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Report - Stenigot with a twist. Jan 2011.

Gh0sT

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
I read a post/report here a couple of weeks back done by Oldskool and thought to myself - i,m going to go do that as the dishes were quite a unique blot on the landscape and would be good subject to photograph.

As Oldskool did such a good job with his photo's i wont go into too much historic detail as his report was done so well and his pictures were stunning.

The journey went really well , our route was planned,approx 134 miles from door to fence, had the wife as my navigator which was good as i enjoyed the company (normally solo you see ;)) and we found RAF Stenigot with relative ease.

On the way up there on the A46 my eyes were everywhere looking for potential new sites to explore (more about this later) - for people that dont know Grantham/Newark area is steeped in history and there are loads of old RAF bases and Ex M.O.D sites dotted around aswell as some really old industrial sites.

From a couple of miles away i could see the massive Radio comms tower and i used that as my marker to navigate the car straight to our entrance point. Below you can see the transmitter hall and the only potential thread as the occupants of the house look right over the site.

A Brief History :

RAF Stenigot was a World War II radar station situated near Donington on Bain, Lincolnshire, England.
It was part of the Chain Home radar network, intended to provide long range early warning for raids from Luftflotte V and the northern elements of Luftflotte II along the approaches to Sheffield and Nottingham and the central midlands.
After World War II, the site was retained as part of the Chain Home network. In 1959 it was upgraded to a communications relay site as part of the ACE High program, which involved adding four tropospheric scatter dishes.
The site was decommissioned in the late 1980s and was mostly demolished by 1996.

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The entrance was easy, with the normal signs dotted about stating that you would be trespassing - i quickly convinced the wife that once we were on the site we would be out of view of the house and the alledged cctv that monitors the site.Also once the pic's had been taken we would be fine and probably just be asked to leave. We headed up the old road past the old transmitter hall at pace to get out of view of the house and cameras also aware that a farmer and about 20 workers were working in the field right next to us. After a short walk we could see the dishes and their final resting place.

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As i expected the size of these dishes cannot be under estimated or judged by a photograph - i have used a picture here with my wife in it to try and give the dishes some sort of scale.It was bitter cold which had an adverse effect on the wifes bladder so under one of the dishes it was christened with a golder shower. ( i knew we shouldnt have stopped for coffee!!).

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And one more of the dishes in lying side by side.

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I managed to get into the Transmitter Hall which isnt reported very often. Although not a lot to see, apart from the old aircon unit it is still worth getting in there.

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So, all pictures taken we headed off back home with the intention of getting a glimpse of the County Asylum, as traffic was so bad and we were starting to lose daylight we never managed the Asylum but i remembered a potential site i had seen on my way through Newark.
I pulled into a bus stop on the A46 at the random site, legged it across a field to get a better view and stumbled upon this place.

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This was a solo expore at this point as the wife had just warmed up and was planted firmly next to the heater in the car.
I had to be cautious as i read a warning sprayed on a wall about a risk of asbestos, this place has been trashed by the chavs and i dont think i saw a single window that hadnt been smashed, it had also been set on fire at some point.
A few externals :

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A few internal shots.

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The only clue i could find to this place was a sign outside one of the main halls, it had been ripped off the wall and left to rot on the floor, i should have twigged something wasnt quite right by the amount of racist comments sprayed on almost every wall , the sign read something like Al Jamia Islamic School. I got home and did some research and actually discovered that it was RAF Syerstons Officers Mess.
Syerston was built as part of the bomber expansion in the late thirties, but did not open until December 1 1940. The first aircraft were Vickers Wellingtons crewed by Polish flyers. In July 1941 they were replaced by members of the RCAF flying Handley-Page Hampdens. From December 1941 until May 5 1942, the base was closed whilst a concrete runway was built with two T2 hangars. When it re-opened, it became part of No. 5 Group. In 1942 several squadrons of Avro Lancaster aircraft arrived. In 1943 Bill Reid of 61 Squadron won a Victoria Cross on a mission flown from Syerston.
On November 17 1943 the operational squadrons departed, and the station was used for bomber crew training, led by Captain Robert White. It became known as the Lancaster Finishing School in January 1944. From November 1943 to July 1944 there was also a Bombing and Gunnery Defence Training Flight in attendance with several Wellingtons, Spitfires, Hurricanes, plus a few Martinet tug aircraft, all employed in brushing up the skills of air gunners on air to air exercises. The LFS left on April 1 1945, with No. 49 Squadron arriving from RAF Fulbeck later in the month who only had one operation before leaving to RAF Mepal in September.
The mess was built in 1940 and closed in 1970 when RAF Syerston ceased to be operational.
The officers mess is connected to aviation legends such as Guy Gibson VC, Gus Walker and Bill Reid VC, who were all based here during the war and used the officers’ mess for dining, drinking and accommodation.

This is a biggish site that could be explored more, there was one part that was underground but looked flooded and had the asbestos warning on the wall right by the entrance.
Finally an archived shot of some of the bombers crews that would of eaten slept and socialized in the Officers Mess.

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If you stuck with it, Thanks very much for reading ;).
 

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Last edited:

Jordan Barker

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#2
Thanks! Went to the mess Hall today to find its still standing!
Very easy to find and a really good place to look around!
Was going to venture into the "warning" area but will be going back with a few masks just in case!
 

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