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Report - - RAF Manby, Officers Admin Building (Turned Care Home) - June 2018 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - RAF Manby, Officers Admin Building (Turned Care Home) - June 2018


Kraxous

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Introduction
Back at it again with the first proper urbex I ever did at the start of June. Over the past weeks I've done a fair amount of explores with various people, some solo but RAF Manby was what took my urbex virginity. It was such a great, yet creepy, explore that myself and my girlfriend and her friend really enjoyed. With soft floors, darkened corridors and untrustworthy staircases, we still went ahead with the explore and had a go ourselves. While we were there, a father and son showed up in their car when we'd stopped exploring for a lunch break (yes, take food, it's that big you will probably need a break at some point) and we got chatting for a bit.

Disclaimer: Yes, yes Manby has been covered many times in the past but hath no fear child: Because I don't care and I had fun! That's all that matters. Enjoy! :thumb


Military History
RAF Manby, or mistakenly called 'RAF Manby Hall' was an old air force base that opened in August 1938. The airfield became known as N01 Air Armament School of 25 Group of Training Command. The school was responsible for the training of armament officers, bomb aimers, air gunners and armourers and took over control othe bombing range at Theddlethorpe (now RAF Donna Nook HQ). RAF Manby became that busy at one point that they actually had to open a nearby relief airfield known as RAF Strubby.

After the war, Manby continued as a permanent RAF station and in July 1949 the RAF Flying College was formed. According to a message on RAF-Lincolnshire.info, Manby was used immediately after the war to store a small collection of Luftwaffe advanced fighter jets (which I can, unfortunately, tell you they are no longer there).

By the mid-1980s the runways and dispersas were dug up to make room for agriculture, although the taxi track remained. The 'new' control tower, built only 20 years prior on the south side of the airfield, had been severely vandalised*. The hangars were used for grain storage.

*As far as I'm aware, per previous reading, is that the control tower still exists (last checked 2012 via the web, haven't checked 28DL yet). As do a few hangars which are used as grain storage per above paragraph.

Civilian History
I can't actually find any and it's annoying the crap out of me. From what I can gather there was an extension built on to the back of the admin building which has a very 80s feel to it. There was two wings: one at either side and what I think housed female in one wing and males in the other. In one wing there was approximately 26 rooms. Out of the entirety of the complex, the female wing was probably the most eerie. Not because of the state of the rooms, but the knowledge of the people who probably lived there are not around any more. We came across this ladies room called 'Mim' (see photos below) and we just stood there silently, we had no idea what to say. To know that people lived there, not even that long ago and we can't find jack all history on it. Various belongings had been left: quilts, knitting needles, zimmer frames, wheelchairs... It was just so ominous. If anyone has literally any history on the care home side of things please for the love of God send me them.:banghead

Secondly, as an airsofter in hibernation I came across some old Combat Machine (CM) M4 boxes which I think were AEGs looking at them (again see pics). In addition to various consent forms, documents and a little bit of history on the site they used to run nearby. They are known as Lindsey Airsoft (not to be confused with Camp Sparta, Kirton-in-Lindsey).

Unfortunately that's all I could dig up. If anyone has any history please let me know.


Manby Map.jpg

This is a quick map I threw together to replicate what it looks like today via an ordnance map.

The Explore
Just getting in to the swing of urbexing, myself and the two lovely ladies set off to find this supposed admin building in Manby. Not knowing what we'd find, how we'd get in or the scale of exploring this place we were very naive and eager to get going. What we did do however that was smart, was bring lunch. Absolute SAVIOUR.

Getting to the site was straight forward after a bit of deliberation... There are two entrances to the site, one to the north through what looks like private land, then a quick minute down the road in the car leads you to a more enclosed/foliage covered entrance which allows you to drive right into the main entrance. The sheer size of the building had us thinking we'd maybe bit off more than we could chew, but it was a great start to a new passion we'd found so it worked out great.

Manby.jpg

This was the general perimeter of the Officers Mess at past RAF Manby. Interestingly enough, I had to do a double take because the grass and general vegetation looks maintained here but I believe this image is getting on a decade old now. I can tell you now, the outside doesn't look like that now!
Getting in was just a case of going through the main entrance where you see the oval above in the image. Otherwise, you can just go through the various windows and side entrances. All of the buildings interconnected in some way, but some were more easily accessible than others. For example, the boiler house was probably the most inaccessible as you had to go through a small gap in a door to get in. Then after that it was practically all burnt out with barely any flooring.

Unfortunately, vandals have done a number to the building. Some vandalism is funnier than others, like small quotes and dainty bits of text, some is creepy and some is just distasteful (it's not RAF Bempton though!) so if you're looking for a well preserved building in terms of interior, I probably wouldn't recommend this place. Nonetheless, still a worthy explore.

Anyway, please explore these images and enjoy them as much as I took exploring this place!


LX6A6546.jpg

1. This was looking to the south of the site with the western wing of the old people's home.

LX6A6571.jpg

2. The main entrance to the site. We actually didn't look at the most upper floor as we'd already spent a fair amount of hours there, plus we wasn't properly geared to explore it.

LX6A6583.jpg

3. This is as you walk through the main corridor to get in.

LX6A6590.jpg

4. Kitchen/prep area which leads to a similar area but longer.

LX6A6597.jpg

5. A section out of a dictionary. Can you find the naughty word(s)? :rolleyes:

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6. An old picture of a rally car.

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7. Haven't listened to the song yet but I imagine it's pretty badass.

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8. One of the emergency exits/side doors leading outside.

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9. A small pamphlet. Not sure what it's promoting exactly as I didn't read it.

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10. My favourite picture, a picture of a jewellery box of the original Elite game. Any Elite: Dangerous players here? :D

LX6A6634.jpg

11. Possibly an old bar/reception area.

LX6A6637.jpg

12. Airsoft guns packaging for an M16 CB.

LX6A6661.jpg

13. Eerie corridor.

LX6A6668.jpg

14. Another eerie corridor.

LX6A6670.jpg

15. Bar area. Quite cool. Just behind me was an upturned pool table!

LX6A6672.jpg

16. An old hall I can only assume was for music/meals/whatever else fancy people do.

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17. Same as above just looking the other way.

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18. I've forgotten where this was taken as it was like a maze, but I think it was to the far west of the building.

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19. An old turbine generator out back.

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20. Various gauges on the turbine.

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21. Nature always claims back its territory.

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22. Spoops corridor.

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23. An old news paper, not sure if it's what another person exploring took in there or whether it's from quite a while ago.

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24. Looking out at the main entrance.

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25. Looking above at the main entrance.

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26. Does this really need a caption?

LX6A6837.jpg

27. This was in the western wing of the old people's home.

LX6A6845.jpg

28. Safe to say, we didn't turn back.​


Conclusion
I'd recommend anyone to come here as it's a prime spot for photo opportunities and makes for a great explore. While there isn't much in terms of furniture, it gets you used to thinking about how you're going to tackle it and what areas to explore first. Hopefully this post has inspired people to go scope it out and have a good day!

See you 'til next time!
- Kraxous
 

Kraxous

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Great report and pix - just make the watermark less obtrusive....
It's so people can't crop it and claim it as their own. Just a default batch command I have set. I'll see about correcting it. :)
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
It's so people can't crop it and claim it as their own. Just a default batch command I have set. I'll see about correcting it. :)
Don't deny it's not an issue because there are unscrupulous people out there. It's just that obtrusive watermarks detract from your pictures and the eye is immediately drawn to it rather than looking at the picture as a whole.
 

jaws

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Awesome report, was quite weird being able to drive around the whole site! Just got to ignore the private road sign...
 

ScarlettRose

Leave Only Footprints
28DL Full Member
Awesome! Been thinking about taking a trip up there for ages. So what if something have been done before. Having fun and doing what you love is what matters. P
 

mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
Good stuff, but agree about the watermark. Turn the opacity down a little so it's not solid and it'd be a lot more subtle.
 

bestvue

28DL Member
28DL Member
Interestingly enough Walked around this place back in the early 80's and before it was taken over for an Old Folks home. It was in superb condition back then. Sad to see what time and "people" can do. A similar (less grand) building over the other side of the ELDC car-park is the now derelict "Sargent Mess" and Ex Charterhouse Club.
Thanks for the interesting pics.
 

SParx SP Photographic

28DL Member
28DL Member
Great report and images, if I may make one slight correction. The building is actually the former Officers' Mess rather than an administration building. It's where single officers, and officers on courses or short term attachment to RAF Manby would be accommodated and where all where all officers would normally take lunch. It is very typical of late 1930s Officers; Messes although a rather large mess. It would have been very grand and ornate with lots of wood panelling, and lots of aviation-related paintings, in it's day.
 

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