View Full Version : Hooton Park

10-10-2009, 21:20
Hooton Park was opened in 1917 as No. 4 Training Depot Station. Four General Service Sheds were erected that year, anticipating the assembly of aircraft shipped from the US via Liverpool but this never happened. During WW2, Hooton Park became a Coastal Command station. During 1941, two runways were laid.

In 1942, the station passed to RAF Technical Training. This role lasted until 1944, when the station passed to RAF Maintenance Command as a storage facility (with 61 MU in residence). A variety of units passed through Hooton Park until it closed in 1962.

The site is now largely owned by Vauxhall, who use the existing NW/SE runway as storage.

The General Service Sheds are Grade II Listed, two (No. 2 and No. 3 Hangar) of which are owned by the Hooton Park Trust (http://www.hootonparktrust.co.uk/), who are hoping to restore them. The No. 1 Hangar is in the process of being demolished. A number of other buildings also remain. (photos taken October '09)

Views around No. 1 Hangar




Would would like to thank the people at Hooton Park for showing us around.


10-10-2009, 22:05
A few more...


Avro Anson C.19 G-AGPG



Peter Kirk
11-10-2009, 11:15
And it has one of those bomb drop towers as well?

Richard Flagg
11-10-2009, 17:43
Nice pics of another interesting site Chris, did you see or get pic of the Gannet forward fusalage at all?

Should add, the only aircraft I saw there was the Anson (G-AGPG) (http://richardflagg.fotopic.net/p61482152.html), a cockpit section of HS.748 (G-ORAL) (http://richardflagg.fotopic.net/p61482153.html) and a Sea Hawk Cockpit, I didn't photograh that as it was wrapped up in tarpaulins and covers!!

Richard Flagg
23-10-2009, 23:28
An undated photo of RAF Hooton Park. Photo supplied and reproduce with the permission of The Hooton Park Trust


01-11-2009, 03:04
I dropped in 4 years ago, and was very nicely allowed to take a tour...

Shame about hangar 1 though...

Jon H
04-11-2009, 00:44

Being a local lad and having some involvement with Hooton let me answer a few questions.

Firstly Hangar 1 is not being demolished. It has been cordoned off for several years now as sadly it became structurally unsound. The damage photgraphed is as a result of the trusses finally giving way after years of exposure to the elements....

Also the Gannet cockpit hasnt been there for a few years now. Last I heard the owner of it has it on loan to an ATC squardon somewhere in the Greater Manchester area.

If I can help with anything else just ask and will do what I can to answer :)

During your trip did you pop around the corner to see the 4th Hangar still standing?


Richard Flagg
31-01-2012, 14:05
Information received from Jayne Wright

The Hooton Park Trust has secured funding to replace the entire roof covering for its No 2 Belfast Hanger at Ellesmere Port in Chesshire. £275 000 in funding has been provided through its oun trust's resources, Vauxhall Motors and some additional funding from WREN and B&Q

08-02-2012, 00:15
So I cannot be accused of paraphrasing and as a result, getting anything wrong or out of context, Hooton Park is very much the centre of attention of this thread on Key, including a sad photo of the collapsed hangar:


Hooton Discussion very much picks up from about half way down the first page and onto the second. The whole thread is started by a sorry state of affairs at Elvington concerning an issue over a job and subsequent tribunal.

Please be careful with any comments if you read this as the situation at Hooton seems to be on-going (and so are ARG in a few days, so be VERY careful!!!). Let's keep it about the airfield site/buildings and memorial and NOT the the pros and cons of how a place is managed!

Chris (site admin)

Richard Flagg
09-02-2012, 10:11
This building looks like a Gym & Chancel, can anyone confirm:

Chris Lowe
13-02-2012, 20:08
Hooton Park hangars were on BBC2 this evening with John Craven & Jules Hudson, look for Britains Heritage Heros on iplayer.

15-02-2012, 23:53
Saw Hooton Park on BBC2 and popped in today and took some photographs. Here is a link: http://www.wix.com/motorcycletraining/photography#!portfolio/vstc3=hooton-park

17-02-2012, 11:07
Saw Hooton Park on BBC2 and popped in today and took some photographs. Here is a link: http://www.wix.com/motorcycletraining/photography#!portfolio/vstc3=hooton-park

That Hangar (No. 3) is looking pretty sad! Nice photos advancedbiker (and welcome!).


20-02-2012, 18:45
some photo's from a tour in April 2010


hangar 3


1946 Auster J1N

the surviving NW section of the runway at Hooton Park

Drawing on the wall of COMPER CLA7 SWIFT which were built at Hooton Park

Richard Flagg
29-02-2012, 16:14
Photos from the ARG visit to Hooton Park on 26 Feb 2012 taken by Nigel Bailey-Underwood





01-03-2012, 07:27
I'm intrigued by the Shooting-in Butt; very unusual, I don't know of another like it.

01-03-2012, 08:28
I'm intrigued by the Shooting-in Butt; very unusual, I don't know of another like it.

Indeed. CDP has airfield plans so there might be a drawing number for it on those. I'd have walked over to get some better photos but the go-carts were thundering around. I'll pop back over sometime soon to try and get more photos of it (plus the B1 hangar if it's not surrounded by junk still) and also work out how to get to the gym / chancel (not off the same road as the other buildings)


better and more recent aerial via bing: http://binged.it/AjGd6r

02-03-2012, 21:48
ARG members "at work" during the ARG visit on Sunday 26th Feb 2012



Hooton Hangars
06-11-2013, 13:30
This Sunday on armistace day The Hooton Park Trust is launching a major fund raising appeal at www.spacehive.com/hootonhangar1 (http://www.spacehive.com/hootonhangar1) This appeal for funding is being made as offical routes are proving harder and more difficult to access due to the urgency of the works, the onset of winter and an ever shrinking public purse. The appeal is aimed at raising enough cash to strip one bay of the existing cement board and felt roof covering, refurbish the skylight, repair all of the 17 Belfast trusses, there supporting brick piers, replace the central rainwater gully and then re cover the roof with a ply covering under 3 layer felt system.
1452714528 The pictures show a side elevation of Hangar 1 this is the building we are fund raising for, the second photograph shows what is going to happen if we cannot raise enough money for the project to proceed. This is Hangar 3 which has had a series of major collapses. So please do visit www.spacehive.com/hootonhangar1 after Sunday and pledge something towards our goal, we have a good start with £272K already in the pot and every pound raised for the building will be spent on the buildings. We all give our time and effort as volunteers so there are no overheads from the Trust, we all want to save the building which will then allow us to open up the site to new users and visitors.
Thank you for your attention, Regards Graham

Alex Brown
06-11-2013, 16:54
Best of luck with the fundraising.

I couldn't get the Facebook share button to work on the site, you might want to have a look at that.

Hooton Hangars
06-11-2013, 19:09
thanks for looking, the face book link is probably because Hooton park ha snot got a facebook presence. I just logged on to spacebook and the site is now live it seems as soon as I put in the closing date the project goes live, prempts my Sunday launch but the pledge button works which is the important bit. Pledges are only taken if we reach the target so every £5.00 will help.

09-11-2013, 10:43
If anyone has a copy of a Record Site Plan for Hooton (probably 168/45) with a Building Schedule I should appreciate it if they PM me. I have some queries.


Kevin Aeronca
05-06-2014, 09:43
Having seen on the Southport Sands/Hesketh park threads a reference to the Martin Hearn company repairing aircraft at Southport during World War 2 — and test-flying them from the beach — I think a few words about the company’s main base might be in order here.
The first mention I have of Mr. Martin Hearn is when he was one of Alan Cobham’s staff on a six-aircraft “Circus” detachment to South Africa in 1932. Shortly thereafter, he transferred to C W A Scott’s “Flying For All” travelling aviation show. By 1938, Martin Hearn Limited (MHL) was in residence at Hooton Park Aerodrome, its HQ, where the company was, soon after, being described as “a subsidiary of North Eastern Airways Ltd”.
In the immediate post-war period, MHL was the world sales agent for Slingsby sailplanes and played a central role in getting the British Gliding Association operating again. The design company being otherwise indisposed, MHL built many of the gliders registered in 1946-47. MHL built at least 27 Slingsby T.7 Cadets (BGA435-445, 450-459, 496-500 and 679); 20 T.8 Tutors (BGA460-469, 472-481; another five being cancelled); and nine T.26 Kites (BGA516, 518-523; 681 and 696). There were other one-off constructions, apparently including the prototype T.21 in 1947.
I say ‘built’, but it has yet to be made clear (to me, at least) what proportion of the aircraft were, genuinely, produced in Cheshire. It could be that MHL, simply, glued together parts fabricated in Kirbymoorside (sic).
The last aircraft built by MHL seem to have been 19 production T.21 Sedberghs for the Air Cadets in 1949-50: WB974 to 991 and 993. Several of these survive (including WB975/FJB/BGA3288 and WB978/FDY/BGA3189 in the photographs posted below), while the very last, WB993 is in Netherlands as PH-201. The last time I looked, two MHL Tutors and a Kite were extant, too.

Jon H
18-08-2014, 15:36
Firstly, to add a bit more information to the post above about surviving Martin Hearn built gliders, presently MHL built T.8 Tutor BGA.473 is under restoration at Hooton Park. Similarly, The Hooton Park Trust (HPT) have recently secured MHL built Tutor T.8 BGA.466 for display back at its place of manufacture. The latter is not on site just yet, but is due to arrive in the near future.

Secondly, HPT are currently tidying up the field to the South West of Hangar 1/Building 16. So far work has been confined to clearing the dreaded self seeded silver birch trees, but already concrete building bases are starting to emerge from the undergrowth. I have been asked to find out more about what was there but at the moment the one site plan I have been handed, dates from sometime in the 40's or 50's so doesn't necessarily give an accurate account of what was built initially for the RFC. At present I am assuming the same buildings were kept and just adapted in later life, though happy to be proved wrong. Using this later plan the bases of Bldg's 77 "decontamination centre", 46 "Station HQ" and 23 "ATC Headquarters" have been identified so far.

Looking at period pictures all the buildings mentioned appear to have broadly been of a similar construction to Bldg 27. Can anyone confirm this? It would be good to identify what plans etc they were built to as this aspect of Hooton Park has always tended to be overlooked in favour of the General Service Flight Sheds (successfully fought the urge to type Belfast Truss Hangar!)

One more thing, should anyone like to look around the site there is an open weekend in mid September - http://www.hootonparktrust.co.uk/events.html


21-08-2014, 14:29
I am researching Annie Roberts who joined the WRAF in May 1918 (and died 12th November 1918). She enrolled in the 37th Wing at Ledsham. I have many questions but my main one at the moment is does anyone have any information on the base of that time? I'd be forever grateful

Peter Kirk
22-08-2014, 00:05
You could try here http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/royalflyingcorpsairmen.htm but I don't think it includes WRAF members.

26-10-2014, 10:24
I think Restoring England's Heritage (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03ntz9m) on BBC2 last night had a feature on Hooton Park (I was doing something else at the time so not concentrating 100%!).

North West Restoring England's Heritage (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03ntz9m)

Louise Minchin investigates the heritage at risk in the North West, and asks if it is too late to save some of its finest historic buildings from ruin. She also joins the congregation who meet in a tent inside Liverpool's oldest church, visits the ancient monument in a St Helens supermarket car park, and reports on the fight to save the forgotten First World War aircraft hangars in a field in Ellesmere Port.

iPlayer (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03k1zr5/restoring-englands-heritage-north-west)

Jon H
11-12-2014, 12:07
Looks like things are very much on the up at Hooton Park, with lots of work going on and funding coming in from various sources -



Richard Flagg
11-12-2014, 14:28
Looks like things are very much on the up at Hooton Park, with lots of work going on and funding coming in from various sources -



Any chance of letting us know the news on here rather than linking to faceache please Jon? It would be much appreciated as alot of members do not use facebook and find it diffiecult to navigate.



Jon H
05-01-2015, 11:19
No problem Richard.

Sorry for not responding sooner - lots going on!

So to start with a bit of site clearance to reclaim the wider site from mother nature.

Before -


After -


Before -


After -


More pictures to follow as I find them.


Jon H
05-01-2015, 11:35
Next, in the latter half of 2014 Hooton Park Trust worked with English Heritage and Vauxhalls to pull together a funding package of around £150,000 to allow repairs to be carried out to Building 18. Work before Christmas was concentrated on the North Bay to remove the redundant pipework added in later years by Vauxhalls and repair all the trusses.

Before -

After -

Work started this morning (Jan 5th 2015) to bring the South Bay back to the same condition as the North bay, however this will take just a tad longer as it requires some 16+ major truss repairs and half a new roof -


Another Number
14-10-2015, 23:48
Money for hangar restoration: