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Former RAF Tilstock airfield photos
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20092
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:46 am    Post subject: Former RAF Tilstock airfield photos Reply with quote

Morning all,

On Sunday I took junior over to the former RAF airfield near Tilstock, for an educational crawl around the dilapidated old buildings. I've been here a couple of times before, but decided to take him over there before they finally collapse, or are cleared.

The buildings are a mixture of corrugated tin Nissen huts, and brick/render blocks, bunkers, and general-use buildings. Many buildings have already gone, but there remain a good selection to study.

Most of one runway is still there, and is used for skydiving experience days. The other runways have returned to nature, but a look on Google Earth reveals the layout of the place quite well (search for Prees Heath and zoom in near the top of the screen, where the A41 and A49 split).

Post-war, the buildings were used as a Polish refugee camp. A couple were later used for a one-man-band garage business for a time, hence the existence of a Sunbeam Talbot 90 - or rather the remains of.

After having a good look around, we headed a short distance away to the A49, where on at least one occasion, a Stirling bomber attempted to land on the shorter of the runways, ran off the end and through the fencing, before stopping on the A49 itself. With an old photo of said aircraft to hand, we were able to park in the position it found itself in.











This is the original security lodge, close to the main A41, a road that during the war was closed to traffic and now passes through the centre of the airfield.












The fuel tanker, spotted near the surviving runway, hasn't moved in a long time by the looks of it Smile




The aforementioned Stirling crashed through fencing that would have been to the right in this view, swung to the left and stopped roughly where we pulled over, facing away from Whitchurch.



Shropshire is good hunting ground for former WW2 airfields, so a few more will be re-visited when time allows.

RJ
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Rootes75



Joined: 30 Apr 2013
Posts: 2375
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fuel tanker is an AEC / Leyland, looks like the cab has been butchered a bit.

The buildings look so desolate but imagine the atmosphere and goings on during the war period.
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MikeEdwards



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 1676
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick, do you have to talk to anyone about going there for a wander around? I like the idea of looking around some of these places - some of the "urbex" photos are incredible - but don't like the idea of being chased by men with dogs. This looks like a relatively safe one to start with.
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ukdave2002



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3359
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of photo's I took of of it (think its the same base?) from the air about 4 years ago:




Dave


Last edited by ukdave2002 on Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rick
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Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeEdwards wrote:
Rick, do you have to talk to anyone about going there for a wander around? I like the idea of looking around some of these places - some of the "urbex" photos are incredible - but don't like the idea of being chased by men with dogs. This looks like a relatively safe one to start with.


As far as I know it's common land, or most of it is anyway, lots of people walk dogs around the wooded area so I think you'd be ok.

RJ
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Rick
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Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neat photos Dave. The buildings are in the wooded area, towards the top of your second photo, at about 1 o'clock.

For comparison, here's a photo of the Sunbeam Talbot as it was in 2009.



There also used to be a hefty old generator in the same building, powered by a Ford 8/10 engine. Where that went is anyone's guess, probably the melting pot ...

RJ
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Penman



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3920
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
This is the entry for Tilstock on http://woodair.net/UK_Airfield_Catalogue/uk.htm

A useful site for tracking down airfield histories and associated locations.

A/EGCT/Tilstock/Whitchurch Heath/N 5255558 W023908/1942 RAF. 38 Grp. Bomber OTU/Airfield/Active on part of one runway. Remainder mostly gone.
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Rick
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've a book on Shropshire airfields of WW2. In it, there's mention of diversions that were made to Tilstock from other airfields. On one occasion, a total of 62 B17s flew in. They must have been quite a sight, parked all around the base.

RJ
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ka



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
Posts: 600
Location: Orkney.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you would imagine, with Orkney being the base of the Fleet during the war, Orkney and Scapa Flow in particular were heavily defended. The population of Orkney more than doubled with the uniformed presence, with air fields being created over the Islands.
One of the air fields became the main Island airport after the war, and the Naval base in Hatson became an industrial estate, with many of the old hangers recycled into industrial buildings. The air base in the west, called HMS Tern at Tw@tt,[the filter prohibits the a being used, so @ used instead] (the air bases here were called after birds) still has a few buildings on site, but many of the old buildings were sold off after the war, and can be seen scattered all over the Islands as garages, shops etc. still has the control tower complete with Faraday room, and the entrance to the cinema still surviving. Many of the shelters are still accessible, and there is a raising of public awareness/fund raising initiative taking place to save and reconstruct some of the buildings. Last year we held the Vintage Rally there.
Hoy was once the fleet oil pumping and storage facility, with the old overground silo open, and moves to open the underground one underway. The boiler room is fully open as a tourist heritage centre, with the only surviving railway lines still on site.
The Cinema frontage has become a private house, but is used in back shots as one of the best 'Art Nouveau" properties around.
This year will be busy as it is 100 years since the Battle of Jutland, and later in the year, the anniversary of Lord Kitchener meeting his maker just off Marwick Head.
Pictures to follow.
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