View Full Version : Thorney Island

Richard Flagg
26-12-2008, 12:51
Just the one photo from me, taken on 7th September 2003 while on the way back to LGW from Orlando Sanford.

26-12-2008, 21:17
My first visit to TI was in 1955 for the BoB display ,...those were the days...cycled from Southampton by way of Hamble (airfield and Flying boat maintenance base),Lee-on-Solent(FAA),Gosport(FAA), cross the ferry..looking at a couple of carriers in Pompey dock as we crossed, thence to Portsmouth Airport...and on to TI...afterwards home to So'ton with a last call at Eastleigh about 8 PM.

30-06-2009, 16:24
First phot is from 1990

Second photo is 2007

This is also 2007

These next few are all in 2009

02-07-2009, 09:50
I was an ATC cadet with a Portsmouth flight in the early 50s and we had a day visit to Thorney. My only real memory of that trip was sitting in a classroom receiving basic instruction on the operation of (I think) a GEE set which the instructor demonstrated by tracking the NAAFI wagon inbound to serve tea break!

t bay ca
07-02-2010, 01:15
My father ended his R A F career at Thorny Island,1919 to1954 his name was W/O Henry John Pearson ,he was in aircraft maintenance. When was the base closed? RPinMB

Richard Flagg
07-02-2010, 09:56
When was the base closed?

March 1976 according to my notes, though it is now in use by the Army as Baker Barracks

07-02-2010, 12:36
AFAIK Microlight flying still takes place from there - the small hangar at N50.48.54.34/W0.56.02.17 is used by the micros...if you look at historical imagery on GE you can see some aircraft outside in 2001.In the latest pictures there is a micro on the peri-track just where the track from the little hangar joins.

08-02-2010, 09:22
25 October 1941, as part of the new aircraft launched Rockets Projectile (R.P) development, a southern area of the airfield was used for testing of the Hurricane installation using prototype Hurricane L1760.

Some round were fired with the aircraft static and the tail trestled so that the rounds went out into the English Channel. Satisfied with that some air launched rounds were fired and high speed camera recorded.

Peter Kirk
08-02-2010, 14:44
I believe Pilsey Island (south of TI) was also used for RP test firing from the air. I am seeking confirmation of this as I don't think it was an "official" range. Maybe it was only used for this testing?

10-02-2010, 08:33
It is very likely that Pilsea Island was used only for the initial trials.

The following statement is taken from a personal account of Grp Capt 'Dixie' Dean who was in charge of the installation testing on the ground and as pilot in the air:

THORNEY ISLAND AIRFIELD - The southern part of Thorney Island airfield was used for the ground testing of RPs. This entailed pointing the aircraft out to sea (tail raised) and firing singles and salvos. Hurricane, Beaufighter and Swordfish aircraft installations were 'cleared' here prior to air firing tests. In addition 'a submarine outline was cut through the sod into the chalk of the downs nearby. This was used to demonstrate Swordfish aircraft RP attacks to Admirality VIPs.

The 'boffins' had to set up high speed cameras to film the air fired shots so the firing aircraft had to be close. Inert heads of course but just fire them at Pilsea?

Spike Mayes
20-08-2010, 21:26
Does anyone know the contractor who constructed Thorney Island in the late Thirties!

01-01-2011, 13:40
Took a wander round the Thorney Island footpath yesterday as part of the Landfall filming location threads I have been running,we passed this old installation just south of Marker Point,an uneducated guess might be a light flak position but I know very little about the specialist small installations ...so over to the experts !!






02-01-2011, 13:15
Sorry about quality,its a screengrab from the 1948 film 'Landfall',at the moment I am working on the theory that it is at Thorney Island 1948ish,but what is the installation that I have circled...looks vaguelly familiar but cannot place it.
thanks baz


Richard Drew
02-01-2011, 13:54
We took the same walk, as an airfield walk it was very boring as you cannot get close to the actual buildings (officially). We stayed to the path and it was a great walk. We found several gun posts, the church and CWGC cemetery with several German burials as well. Fantastic views.


RAF Thorney Island (http://www.atlantikwall.co.uk/atlantikwall/sussex/thorn01/html/page01.htm)

www.atlantikwall.co.uk (http://www.atlantikwall.co.uk)

03-01-2011, 23:33
some type of lighting rig for the runway or simular

22-01-2011, 06:33
Just nudging this post again...any ideas anybody ?
I really do feel that I have seen these a long time ago - too close together for lights I would have thought ?
Any ideas would be much appreciated.

rgds baz

Another Number
22-01-2011, 11:11
Looks like there is something on the poles, flags maybe? Or is it some sort of wiring? Look to be too close together for lighting.

23-01-2011, 08:51
I'm struggling to identify the photographer's location. It looks like the view includes the southern end doors of the southernmost hangar with a blister hangar and Shooting-In Butt.

Can anyone identify the area in the view?

23-01-2011, 09:57
Hi Peter,yes I ID'd it on the original thread...
Post 22 refers

rgds baz

23-01-2011, 10:13
Sorry Peter - I meant I had ID'd the photog location... not the actual installation,sorry for any confusion.It is indeed the southern end of the south hangar.
Still after an ID on the installation !!

rgds baz

23-01-2011, 10:28
Just a thought...anybody got a site plan for that part of thorney island ??
thanks baz

Richard Flagg
23-01-2011, 17:36
Could they be a vent for something?

23-01-2011, 21:06
Yes REF I did wonder about fuel tank vents myself,they do look familiar LOL

24-01-2011, 08:15
There has been quite a lot of changes in that area post-war. Although I don't have an RSP I opine that the Stop Butt was adjacent to the 25 yard range which is extant. By 1948 Meteor aircraft were based at Thorney and I expect that the previous southern approach to the southern hangar was expanded into an aircraft parking area in which case the 'pan' would be floodlit for night use. So, lighting towers......?

Edit: There are two shots here (Vampires & Hunters) showing that area. The 25 yard range can be glimpsed in the background of one. This confirms that the area was an ASP but no sign of the 'towers'!!


26-01-2011, 15:40
I was stationed at Thorney Island from July 1961 to June 1963 starting as a Boy Entrant Air Wireless Mechanic through LAC to SAC.

Initially I worked on Varsities of 2 ANS with a spell in the paint shop stripping the finish from Meteors starting on a Monday morning and when we finished we had the rest of the time off. We usually finished mid- afternoon on a Thursday as pay parade was Thursday mornings and started again on Monday. 2 guys would stay around until Friday afternoon when the Meteor guys would change out the aircraft.

We stripped all the old paint off and it dripped onto hessian and plastic sheets on the hangar floor and we filtered the paint stripper and dumped the gash. Then we would wash the Meteor Monday afternoon and let it dry, Tuesday we sprayed it a light gray then Wednesday and Thursday we applied bright orange dayglo.

When 2 ANS left, Meteors to Hullavingdon and Varsities to Stradishall I think, I stayed on the station flight for a while while an Airfield Construction Sqdn rebuilt the perimeter tracks for 242 OCU with Hastings and Beverlys were posted in.

I remember that Station Flight was a couple of offices in what was left of a hangar on the airfield side (just the offices as the hangar had gone and was used as a car park) and I watched a Hastings TG 508 try to land in a crosswind on 7th March 1962 (good old Google) and was eventually burnt out though all the crew were safe.

I have never seen people move so fast as it was heading for our offices but fortunately it ended up where the ACS guys were building the new peri track.

I left in June 1963 and on 17th December 1963 TG 610 crashed on landing and hit the Air wireless servicing bay and killed 1 guy and injured 4 others.

I went home to Poole for Xmas leave in 1962 and came back in the big freeze before the New Year.

It took the Thorney Flier (the local bus from Emsworth) about an hour to reach the camp and after lunch I struggled to get to the radio bay where my boss W/O Riley told me to go home again until the New Year was over.

I remember doing guard duty at the Deeps guardroom and the duty cook would wake you up as he came through about 5 am. There were 2 shifts 1800 to midnight and midnight to 0600.

I also remember the Beverly XL 132 which had an engine fire on No 3 engine while night flying and it crashed in Chichester harbour. All the 5 crew got out but 2 were unfortunately drowned.

I got involved somehow when the Workshops guys cut the airframe up in the station dump after it was brought ashore in pieces.

I came back to Thorney in July 1964 until November 1964 when I went back to Cosford for my fitters course.

I worked in the replacement radio bay which was on the far side by the Officers Mess I think

I really enjoyed my time there.

Down on the Beverly line playing endless games of crewroom bridge and chase the bitch, bringing in the trolley accs, generators and airbottles using the Karrier Bantam or the tractor, all illegally as I had no licence then.

Fond memories of the good old days

21-08-2011, 08:41
I left out a couple of pics in my previous post...I had been trying to work out how to get a look at the main camp and by a little research found out that the Number 11 bus from the nearby town went across the airfield to West Thorney LOL
Assuming that the chances of being allowed through the gate on the bus were zero - I decided to walk round to the church and get the bus back using the theory that the gate guard would not worry about the outgoing bus.
I phoned the bus company to ask if it was a normal service bus which could be used by the public...they said yes LOL
What I hadnt realised was that the bus stop was a few hundred yards into the MQ area,so I cautioned my mate to stay strictly inside the bus shelter.
We however did get a short interrogation by a pi55ed off Adjutant,but I could put hand on heart when I told him that I had checked with the bus company LOL.
I took a couple of sneaky shots going across the rwy but you will understand why I did not photograph the main camp buildings !



rgds baz

18-11-2011, 11:07

does anyone know what the Watch Office types were at Thorney Island before they were demolished

I had a look on the Control Towers website (Thorney not online) but cannot make out enough detail from the small thumbnails

anyone help ??


19-11-2011, 05:41
The original Watch Office was destroyed by enemy bombing and a replacement was built.

Mike Dunn
11-02-2012, 12:34
Hello. I have only just joined, so forgive me for butting in! This is a very long shot.....

The local archaeology society CDAS is doing some research on Thorney Island, and enjoying very helpful co-operation from people working there at present. We are trying to track down the few records that exist of previous archaeology discoveries made there (Roman pottery, flints etc etc). In particular, some were made in the 1930s (Rev Crookshank) and some in the late 1940s (by the then CO Group Captain Eeles). Does anyone here know anything about any of these?! That's a very long shot of course... but can anyone tell us the dates when Group Captain Eeles was the CO (this was certainly about 1948/9). We believe some finds were made when the COs house was being built. Does anyone know of the Group Captain's surviving family, as they may possibly still retain some of his records and the finds he made?

I would be delighted to hear from anyone who has any interest in this, however small, as we try to put together the picture. May I also say how fascinating this thread is to read (as someone who was a RAF Cadet Force F/Sgt. !!). Any information, help, photographs etc would be really valuable.

30-03-2012, 18:57
Thorney Island closed as part of the the 1975 Defence review. Nothing to do with the runway length..... as a matter of fact the runway had only just be re-surfaced at great cost which is always a standing joke for us RAF people because whenever they do this the airfield always closes down!

30-03-2012, 19:06
People may not know this but you cannot be stopped from entering Thorney as it is a public road through to the Church but of course it is not advertised as such. You cannot be stopped from visiting the church and grave yard but of course you cannot deviate off course from the public road. One of the reasons Thorney closed in 1975.

24-05-2012, 09:02
I have just gone back to T I to attend a reunion Nearly 40 years since I left and I have to say it has altered a fair bit but there again the Army are generally more organised than the RAF.....lol
Lots of new buildings around but the main old RAF buildings are still quite visible.
You do have to register now before proceeding onto the Base and whilst I was checking in at the new posh guardroom at the Deeps a Civvie was in full-flow argument with the Guard Commander about public road access etc. to the church and graveyard. As far as I know he didn't get in!

02-06-2012, 09:38
Slightly off beam ,but does anyone remember when the whole RAF Thorney Island rugby team was killed in an air crash?

04-06-2012, 11:34
]Slightly off beam ,but does anyone remember when the whole RAF Thorney Island rugby team was killed in an air crash?[/QUOTE]

Yes, I do, I did some research into this tragic crash for a newspaper article. The Rugby Team are buried in the T I churchyard.

Details are linked below.

The Navigation School Accident
WITH deep regret we record the
accident at Aldbury, Herts, on
January 6th, in which 16 of 17 men in a
Valetta from the Navigation School,
Thorney Island, lost their lives. They
were members of a rugby football team
which had visited Halton.
Bad weather had caused the aircraft to
use Bovingdon, and the accident occurred
shortly after take-off at 5.15 p.m. on the
return journey. Snow was falling thickly,
and the Valetta struck trees on high
ground some five miles to the north of the
airfield. The only survivor was P/O. P. D.
C'iff, and those who lost their lives were:
F / L . P. Clave, F/O. P. Conde, P/Os.
J. K. Noyce, J. A. F. James, R. Nicholson,
J. D. Pell, J. N. Clay, D. H. Barton,
E. Casey, M. Shimwell, M. P. H. Pollard,
A. W. V. Purcell, M/Sig. T. B. Lightfoot,
F/Sgt. R. D. Marshall, Cpl. K. C. Tatlow,
L.A/C. B. Davies.
F /O Conde was the captain of the
Thorney Island rugby team and P/O.
Pollard, who was well known as a Rugby
Union player, was a member of the R.A.F.
XV last year.


Thorney Rugby team are buried to the top of this picture of the cemetry.





04-06-2012, 13:12

Very many thanks for the information on the TI Rugby team.I remember Tony Purcell when we were in the same billet at RAF Jurby on the Isle of Man. He was an ex Harlequin,he wore the socks when playing rugby for the Station.

A great guy in every way

Paul Francis
30-09-2012, 09:53
I am 99% sure these two images were taken at Thorney in 1948. ARG Archives

30-09-2012, 13:07
That watch office has the same ground floor layout (complete with bay window) to Carew Cheriton, which until now I thought was unique!

Peter Kirk
30-09-2012, 13:35
That watch office has the same ground floor layout (complete with bay window) to Carew Cheriton, which until now I thought was unique!

I thought it looked a familiar design. All it needs is the banks surrounding it.

01-10-2012, 13:56
I am 99% sure these two images were taken at Thorney in 1948. ARG Archives

Mmm! Doen't look like a Thorney Hangar to me I have to say but I am always willing to be corrected If I am wrong.

Peter Kirk
01-10-2012, 20:09
The hangar may have been taken on the Battle of Britain At Home Day on September 17th 1949.


(You have to be a member to view pictures)

01-10-2012, 20:38
I think you may have to be a member to view the pictures Peter?

The hangar is certainly of the right type as that at Thorney.

Back to the watch office, when checking on 'Control Towers' it seems to confirm it as the same type as pictured in NPs post, but look at Tiree just a few entries below it, the same ground floor design is shown again!
That must have been a semi standard design, the 10 pane bay window part is identical - fascinating (or just me!)

Peter Kirk
01-10-2012, 22:25
Whoops, I am a member so it never occured to me :oops:

There are a whole series of pictures that include the same or similar views of the VIP's on the roof of the annex attached to the hangar. I assume the hangar was the one remodelled by the German architects in 1940?
There is also a view of the CT roof with the "24" behind. I assume they are from an ORB appendix.

Spike Mayes
31-12-2012, 23:27
As far as I can make out Thorney Island original tower which was located on the West side of the airfield this was demolished when the new tower was constructed.
I was a fireman at Thorney from 1962-1967 our Crash Bays were located at the New Tower near to the runway intersections.
This tower is listed as a Vertical Split Control Type 2548c/55.
The last time I visited the airfield on an Army open day to my horror they had demolished the tower but the Crash Fire section was being used as stables ,so I was informed sad days.
Hope this helps!

02-01-2013, 15:00
One of the artillery regiments based at Thorney Island, the 47th, has recently been converted from Air Defence to UAV Operations. I don't suppose they'll be authorised to fly them from the airfield, but at least there is some aviation connection there again.

09-07-2013, 15:26
Yes I heard about that too, but Chinooks still come to Thorney from time to time. Last month or month before that I saw a Merlin coming from there.

16-10-2013, 12:34
I have happy memories of Thorney from my childhood as my Father was stationed here until '76 when it shut.

Used to love watching the Andovers and Hercs (still in their brown camoflage then) the odd Argosy or two and of course the occasional visit from 'Snoopy' as my Dad called it, the airborne weather Herc with its huge probe sticking out of the nose.

I spent many happy hours playing in an old Shackleton MK3 that was left to rot over the far side of the airfield, I was gutted when my Dad came home one day and told me they were cutting it up for scrap !

Would love to pay the place a visit someday, I'm guessing the church is still accessible, me and my Brother were Christened there. I found some of my old Thorney school reports the other day which is what got me thinking about the place. I had to chuckle when I read the comments by my teacher 'spends too much time looking out of the window at the aeroplanes'

21-10-2013, 15:36
I spent many happy hours playing in an old Shackleton MK3 that was left to rot over the far side of the airfield, I was gutted when my Dad came home one day and told me they were cutting it up for scrap !

If you are referring to the Shackleton that was sitting on the dispersal near to the Car Club I was the Sgt. i/c in charge of supervising the civilian team who were cutting it up for scrap.
I wish I had nicked a few bits now. :grin:
This would have been Summer 1975. It's the only Shackleton that I can remember that ever came into Thorney for it's final resting place.
Incidently I marshalled the aircraft in and transported the crew to ops. and I will always remember what the Captain and the Engineer said to me and that was: "Surprisingly this aircraft is fully serviceable and that's a first" as he signed off the F700.
Good chance I knew your Dad

22-10-2013, 20:08
Argh, my brothers first posting when he left Halton. I think he arrived as a J/T in 1970.

22-10-2013, 21:02
Skate, you may well have known my Dad, Nick Barnard he worked on the (mobility flight ?) He used to go away with the Hercs on detachment from time to time. He's got some good photos from that time but all on slides, I'll have to get them on to the computer and upload them.

I did a bit of research on that Shackleton, found it was WR973 and was previously based at St Mawgan. which is where my Grandfather was stationed at the time as an engineer, I always wondered if he ever worked on it when it was in service.

I was only a small kid when I was at Thorney, but I can remember it very clearly :)

Peter Kirk
25-10-2013, 00:04
Probably another rhetorical bombing range question :)

In 1934 Thorney was mentioned in a list of airfield bombing ranges (TNA file T 161/1147) and the entry was "At Thorney Island, as you know, we propose to use a portion of the surplus area we are acquiring." This pre-dates the airfield opening by a few years but obviously not the planning of it. What I can't figure out it which area are they referring to? The implication is that it is not the 1,100 yd radius bombing circle. On the 1945 plan (2583/45) it shows the expected area of the island being included but also the saltings east of the Thorney Channel up to coast line (MHWM?) near Chidham. Why would they require such a large area of marshy ground on the other side of a wide waterway? I know that Pisey Isalnd at the southern end of the airfield was used for RP and mine clearance testing but I cannot be sure this was the area referred to in 1934.

Gerry Rudman
25-10-2013, 21:22
PNK, I was stationed at Thorney Island 1970 to 73, the acquired surplus area you mentioned, I heard no knowledge of whilst at Thorney, you are correct in saying it pre dated the opening of the airfield (if it existed:confused:), I can only suggest the range did not happen, just projected.

On the subject of the Shackleton, I was lucky enough to see it arrive and watched it taxi towards the 202 Sqn hangar before turning right onto a pan, the Shack was the largest aircraft to use that taxi-way while I was there. I frequented the motor club just off that taxiway and one particular day noticed that two of the Griffon engines were idling, I can only presume this was to burn off fuel left in the tanks. Before I left the station I inspected the aircraft at close quarters, it had the viper jet modification on the outboard engines, am I right in saying this mod shortened the fatigue life of the type?.

Thorney was a good posting, the Army always seem to occupy the best ex RAF establishments:cry:.
Best regards, Gerry

26-10-2013, 09:57
I left the station I inspected the aircraft at close quarters, it had the viper jet modification on the outboard engines, am I right in saying this mod shortened the fatigue life of the type?.

It did indeed, although a necesity considering the ever increasing all up weight of the MR.3 (108,000 Ib max in the Phase 3) which had gone beyond the original design capability and partly explains why Coastal had the older MR.2s for so long, and why they were adapted for the long-lived AEW role.

WR973, which was the Shackleton that met its fate at the Thorney dump, was actually the first of the type to recieve the Viper jets, first flying with them from Langar on 29 January 1965.

26-10-2013, 10:15
I did a bit of research on that Shackleton, found it was WR973 and was previously based at St Mawgan.

It was at St Mawgan with 42, but only for its last six months of service, primarily being a Kinloss Wing aircraft, be interesting to hear of your grandfathers time at Mawgan in that thread though.

Peter Kirk
26-10-2013, 20:24
PNK, I was stationed at Thorney Island 1970 to 73, the acquired surplus area you mentioned, I heard no knowledge of whilst at Thorney, you are correct in saying it pre dated the opening of the airfield (if it existed:confused:), I can only suggest the range did not happen, just projected.

The trouble is that I need to prove it did happen before I can say it existed but in my mind I also feel obliged to prove it didn't happen so that I can remove it from my pending list. Proof is not easy to come by hence my pending list is quite long. On the positive side I have had a lot of minor successes over the past few years so I will post anything I find. The extra land is a bit of a mystery.

Probably already mentioned that my only memory of Thorney was of the bit of land where the Whirlwinds came from. We used to wave at them as they flew low over the East Beach at Selsey and the winch man always waved back. This was 1961 to 1964.

28-10-2013, 17:46
The Shack was the largest aircraft to use that taxi-way while I was there.

Quite possibly but in 1968 I was part of an aircraft handling team carrying out ground runs on an Argosy post Base 2 inspection (Akrotiri squadron aircraft ). Our very enthusiastic Sgt. Rigger tractor driver managed to put a mainwheel onto the soft grass just 2 feet off the concrete dispersal (Pan). The very same pan that the Shackleton later occupied. He had looked over his shoulder to say something and lost concentration for a split second. Luckily for me I was on the aircraft brakes so was totally helpless ( and very innocent! )

It took 2 days to get this aircraft off this soft ground as it rapidly turned into a farce. OC Eng eventually turned up to supervise things and with his permission a steel towing line and shackles were attached to a the biggest pulling truck available at Thorney with a hope that this would get the landing gear back onto the concrete.
The strain and slack was taking up and this aircraft started to move......slowly....... then there was an almighty "Twang" as the steel hawser tow rope snapped and hurtled at the speed of sound straight through the rear ramp closed door of the Argosy with a loud bang as the now broken towing eye punched a hole the size of a fist through the ramp door.
OC Eng. sloped off back to his office leaving junior Eng O to sort it out. :grin:

We did eventually get the aircraft out with a lot of digging around the port main landing gear wheels and we filled the pit with gravel and scaffolding boards as a ramp on top of the PSP steel matting.

I won't mention the Sgt. tractor driver's name just in case he is still above ground but I did meet up with him again a few years later at Lyneham and we had a good old chat about that little incident. I know he did get a right bo**icking for his misfortune.

28-10-2013, 19:10
The largest aircraft in the RAF at the time, the Blackburn Beverley was operated by 242 OCU at Thorney Island until just prior to the types' retirement in mid 1967, Argosies (which actually used the Shackleton MR.3 wing) were also operated by the OCU.

It's now often forgotten that the first Hercules C.1 delivered to the RAF was to 242 at Thorney, on the 15 April 1967, the last of these original C-130Ks is due to make their last flight tomorrow, after giving 46 1/2 years of outstanding service

19-12-2013, 22:20
:-o the childhood memories come flooding back, dad was stationed here '65 until '69 ,he was a Chief Tech,the photo at the start showing the runways,hangars and the barrack style buildings in the back ground,with the O/R married quarters in the background.

the barrack block to the right housed the camp barber where many a short back and sides was administered whilst sat on the plank across the arms of the barbers chair

to the extreme left is the Sgts mess in the grounds at the front was a conker tree,a child hood memory is of me and a couple of mates throwing sticks up in to the tree to get conkers when Dad came across climbed the tree and standing on a branch shook whilst we were showered with the things.

We were causing such a racket a guy from the Guardroom came across to see what was going on and put a stop to are hi jinks as technically we were off limits

right lads your not supposed to be here so gather what you can and leave and you come down from out the tree sonny

That'll be Staff sonny to you AC said the disembodied voice on high,much to the amazement of the guy on duty

my dad agreed we were off limits and we were duly locked up in the guardroom and released to play table football drink tea and eat corned beef sandwiches after performing several minor jankers.

I lived in 16 Meteor Rd with mum dad,2 older and 2 younger sisters.

As already mentioned there were Andovers the Brown and Cream Beverleys and The Argosy which were replaced by the C130 Hercules

We formed the 1st Thorney Cub pack,and i was brown sixer,one notable trip which could not happen now the whole pack flew in an Argosy from Thorney to Abingdon,we were strapped in lengthways down the cabin and i can remember watching the runway through the perspex viewing panel.

At Abingdon we took part in Para training,certain obstacles on the assault course and then after being shown and practising our parachute landings taken to a hanger and dropped from approx 25ft strapped to a line which was wrapped around some fan contraption which slowed the decent.

Risk assess that sucker!!

some time '67 '68 i remember the WW II Luftwaffe being on Thorney for a week or so ,they were the planes being used in the filming of the Battle Of Britain movie

my friends at the time were Peter Wilkinson,David Doubleday,Bruce Darling,Michael Sorski,Peter Salt,Alan Clarke and Judith Moat who spring immediately to mind, like my old man i am Bill Dickenson

someone mentioned waving to the Loadmaster in the whirley birds from ASR one of those was Mr Westwood,Katrina's dad,her mum was dinner lady at the primary school,pretty sure he received a gallantry award

Enough you cry,i could go on for ever,happy days


Dick Gilbert
01-02-2015, 16:31
Here are some pictures I took at Thorney in October 1965 during a Royal Observer Corps Open Day.


Peter Kirk
01-02-2015, 23:46
Great pictures of the old transports. I took a picture of a Beverley in the two tone brown in 1970 but can't recall where. I think I chucked the photo as it was a very small Beverley in the distance. Most of my shots from 1968 to 1970 were rubbish as the camera was quite old and the wind on was very manual in that you had to count the numbers in the little window at the back. I usually got it wrong! Can't recall the format but the film seemed to have backing paper.

05-09-2015, 16:57
Slightly off topic but I thought I would share this...............

Back in 1971 I was carrying out a compass check swing on a Hercules over the far side of the airfield.
Now some of you may remember that Thorney Island produced the most fantastic mushrooms at certain times of the year. So during a break whilst the Fairies carried some adjustments a couple of us wandered off beyond the compass bay and started to look for mushrooms which required close eye-balling of the ground and it was then I came across this very dull object so I picked it up and cleaned it up. It is as you can see in the photo that I have just taken, freshly polished again and not cleaned since 1971 when I first found it.
My best guess is that it was a brass key tag that had laid in the grassy ground there for years and years.

On the back it reads: Group 111 and the No. 7

My little memento of my time at Thorney Island that I still have.