View Full Version : Ternhill
Is the white dotted line a runway across the airfield??
Yep, runway 17/35, of course for heli's only.
Here's a couple of Ternhill's tower. Airfield is used by heli's from DHFS mon-fri and by the gliders of 632 VGS on a weekend and bank holidays.
Sorry just found the tower photos section. I'll post one of these on there. If required I'll remove these, if a mod lets me know.
Great photos Smoggie, it is a Chief Flying Instructors Block, to Drg No 5740/36 with a modern VCR. Not seen a photo of the tower there before.
Was this always a relief landng ground? I have b/w pics of lancs at ternhill and I often wondered about the base...
The lancs were probably at Ternhill in its wartime capacity as an Aircraft Storage Unit (ASU) (RAF Stoke Heath). Its other function alongside the ASU off course being a Flying Training School (FTS) - hense the Chief Flying Instructor's Block as posted above
Thanks for the update. The old store hangers(Stoke Heath) are used by a potato farmer, will try and get some pics of his hangers next time I'm over there. The Army use the domestic site,including the 2 WW2 hangers, we just have the airfield side. The gliders use their own hanger( poss a T2 ?? ) but I am willing to be corrected.
The old hospital was taken over by the young offenders unit.
Just found this photo of the hangars and other buildings on the south side of Tern Hill, close to Stoke Heath YOI, taken on 30 Jan 2010.
And what looks like a dispersed site here. (http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=52.86469310859851&lon=-2.5139054370929887&gz=17&oz=10>=1) Same trip.
Sorry about the DV panel getting in the way !!
Are you sure Tern Hill has a CFIs block? I know Shawbury has one.
Incidentally apart from the ATC gliders when did TernHill last have a fixed wing movement?
Yep, Ternhill has a CFI block
Incidentally apart from the ATC gliders when did TernHill last have a fixed wing movement?
bout 4 years ago a PA-28 ? arrived from Syerston on a quick visit, also think someone landed at Ternhill with a problem and only stayed for about 2 hours poss 2-3 years ago.
bout 4 years ago a PA-28 ? arrived from Syerston on a quick visit
Whilst working on the married quarters about 7 years ago Llanbedrs Meteor WK 800 (Z) made a low overshoot over Tern Hill callsign T-Bird 14
I can certainly confirm it was the CFIs block - received a severe hat on interview from the last CFI standing to attention in his office whilst watching a Gazelle outside making a hash of an engine off! Incidentally, the 'top' part of the tower is a new build over the old building - the original wooden tower was so rotten it had to be replaced.
The Stoke Heath side of the airfield was an MU during and after the war, with Lancasters being just one of their specialities.
Over on the Control Towers website there are a couple of pictures of the tower at Tern Hill. Although credited to me I found them at the back of a drawer in the VCR during a clean out. I think I guessed the date at 1985, it seemed about right.
One of the signal square, its upside down as was in the tower at the time.
Will get a better one asap.
From the 14th March runways 23/05 became 22/04, all documents are being changed. Signs on the airfield may take a little longer !!
The heli Tee's remain 23/05 to confuse us even more on night flying !!
Few from Ternhill ATC
Empty radar room
Im suprised it ever had radar apart from PAR, I would have thought Shawbury would have done the approach work.
The staff used to get bussed over from Shawbury along with the students, spend all day then get bussed back with the required heli's being based all day.
Think 2 PAR positions, approach and a director but will try and confirm them.
I will try and get the chronology correct but excuse me if I make some mistakes. The RAF withdrew from Ternhill in 1976, they kept the airfield and turned the domestic site over to the Army. The tower was the only building that was kept in regular use. The ground floor accommodates the Fire Section and Ground Radio Servicing Flight. Up to about 1989, Ternhill was a posting for Controllers although parented by Shawbury, I am led to believe that the radar in place at that time was a Plessey ACR 430, a short range radar. I was told that the circular concrete structure opposite the Bellman hangar was the radar base. I'm not technically minded but I would suggest that any radar placed on the airfield at Ternhill is going to be limited by that big lump of sandstone which is Tern Hill. I would expect the radar room to have only two consoles, one set up for Approach/Director the other for Surveillance Radar Approach (SRA.) I don't know when this radar was removed, it was certainly gone by the end of 1994 when I pitched up. The only radar procedure to Ternhill at that time was an SRA to Runway 28 which was done from Shawbury.
When the contract for the Defence Helicopter Flying School came up the RAF exaggerated certain aspects of their capacity. One thing that they were presented with was the prospect of providing an instrument approach every 90 seconds at peak times. I don't know who did the maths but the solution was to install a CR62 Precision Approach Radar at Ternhill. Given that no PAR had been put into Ternhill before the actual installation when quite well or so it seemed. Trying to get it calibrated was a nightmare with no runway or approach lighting the calibration aircraft had all sorts of difficulty getting a good line up on the runways. There was also disagreement to exactly where the PAR base was situated in Lat/Long, but to top it all they found when they swung the cabin round it was coming off the rails, the circular base was not circular. The cabin had to be dissembled the base re-laid and months later it was eventually calibrated. I doubt if it was used for more than 100 approaches. Shawbury had enough capacity, the overlapping directors patterns were a nightmare and integrating instrument traffic into the unique visual circuit procedures at Ternhill was very difficult. I'm not sure when it was taken away but it must be getting on for ten years.
Smoggieboy mentioned students being bussed out this happened for less than a year at the start of DHFS. The original idea was to have the offices at the side of the hangar tarted up and to be used for student briefing/debriefing. It turned into a full blown squadron building with an aircrew feeder. After another squadron building was completed at Shawbury it was abandoned for a couple of years and then lent to 632 VGS.
What's happening next? We live in interesting times.
That sounds a bit like the grand plan for Barkston Heath in the early nineties. It was going to get an ILS on 06, PAR and a Tucano squadron was to be based there. Well the PAR consoles were put in (they had been at Wildenrath), well when I say put in they were put in the approach room but not connected up. The ILS quitely died a death, although the sites for the markers had been identified, and the Tucano squadron spent a grand total of a fortnight in residence.
Here are a few photos of hangar sites at Tern Hill...
South of the airfield
On the other side of the A41 opposite the Warrant Road junction. The green clad oblong buildings are fairly recent additions.
In the Buntingsdale area 1km away from the airfield...
...and an unknown building on a site 600m to the east of the airfield.
Lt Cmdr ( A )
Sparky 67, your last photograph of the white building, is a photograph of the Camp Cinema.
have been down to Tern Hill today and taken some shots of it plus the hanagrs and also the remnants of the camp swimming pool. Will upload them as soon as I have checked them.
6596 Photo of Camp Cinema at RAF TernHill.
Another view of Camp Cinema showing elevation of Projector Room.
660366026601 All that remains of the Swimming pool at Ternhill, was told that it had been filled in years ago, also the pathway leading upto where the swimming pool entrance would have been at one time.
The entrance to an almost complete site, possibly domestic, i don't know. It lies to the south of the airfield, but there is no way you can get into it to photograph, mores the pity. Anybody any ideas as to what it was ?
More domestic site ? pictures
' D ' Type hangar, now used as a Sports Centre and lamalla hangar off Warrant Road opposite the airfield.
Nearest view I could manage of Control Tower, are these the original C type hangars ? and what the airfield has come down to, practice ground for helicopters !!!
Nice photos Lt Cmdr ( A ), until seeing them I didn't realise there were two different types of C-Type hangars there, nice comparison to see them next to each other. The airfield is now a relief landing ground for Shawbury.
... didn't realise there were two different types of C-Type hangars there, nice comparison to see them next to each other.
I'm confused (common occurrence these days).
SD161 / 1942 states 3 'C'. 1944 states 4 'C' and 1 ARS, as does the Maintenance Command 1945 audit.
From the aerial the two types of 'C' don't appear to be next to each other. How many 'C's did this place have?
What are these stepping stones? HERE (http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=52.87115353333805&lon=-2.5282180309295654&gz=18&oz=8>=1)
and SD161 states 1942 radio facilities were Landa 1 GP and Landa 2 TR and D
And finally I note that the surface of the peri-track in 1942 was not the usual concrete of tarmac, but 'armour coating'
and what the airfield has come down to, practice ground for helicopters !!! Oh the horror! During the Foot and Mouth outbreak Ternhill was within hours of becoming a giant crematorium, at least it's still an active military airfield. The "Stepping Stones" are concrete markers for the notional runway 17/35, there are also Day-Glo marker boards at each end.
It has 17/35 marked at each end on the peritrack as well that stands out nicely.
As promised, the two wartime Lancaster pictures I have in my files. Comments on the back are the first one:
lancasters at Ternhill each of these having done 20 ops over germany. Wing picture:
lots of wing and motor there..
Talking with a cousin recently. His father was a scrap dealer in the 40's. He recalled him visiting Ternhill. He was interested in the Spitfires awaiting disposal. He was quoted £100. He thought that was a bit steep and was told "no, no that's for ten".......! He didn't buy them simply because he didn't have the room and it would have meant taking on two more employees to dismantle them.
Deleted my earlier post as the photograper has kindly given his permission to publish these shots from 1962 and 63. Tried to find the ones with buildings in the background but alot are just too nice not to publish !
Thanks to Graham Hutchison
I have comparison shots taken this week, tried to put them in the same order as the ones from 62/63.
Same hanger but totally wrong angle.
Unfortunately Mosquito less ! The 116 has been removed from the hanger wall !
The front office buildings are used as the guard force dog kennels
I borrowed a book of Smoggie "To Fool a Glass Eye" which has a couple of pictures of Ternhill taken by the Luftwaffe in September 1940. I scanned them and I'm trying to work on some comparisons. We couldn't work this one out at first but Bluntingsdale Hall is at the top of the picture. The caption from the book is: German photo of Tern Hill (roughly 30 miles NW of Birmingham), 27 September 1940. Decoy bombers were painted on a thin coat of paving material. The Germans photographed the work before it was completed.
Ternhill UK MIL AIP - 6 Jul 2006
Ternhill's entry in the BINA from Jan 1982
Bernard Anthony Morris
I was at Ternhill from 1965-1971 with 2 years at Valley on the CFS(H) Detachment.Thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ternhill.Best camp that I have been on.Worked mainly in HSF and Components Bay snd later in Hollerith Recording.No Mosquitoes at Ternhill in my time.Just Whirlwinds,Sycamore,Siouxs,Gazelles
I remember cycling to Ternhill in the late 60s and seeing a Argosy that had departed from Woodford the previous week marked with a US civil reg and the operator was Universal it seemed strange that work was been carried out on it at Ternhill.
Bernard Anthony Morris
Egnic,probably delivering something,maybe a chopper.
Here is a pre 1977 map and details from Tern Hill, note at the bottom it states in 1985 as disused
I suppose that it is correct to say its disused as the station closed in 76. RLGs dont get that much use.
It's a bit of a mish-mash of information. As far as I know the airfield has never been closed for any length of time. As for number of aircraft movements, they have dropped off in the last couple of years due to various problems with the flying training system and are probably half of the 30,000 per annum we had a few years ago.
Remember this cinema site well. When I was stationed at RAF Stoke Heath in the early 1950's we used to walk down from Roman Camp to see the films. At that time there was also a Gym on the site.
Opposite to the cinema on the A41, was a transport café that supplied very good Fried Eggs on Toast with a mug of Coffee for 2/6. Ambience somewhat better that NAAFI on Roman Camp. This probably gave rise to the statement. " No Ambition And F A Interest".
One of the Cafe Waitresses was well known for her personal services, (by special arrangement!)
No comment on this one.
Back to the Astra Cinema site proposal, seems a good idea.
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