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Remembered Today:

History of Cranwell


issigonis59
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Hello all,

Would anyone have any information relating to the use of Steam Traction Engines in the building of RNAS Cranwell and Wittering My Uncle's Engine (Maclaren - Captain Scott) was built in 1913 but was commendeered for haulage and the building of Cranwell. Any photos / pictures / info would be extremely helpful. The Archive doesn't appear to have anything and we are trying to pull some background information together as the Engine will be on display at "The Great Dorset Steam Fair" for their WW1 Special event.

Kind regards

Rachel

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Rachel,

The RAF College at Cranwell has an excellent library. I suggest that you write to the librarian and ask him/her. They have some fascinating photos of the RNAS era and may possibly have some of the construction period.

Roger Austin.

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Thanks Roger, I have already been in touch with the Archivist and Librarian, but they have very little information and only one photograph with a Foden Steam Wagon taken December 1915.

Kind regards

Rachel

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Rachel,

can I refer you to a small book (booklet?) titled Cranwell RNAS & RAF Photographs, by Peter Green & Mike Hodgson, published by Midland Press, ISBN 0-85780-014-1.

There is a photo on page 6 showing a traction engine and a couple of lorries. It's not a good photograph but I'm sure there is enough there to recognise the make of engine.

I am very surprised (not really) that Cranwell's librarian can't help.

Regards,

Mike

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One potential starting point could be the IWM's collections, e.g. use a keyword search like "Royal Naval Air Service" then select 'Collections' then filter by 'images' and it'll turn up several hundred.

Alas the problem is with the metadata, e.g. they could describe something as "Sir Humphrey Harrumph inspects the Boy Mechanics" when in fact the most striking thing in the picture is an airship, a ship or a steam engine like what you're looking for.

Obviously I wouldn't recommend looking at several hundred images but I'm sure if you varied the key word searches you'd find something.

For a totally unrelated example, here's a painting by Sir John Lavery of some of the Pulham Pigs, but with a towing tank in the foreground:

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/16236

Here's a Boer War era steam engine:

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205317685

And so forth.

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