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Wings over Sealand - RFC Centenary event at RAF Sealand


MBrockway
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I've just received notice of this upcoming event next month. I have no further details and I'm not connected with it.

Pals with an interest in the RNAS and the RFC should find it very interesting.

Cheers,

Mark

WINGS OVER SEALAND - CELEBRATION

A Celebration of the Centenary of the Royal Flying Corps at RAF Sealand

9 – 12 June 2016

At

St Bartholomew’s Church, Sealand CH5 2LQ

(5 minutes from Chester on A548)

(5 minutes from St David’s Park Hotel A55)

The celebration will include stalls, display boards, artefacts, talks and films

Admission Free

Refreshments on Sale including our Famous Bacon Baps, Hot & Cold Drinks, Snacks and Homemade Cakes

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Some supplementary information on the early days of RAF Sealand from the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT)....

7.20
In early 1915 the Royal Naval Air Service used a field at Queensferry, Flintshire for what has been called a ‘small temporary storage and packing depot’ for aircraft (129615), with a canvas Bessoneau hangar (Pratt and Grant 1988, 33). It was later used as a Relief Landing Ground (129614) for the First World War airfields at Shotwick (see 7.21 and 7.22 below) (Pratt and Grant 1988, 33). Fields at Borras Lodge north-east of Wrexham (85404) were used for a similar purpose between 1917 and 1920 (Owen and Silvester 2005).

7.21
Local engineer Thomas Murthwaite Dutton had established an aircraft construction and repair business and flying school on land at Queensferry, Flintshire (70825) by 1915. He built a large hangar there to act as a workshop (120882) and trained both civilians and officers for military flying. Requisitioned (along with surrounding farmland) in 1917 by the Royal Flying Corps, Dutton’s site was cleared as it lay within what would become the flying field of an Aeroplane Acceptance Park and Aircraft Repair Section known as Queensferry or South Shotwick (44421). Beginning life in 1917 or 1918 this required the construction of nine hangars of a type known as a General Service Shed (or Belfast Truss hangar) in three blocks of three and a range of welfare and accommodation buildings, workshops and the all important sewage works, amounting to a total of about 75 structures.


7.22
North of the Great Central Railway line a Training Depot Station and Aircraft Repair Section, confusingly called Shotwick or North Shotwick (44420) were established in 1917. Again it had a flying field and 36 buildings and other structures; seven General Service Sheds in three coupled pairs plus a single example, and buildings for the repair and maintenance of aircraft, offices and instruction of trainees.

7.23
Two brick and concrete structures on the boundary of South Shotwick are also of interest. Recorded for CPAT’s Airfield Hinterlands project as a Battle Headquarters (123543) and a pillbox (123657) they were thought most likely to date to the early years of the Second World War. However, the appearance of the pillbox on Aerofilms image 6128, dated 1921 would indicate that it is at least 20 years older than that, and may in fact date to the First World War. The nature of construction and style of the Battle HQ is similar to that of the pillbox and so may be of the same date.

..
..
8.5
In 2001 the three surviving pairs of General Service Sheds at the former North Shotwick airfield (85590, 85593 and 85594) were Listed as being among the earliest purpose-built structures associated with military aviation in Wales (Cadw 2002), and are in fact the only First World War hangars in Wales. New uses were found for them and two pairs were subsequently restored and are in good condition, while one pair remains unrestored. The Battle Headquarters (123543) has partially collapsed but the pillbox (123657) appears complete and is in good condition. The area has become the focus of a major redevelopment project, the Northern Gateway Development, ‘identified for over 3 million square feet of employment space and some 650 houses as part of a strategic regeneration solution’ (spawforths.co.uk, online 2013). Significant numbers of First World War and inter-war era buildings stood at both Shotwick sites until 2010/11 when the south site was levelled apart from three post-war buildings; the south flying field also survives. On the north site 15 buildings survived at the time of site visits made for the Cadw-funded airfields project in 2012 (see CPAT Report 1128), but since then several have been demolished. The future of Wales’ only surviving First World War aerodrome appears to be sealed.

8.6
The approximate location and appearance of Thomas Dutton’s aircraft hangar (120882) are known and as the site has only been used as a grass flying field since its demolition there is the potential for sub-surface evidence to survive. There are no surviving traces of the landing grounds at Queensferry (129614) and Borras Lodge (85404), but this is unsurprising given their temporary and ephemeral nature.

For the full references etc. see the source available here: CPAT Report No 1226 - First World War Scoping Study


Incidentally, CPAT 1226 is also a very good overview of all Great War sites in NE Wales.

Go here for a description of CPAT's Military Airfield Scheduling Enhancement Programme

Also CPAT have published some excellent material on the Great War that will be of interest to all Pals - e.g. on Kinmel Camp and its environs.


Enjoy!
Mark


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Thanks Mark for those details regarding Queensferry. I shall look out for the Kinmel info.

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Thanks Mark for those details regarding Queensferry. I shall look out for the Kinmel info.

Geraint - this is the easiest place to start ...

First World War Commemoration

Enjoy!

Mark

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