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Kevin Mears
10-05-2008, 18:14
With the indulgence of the forum, and in respect of the fact that this section is so far a little bare, I hope you won't mind me posting a couple of posts I made on the PlaneTalk forum a while back regarding the former RAF Tilstock which has also been known as Prees Heath and Whitchurch. I have copied them both across in their entirety. If they break any forum rules or are deemed by the moderating team to be inappropriate then please feel free to delete them.

Prees Heath and RAF Tilstock.

On Saturday I was driving up to Runcorn but because of an accident on the M6 I decided to take the alternative route of the A41 and go up through Whitchurch. It was a beautiful afternoon and Shropshire was at its best as I headed North West.

Familiar names came and went, Hinstock, where I used to work and which played home to the former HMS Godwit. Up past Child's Ercall and Tern Hill, from where, as a Cadet in the ATC, I enjoyed a number of glider flights in the Sedbergh. Then on up the long straight stretch past the largely abandoned wartime airfield at Prees Heath.

This was a place I remembered well from childhood. The junction of the A49 and A41 was the home of the 'Raven', a pub, cafe and amusement arcade which was the regular halt for coach trips from the Black Country to Rhyl and Prestatyn. Over recent years, the site has fell into further decline with the Watch Office now boarded up over on the West side of the A41. The East side still plays host to a skydiving school so the sound of aero engines still reverberates through the woods which are rapidly reclaiming the airfield. A Rally School also operates from the site. As I drove up through the airfield, the dappled light through the trees looked lovely and I thought exploring the site would be a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. I continued my journey North to Runcorn but resolved to return to Prees Heath the following afternoon if the weather remained as nice.

Sunday came and the weather obliged so off I went. Unfortunately I only took the one lens with me but decided to continue anyway. But first of all, here’s a little bit about the history of the place. Prees Heath is exactly what it says, a large flat expanse of heathland. This area proved to be ideal for the establishment of both an Army Training Camp during the Great War and as Military Hospital with hutted accommodation for some 609 beds. Whitchurch, just 4 miles distant, was home to the Welsh Metropolitan War Hospital which had previously served as the Cardiff City Asylum. It seems the good citizens of Cardiff wished their mentally ill citizens to be neither seen nor heard. This establishment accommodated 61 Officers and 839 other ranks of which some 14 Officer beds and 416 other ranks beds were reserved for those with a mental incapacity resulting from their war service. Prees Heath must have been the basic training camp for thousand upon thousand of Great War soldiers but more of that later.

The RAF, during the expansion and inter war period, found Shropshire to be eminently suitable for the building of a number of airfields, mainly for training purposes and both Shawbury and Tern Hill are still in use today. With the coming of the War in 1939, a further huge expansion occurred as the number of airfields required, particularly for training, increased dramatically to fulfill the need for aircrew. The site at Prees Heath was ideal and an airfield was constructed and opened in August of 1942. Three concrete runways were laid and four T2 Hangars erected. These remain today although they have since been reclad. Three are on the West side of the A41 with the other just off the road to the East. During the War, the airfield, renamed RAF Tilstock, was home to 81 OTU with Whitleys and Wellingtons, 38 (Airborne Forces) Group involved in the training of aircrew for Special Operations and the towing of Horsa Gliders, 1665 Heavy Conversion Unit with Stirlings and Halifexes and 42 OTU with Albermarles. 81 OTU eventually became No 1380 Transport Support Conversion Unit. The airfield closed in early 1946 and was placed on care and maintenance until the early 1950’s at which point it was sold. Onto t he photographs…..

My first port of call was to the West side of the airfield from where I could get a decent view of the Watch Office.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9487a.jpg

A drive up and down the A41 alongside the airfield revealed that access could be obtained onto the East side and to the number of derelict buildings which remain. There was in fact a well trodden path used by dog walkers and others so I parked up and went for a wander into the very dense woodland reclaiming the camp. I have no idea of the use of any of the buildings. Another visit when properly equipped will allow me to explore further.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9506a.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9507a.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9508a.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9513a.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9521a.jpg

I've a feeling the next two shots were possibly the former main entrance.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9524a.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9537a.jpg

More buildings, this time taken from the side of the road. The last, which is barely visible, appears to be one of several underground buildings or shelters.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9530a.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9534a.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9569a.jpg

I was wondering about casualties. OTU's inevitably had accidents, and invariably some were fatal. So I set off for St Chad's Church in the village of Prees itself. And any of you who know me will realise it was somewhat inevitable that I would find myself sidetracked.

The Church is in a most beautiful setting with the War Memorial just outside the Churchyard.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9544a.jpg

It was here that I began to see the familiar white Commonwealth Headstones, three of them.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/Young.jpg

Flying officer H N Young, DFC & Bar, MiD. 12 Squadron, RAF. July 1921, aged 22.
Son of Goulder James and Mary Elizabeth Young of Fairview, Prees. At the time of his death, 12 Squadron were flying Bristol F2b’s at Bickendorf.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/Scriven.jpg

14799 Regimental Sergeant Major J R Scriven, 8th Bn., South Lancashire Regiment. 22nd March 1917, aged 45. Serving as Sergeant Major, 51st Training Reserve Battalion at the time of his death. Husband of Jane Scriven, 12, Alfonso Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool.

And the one which gave this thread its title and which sums up for me personally the whole essence of Remembrance and why so many of us are inexorably drawn to recording and remembering our history.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/Mason.jpg


1380052 Sergeant Herbert Mason, W.Op/Air Gnr., 78 Squadron RAFVR. 1st May 1943, aged 20. Son of Solomon and Mary Anne Mason of Prees. On the night of 30th April/1st May 1943, Sgt. Mason was flying as part of the crew of Halifax II W7929, coded EY-S. Having taken off at 2352 to attack Essen, the aircraft had been damaged by flak and was forced to attempt an emergency landing at Docking on the Norfolk Coast. As a result of the subsequent crash, Sgt’s Rudd (DFM, RAAF), Wilson, Pike, Mason and Oldroyd were killed. Sgt’s Davies and Rashbrook were injured. Sgt. Rudd had been awarded and Immediate DFM for his actions on a previous operation to Stettin.

The final two shots for this part are of the War Memorial in Prees.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9562a.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9557a.jpg

The next part uncovers through Headstones some of the uses of Prees Heath in the Great War and a return to the airfield at sunset.

Thank you for your indulgence.

Regards,

kev35

Kevin Mears
10-05-2008, 18:17
I was still curious as to the location of casualties from RAF Tilstock and so I moved on to the village of Tilstock and in particular Christ Church Churchyard and the Churchyard extension which lies around 100 yards from the Church on the opposite side of the road.

The Church itself is very nice but of a somewhat different style to that of St. Chad's in Prees. It provides a place of Eternal rest for over 40 men who died during the Great War. The first few shots are just general views of the Church, the view to the west of the Church, the Lych gate at the entrance of the Churchyard Extension which was opened in 1917 because of the number of casualties and of the War Memorial located in the extension.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9570a-1.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9595.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9596.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9597.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9623.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9631a.jpg

I found that a number of the graves were of Airman, English, Australian, Canadian and South African. A few are pictured below with the information that a few minutes on the internet can reveal.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/Kneale.jpg

2nd Lieutenant J F Kneale, Royal Flying Corps. 21st December 1917.

Compare that with the next one.....

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/forsyth.jpg

2nd Lieutenant Reginald James Thomas Forsyth, Pilot, Australian Flying Corps. 16th February 1918. Died of Wounds. Son of John Lile Lewis Forsyth and Elizabeth Christina Forsyth. 2nd Lieutenant Forsyth originally served with the 1st Light Horse Regiment and came to the Middle East with the 7th Reinforcements, embarking upon HMAT Marere on the 16th August 1915. Was wounded while with this unit on 4th August 1916. After transfer to the AFC, 2nd Lieutenant Forsyth was injured in a flying accident on the 20th January 1918 and admitted to Prees Heath Military Hospital. Sustaining serious head injuries and a fractured ankle, he never fully regained consciousness and died on the 16th of February as a result of his injuries.

Just look at the difference in what is available. It seems that both Australia and Canada are far more adept at putting people in touch with the information they require at no cost. While the NA at Kew is a remarkable resource, the facility for downloading information through the internet lags way behind both Australia and Canada.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/Clack.jpg

29412 Air Mechanic 1st Class C R Clack, 131 Squadron, Royal Air Force. 5th May 1918.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/Cilliers.jpg

2nd Lieutenant Gabriel Pieter Cilliers, No 13 Training Depot Station, Royal Air Force. 10th November 1918.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/Bickell1-1.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/Bickell2-1.jpg

Lieutenant William Burt Bickell, 13th Training Depot Station, Royal Air Force. 12th October 1918, aged 25. Son of Mrs. M J Hancock of Toronto, Canada. Lieutenant Bickell died of injuries received in a flying accident while serving as an instructor. His Brother, 157358 Private George Thomas Bickell was killed in action on the 30th of October 1917 while serving with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light infantry. He is interred at Tyne Cot and is also commemorated here at Tilstock.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/Herford.jpg

1397 Gunner Walter Harrel Herford, 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps. 4th October 1917, aged 49. Died of sickness. Son of Charles James and Mary Jane Herford. Gunner Herford was a farmer from Katanning, Western Australia and enlisted on the 13th August 1915. He embarked at Fremantle on HMAT Benalla on 1st November 1915 for transportation to the UK.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/hughes.jpg

2nd Lieutenant Edward Phillip Hughes, Royal Flying Corps. 27th July 1917, aged 24. Son of Edward James and Louise Ada Hughes of Cape Province, South Africa.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/Treadwell.jpg

959 Cadet Edward Jabez Cooper Treadwell, 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps. 20th September 1917, aged 22. Son of Edward Cooper Treadwell and the late Mary Jane Treadwell. His father wrote that he had served in the Australian Citizens Forces as a Lieutenant and was rejected for active service on three occasions owing to foot problems. He was finally accepted into the AFC and embarked on RMS Omrah in Melbourne on 17th January 1917. He died as a result of injuries sustained in a flying accident near Tern Hill.

A number of the other graves relate to those who died while serving with Training Reserve Battalions at Prees Heath. These were units set up specifically to provide reinforcements to their attatched Line Regiments. This process was constantly under review and subject to changes necessitated by the losses on the Western Front. Many of these soldiers were just 18 and in training at the time of their deaths. Others were soldiers recovering from wounds and acting as instructors or were NCO's too old for active service. I suspect several died from wounds received in action and a number of the deaths appear to be in clusters suggesting to me that Influenza may have been responsible.The grave below I found quite interesting.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/Spencer.jpg

T/309876 Driver C Spencer, 237th Coy (Prees Heath), Royal Army Service Corps. 31st July, 1917, aged 29. Son of Charles Spencer of 2, Faroe Road, Hammersmith, London. The CWGC entry states that Dvr Spencer served as Anderson. I wonder what the reason was for serving under an alias? Age wasn’t the issue.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/gossage.jpg

Major Guy Winwood Gossage, 3rd West Lancs Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. 24th December 1917, aged 47. Husband of Helen Gossage of Wrexham. Helen, who died in 1944, lies with him.

I have photographs of every grave and preliminary details for each soldier should anyone be interested.

The remaining photo's are of a stained glass window at Tilstock, two of the T2 Hangars with the sun going down behind them, one of the Watch Office in the twilight and a random sunset taken from the side of the road about halfway home.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9639a.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9649.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9658.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d17/kev35_/IMG_9661.jpg

And the casualties from the OTU at Tilstock? I found them, at Whitchurch Cemetery. I feel another visit coming on.

Saturday 10th May.

I hope these posts have met with approval. They combine several of my interests, these being airfield history, Memorialisation in all its forms, Bomber Command and the Great War.

Regards,

Kevin Mears

PNK
10-05-2008, 19:35
Kevin,

A great set of pictures.
Not having been to a lot of graveyards I always found it strange that there always seemed to be a military grave whenever I did.

Regards

Peter

Colski
10-05-2008, 21:33
Indulge away Sir... beautiful photographs

I went through there myself last year on my way to Cosford for their annual bash, and you just 'know' when you're in airfield country... I noticed a few hangars and other buildings while driving through... I'd previously been unaware of its existence.

Theres one further down the road too, and another at Alpraham on the A51 which is now an industrial estate..

NJR
11-05-2008, 08:58
Kevin

Some great pictures there, feel free to post many more! REF, CDP and myself are hoping to spend a few days in the Shropshire region at the end of may, anymore pictures or info would be gratefully received.

Regards

NJR

Richard Flagg
12-05-2008, 10:46
Hi Kevin

A really great write up and some lovely photos as well, Please keep them coming.

As Noel said in the reply above, We, along with Chris are looking to come across to Shropshire at the end of the month and if you have any pointers or places to visit then let us know.

I look forward to seeing the next set of photos from your next trip out.

Richard

Lt Cmdr ( A )
14-10-2008, 12:14
Called in at RAF Tilstock, Shropshire, the other week, to see what's left. Here are some of the pictures we took.

http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq183/Fleetairarm2008/RAFTilstockShropshire004.jpg

Lt Cmdr ( A )
14-10-2008, 12:17
Another building in the woods just South of airfield at side of A41. Seems like it was a domestic site / training site. Most of the building pics are in this wooded area.

http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq183/Fleetairarm2008/RAFTilstockShropshire003.jpg

Lt Cmdr ( A )
14-10-2008, 12:19
The old Contro;l Tower.

http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq183/Fleetairarm2008/RAFTilstockShropshire011.jpg

Lt Cmdr ( A )
14-10-2008, 12:21
Another building in the woods, same site as previous.

http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq183/Fleetairarm2008/RAFTilstockShropshire007.jpg

Lt Cmdr ( A )
14-10-2008, 12:23
http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq183/Fleetairarm2008/RAFTilstockShropshire006.jpg

Lt Cmdr ( A )
14-10-2008, 12:26
One of the 5 T-2 Hangars on the airfield site. All have been reclad and are used for storage, grain and general commodities.

http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq183/Fleetairarm2008/RAFTilstockShropshire008.jpg

Lt Cmdr ( A )
14-10-2008, 12:29
http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq183/Fleetairarm2008/RAFTilstockShropshire001.jpg
Another of the T- 2's.

Lt Cmdr ( A )
14-10-2008, 12:31
This one is across the A41 from the main airfield site. Seems a bit unusual to have a main Trunk Road diseccting the site ?



http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq183/Fleetairarm2008/RAFTilstockShropshire002.jpg

Lt Cmdr ( A )
14-10-2008, 12:33
Junction of Secondary runway and perimeter track. You can just make out the Control Tower in the distant background, if you look carefully.


http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq183/Fleetairarm2008/RAFTilstockShropshire016.jpg

Lt Cmdr ( A )
14-10-2008, 12:36
View along perimeter track towards Main site entrance and A41.


http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq183/Fleetairarm2008/RAFTilstockShropshire015.jpg

Lt Cmdr ( A )
14-10-2008, 12:38
A nice neat line of concrete basis. Anybody any idea for what they could have been used for. Approximately 100 yards to rear of Control Tower, if that helps.

http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq183/Fleetairarm2008/RAFTilstockShropshire013.jpg

PNK
14-10-2008, 14:14
Looks a nice location. Is there still an active airfield there?
I seem to remember that the Shropshire Star ran an article on Tilstock, including a simple layout plan. They also covered other Shropshire airfields over a period. That must be unique for a local paper?

Peter

Lt Cmdr ( A )
14-10-2008, 16:44
Hi Peter.
Yes, a Sky Diving Club use a 800 metre length of the secondary runway at weekends and also a Rally School use part of the perimeter track.

airfields man
28-03-2009, 23:07
Early 1990 Rednal Control Tower.
http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e82/airfieldsman/window0002-25.jpg
http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e82/airfieldsman/window0003-22.jpg
http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e82/airfieldsman/window0004-22.jpg
http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e82/airfieldsman/window0005-20.jpg

airfields man
28-03-2009, 23:16
Sorry, Looking at the Control Towers Site it dosen't seem to be quite the same ? Though i definately took the photographs in 1990 !! But where ??? Never was too good at logging things !!

Blackadder
15-06-2009, 19:45
Taken 2009

http://i583.photobucket.com/albums/ss276/anon240577/Tilstock2009MOD.jpg

WJT
15-12-2009, 22:02
Interesting post on pprune:

http://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/399032-tilstock-airfield-shropshire.html

It is notable that the post comes from a first-time poster on pprune and his focus is on sale of the land and its registration as common land. Could there be some sort of local dispute or campaign for public access?

ianbache
24-01-2010, 21:03
Hi all
Here are a few of the internal of the ops block



http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/100_0363.jpg
that one is not inside of the ops block

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/100_0378.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/100_0389.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/100_0393.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/100_0390.jpg

there is a few more plus external buildings

regards Ian

ianbache
24-01-2010, 21:54
Being greedy now heres some more external though

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/DSC01380.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/DSC01378.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/DSC01375.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/DSC01373.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/DSC01379.jpg

Regards Ian

ianbache
20-02-2011, 20:21
I had a visit at Tilstock today, went away from the main site in the woods, and came across the BHG although flooded,here goes

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/DSC02255-1.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/DSC02252.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/DSC02256.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/DSC02253.jpg

also a double turret trainer 11023/40

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/DSC02250.jpg

Richard Flagg
17-05-2011, 00:23
Link received from Rob Truman. BBC report plans to preserve the airfield at Prees Heath / Tilstock Airfield
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-13198657

Cheers

dangerousdave
25-07-2011, 17:46
Anyone know if I can get access to it overnight, or if anyone would object. Do we know who to contact for official permission to stay there overnight?

ianbache
18-08-2011, 11:49
Had a hour around Tilstock yesterday to take some pics and came up with these,

Inside the OPS block 15886-40, a room i hadnt been in before, not with a torch anyway, still visible the ops board

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/100_0629.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/100_0628.jpg

And these in the Guard House 12404-41 the concrete stove plinth still in situ with the heat discolouring to the wall behind where the flue pipe would of been

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/100_0634-1.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/100_0632.jpg

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/100_0633.jpg

Sparky67
14-09-2011, 23:35
Some shots of the control tower / watch office at Tilstock. The EXIF data on the originals says 13 May 1999 and taken with a Kodak DC240, which would be about right.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6198/6148549800_a2fedd48c2_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6210/6148001159_73f7deed94_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6079/6148001815_58001f22ed_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6165/6148550154_10732a45ff_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6158/6148001877_b5cc57d9cd_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6186/6148549910_176aaf6186_z.jpg

Richard Flagg
15-09-2011, 06:36
Nice photos Sparky67, good to see the inside of the tower and the views. When I visied a couple of years ago the tower was boarded/blocked up.

Sparky67
15-09-2011, 22:38
Last one, showing the view across the airfield from one of the larger windows on the first floor...

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6072/6151356004_c86b7fb5f6_z.jpg

Sorry about the quality. That early (company issue) digital camera was certainly very handy but I'm sure my older Yashica SLR would have produced better results ;)

Sparky67
26-09-2011, 09:39
...and an aerial view of Tilstock taken in Sep 2011

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6162/6184221181_f118a6b2ab_b.jpg

Unfortunately my newish camera couldn't see its 8Gb SD card for some reason on this flight so saved this on its internal memory - hence the very tweaked low-res photo ;)

Jenna
30-09-2011, 16:34
Interesting BBC report. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-13198657


Prees Heath Common, owned by Butterfly Conservation, features a former World War II air traffic control tower and runway.

The tower has been identified for restoration by the Meres and Mosses Landscape Partnership.

The group, led by Shropshire Wildlife Trust, has been set up for five years thanks to a 1.5m Heritage Lottery grant.

PETERTHEEATER
02-10-2011, 04:50
Better known to us as Tilstock airfield:

http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=52.93301694626986&lon=-2.6520824432373047&gz=15&oz=7&gt=1

http://www.controltowers.co.uk/T-V/Tilstock.htm

Good news if they carry it through. Presumably the 'field will be sown rough to attract butterflies?

Richard Flagg
23-11-2011, 15:35
Tilstock Tower - May 2008

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SHROPSHIRE/Tilstock/Tilstock2008-1.jpg

terryjohn
02-12-2011, 02:58
6944
Someone wanted the windsock. hope this his ok.taken May 79-on my way to Rhyl.
havin a short break...30 min-not long..on a coach trip..

two_foot_winky
04-07-2012, 16:02
I live about 3 miles from tilstock and love this site. If you ever fancy an airfield walk, you can do here as they have made part of it a nature reserve. Well worth a visit.

PETERTHEEATER
05-07-2012, 06:01
Some personal memories here:

http://www.polishresettlementcampsintheuk.co.uk/tilstock1.htm

The following is an extract from the Butterfly Reserve website:

LOCATION Explorer Map 241 Shrewsbury, Wem, Shawbury & Baschurch
Landranger (pink) Map 126 Shrewsbury & Oswestry
Grid reference for the entrance: SJ557363

Prees Heath Common reserve is bounded by the A49 and A41 roads which meet at a large
roundabout a little over 2 miles south of Whitchurch. The reserve is in the V of the two roads as
they approach the roundabout, which is at the northern end of the Heath. There is a pay-anddisplay
car park near the roundabout and facilities and refreshments are available here.

The main gate to the reserve is a mile south of the roundabout, just off the A49 on its east side.
Drive down a short track which starts almost opposite the junction of a minor road to Steel Heath
on the other side of the A49. There is enough space for turning and for several cars to be parked
near the entrance.

Once at the entrance, you will find that there are several tracks into the reserve. Walking is easy
(except for rabbit holes) and there is open access so you can go anywhere, but please observe
notices about on-going conservation work. To explore the reserve you can make a circular walk,
starting by walking north on the old runway, continuing to the old control office building, and
then back past the old hangers (not part of the reserve) on the west side. This would be a good 2-
mile walk.

Because the heath is essentially flat, larger-wheeled mobility scooters would be able to handle it,
but you can get well into the reserve with normal wheelchairs.

Whitchurch and the village of Prees both have stations on the Crewe to Shrewsbury mainline
railway.

Bigbear
10-05-2013, 21:20
I've had a request from the TV production company working on an episode for the BBC programme "Heir Hunters" for some 1940's period photographs of RAF Tilstock for use in the programme. If anyone has any or knows the whereabouts of any, can you PM please? Thanks.

PETERTHEEATER
06-11-2013, 12:53
The three bomb store Fuzing Point sheds at Tilstock:

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/TilstockFPsGE1999_zps92a9d555.png

Unusual is the location of one on the handle of a 'frying pan' dispersal but is confirmed by a 1945 AM Drawing.

jorge
07-11-2013, 12:48
The building on the dispersal looks totally different to the other two. Is it a later structure?

PETERTHEEATER
07-11-2013, 13:49
No, all three are standard Temporary Hut type with pitched roofs. The one on the hardstand may have been re-roofed or painted. I had originally though like you that it had been relocated post war but the drawing shows otherwise. The usual number of FP sheds was three and the TB version, unlike the Nissen type, it is not practical to move from the original location. Roofing and trusses OK but half-brick rendered walls.........

jorge
07-11-2013, 17:13
Maybe it's in the position you expect but it's two metres narrower and five metres longer than the other two huts - that is what made me wonder rather than the position.

PETERTHEEATER
08-11-2013, 10:58
Thanks jorge, I shall take another look at the RSP and the GE image.

Right; I've done that. The current structure is in the same place but yes, it is longer and not as wide. A 1971 OS 2500 map shows a longer shed too. Unfortunately, the RSP does not have a Building Schedule so I can't check that. TB sheds like this used standard dimension roof trusses which came in 18 foot widths and 28 foot widths so it could be a narrow version. It is drawn with a ISD circle so was an explosive building and the usual complement of FPs was three .

two_foot_winky
14-11-2013, 14:41
Just so you know peeps,


lot 3

http://property.supadu.com/images/ckfinder/64/pdfs/Auction-PDFs/6th%20December%20property%20auction%20web2.pdf


starting at 140,000.00. If you have the money, give it to me as I'd love to own this lot....

loads of buildings and loads of history in those there woods....


Please save this area.

ianbache
16-01-2014, 18:54
This in the Shropshire star newspaper tonight

http://nativemonster.com/attractions/historic-buildings/shropshire-ex-wartime-tower-to-be-nature-sanctuary

At least they say the tower will be renovated and open to the public.

Regards Ian

rod_vw
24-01-2014, 23:48
There is now a fence erected around the tower and scaffolding erected around the building. It can all be seen from the A41 as you cross the old airfield.

ianbache
25-01-2014, 21:00
There is now a fence erected around the tower and scaffolding erected around the building. It can all be seen from the A41 as you cross the old airfield.

Many thanks, rod_vw

At least it looks like the restoration/renovation is about to begin, I am quite looking forward to seeing it hopefully at different stages as they complete the work.

Regards Ian

Smoggieboy
22-02-2014, 23:16
Looked to be busy with a lot of scaffolding and various bits and pieces going on around it when I passed it on Wednesday !!

WiganMick59
24-02-2014, 01:51
Hi All,

Went to see my mates band in Wrexham on Saturday and coming back drove down the A41.

Tilstock tower seems to be included in the SSI protecting a rare type of butterfly.......here are some pics of the watch office and scaffolding!

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040833.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040833.jpg.html)

Crittall twisted and discarded!

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040828.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040828.jpg.html)

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040827.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040827.jpg.html)

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040816.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040816.jpg.html)

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040814.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040814.jpg.html)

The undulating ground and traces of brick masonry around the tower are all that remain of the support buildings.

Directly in front of the tower about a mile away is the 25yard range.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040799.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040799.jpg.html)

I will add a second post for more information regarding the ops block area in the woodlands to the North East of the watch office just off the A41

Mick

WiganMick59
24-02-2014, 02:09
Hello Again,

Here's a picture of the B1 and twin T2 hangars from the existing runway.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040789.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040789.jpg.html)

Meanwhile it seems as though the land containing the operations block and ancillary buildings has been sold at auction in December 2013.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040886.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040886.jpg.html)

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040885.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040885.jpg.html)

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040882.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040882.jpg.html)

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040884.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040884.jpg.html)

I hope the new owner looks after these buildings. RAF opps blocks are becoming less common these days.

Here's a shot of the fire pool next to the generator.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040883.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040883.jpg.html)

Someone used an aircraft tie down as a wine cooler.....unfortunately they for got to remove it!

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040872.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040872.jpg.html)

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040844.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040844.jpg.html)

People can I just say that it was so windy I could hardly stand up......the things I do for "the cause" (lol)

Hope you enjoy...........I took loads more pics of buildings etc.. If you would like me to post them just say.

Regards,

Mick

Another Number
24-02-2014, 09:17
Great stuff, keep the coming Mick!

Peter
25-02-2014, 02:39
Good to see the tower preserved.. what is that bent and rusty metalwork?

WiganMick59
26-02-2014, 04:36
Peter .....to me it's a crittall metal window taken from inside the watch office as previous photos on here show the windows to be blocked up.

Mick

stevie
27-02-2014, 10:16
Great set mate. Looks like a really interesting site with plenty to look at.

I've got a feeling you'll be returning here very soon....to give me the guided tour of the place :wink:

Cheers
Steve

WiganMick59
28-02-2014, 04:40
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040896.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040896.jpg.html)

Above is a rather romantic view of the twin turret trainer. (I've got a new zoom lens for my G3!). Can anyone tell me what the building is below

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040895.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040895.jpg.html)

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040894.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/TigersUK7/media/RMJA-VAIO/2014-02-23%20001/P1040894.jpg.html)

Steve mate .....It's nailed on we'll be going back soon, just let me know when your available :-)

Mick

Peter
02-03-2014, 03:42
Thanks Mick...

jorge
03-04-2014, 07:48
Didn't photograph it as driving but the watch office exterior is now clear of scaffold and is wearing a two colour camoflage paint scheme. Looks very tidy, shame the windows were bricked up rather than replaced though.

Psychopost
21-04-2014, 14:24
Just driven by and noticed the same but the centre upper window now has some kind of metal louvre grill over it

jorge
21-04-2014, 16:48
That one was there when I passed by. Probably something to do with the first floor being set aside as a bat roost.