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Peter Kirk
20-12-2008, 16:26
I came across this photo on the Life pictures site on Google.

http://images.google.com/hosted/life

The picture seems to be postwar, maybe 1950's but is it Eastchurch? The lack of background suggests it is on a hill.

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn128/PNK_album/SomewhereinKent.jpg

Paul Francis
20-12-2008, 17:03
Yes its Eastchurch

Trikeman
14-01-2009, 12:14
I'm not convinced it is Eastchurch, it's the same design but you should be able to see Stamford Hill behind, there are also other buildings around the Eastchurch Hangar. Have a look at the comparison aerial shot I took of Eastchurch's remaining WW1 hanger - I accept that it will have been reclad and the doors removed and boarded, but the background on the mystery picture doesn't look right. So I'll need more evidence to convince me, I hope it is as it would be a rare picture!
Trikeman
http://i722.photobucket.com/albums/ww221/trikeboy/Airfields/MysteryHangar-1.jpg

Peter Kirk
14-01-2009, 21:47
Trikeman - I know what you mean. I had a similar thought but I could only come up with Eastchurch. The foreground appears to drop as well but it could be just a trick of the angle. Let's see if anyone has canything else to add.

Macaw
27-01-2009, 01:18
HI

I used to Christmas at Greatstone, with my grandfather (who was asked to guard the first German aircraft shot down on British soil in Sept 39 - only to prise off the engine plates -now in Duxford archives) and listened to his stories of British aviation, especially his stories of Eastchurch whenever 'Those magnificent Men' was shown on TV. As an aircraft engineer he had researched the history of aircraft manufacture in Britain and was probably somewhat dismayed at his early retirement due to some Government rethink.

I am hoping to go to the Sky Sheppey Celebration of the centenary of British aviation in July 2009.

I am looking for the airfield site layout of Eastchurch as it was in 1940, it had probably not changed much over the years and some buildings do still remain. I have seen the buildings picture of what is was in those early pioneer years and want to know how much of that was still there in 1940 and the perimeter layout.

Does anyone have a good idea of what I may have looked like or a source that I could research further.

many thanks.

Paul Francis
27-01-2009, 09:55
I have photographed everything at Eastchurch (and guess what PNK - the buildings are all still there!). There are a number of 1910 hangars (one complete row) and some of these may have come from Shellbeach. Most other buildings are RNAS types.

CDP
27-01-2009, 18:21
Macaw - RAF Museum, Hendon should have the site plans for Eastchurch.

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/coll ... /index.cfm (http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/collections/archive/index.cfm)

Chris

Peter Kirk
27-01-2009, 21:49
and guess what PNK - the buildings are all still there

Ah you spotted that comment then! :oops:

This site may also be of interest http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=2116.0
I knew I had seen the name Trikeman somwhere before.

Richard Flagg
20-10-2010, 21:35
The obligitory group photo from today!! Great to see everyone and it was a very enjoyable day.
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Eastchurch/20101020Eastchurch10-1.jpg
L-R across top:Bigherb, Bucanneer66, jason, Canute, REF, PNK and Medwayboy, norwichpaul in the yellow jacket

If the chaps who went would like a copy of the photo, PM me your email and I will send it across

medwayboy
21-10-2010, 13:51
Posted some of my pics.. Hope it's ok here.... If not I can move them...

http://s762.photobucket.com/albums/xx270/stroodboy/RAF%20Eastchurch/?albumview=slideshow

http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx270/stroodboy/RAF%20Eastchurch/eastchuch1.jpg

http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx270/stroodboy/RAF%20Eastchurch/eastchuch3.jpg


http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx270/stroodboy/RAF%20Eastchurch/eastchuch6.jpg

http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx270/stroodboy/RAF%20Eastchurch/eastchuch7.jpg

http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx270/stroodboy/RAF%20Eastchurch/eastchuch8.jpg

http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx270/stroodboy/RAF%20Eastchurch/eastchuch9.jpg

http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx270/stroodboy/RAF%20Eastchurch/eastchuch12.jpg

http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx270/stroodboy/RAF%20Eastchurch/eastchuch14.jpg

http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx270/stroodboy/RAF%20Eastchurch/eastchuch16.jpg

http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx270/stroodboy/RAF%20Eastchurch/eastchuch17.jpg

Canute
21-10-2010, 19:34
Nice pictures there Medwayboy - interesting to see HDR in action.

... the view from the mother of all Battle Headquarters
http://i542.photobucket.com/albums/gg402/chrisprayner/DSC_0525Large.jpg

Peter Kirk
22-10-2010, 17:20
Can't add much to the photos added apart from this one which made me think of "Whack Attack" :)

3218

Canute
22-10-2010, 23:29
You've got to buy the book (after all Norwichpaul made us all do so in order to get back out of the prison) but here's a picture of the Battle HQ anyway (there's a better one in the book)
http://i542.photobucket.com/albums/gg402/chrisprayner/DSC_0519.jpg

ianbache
11-05-2012, 22:54
Heres a image from 1917 showing a Sopwith Triplane N5445 outside the hangars at Eastchurch

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/sopwithtriplanen5445.jpg

PETERTHEEATER
12-05-2012, 07:27
RNAS personnel salvaging parts from the remains of Bristol Scout Type C, No. 1255, between aircraft sheds at Eastchurch, after its crash on 31 August 1916.

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/EastchurchIWMHU86931.jpg

Courtesy of Imperial War Museum IWM (HU 86931)

tigger
20-03-2013, 09:52
Noticed this via the Kent & Sussex History Boards (there's a link earlier in this thread)

http://www.pfr.co.uk/documents/Appendix%2010.3%20Eastchurch%20Airfield%20%28low%2 0res%29.pdf

Then/now photos, history, plans etc. Very interesting read

PETERTHEEATER
21-03-2013, 08:23
Thanks tigger a useful reference document that has pulled together some nice photographs and drawings with modern additions. I did not realise that there was a BHQ there. I now see that it is indicated on the D of B database.

Daveg4otu
05-08-2013, 17:39
I have just received a 1915 photo(see link) of what was described by one of
those in the photo as a French aircraft at . The photo's donor
is the grandson of the gentleman second from the right . He was a master
carpenter from East Cowes IoW. According to him the aircraft was the first
French machine to visit Eastlchurch and was a bomber.


Here's the link to the picture...
http://www.hampshireairfields.co.uk/189.jpg (http://www.hampshireairfields.co.uk/189.jpg)

Richard Flagg
09-12-2013, 21:14
Eastchurch Battle Headquarters, photos taken on 30 April 2010

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Eastchurch/20100430Eastchurch10.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Eastchurch/20100430Eastchurch14.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Eastchurch/20100430Eastchurch15.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Eastchurch/20100430Eastchurch55.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Eastchurch/20100430Eastchurch51.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Eastchurch/20100430Eastchurch22.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Eastchurch/20100430Eastchurch24.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Eastchurch/20100430Eastchurch32.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Eastchurch/20100430Eastchurch44.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Eastchurch/20100430Eastchurch49.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Eastchurch/20100430Eastchurch45.jpg

Peter Kirk
09-12-2013, 21:43
I don't think I would be able to get down there now! Is it going to be preserved? If not there must be some expert labour amongst the residents to at least stop it falling apart.

cliveh
10-12-2013, 08:18
Is the site generally accessible or is it within the prison grounds now?

cliveh

Another Number
10-12-2013, 09:07
All with in the prison grounds, it was an arranged visit.

cliveh
10-12-2013, 09:10
Thanks

cliveh

ianbache
15-12-2013, 21:24
Here is a early image from Eastchurch, depicting a Voisin LA-5, 8521. c/o Krul, any idea off the date?

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/voisin_la-5_8521_zpsfb279a3d.jpg (http://s550.photobucket.com/user/LLanbedr/media/voisin_la-5_8521_zpsfb279a3d.jpg.html)

Regards Ian

Tally Ho
08-01-2014, 22:32
Thanks

cliveh

You can drive down the road leading to the prison as the people do who visit the prisoners, there still a lot of wartime buildings to be seen which have been converted to stores and maintenance buildings but no trace of any hangers you can even make out where the Sheppy Light Railway crossed the road leading to the prison the Railway closed in 1956 there was a halt at eastchurch and a siding for the Airfield.
One of the Airfields later claim to fame was that the author of All Creatures Great and Small was stationed at Eastchurch during the WW2.

GI_
13-01-2014, 23:33
You can drive down the road leading to the prison as the people do who visit the prisoners, there still a lot of wartime buildings to be seen which have been converted to stores and maintenance buildings but no trace of any hangers you can even make out where the Sheppy Light Railway crossed the road leading to the prison the Railway closed in 1956 there was a halt at eastchurch and a siding for the Airfield.
One of the Airfields later claim to fame was that the author of All Creatures Great and Small was stationed at Eastchurch during the WW2.
Please see this. Hope you like it, it took weeks of research and building to get it almost as it was during world war 2. Even built Hang the expense, the B17.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwuImJLNPH0

Peter Kirk
20-04-2014, 11:44
In the PDF mentioned in post #16 there is a copy of airfield plan 239/33 and in the middle of the landing field there is a ship type shape with a number in it. As this version is unreadable can anyone tell me what it is referred to in the index? I am assuming it is a bombing target but the aerial photos show it as a circle with a centre dot.

(Note the link mentioned is no longer valid)

PETERTHEEATER
20-04-2014, 14:20
The site www.pfr.co.uk is down for essential maintenance (it says).

Sunbury8
23-10-2014, 18:45
Trikeman - I know what you mean. I had a similar thought but I could only come up with Eastchurch. The foreground appears to drop as well but it could be just a trick of the angle. Let's see if anyone has canything else to add.

Perhaps I can help identify hanger mentioned at Peter Kirk #1 as I lived in Eastchurch Prison between ages 9 years to 21 starting in 1956 (Dad a prison officer and we lived initially in the tin huts adjacent to water tower on top of Stamford Hill, then various other houses in this prison). Now am 69

Played all round the prison estate as it was then, and most origional airfield buildings were still in place. Have personally been in the hanger you are questioning and it was one of five that ran along what is now Brabazon Road. Google Earth map with the 1960 historic timeline shows the hangers.

185901859118592

You would not see Stamford Hill in the hanger pistures as the veiw is looking down rear of the hanger towards the feilds/marshes.

There is now a new prison block built over where the original hangers were.

The picture with two boys was myself and the son of prison farm manger on top of a 'den' we built on waste ground just behind a brick shed shed at the bottom of what is/was a road called 'Airfield Veiw' near it's junction with 'Wrights Way'. That brick built shed is still there (shows as last image in Medway Boy #10) as are the memories. Happy days!!

I'm not an histroic air field enthusiast, but came across the hanger image on a nostalgia trip, recognized it, and thought I could help.

Regards

Sunbury8

Peter Kirk
24-10-2014, 09:58
Thanks for your memories. It must have been an amazing place to have grown up. We used to go on holiday to Leysdown in the late fifties, carrying on a tradition set by my grandparents who went there in the thirties. My dad remembers Eastchurch as a busy area for biplanes in those days, watching them shooting targets at Leysdown.

I assume the den was a "self build" as at a similar age I used to construct shelters to enable me to play outside even in the rain although in my case in a garden in south east London :)

Sunbury8
25-10-2014, 11:50
Thanks for your memories. It must have been an amazing place to have grown up. We used to go on holiday to Leysdown in the late fifties, carrying on a tradition set by my grandparents who went there in the thirties. My dad remembers Eastchurch as a busy area for biplanes in those days, watching them shooting targets at Leysdown. correct

I assume the den was a "self build" as at a similar age I used to construct shelters to enable me to play outside even in the rain although in my case in a garden in south east London :)

Hi, thanks for reply to my input. You are correct on the 'self build' bit, plenty of materials to hand, and even scronged and intalled a coke fire, carpet and wall insulation to keep it cosy.

Yes, growing up inside a prison was a fantastic experience. The prison at this time was HMP Eastchurch, and apart from a 'persistent offenders/old lags wire fenced enclosed section on Standford Hill away form the main part, it was operated as an 'open prison' and an operational farm mainly producing agricultural produce to supply the london prisons. Also recal a few pigs and cows, and a grain store.

If my memory serves me correctly, the comparison picture that Trikeman @ #3 shows with bricked wall and timber walls was adapted to store (clamped in straw) root vegetables, potatoes etc. + farm equipment.

Other hangers including the one you are trying to place, had among other miscellany, stored minesweeper floats, coiled ships cables/hawsers, and large mobile foam fire extinguisher. Also stocks of WD stationary and office equipment. Great places for 10+ year olds to explore!

It appears that a lot of the original building uses as a airfield, carried on being put to similar uses in the prison context.

I feel a bit priveleged to have walked in places where so many famous aviators (+ Winton Churchill) walked, and even fished of the beach at Leydown road out towards Shell Ness at a position very near Muswell Manor.

Prisoners were organised into working parties and went about working on the farm/land, maintainng the properties, and when I bought my first car (rusty Ford Zodiac), I managed to get allocated a prisoner who was a garage owner, and he helped me to strip the engine and put in new valves/decoke etc.

Of some historical note, when we first went to Eastchurch, HMS Cornwallis, a large timber sailing ship that had been sunk and adapted as a jetty at Garrison Point fort, and served as 'HMS Wildfire' (which at that time was a designated navel shore station), had been removed and all of the massive oak/teak timbers had been bought to Eastchurch prison for the prisoners to recover the very substantial copper nails from the timber.

Only recently I found that my Grandfather who was a Marine, served on the seagoing vessel HMS Wildfire, which was at that time the flagship of the Admiralty C in C for the Nore (Thames estuary and adjacent costal areas), and based at Garrison Point.

We had total freedom to go to all areas (other than the official prison accomodation and administration areas), and had use of the prison/airfield swimming pool, and sports facillities.

The prison was very much an 'open prison' and part of this 'rehabilitation' process involved prisoners going very unofficial walkabout to Eastchurch village for ice creams and other goodies. Technically not an 'escape' as most came back when they had had enough or it was meal time!!

Despite building two new prisons on the site, they still have a job keeping the inmates in. Coincidentally Micael 'Skullcraker' Wheatly that got out in May this year, ended up before recapture, re-doing an armed building society job at Sunbury Cross not half a mile from where i live. Perhaps Eastchurch is following me!

Anyway, good luck to you any your colleages with your future exploration and recording of information about airfields.

Regards

Sunbury8

Peter Kirk
25-10-2014, 20:37
Those minesweeper floats may have been Oropesa floats which were also used as the basis for a submersible target adaption for Coastal Command.

Sunbury8
26-10-2014, 12:59
Those minesweeper floats may have been Oropesa floats which were also used as the basis for a submersible target adaption for Coastal Command.

Having looked at image of low tide at Eastchurch Gap exposing an oropesa float in the mud, what you say could well have been what they were, although I have a feeling they seemed a bit bigger, and from how they were stacked several floats high, there were two floats side by side as apair and having a couple of steel tube spacers approx 3 foot long fixing them rigedly apart as a towing pair.

Perhaps they were modified as a pair for target use rather than sweeping.

I cannot find any images via google of what I felt they looked like. Perhaps I am losing a bit of recall accuracy:sad:

Will keep looking.

Thanks for giving them a name

Sunbury8

Peter Kirk
26-10-2014, 20:14
The splash target version was usually two floats side by side joined at the front and back by metal bars with tubes set at an angle to spurt water into the air as they were dragged along in the water. The Eastchurch Gap examples are not clearly defined but the frame type structure could be a method of joining them. The submersible versions would have a lot more superstructure and a weighted keel. The superstructure could be adapted to imitate a submarine coning tower or later a dummy schnorkel device, both for ASV homing. If these were used at the Leysdown range (probably only splash type, if any) that might explain the hangar storing but having thought about it I suspect the empty hangars were used by Chatham/Sheerness as storage along with the War Office etc. Probably a bit of history that will never be in any book!