport. 1st September 2009 Kemble changes its name to Cotswold Airport. It is very much a live airport and was quite busy on the day we were there.


The Visit

There is an excellent report by Huey from last year so I will try not to duplicate stuff.
http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/kemble-aerodrome-wiltshire-2015.t94015#post-1071535


The Gas Decontamination Centre was an interesting building from the outside (shown in Huey's report) but disappointing inside, just full of rubbish.
The first building we went into, possibly staff quarters was quite uninteresting, just a stone fireplace which is shown in Huey's report.

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The bar
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Next was a more interesting large E shaped building, not sure what it was, maybe officers' mess?.

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Shocking pink!
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Inside one of the Stanton shelters complete with benches.
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The Water Tower.
History.

Grade II listed, 1938/9, to Air Ministry Directorate of Works drawing No 482/38; design by P M Stratton, architect to the Ministry. Yellow brickwork and buildings in Flemish bond, concrete flat roofs with asphalt finish.

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Interesting light on the roof of the tower.
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Good views from the roof of the tower
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Looking down the stairs.
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It was a really good afternoon out and thankfully less eventful than our last excursion.....
 

Salmon

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#5
Thank you!
It's easier to get a half decent photo with my old sony cybershot above ground than it is underground. I have ordered a couple of the Aldi torches so I should be able to try out the underground light techniques you showed me. :thumb
 

Oort

The Spice Must Flow.
Regular User
#7
Thank you!
It's easier to get a half decent photo with my old sony cybershot above ground than it is underground. I have ordered a couple of the Aldi torches so I should be able to try out the underground light techniques you showed me. :thumb
Give me a shout when they arrive.
 

Salmon

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#8
Great report,
The tower is a nice design, glad its listed. The beacon on top looks just like one that was at Shoreham airport for years which would flash green spelling SH in morse code every few seconds.
http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?52881-Airfield-Beacons
Glad you like it. Thanks for the info and interesting link. I wonder if the Kemble beacon also flashed in morse code? I should do some research into it.


Give me a shout when they arrive.
Will do. :thumb
 

Salmon

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#10
March 2017 update.

Made a return visit with @clebby. There is another tower we didn't see before so we thought we would stop by. It was the second place we visited that day and I only had enough memory in my little old camera for a few more shots. These are the only pictures I took.

There were 2 roofless rooms next to the tower. Both had quarry floor tiles and one had walls of glazed brick.
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The tower was small and neat from the outside.
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A single ladder with a rest platform halfway up went to a tiny room containing a gas canister, some bird skeletons and pigeon shite. There was some nice old pencil graffiti.
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Another short ladder led to a hatch out onto the roof.
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Plane spotters heaven up there.
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Looking down ladder from the little room.
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