View Full Version : Warton
Richard E Flagg
There has been a few mentions of Warton on the forum but no thread so I thought I'd start one with this photo;
source and date unknown.
Lt Cmdr ( A )
Nice picture Richard, was that taken pre B.A.D. 2 days ?. Shame now that Burtonwood's gone we only have Warton,left.
With the runway extension I would say mid 1960's. There is a nice aerial on this site http://mario.lancashire.gov.uk/ from the 1960's. You have to zoom in before you can switch to aerial though.
Richard E Flagg
Lt Cmdr, I am not sure when it was taken, I would guess the same as PNK at the 1960's but not sure for definate
Used to fly in there in 125's in my BAe days. Terrible place for birds, I remember. River estuaries & airfields have always been uneasy bedfellows.
Flew into Warton in May 1961 in a Canberra from IAM Farnborough, as I was sat in the rear next to the Nav, there was only a small window above my head so I could not see a lot, remember the hard turn over the Ribble Estuary, rather put the wind up me.
This is an extract from a NARA/Footnote.com picture of Warton's watch office. Two things stood out and wondered if anyone could provide any info.
1) The bike on the left is clearly motorised and includes mudguards. It still looks like a bicycle so a maybe it is a motorbike or moped. Anyone know what make it was and were they common at that time?
2) The strange looking, multi faceted thingy by the other bike look familiar but I can't place it. Anyone put me out of my misery?
Looks like a James Autocycle PNK, it had a 98cc Villiers engine.
The more I look at that ...thing, the more I wonder why it was up against the cycles, and why someone thought it was significant to take a photo of it!
Totally convinced that the light motorbike is a James Autocycle though. I actually had one of those when I was ten. The first motorised plaything I learned to ride on a field at the back of the house.
The strange thing looks a little like a Ju88/Do217 nose LOL
The radio comms fraternity report that the two Harrier hover pads formerly located on the Warton disused runway have been removed.
One here and the other just to the north:
hi isent the muly faced thingy a window from a bommer turret that sort of shape i would think
We used to live in Wrea Green we had moved from St Annes on sea in 1959, I went to primary school there and later to Carr Hill in Kirkham.
My Father worked at English Electric at Warton and it was at Warton that the P1 Lighting and later marks were often test flown, I remember one Saturday morning Going (into the office) with my father and meeting Brian Trubshaw who we all remember from Concorde. My father and I then watched him take a Lighting down the runway and turn it on its tail and kick in the afterburner and disapear Vertically.
The noise was incredible and so was the heat wash and we were a very safe distance away. But it was one sight I will always remember seeing that silver arrow disapear from view in a clear blue sky.
Also I seem to remember that security was very tight at that time, But My father often took me in at weekends, and later when English Electric was Incorporated into BAC at Warton I saw the only TSR 2 ever built to fly there, it was the XR219 when the government scrapped it I remember my father coming home and the air was blue as he thought the Plan to scrap the project by the Government was Stupid (not his exact words, ) as the plane was revolutionary and to go for the F111 was going to eventually cost more anyway.
I was young then but later I found out that he had been correct in his assumption..
In the fifties and sixies I seem to remember My father saying a lot of experimental flights were held at Warton he was there from 1956 to 1966
Hope this helps fill a gap.
Regards The Dragon
PS if any one remembers my father he was Alan Hadfield
Thanks and welcome to AiX. As an ex BAC/BAe/BAES man I am familiar with Warton and I share your late Dad's view of the cancellation of TSR2 but then, I'm biased. Nonetheless, it put me off Labour governance forever. The cancellation was, and still is, controversial. I might have had some sympathy with the given reasons but the almost immediate destruction of the build jigs, and airframe components showed that the government wanted no possibility of resurrection.
It was the impression made on spectators viewing the vertical climb performance of the Lighting that resulted in the Saudi Arabian order of the late '60s.
Welcome to the thread.
I doubt very much however if you met Brian Trubshaw at Warton when he was flying a Lightning, Im fairly certian the person you met was Roly Beamont.
Thank you very much for the welcome I really apreciate it.
Actually it was The Late Trubby, he was there to have a bit of fun as he stated to my father. He wasnt there to officially test fly the plane, it was something he wanted to do apparently, I was only about 11 at the time, and afterwards we all went to the Grapes in Wrea Green . I did however meet Roly on several occasions one of which (and to be honest I dont know if he was testing that day) was when My father took me to see the Flying Bedstead that then became the P1127 and of course later the Harrier ( another functinal aircraft that the government seem not to like now)!!!
Thanks for the welcome Peter
Yes I also remember dad being a staunch labour man untill the TSR2 Debacle, he had worked on that Design project from the beginning and new the craft intimatly, so when it went T up, it really made him angry.
I do know that about the order from the Royal Saudi Airforce also, Dad was headhunted to lecture The Royal Saudi Airforce Cadets in the late 60s I was writing to one of the Cadets as a pen pal but later lost touch, but he's still around just like me. I still have the Cufflinks with the Crossed Sabres and Palms given to my father as a present.
The Full Potential of the Lightning was never fully exerted, I know that even now it would be hard to beat for pure performance,
Now we have more and more reliance on the Hi Tech on board gizmos !!!. but I loved watching the Firebirds Display Team Perform, in the interim period from the disbanding of the Black Arrows and the later formation of the Red Arrows.
North by sea
I have recently watched a documentary on the TSR2 and share your Dads opinion. I am at a loss to undersatnd how a plane with such performance and respect from all corners (inc usaf) could be scrapped due to anglo american relations...
North by sea
Alot of you on here will be aware of all the info but I still found this link worth a look
When it comes to the TSR2 I am gobsmacked that apparently it was inteneded that it could operate from 3000 foot grass strips. The saga does arouse a lot of arguement, personally I dont think it was going to be the great white hope that everyone thought it was going to be.
And it was going to replace the Canberra,only replacement for a Canberra is a Canberra!
i was at warton 10 site on summer camp duty for the auxilliaries when they came for their fortnights summer camps duties
10 site was a domestic site where we lived in nissan huts with the doors hanging on by a thread as a result of the p1
later named the lightning going thru the sound barrier, that would be about 1956.
i worked up in what i think was called blackhorse lane, a radar unit, i was there as a teleprinter op. it was mad busy
had two incoming msges daily one in the morning and one in the afternoon and in three months only ever sent one msge
and that was back to leeming advising them of my return date.
warton was the only place i ever got paid in bed. did a stint on fire watch at blackhorse lane all night then went to bed
and woke up by a sergeant , and two officers saying its alright lad stay where you are, its only your pay
eh what a life it was
hi pnk, i remember these "bikes" quite clearly, they were very common in the fifties when i was a teenager and cyclist,
they were called autobikes but i dont know who made them or anything about the engines. the rider had to pedal
like the clappers to get them started and if they hit an incline had to pedal to assist the engine. i chased after a policeman
who was riding one and had no lights, he pulled me the night before said i had no light till i showed the dynamo . when i pulled him he shot down a sidestreet hope this of some help
Great stuff leemingboy. Sometime after my original post I recalled seeing a restored motorised bike. Can't recall where or if it was the same type.
am i misunderstanding something here, but i would say that aircraft is a canberra, a relative of mine was killed
in a canberra taking off from an airfield in germany
sorry, i didnt know your father but i was stationed for a short while at warton and worked at a radar station in heyhouses lane lytham, i was there for three months upto september 1956 and remember only too well the p1 (lightning) and the holes
in our nissan hut door were testimony to the times it went through the sound barrier, we could see daylight through
Warton and Samlesbury are going to be made part of an enterprise zone. From what I read in the paper a couple of firms have said they are pleased as it means they have access to a secure runway. Im wondering if this means BAE will let the runway be used by other aviation firms, but could it mean the end for Blackpool airport?
i would have guessed that if bae had been able to they would have tried to package woodford as machesters 2nd airport.
Richard E Flagg
From the collection of Nigel Bailey-Underwood
Warton I would say, looks like the British Aircraft Corporation factory sheds in the distance.
I think the Jags could be development aircraft S06 & S07.
Jaguars were developed & built at Warton. Also the hangars are correct for Warton.
It was taken here:
Richard E Flagg
Warton UK MIL AIP - 6 Jul 2006
The headline in todays Lancashire Evening Pot was about the Hawk production line re-opening at Warton, obviously its been transferred from Brough. According to the LEP there have been 998 Hawks built to date.
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