View Full Version : Woodford

15-09-2009, 13:03
BAE Systems has announced the closure of Woodford at the end of 2012:


Peter Kirk
15-09-2009, 20:21
I dread opening your next post! More bad news!

Come the time it may be worth contacting BAE to see if they have any material that could be saved for the Archive. Otherwise we'll take it in turns to "skip watch".

Better still could we organise a clearing party to remove all the stuff they would throw for them?

Just a thought!

Chris Lowe
15-09-2009, 20:46
I remember going to Woodford in the 80's to measure some things up for work that we where doing on the ATP and they had a load of Buccaneer's in for refurb, and it was fascinating being shown some of the original A V Roe drawings for some of their early bi planes.

It was just before my visit there that the hanger collapse occurred that damaged Lancaster KB976 that was there being restored to airworthy condition, I wasn't unfortunately allowed to go have a look.

It's a shame such a historic place is closing.

16-09-2009, 18:22
BAES used to have a small heritage room, not far from the main gate, and manned by volunteers. I think they managed to preserve a lot of records on the history of the site. I seem to recall that author and sometime ARG member Harry Holmes used to be part of the management team. Does anyone have his details so that we could enquire about what's happening to their archive?


21-05-2010, 12:56
Hi all
here is a image sent to me showing the Lancaster production line at Woodford but unfortunately has no date

07-09-2010, 18:13
I have so many memories of 'Woodford' airshows in 70's and 80's and currently live just 3 miles from the front gates to the factory. I often drive near the airfield wishing I could have been there 50-60 years ago, there would have been some incredible sites to see in our local sky.

It would make real sense to keep the airfield open for corporate/GA aircraft, you would have thought that being so close to Manchester city centre would be a real advantage; but it just doesn't seem likely to happen.

There have be plans locally to try and arrange just one more Airshow before the airfield closes. The idea came about in the run up to the general election, however it was driven by the loosing candidate, so not sure what will happen now.

I would have thought that there are so many significant links to aviation history it should be possible to secure some sort of reprieve but no one has come forward with a suitable case so far.

I'm sure many tears will be shed when the last aircraft departs from the field.

Richard Flagg
12-12-2010, 18:15
From the BBC;

BAE Woodford Nimrod plant to 'close early'

The BAE Systems' Woodford plant, near Stockport, could close a year earlier than expected, the BBC has learned.

It has emerged the plant could close within months, instead of in 2012 as originally planned.

The plant, which employs 450 people, was due to close in 2012 following the government's decision to abandon £4bn upgrading of the Nimrod aircraft.

BAE systems declined to comment but the BBC understands an official announcement is due on Thursday.

It has emerged that the plant could effectively close in the early months of next year.

The company is also expected to confirm it will start to dismantle the Nimrod planes before the end of the year.

A union spokesman said this would represent "the world's most expensive pile of scrap metal".

The decision will affect hundreds more staff in Lancashire who were expecting to provide "in service support" for the Nimrods.

12-12-2010, 20:36
The Woodford staff won't dismantle the MRA4s - too expensive. They will be dragged out into the open and munched by Komatsu 360s. I understand that there is a plan for BAE Systems to make some form of Avro heritage centre from the sports club on the far side of the airfield (near the golf course) and that would remain after the airfield was covered in houses. I am told there are two of the development MRA4s in that area already - perhaps one will be kept? And perhaps it is not too late for XM603 to be towed over there as well?

13-12-2010, 12:57
Apparently only one MRA4 has ever flown.

Yes it is sad, but what I find even more sad is that a project which in 1996 was going to cost 2.2 billion for 21 aircraft ended up costing 3.5 billion quid for no aircraft. If BAE maangement had any decency they would sack those responsible, and MOD and the RAF would sack those responsible on its side.

And what we forget is its our money thats been wasted!!!!

13-12-2010, 18:45
Apparently only one MRA4 has ever flown.

Five MRA.4s have flown, unfortunately this is one project that should never have gone ahead in the first place.
The RAF didn't really want another Nimrod development (as excellent as the MR.1/2 was in its time), one major reason is the tight internal space for both kit and crew, something that was realised with the previous fiasco, the Nimrod AEW.
No one else wants the aircraft as it would supremely expensive to operate this unique type, and the sad fact is that maritime reconnaissance is a dwindling role worldwide.
Apparently most of the airframes are being offered to museums, though I can't see why anyone would want to display a large example of a very expensive and backward project which should never have gone ahead, and never entered service.

As very sad as it is to see Woodford close and it's employees made redundant, I guess the Nimrod cancellation now just brings forward the closure date.

13-12-2010, 23:53
I have been told that all the Avro heritage stuff should go to the new Heritage Centre which they are trying to set up in the old Sports Club. If that does not happen I presume all the heritage material, that which does not get skipped that is, will go to the BAE Systems archive at Farnborough.

24-12-2010, 12:02
A certain storage airfield in Shropshire was asked could they park 7 Nimrods in open store ? The answer was yes so I guess we'll have to wait and see !!

24-12-2010, 23:38
One major problem for this country is the lack of long range SAR cover.

And I didnt realise five Nimrods had flown, and yes they do have major problems with the lack of space on board. How do the specials get own with over 20 people in the crew?

Nimrod R1 schematic

06-06-2011, 11:54
BAE Systems has just sold its Asset Management Organisation and the 151 BAE 146 and Jetstreams that it owned (for a knock-down price).

The future of Woodford is now on the table:


01-08-2011, 20:11
I didn't attempt to take any photos of XM603 through the fence but somewhere in the house I have photos of it arriving in 1982 (cammo paintwork) and static at most of the airshows after that.

edit. just come across this : http://www.edendale.co.uk/ANW/WFD.XM603.3.html ...maybe they'd allow use of one or two of the photos if the group didn't get a suitable one

Chris Lowe
02-08-2011, 00:00
Taken through the fence XM603 http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v392/Buccaneer66/Airfields/Woodford/CRL-Woodford-0711-001a.jpg

25-08-2011, 17:55
Woodford closed at 1632 today as the last aircraft departed. 87 years flying finished with a Piper Cherokee . It would have been nice if it could have been the BBMF Lanc.

26-08-2011, 22:42

If the above link will work, some recent pics and video on the NWAN forum.


11-10-2011, 22:06
From another Forum - exit Coltishall, enter Woodford:

"Just heard that JCB have bought the BAE Woodford site and its being reinstated as a operational airfield. Its being turned into a bizjet park and also a aircraft scrapping and reclamation centre."

This might be a better site for the job than Coltishall. A massive, experienced workforce on tap, lots of big hangars and perhaps the location will benefit from the development area status granted to areas suffering from the massive redundancies within BAE Systems.

Of course, there is also a track record of scrapping aircraft at Woodford!

11-10-2011, 23:05
Of course, there is also a track record of scrapping aircraft at Woodford!
Pointed out in no uncertain terms on the recent ARG visit!

Reinstated as an operational airfield - wonderful.

The alternative of building lots of 'affordable houses' in Woodford was not popular option.

12-10-2011, 12:24

Woodford site to be used as film studio12 Oct 2011, 10:51

The 500-acre Woodford Aerodrome site near Stockport is to be turned into a film studio.
Regional screen agency Vision+Media has confirmed the move but it is not yet clear how it will fit in with an ongoing public consultation over future uses of the site.
Earlier this year Stockport Council, Cheshire East Council and landowner BAE Systems held a series of public exhibitions and design workshops to find out local people's views and aspirations for the site.
Private as well as social housing, a medical centre and sports facilities were among the most popular options.
On Wednesday Stockport Council said it was still preparing a 'Supplementary Planning Document' which will be formally adopted in spring 2012 and guide the future redevelopment of the site.
Meanwhile, it appears that BAE, which is closing the site, has been holding talks with Vision+Media and a businessman called John Harvey about using it for film production.
Harvey incorporated Woodford Film Studios Ltd on September 26 and Vision+Media publicised the new location in its newsletter on Tuesday.
It said: "The site offers huge production build facilities, office accommodation, vast expanse of hard standing and green space for technical parking plus many individual annex buildings for storage, construction and prop houses. Full phase power & water facilities are present throughout the site."
Vision+Media's Kaye Elliot told media news website How-Do the move could revolutionise the film industry in the region which was lacking a production space for feature films.
Elliot and BAE's spokesperson were unavailable for comment.

14-10-2011, 03:59
Story in Manchester Evening News of 13.0ct.2011 suggests the 'film-set' option could be set to go ahead.


Wonder if they would keep the airfield operational? it would certainly be convenient for flying cast members in and out ....

14-10-2011, 10:00
Thats interesting as I herd that Vision+Media were laying staff off :confused:

Kaye Elliott works for Creative England!

14-10-2011, 19:40
Yet more, from Manchester Evening News on 13 Oct:

BAE Woodford could become film studio after sale bid acceptedby Adam Jupp
October 13, 2011

BAE Systems has confirmed it has accepted an offer for its site at Woodford, which could see the site turned into a film studio
The 500-acre plot is set to shut in March next year after the government axed its Nimrod programme.
BAE, Stockport Council and Cheshire East Council have held a series on public exhibitions to seek locals’ views about what should be done with the site.
Now, BAE, which earlier this month announced 3,000 job cuts, has confirmed it is in talks to sell Woodford.
The MEN understands the bidder, whose identity is not being revealed at this stage, has ambitions to convert the site into a film studio.
Screen agency Vision + Media has identified the site as a potential film set and the organisation this week published a newsletter, which said: "The site offers huge production build facilities, office accommodation, vast expanse of hard standing and green space for technical parking plus many individual annex buildings for storage, construction and prop houses. Full phase power & water facilities are present throughout the site."
The MEN understands Vision + Media is not the organisation in talks to buy Woodford but would seek to work with the new owners to attract film projects to the region.
In a statement BAE said: "BAE Systems can confirm that we have accepted an offer for the BAE Systems site at Woodford in Cheshire. We are in negotiation for the purchase of the site and the sale will be confirmed, subject to contract. Further information will be made available upon conclusion of the sale."

18-10-2011, 17:09
From the Manchester Evening News:

BAE Woodford site purchaser revealed as JCB heirOctober 18, 2011
Close Map (http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/#)
http://m.gmgrd.co.uk/res/634.$plit/C_71_article_1462075_image_list_image_list_item_0_ image.jpg?17%2F10%2F2011%2017%3A09%3A35%3A408

The billionaire heir to the JCB empire is behind plans to buy BAE Systems' Woodford site, the MEN can today reveal. Jo Bamford hopes to tie-up a deal to buy the 500 acre site in the coming weeks, with a view to transforming it into film studios, housing and a leisure complex, including an equestrian centre and point-to-point race course.

Once the deal, understood to worth be up to £100m, goes through, Mr Bamford will install a team to run the Woodford operation, led by business associate Harry Harvey and director of operations James Fletcher. British producer Piers Tempest, a friend of Mr Bamford, will lead the film studio element of the project and the MEN has been told he has already had talks about shooting a blockbuster at the site.

A spokesman for Mr Bamford, grandson of Joseph Cyril Bamford, the founder of JCB, said he will have a personal office at Woodford, from where he will run some of his own personal business interests. However, there are no immediate plans for it to become a key site for JCB's operations. Mr Fletcher, a former national newspaper journalist who also runs his own PR company, said: "We are really excited about the potential for Woodford and we can't wait to get started. "We know that BAE have worked closely with the local community and neighbouring authorities, Stockport and Cheshire East, to safeguard the site's future and we have vowed to continue that work.”

BAE announced it was closing the Woodford site after the government scrapped the Nimrod project. The firm confirmed last week it had accepted an offer for the site. Earlier this year, Stockport Council, Cheshire East Council and BAE held a series of public consultations to get locals' views on what should happen to Woodford, with housing and sports facilities among the most popular submissions.

The deal to sell the site to Mr Bamford could conclude in under a month and the MEN understands his plans involve creating a film studio at the south of the site, while a mix of affordable and luxury homes would be built to the north. Woodford's historic links with the aviation industry will be maintained with the retention of the runway and the development of a new heritage centre on the site of the original Avro hanger. However, all this would have to comply with a Supplementary Planning Document being prepared by Stockport Council.

Mr Fletcher added: "The local residents have expressed a number of concerns and desires during the recent consultation period and we have attempted to embrace those thoughts in our plans. "We will continue that work with the local community as soon as we are in a position to do so. "We are committed to the area, a number of our team live locally and Woodford will become the long term HQ for our business interests and we hope to become part of the Woodford community.

"It is difficult to discuss our plans in any real detail until contracts have been completed and Stockport Council have published their Supplementary Planning Document." BAE has also confirmed it had received a previous approach to use Woodford as a film location, after being approached by agency Vision + Media, who had brought “senior LA production company executives” to look at it. Vision + Media yesterday issued a statement, saying it hoped to resurrect talks it had begun once the deal is completed. It said: “We hope to continue these discussions with the new owners when the site is finally sold, as it has such potential for part use as a feature film studio.”

Mr Harvey is the former owner of Hough Hall Investment, in Bollington, near Macclesfield.

15-11-2011, 21:11
Here's a drawing of Woodford dated 1943.6716
It is one of the sites on this print of AVRO's sites. 6717

20-12-2011, 15:03
Sold - to the man with the yellow digger: sorry, Avro Heritage.


Bamford completes Woodford deal20 Dec 2011, 10:13

BAE Systems has completed the sale of its 502-acre Woodford site in Stockport and east Cheshire to Avro Heritage, controlled by JCB heir Joe Bamford. Bamford made the purchase through Avro Heritage, formerly called JCB Real Estate, at a price understood to be around £100m. Under the terms of the deal Bamford will protect the site's association with the aviation industry in future development.

Jim Welsh, Woodford site general manager for BAE Systems, said: "BAE Systems has a long and proud association with Woodford and although disappointed to be leaving the site we are happy that the new owners have exciting plans for this historically important site."

Those plans include housing and leisure uses such as a polo club and equestrian centre. Bamford has teamed up with Wilmslow farmers and property investors Harry and Dave Harvey to develop the site. The Harveys are masters of the drag hunt with the Cheshire Farmers Drag Hunt, based at their Hough Hall farm in Prestbury Road. As part of the sale, the existing golf club and heritage care in the process of extending their leases to remain on the site.

There are 1.7m sq ft of industrial premises at the site and Bamford and his team are in talks with a US move company over a short-term lease to produce a film in 2012. The acquisition is not a corporate JCB deal and there will be no manufacture of diggers at the site,m contrary to local rumour.

James Fletcher, spokesman for Avro Heritage, said: "We are honoured to take ownership of such a historic site and we will endeavour to ensure its past is not forgotten. "We have many exciting plans for the site which will hopefully create new jobs and provide the local community with much needed leisure facilities."

BAE Systems had a presence at the Woodford site since 1924 and manufactured 20,000 aircraft at the facility including the Lancaster Bomber, Canberra, Vulcan, Nimrod and Avro jets.

25-05-2012, 11:15
So its going to be a 1,000 houses in "Woodford Garden Village". I suppoase you can call a window box a garden!

1,000 houses, school and pub plan for home of the Nimrod at former BAE site in Woodford

Exclusive by Matthew Davis
May 25, 2012

http://m.gmgrd.co.uk/res/215.$plit/C_71_article_1531969_image_list_image_list_item_0_ image.jpg?25%2F05%2F2012%2008%3A13%3A31%3A336

READY FOR TAKE-OFF: Developers were today due to reveal plans for Woodford Garden Village on the site of the former BAE Systems base. They propose to build almost 1,000 homes, a primary school, shops and a pub, but concerns have been voiced about the potential scale of the project.

Controversial plans to build nearly 1,000 homes on the site of the former BAE Systems at Woodford were being revealed today. The multi-million pound development would see the existing village near Stockport almost TRIPLE in size.

Plans include a primary school, shops and a pub. The 500-acre scheme would be called ‘Woodford Garden Village’.
The plans were being announced by developers Avro Heritage, who bought the site from defence giant BAE Systems six months ago. Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle, voiced reservations about the scale of the proposals. He said: "My primary concern is that it will dwarf the established Woodford community.

"The plans have changed significantly from what was first proposed and now include a much bigger residential development aspect as well as a new school and a public house. "Clearly, there are implications for the established local community – not least on traffic impacts – and I am particularly keen to hear their views. "The views of local people are important and should be taken into account at each stage."

Debate over the future of the site – sold by BAE after the government axed its Nimrod contract in 2010 – has raged for years. Six months ago, plans were announced for a film studio, equestrian centre and a select development of homes.
The new blueprint – drawn up for Avro by housing developers Redrow – will see 950 luxury and affordable homes built instead, far more than originally expected.

Iain Roberts, Stockport council’s executive member for regeneration, said the plans were not set in stone.
He said: "We are at the first stage and waiting to hear what people’s opinions are on the plans – which is critical."

Consultations were due today at the Woodford Aerodrome, Chester Road, Woodford, between 2pm-7pm and tomorrow at Poynton Civic Hall, Park Lane, Poynton, between 10am-4pm.

01-06-2012, 12:57
From the Manchester Evening News:

BAE Woodford site purchaser revealed as JCB heirOctober 18, 2011
Close Map (http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/#)
http://m.gmgrd.co.uk/res/634.$plit/C_71_article_1462075_image_list_image_list_item_0_ image.jpg?17%2F10%2F2011%2017%3A09%3A35%3A408

Mr Fletcher added: "The local residents have expressed a number of concerns and desires during the recent consultation period and we have attempted to embrace those thoughts in our plans. "We will continue that work with the local community as soon as we are in a position to do so. "We are committed to the area, a number of our team live locally and Woodford will become the long term HQ for our business interests and we hope to become part of the Woodford community.

The concern of local residents was first raised in relation to the plan for 300+ never mind the recently announced 1000 homes. I think the use of the name "Woodford Heritage" by the developers name has been a smoke screen behind which is a company planning the residential development. There may be a visitors centre which captures some of the aviation heritage, but sounds as though any thoughts of a runway remaining are gone! Shame ...

BTW I'm a local resident who would far rather see the airfiled brought back to life. Our local infrastructure couldn't deal with 1000 new homes without considerable improvment.

Richard Flagg
11-06-2012, 13:21
Can anyone confirm how many and what typ of hangars were built at Woodford?

11-06-2012, 18:00
I was told when I worked there that the flight sheds were imported from scandinavia.

30-07-2012, 14:23
The Supplementary Planning Document has been published - bye-bye aviation:


30-07-2012, 15:22
The Supplementary Planning Document has been published - bye-bye aviation:

I think there had been some 'kid-ology' in some of the earlier press releases that there was a glimmer of hope for aviation to continue ... the SPD makes it clear that there will be no more aviation activity from the site.

The scale of residential development appears greater than first talked about, with that in mind it is inconceivable that there would be an aviation activity alongside such a development.

Strange that the report states the close proximity of MAN is a problem, given the number of years the two sites have co-existed.

However the heritage centre appears to be getting a new home and the Vulcan will become an outside exhibit at the centre, also think the control tower and one or two of the buildings are to remain.

30-07-2012, 15:33
JetA1: I think you are right. It is interesting to see that Redrow Homes seem already to own half of the site and that they have an option to buy much of the remainder from Avro Heritage Ltd - aka J C Bamford.

Presumably the crushed concrete from the runways and the buildings will serve as harcore for the new roads and houses.

Given the heritage 'ticket' on which it announced its presence, I wonder if Avro Heritage Ltd would entertain an ARG survey of the site before the buildings are demolished? We do not have too many aircraft manufacturing sites left now. Indeed, is there anything to interest English Heritage? With Norwichpaul's recent success with the Seaplane Shed, a quick Grade 2 listing might scuttle someone's plans - for a week or two at least.

03-08-2012, 21:47
They may have some fun in the Southwest quadrant of the airfield it is very swampy.I remember when they dug the pits for the RHAGS they filled with water overnight.

04-08-2012, 22:48
Last 4 jet maiden flight at Woodford http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA8d_YhIS1g&feature=player_embedded#t=0s

Richard Flagg
29-10-2012, 09:52
An undated photo of two Vulcans at Woodford from Nigel Bailey-Underwood


29-10-2012, 10:05
An undated photo of two Vulcans at Woodford from Nigel Bailey-Underwood

Three but one is somewhat smaller!

29-10-2012, 11:49
Hi Every one i think the photo was around 1993/4 i am on that photo some where in the crowed . If my memory is correct it teemed it down with rain & we had to be towed off the airfield & I do remember sheltering under Woodfords Vulcan .
Regards ,
Bomber .

29-10-2012, 12:58
Hi Every one i think the photo was around 1993/4 i am on that photo some where in the crowed . If my memory is correct it teemed it down with rain & we had to be towed off the airfield & I do remember sheltering under Woodfords Vulcan .
Regards ,
Bomber .

It was at the 1990 airshow. From what i remember they parked them both nose to nose to celebrate '558's 30th birthday. '558 wasn't display flying in 93 or 94.

30-10-2012, 22:56
You are correct Steve my memory must be going . I should have known it was not 1993 as I was at Waddington when the Vulcan flew for the last time under RAF control in March 25th 1993. :roll:

Al, it was March 23rd 1993 ;)

16-11-2012, 10:03
Apparently this new book on Woodford is pretty good, http://ringwaypublications.com/shop/books/

28-12-2012, 13:48
I live nearby and often take a drive down the back lane to the AVRO golf club (which will remain as part of the development agreement).

For the time being there is occasional activity by a group of large scale RC model aircraft, obviously it is a superb location for them while it lasts.

I've also noticed that there is some activity happening with the white Vulcan (XM 603?) the cockpit has been covered by a blue tarp on a couple of occasions but not on others; anyone know what is happening?

It is very sad to look through the fence and see only the white Vulcan as a sign of past activity ...

And the battle regarding 300 houses or 900 houses continues ...

25-02-2014, 19:34
Ive just had a look at the BBC Manchester website and there are plans for a museum here. Apparently it will be located at the former fire station, and there will be a Vulcan on display.

25-02-2014, 21:57
That would be great at least it keeps the history of Avroe's a live .
Keep us informed on any progress.
Regards ,

25-02-2014, 21:59
The plans have always included keeping the AVRO Heritage Centre and XM603 on site

25-02-2014, 22:25
I was fortunate to have a tour of Avro Heritage at Woodford last year and got to see the Fire station that will their new museum
which already had an inmate.
Outside 603 was looking a little worst for wear but as the Avro Heritage chaps were at pains to point out it wasn't (yet) their responsibility.
Evidence of the Metal Moth on 603 were evident.
Incidentally the main factory showed signs of being used as a training area for the security services, with large holes having been blown through the walls.

25-02-2014, 22:45
XM602 nose section was offered to AVRO Heritage a few years ago but they didn't have space for it. It was transferred from Bruntingthorp to MOSI (though not displayed) then to Woodford last year when the fire station was uidentified as the new Heritage Centre location. It was publicly displayed briefly at last years Aviation Fair at Ringway

Richard Flagg
05-03-2014, 23:54
BBC News article;

Planning info here;

Peter Kirk
06-03-2014, 00:19
Does than mean the Vulcan has now been out of service longer than it was in service? Also, I hope it will be in anti-flash white.

06-03-2014, 09:10
Gone past the tipping point, Vulcans were retired 30 years ago at the end of this month, they saw just under 27 years of RAF service.
I take it the Vulcan that will be displayed would be XM603 which is on site? If so that is in the all over white scheme.

06-03-2014, 09:42
Gone past the tipping point, Vulcans were retired 30 years ago at the end of this month, they saw just under 27 years of RAF service.
I take it the Vulcan that will be displayed would be XM603 which is on site? If so that is in the all over white scheme.

Yes it is 603 they will be keeping on site...hopefully returned to anti-flash white rather than the pale algae-green it is currently displayed in!

06-03-2014, 10:36
Very true, unfortunately it's had a mixed past recently care wise but hopefully it can be returend to the gleaming white, ground running condition that it was once in not so long ago.

Richard Flagg
01-05-2014, 18:56
Best photo I could get of Woodford on 18 April 2014


23-06-2014, 11:18
I shall apologise in advance for the barrage of questions here guys but hope hopefully someone can help -

ARG member, Nigel Bailey-Underwood has been asking me many times now what the situation is with Woodford at present regarding photographing the airfield. I know it's probably a very long shot but could a tour of the airfield be possible before it gets built on & whom or what company would I or Nigel have to ask to arrange this? Must admit I'm not holding out much hope of a site visit but if you don't ask you don't get.

How much of the airfield can be seen from outside the fence (any handy footpaths around the perimeter?? etc)

I'm also guessing that access to the Vulcan isn't possible until September when the Museum hopefully opens. Maybe It would be best to hold off on a visit till then??

Cheers in advance,


24-06-2014, 02:53
Regarding what can be seen from outside the fence. There is a road named Old Hall Lane which runs to the west and south west of the airfield. It runs from the local main road A5102 and provides access to the Avro Golf Club which is situated at the south of the airfield site along side the south side flight sheds. At one point the road runs very close to the threshold of runway 07 and for several hundred yards there is a clear view across the airfield, the boundary is a chain link fence, probably around 10 foot high. If you take a look at Google maps you can see the road quite clearly. I live about 3 miles away and often visit to see if there is any sign of activity, the road is open, there is no restriction on access.

Also, I know that a group of model flyers who specialise in large scale models have been given occasional access to the airfield for their flying activities, that leads me to believe that if the right person can be found then there may be scope to negotiate access (may be a long shot?). Incidentally a Vulcan has flown from Woodford within the last 12-18 months, although it was a 20 foot wingspan scale model, it was incredibly realistic (powered by model jet turbine engines) it was good to see a Vulcan in the sky over Woodford.

When the museum does finally open it will be interesting to see what access arrangements are put in place, given the distance from the main gate to the former fire station south of the main runway where I understand the museum is to be located, are visitors to be allowed to drive in? (I don't know) but may be that will give an indication about gaining access inside the site.

25-06-2014, 08:34
Thanks jeta1,

I've just 'street viewed' Old Hall Lane & it looks like you can get a fairly decent view across the site. The fence is a bit of a pain but I'm used to photographing through those types of fences so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

I think your suggestion for trying to get hold of a contact for the R/C model club is a good idea. I'll have too look into that. Regarding that Vulcan model, if it's the excellent all white XH558 model than I completely agree with you. It is VERY realistic especially as if flies away in the distance & banks away. All that's missing is the noise. Maybe they should attach some little speakers to it & blast out Vulcan howls. I've seen it at Cosford Airshow a couple of times now. Shame I didn't know about the Woodford connection at the time as I could have asked the owner about Woodford access.

I'm just toying with the idea of waiting until September for when (if) the museum opens. At least it'll be some access onto the site. You raised an interesting point regarding allowing cars into the Museum. Hopefully it shouldn't be a problem. The public is allowed to drive, onto the former Bassingbourne (now Army camp) albiet accompanied by the Security, through the airfield tech site to the control tower area so hopefully it shouldn't be a problem at Woodford.

Thanks for your help mate. I much appreciated it.


15-07-2014, 22:10
Recent conversation with someone from the Avro Heritage Centre indicates the museum opening will be in Spring 2015. They are currently closing down the existing rooms ahead of demolition and the collection is being stored elsewhere until it can be moved to the fire station. The project looks very exciting with much more space for display, and a function room. Access will be via a road (presumably the peri track) running to the western end of the runway.
Another source told me that the Vulcan has been moved with some resultant damage to the undercarriage.
A planning decision on the factory site is imminent before the end of July and then unless the Sec. of State calls the application in, after 21 days the work can commence on the first phase of housing, after the factory is demolished. Contrary to what I had been told before neither the runway nor the early flight sheds on the south side are listed as such, and will be removed in due course.

David Thompson
19-07-2014, 20:57
This link appeared on the Air Britain forum and may be of interest ;

19-07-2014, 22:41
Thanks for the info chaps. Very much appreciated. Looks like a wait for the Museum to take shape will be the best idea for now.


20-07-2014, 08:24
The planning application for the Heritage Centre is DC/054569.

Contrary to newspaper imaginings the building was never going to 'house' the vulcan

02-08-2014, 22:54
Copied & pasted from Manchester Evening News -

Plans for huge housing and business development at Woodford passed by committee chair's casting vote
Harrow Estates wants to build 920 homes on the former BAE Systems site, alongside business units, a pub, a school and shops

https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/OkZRKkNy9e7E4yxkucgOchOqDHijmOXVbZl_4PrHZvQWUcE1jn 7kn1qq2VFMSREZbSVwalG3jKaFp09mc_ng2ab7VhOlcHmqXAmq nB7Ze9zVHatJ4Yorn4rHWaQSn1xQ0JVBhNlt4fOwnUyDLCyyrM hXJ6hcWw=s0-d-e1-ft#http://i3.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/incoming/article7454455.ece/alternates/s615/JS42086781.jpg
Artist's impression of how the Woodford Aerodrome scheme could lookPlans for almost 1,000 homes and a new school on the former Woodford Aerodrome site moved a step closer after councillors granted planning permission with a tight final vote.
Developer Harrow Estates wants to build 920 homes on the former BAE Systems site (http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/woodford-aerodrome-new-homes-1000-7454280), alongside business units, a pub, a school, shops, a care unit and community facilities - in what is being described as ‘the biggest development in the north west for the next ten years’.
There are also plans to build a heritage museum to house the history of the site and plane builders Avro. (http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/woodford-aerodrome-new-museum-built-7454202)
A vote to grant permission at Stockport Council’s planning and highways regulation committee on Tuesday night saw six councillors vote for and six vote against, with chair Lenny Grice’s casting vote tipping the balance.
Approval was given for demolition work, access roads and a hybrid application for full planning permission for ‘phase one’ of the project – 145 homes – and outline planning permission for the rest of the scheme.
Plans will now go to the Secretary of State to decide whether to call the decision in for a public enquiry.
Woodford Community Council and the Woodford Neighbourhood Forum raised concerns over the size of the scheme, development on green belt land, too few employment opportunities, traffic ‘chaos’, a lack of community facilities and disruption during construction.
https://ci5.googleusercontent.com/proxy/bI8eSfMZ2OISiM61zcIftMYP8tOhgLBtwaCkWz4h4dPqQ2Vbtv lhz3ahZVy6eJp5LjlCHN5wNJAw4zbpEuRII1DEtC3hD4Ix8htf vOWE5ES7jbQCrSAvCGXq4B14XQstbW8FRCvoCtZNoloSVoIHnC 8Ce_U1gg=s0-d-e1-ft#http://i1.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/incoming/article7454465.ece/alternates/s615/JS42083925.jpgAn artist's impression of the planned Avro Heritage Museum at Woodford AerodromeResidents’ concerns were echoed by Bramhall South and Woodford councillor Brian Bagnall, who was narrowly defeated in a proposal to refuse permission.
He said: “We may be making history - this will change the lives of the people of Woodford and Stockport forever. We have to get this right. There are too many unresolved matters. This is about leaving a legacy, not a travesty.”
Coun Bagnall said Harrow Estates had ignored the council’s Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which guides development, as it recommended 750 to 850 homes.
He also raised concerns about the new school opening too late into the development.
Opposing councillors raised concerns that the number of affordable homes on the site - 16 per cent - is short of the council’s 40 per cent policy.
But planning officer Emma Curle said the new school and £4m committed to affordable housing elsewhere was of ‘greater benefit’.
Coun Grice said defending a refusal at appeal could provide difficult and costly for the council and said town hall bosses will retain considerable control over the development as it progresses.

David Thompson
04-12-2014, 20:51
A nice Avro & Co LTD hangar picture taken from the PPRuNe forum ;

Photo credit ZeBedie and used with permission



David Thompson
05-12-2014, 23:47
A reply on PPRuNe posted earlier today by ANW ;

The historic AVRO hangar which was originally located at Alexandra Park aerodrome, Manchester was subsequently moved to Avro's 'new' airfield at Woodford. In later years it was used by the Avro Gliding Club. It is earmarked to be moved off site. It is a bit like Trigger's Broom, with sections replaced over the years. The building shown alongside was also used by the Avro Flying Club.

BAE closed the aerodrome on 25 August 2011

A planning application for Redrow houses has finally been approved by the local Council, though some last minute niggles by local residents await a government response for a potential call-in.

Below historical notes extracted from Peter Maher's book entitled 'Three Score Years & Ten' an illustrated history of The Lancashire Aero Club, founded 1922.

In October 1917 The Manchester City Council were advised that The War Department proposed to build an airfield beside the railway line between Chorlton-cum-Hardy and Heaton Mersey stretching across what is now Hough End play fields. The nearest railway station was Alexandra Park and the airfield was given the same name.

A number of hangars were erected and the field was big enough to receive the largest aircraft of the day. Both service and manufacturer's test flying was taking place including that of the famous A.V.Roe & Co. Ltd. (otherwise known as AVRO which later became part of British Aerospace). However, the Air Ministry's lease for the aerodrome was only to last for a short term and flying ceased at the end of August 1924.

With the closure of Alexandra Park, A.V.Roe & Co. Ltd were forced to seek, quite literally, fresh fields and pastures - and they were not alone. For some time the aerodrome had been the home of a small glider owned by the Lancashire Aero Club which had stemmed from the efforts of a man (John Leeming) who was to leave a considerable mark on a number of aspects of Manchester's civil aviation history.

Aerial view here ; http://www.edendale.co.uk/ANW/WFD.G11.12.html

14-01-2015, 11:33
I've read on another forum that the bulldozers and diggers have already moved in a few days ago.


Iain Taylor
16-01-2015, 21:50
I've read on another forum that the bulldozers and diggers have already moved in a few days ago.

They started cold shaving some of the link track ashphalt near the construction halls at the beginning of the week - probably a couple of hundred tonnes piled up near the old A V Roe hangars now.

07-02-2015, 14:26
Photos of the demolition here:


07-02-2015, 17:14
Sad to see the demise of Woodford . Its apart of our heritage so lets hope that the visitors centre does well & can teach future generations about AV Roe's big part it played in British aircraft production .

11-04-2015, 18:02
Having passed the site this afternoon and looking from the E. Gate things look very similar to the WJT images highlighted above. For those who can bear it there are You Tube vidoes of the demolition of both the offices and hangars!

11-04-2015, 22:57
I also past the main gate a couple of days ago, so sad to see the demise of the Woodford factory.

I took a drive down the golf course lane, I took this picture of XM 603, she's looking like she'll need a good bit of TLC to bring back the sheen to her paintwork.


Peter Kirk
12-04-2015, 09:23
I hope they keep her white!

Iain Taylor
23-04-2015, 16:46
I hope they keep her white!

You mean return her to white rather than the pale green algae cammo scheme it currently wears?

Strange what you find when rooting around in sheds....this was in among some technical reports I wrote in 1991 rather than with my airshow programmes.


11-05-2015, 08:29
(From the BAE Systems website ) -

New Avro Heritage museum in Woodford prepares for take-off

http://www.baesystems.com/cs/groups/public/documents/digitalmedia/mdaw/mtk3/~edisp/~extract/BAES_181483~1~staticrendition/620x349.jpg (http://www.baesystems.com/cs/groups/public/documents/digitalmedia/mdaw/mtk3/~edisp/baes_181483.jpg)
Woodford Heritage Museum
Download Image (http://www.baesystems.com/image/BAES_181483/woodford-heritage-museum)

Woodford is considered one of the most important sites in the history of British aviation, birthplace of numerous world-renowned aircraft.
Starting with the Avro 504, over 20,000 aeroplanes were built on the site. The Anson, the Vulcan and the legendary Lancaster bomber were al built on what would come to be known as the Woodford Aerodrome. Construction work is now complete on a new Heritage Museum built to house the tens of thousands of artefacts and pieces of memorabilia which celebrate the amazing work carried out in this part of Britain.
As part of the sale of the site to Avro Heritage Limited in December 2011, BAE Systems agreed to fund the development of this exciting new centre. Working jointly with the Avro Heritage Trust, BAE Systems real estate experts have been running the project to transform the aerodrome’s former Airfield Fire Section into a modern, first class visitor attraction.
The build is now entering its final stages with BAE Systems officially handing over the museum to the Trust, but remaining involved with the project as the Trust prepares for its public opening in the summer.

A Proud History
http://www.baesystems.com/cs/groups/public/documents/digitalmedia/mdaw/mtk3/~edisp/~extract/BAES_181487~1~staticrendition/620x349.jpg (http://www.baesystems.com/cs/groups/public/documents/digitalmedia/mdaw/mtk3/~edisp/baes_181487.jpg)
Avro Lancaster. Copyright: Mark Wright, BAE Systems
Download Image (http://www.baesystems.com/image/BAES_181487/avro-lancaster)

Aviation pioneer and the first Englishman to fly an all-British aeroplane, Sir Alliot Verdon Roe founded one of the world’s first aircraft manufacturers, A. V. Roe & Company (Avro) in Manchester in 1910.
Avro moved production to New Hall Farm at Woodford in Cheshire, which would later become Woodford Aerodrome, in 1924. During the Second World War over 3,000 Lancaster Bombers were assembled in Woodford, having been produced in Chadderton, near Manchester and shipped by road to Woodford.
In 1963 the Avro factories at Chadderton and Woodford became part of Hawker Siddeley Aviation before being amalgamated into British Aerospace in 1977 and then BAE Systems in 1999.
In its lifetime Woodford saw in excess of 20,000 aircraft being built at the facility including the Anson, Lancaster Bomber, Canberra, Vulcan, Nimrod and BAe146.
"We’ve got a proud history here in the North West with Woodford and Chadderton playing such an important part in Britain’s aviation heritage, it is important that this legacy was not lost." Said Harry Holmes of the Avro Heritage Trust.
Harry, a former RAF man who became a British Aerospace public relations manager at Woodford added: "Although we no longer have a working presence, many of our aircraft are still flying in various parts of the world as a tribute to the dedication of our workforce over many years."
"With the support and enthusiasm from BAE Systems and our new owners we are moving in to an exciting phase in the heritage centre’s life. I think it’s important that when we plan for the future we also appreciate and preserve our past."

Phoenix from the flames
http://www.baesystems.com/cs/groups/public/documents/digitalmedia/mdaw/mtk3/~edisp/~extract/BAES_181489~1~staticrendition/620x349.jpg (http://www.baesystems.com/cs/groups/public/documents/digitalmedia/mdaw/mtk3/~edisp/baes_181489.jpg)
Woodford Fire Section
Download Image (http://www.baesystems.com/image/BAES_181489/woodford-fire-station)

Previously the Avro Heritage Trust been squashed into the site's old personnel block. Following the sale, the old aerodrome fire station was identified as a building that could be redeveloped and become a new home for the Trust.
However moving into the renovated fire station might seem like a strange twist of fate for some. Following a fire at Chadderton in 1959, a great deal of Avro’s heritage was lost including original drawings of the Lancaster bomber, Vulcan and Nimrod.
The Trust worked to recoup the lost heritage and build up a collection of historical documents and artefacts. The tiny heritage centre was staffed by volunteers and only open to the public by appointment. With the sale of the Woodford site and the commitment of funding from BAE Systems to build a museum, a new and exciting chapter in the Trust’s history began.

Building on our heritage
http://www.baesystems.com/cs/groups/public/documents/digitalmedia/mdaw/mtk3/~edisp/~extract/BAES_181492~1~staticrendition/620x349.jpg (http://www.baesystems.com/cs/groups/public/documents/digitalmedia/mdaw/mtk3/~edisp/baes_181492.jpg)
Woodford Aerial View before construction
Download Image (http://www.baesystems.com/image/BAES_181492/woodford-aerial-view)

The majority of the now unused buildings on the aerodrome site are due to be demolished, with plans in place for 940 new homes to be built as part of a six year development. In recognition of the proud history of the aerodrome, the runway cross used by so many renowned aircraft will become a tree lined boulevard, reminding those who are fortunate enough to live in the new Woodford development of its legacy.
The main contractor, Conlon Construction Ltd., was selected due to their experience in building museums and their understanding of the aims and importance of the project. The new museum has been designed by planning and architectural consultancy Cassidy + Ashton to be distinct from the planned housing development, with materials chosen to reflect the environment that it sits in, whilst echoing its industrial heritage.
The project manager for BAE Systems is Tim Wallis. In addition to overseeing the construction of the facility, a major part of the former RAF man’s role involves working with the Trust on the design of the interior space in the museum as well as advising them on making the challenging transition from being a small heritage collection run by volunteers, to a commercial venture which houses significant archives, research rooms a shop and restaurant. Describing the project, Tim said:
"The AVRO Heritage Trust and BAE Systems have made a significant undertaking to recognise the historic contribution that A. V. Roe and his company made towards global aircraft development.”
"The renovations will enable the thousands of artefacts collected by the Trust to be displayed permanently on site, preserving Woodford’s historic links with British aviation history."
"The combined effort and experience of BAE Systems and Conlon Construction will soon provide the Trust with what will surely become an outstanding aviation attraction."

An enviable collection
http://www.baesystems.com/cs/groups/public/documents/digitalmedia/mdaw/mtk3/~edisp/~extract/BAES_181496~1~staticrendition/620x349.jpg (http://www.baesystems.com/cs/groups/public/documents/digitalmedia/mdaw/mtk3/~edisp/baes_181496.jpg)
View of the Vulcan XM603 outside the museum
Download Image (http://www.baesystems.com/image/BAES_181496/view-of-the-vulcan-xm603-outside-the-museum)

Once complete, the museum will be large enough to house the Trust’s entire collection of over 30,000 artefacts on the development of aircraft. As such the facility is likely to attract interest from aircraft enthusiasts from around the world and has already been profiled in numerous global aircraft publications.
Some 80% of the Trust’s collection will be on display at any one time, with the remaining 20% rotated throughout the year so there will always be something new for visitors to see.
The star of the show is likely to be the Vulcan B2 bomber, standing guard outside the new centre. Built at Woodford and formerly serving in the RAF, it weighs in at 30 tonnes and has a wingspan of 111ft.
Another main attraction at the museum will be a complete nose and cockpit section of a Vulcan. This will be housed in the specially designed glass frontage of the museum building and open to the public to sit in and experience what it was like to be inside one of these great machines .
Along with the aviation artefacts, models and displays, the iconic murals that previously adorned the walls of the employee restaurant in Woodford have been retained and will also be displayed on the walls of the museum's main exhibition hall.

Howard Mason, BAE Systems Heritage Manager concludes:

"BAE Systems is very proud of its long history of engineering innovation, which can be traced back through its predecessor companies to at least the year 1560."

"The new Avro Heritage Museum provides a great opportunity for the public to see the artefacts and information collected over many years at Woodford, and is a key part of our heritage collection which is distributed across the main archive at Farnborough, the heritage centres on current sites such as Warton, Brough, Rochester and Glascoed, and former sites such as Brooklands and Filton airfield.
"The collection is a key resource for the education of our staff, prospective employees and the general public on our history, and also for supporting our customers in their heritage activities.”

To find out more about AV Roe and his company, please visit our Heritage Pages (http://www.baesystems.com/enhancedarticle/BAES_175165/av-roe-and-company)

11-05-2015, 16:32
In 1963 the Avro factories at Chadderton and Woodford became part of Hawker Siddeley Aviation before being amalgamated into British Aerospace in 1977 and then BAE Systems in 1999.

1963 was the year when Hawker Siddeley dropped the AVRO name, it had been a Hawker Siddeley company from the early 30's when A V Roe sold his interests in the firm.
I only found this out when I read the management congratulation letter to my Grandfather receiving the BEM in the June 1944 Birthday Honours List - I couldn't understand why it was on Hawker Siddeley note paper when I knew my Grandfather worked for AVROs (Works Manger at Newton Heath).

Another Number
27-05-2015, 13:30
Demolition well underway.......

21-06-2015, 15:25
Anyone plan on going to Woodford to watch XH558 flypast on Saturday 27th June as part of 'The Salute to the V-Force tour'?

Should be good viewing from Old Hall Lane down by the Avro Golf Club.

Iain Taylor
21-06-2015, 15:59
Anyone plan on going to Woodford to watch XH558 flypast on Saturday 27th June as part of 'The Salute to the V-Force tour'?

Should be good viewing from Old Hall Lane down by the Avro Golf Club.

Better get there early as it will likely be crowded? I might wander over.

21-06-2015, 18:03
Better get there early as it will likely be crowded? I might wander over.

I live only 4 miles away I'll probably dump the car a mile short and walk, I'm watching various websites to get an idea of how busy it might be.

VTTS have set up a 'just giving' page for each location on the tour, Woodford has received over 190 donations and raised over £2,000, far more than any other location on the tour.

It'll be a moving site watching the aircraft pass over the airfield where demolition is anadvanced stage, most of the buildings to the north of the runway have gone, just one section of Avro House remains ... but not for long


Iain Taylor
23-06-2015, 10:01
532010N 0020923W(WOODFORD AERODROME)1409

Overflying the places that have a preserved "V-bomber"...... Barton?

09-07-2015, 02:58
From MINOR AIRFIELDS UNITED KINGDOM dated 24 August 1994 issued by 1 AIDU RAF:


Map legend:


11-10-2015, 12:20
Along with several thousand others I was on the airfield yesterday for the Vulcan 558 flypast. The site developers had agreed this as a one off with a £10 per car admission to go to the new Avro Heritage Centre in the old fire station (which had its VIP opening this week too). They must have raised well over £10k.
The current situation is that all the factory buildings on the north side have gone and there were some scaffolding poles in the north east corner perhaps showing house building had started. The main runway and the old north/south runway taxiway had been stripped of their top surface and there were piles of this hardcore all along them. Interestingly in one western section of the infield a good crop of maize was ripening nicely! All the south side buildings remain extant, but will go as well in due course. The old Avro tin sheds are in very poor repair, and supposedly an offer had been made for them to restore them elsewhere, but no money has been forthcoming.
The Heritage Centre got some good coverage on local TV News and looks great. It is still being populated with exhibits and various opening dates are being mentioned, from late October onwards.