PDA

View Full Version : Kirkbride



westie
11-03-2009, 14:44
On July 26th this year the field is holding it's annual fly-in, and has arranged some displays by visiting aircraft.
Confimed at the moment is the BBMF (Dakota, Spitfire & Hurricane) and hopefully a RN Seaking from HMS Gannet. Also more or less definite is a 3/4 scale replica Spitfire and at least one Jet Provost.
Last year saw about 60-70 aircraft arrive from most parts of the country.

The event is a fund raiser for the Great North Air Ambulance (G-HEMS being based in Cumbria and will visit during the day)

All landing fees are donated to the charity and visitors by road are welcome
There is no entrance fee but huge donations would be appreciated :P

http://kirkbrideairfield.website.orange.co.uk/

Drakie
03-04-2010, 14:54
A former World War Two and post-war military airfield, now a civillian airfield. It opened in 1939 as part of 41 Maintenance Group and was the home of 12 Maintenance Unit and was also used by Number 16 Ferry Pilots Pool. It was used to repair and ferry numerous types of aircraft for the Royal Air Force. Post-war it was also used to store aircraft awaiting disposal. The airfield had hard surface runways, with 38 aircraft hangars (types C, D,E, L and Robin were used), and partly permanent accomodation for personnel. The base closed in 1960, since at least 1985 it has been used by private aircraft and hosts a flying club. The former officers mess survives as a hotel (White Heather Hotel), allegedly the main hangars are extant.
-------------------------------------------


Kirkbride Airfield: Cumbria NY 229 548. It opened in 1939 The airfield had hard surface runways, with 38 aircraft hangars (types C, D,E, L and Robin were used), and partly permanent accomodation for personnel. The base closed in 1960.

Kirkbride was the home of 12 Maintenance Unit during World War Two. The airfield was used for repairing a large variety of aircraft for the RAF. In 1946 it was used to store aircraft awaiting dsiposal (an air photograph taken in that year is on the web site: it shows Tiger Moth and Lancaster aicraft stores on the airfield). The former officers mess survives as a hotel (White Heather Hotel).

The Air Transport Auxilliary's Number 16 Ferry Pilots Pool also used the airfield to ferry aircraft. Many of the pilots were women. today the airfield is used for civillian flying and is the home of Kirkbride Aero Club. Allegedly all the main military hangars are intact and in use for non-aviation purposes.
--------------------------------------------------------


The First World War had little direct and immediate effect on the Lake Counties as they then were. They were far too remote, too removed from the scene of the action.
In the Second World War, that very remoteness became an asset. The counties were beyond the range of enemy aircraft. They offered a safe haven where aircraft could be maintained and stored securely, well away from the depredations of enemy bombers and the bitter conflict in the violent theatres of war.
As early as 1938, during the period known as the phoney war, two vast airfields, within seven miles of each other, were established at Kirkbride and Silloth.
They were to play a significant role during the war, and, now, sixty years later, despite various attempts to re-invent themselves, they seem to be vast acreages inhabited by memories of that distant conflict.
Work began on Kirkbride airfield in June, 1938, and the intention was that the airfield with its runways and array of vast hangars should be up and running by 1st May, 1939.
On the day war broke out the airstrip was still far from ready to receive aircraft. In fact the first aircraft, four Avro tutors, eventually arrived, ignominiously, on the 5th September by rail and road from Ternhill in Shropshire.
The first aircraft to actually ‘land’ at Kirkbride was Miles Magister N3927. That was two weeks later and the airfield was still a long way from being fully functional..
As the weeks passed though, new aircraft, Fairey Battles, Avro Ansons, Hawker Audaxes and others began to descend from the skies like swarms of flies, all preparing to wait at this vast dormitory until called into urgent action.
The airfield was not quite the tranquil haven that had been expected. On 2nd November a signal was received warning of possible attacks by enemy parachute troops and Lewis guns were rapidly ushered out of the stores and prepared for action.
A far more insidious enemy was the weather. In the early hours of the 21st November, 1939, a 100 mph gale, wrecked five aircraft, including three Bothas.
As more aircraft required temporary residence, it became increasingly necessary to find dispersed storage. Satellite landing grounds were established at Wath Head and Brayton.
In July 1941 the airfield was able to receive the massive, cumbrous Halifax bombers..
In November, 1941, after Pearl Harbour and the American entry into the war, the first American planes started to arrive. They were Bell Airocobras, aircraft unsuited to the requirements of the European theatre of war and ones which the experienced English pilots found difficult to handle. One Airocobra, piloted by Capt. W.L. Hanley, crashed at Fingland, only two miles away from the airfield.
An airfield at Silloth was developed on a similarly massive scale. Together both airfields and their satellite landing grounds which stretched from Great Orton to Hutton in the Forest – the trees were used as camouflage for the expectant planes - served as home to thousands of the aircraft which were vital to the eventual victory.
Martyn Chorlton’s account of the airfields is a meticulous, detailed account of the incredible, but essential, mushrooming of these vast airfields and of the movement of aircraft and personnel. It is a book full of detail drawn from the minutiae of the official records. It is the perfect book for the enthusiast, but it fails to enlarge on the effects such rapid change had on the life of the area.
However, it is consoling to know, that because of its very remoteness, Cumbria was able to play a crucial role in the war effort.

Kirkbride 1946
http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n269/sa341/kirkbrideairfield1946.jpg

PETERTHEEATER
04-04-2010, 08:23
A far more insidious enemy was the weather. In the early hours of the 21st November, 1939, a 100 mph gale, wrecked five aircraft, including three Bothas.

What were the Bothas doing there?

Peter Kirk
04-04-2010, 10:59
The much loved Bothas were probably flown there once the weather forecast was received :)

Also realised I had a 1941/2 shot of the airfield.

Gypsymoth
03-05-2011, 19:57
I wandered round Kirkbride for a few hours today & spotted this near 2 E type hangars to the west of the airfield.....I assume it was on a mound originally....

The brick wall inside supports the roof but doesn't look original, I'd say?

Gypsymoth
03-05-2011, 23:16
I was very happily surprised to see that this building's in a much better state than the one at Silloth. I suspect this is due to the more loney location of the airfield. I was told the (new) owner is going smarten it up & other buildings he's bought there. Fingers crossed...

The control tower is owned by the company making the M24 Orion Gyroplane.

I was also shown around a Type Lhangar by a nice farmer, who told me the light fittings & bulbs are original & still working - he even switched one on & blow me down it worked.!

Gypsymoth
05-05-2011, 12:31
I bet modern bulbs won't last as long as this in an L hangar on a farm at Kirkbride. I was told the fans are still working, too.

PETERTHEEATER
06-05-2011, 08:43
That looks like a Mercury Vapour lamp so there would be a fairly large ballast unit on a stanchion nearby but, whether the lamp is original.....

Gypsymoth
06-05-2011, 09:23
Not an original then? The farmer said the bulbs were there when his grandfather bought the land for £3000 after the war..........I saw at least 6 others hanging around there.

PETERTHEEATER
07-05-2011, 07:31
I'm not saying that the MV lighting was not original just that the actual lamp may be a replacement since nothing lasts forever.

Did you notice whether the actual fitting - i.e shade and all - was attached to a cable and pulley system which would allow it to be lowered for maintenance. Many of the permanent type hangars had a stanchion mounted 'windlass' for each major lamp fitting.

Richard Flagg
07-05-2011, 09:28
Excelllent photos Gypsymoth, did you get a look in any of the other hangars?

Gypsymoth
07-05-2011, 23:50
Peter...I'm going back to check that light fitting. I don't think it had a pulley setup. There are others so I'll check them all. I have to go back that way almost as I walked round Wath Head this afternoon but when I went back to thank the famer the farm was deserted. I want to ask about the beech trees that line the perimeter. I gather Hampdens, Halifax & the B25 flew in there & I'd like to know how the high trees they were then. He was telling me about aircraft on hard-standings with 12 ft high earth banks between them to act as fire barriers........

REF: I use a Canon SX200. On the whole it takes decent snaps. Here are 2 from Kirkbride. To the right of the central heating building (owned by a southern company & an antenna was being installed at the top of the chimney) is a D hangar so I avoided all the traffic to take this photo of the roof just inside the doors.

I went to another D nearby & woman in the offic with a great view down into the hangar pointed out the roof gantry & was telling me how aircraft were suspended tail-high/nose down.....was she telling me the truth? It is used as a storage facility so I didn't take a snap.

I hope to get down to Cark on Monday....

PETERTHEEATER
08-05-2011, 07:55
Peter...I'm going back to check that light fitting. I don't think it had a pulley setup.

I shouldn't have asked! Just took a proper look at your photo of the lamp fitting and it is a standard pendant. The 'wind-down' type located it a sort of socket fitting when fully raised. To change the lamps in 'your' hangar would need a mobile scaffold or extension ladder.

Worth remembering 'tho when looking around the interior of old hangars, especially 'C' Types; I would like to see some images of the mechanisms.

........was she telling me the truth? It is used as a storage facility so I didn't take a snap.

Yes, that's how they could be stored if required to save space.

Carnaby
08-05-2011, 12:52
.....was she telling me the truth? It is used as a storage facility so I didn't take a snap.
Yes, that's how they could be stored if required to save space.
Yes Gypsymoth - it was called 'Tails-Up Storage. The wings were removed and stored at the sides of the hangar and the fuselages were winched up at the tail. 'E' and 'L' types, but not the Lamellas I believe, had a number of 'runway' beams running longitudinally down the hangar roof and fitted with lifting blocks / tackle to accomplish this task.

howart1
30-05-2011, 22:30
Most useful information on wartime Kirkbride and all the other Cumbrian
airfields in "Lakeland Aviation And Airfields Of The 20th Century" by Ken Davies. It was published by Regional Publications in 2001 but without ISBN.

Thought this might be of some interest.

howart1

Lorica
05-06-2011, 20:09
I have been asked to undertake an archaeological survey of a boiler house at Kirkbride Airfield prior to its demolition, can anyone recommend a guide to airfield architecture as I presume they had a standard form and function? Thank you.

stockpot
08-06-2011, 14:42
Lorica, all ex-RAF airfields were subject to a plan outlining every single building on & near the site, and each building was to a specific design supplied by the Ministry with a particular number. The RAF museum in Hendon holds the plans for every airfield built during & after the Expansion period. They are only too pleased to assist.

Carnaby
08-06-2011, 16:50
Lorica and Stockpot - welcome to Aix. Unfortunately, Hendon doesn't hold every plan, e.g. Wrexham is famously missing. Also. regarding non-airfield Air Ministry sites, there are an awful lot unobtainable.

See our archive HERE (http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?393-RAFM-Airfield-Site-Plans-Parts-1-2-amp-3-%28In-Stock%29)

Gypsymoth
04-11-2011, 12:39
6512

Can someone tell me what this building at Kirkbride was used for? I thought it might be an Inflammables & Lubricants
Store but the ironmongery on the roof makes me uncertain.

I was stunned at the pumps, meters & stuff at the bulk fuel installation.....the owner's going to rip it all out & sell it...

Richard Flagg
04-11-2011, 14:02
It is the Lubricants and Inflammables Store, I think it is built to drawing number 1967/34

Gypsymoth
04-11-2011, 14:49
Hi..thanks. The only pic I've seen of a 1967/34 is on P44 British Airfeild Buildings. The KB is more like the Swinderby job except the KB one has 2 front doors, so a smaller build I assume. Innes doesn't include a number & those iron rails put me off! I've just ordered a site plan from Hendon but there's a 4 week wait.....

Gypsymoth
11-12-2011, 10:27
Message for norwichpaul: I sent you PM about your photobucket pics from 1982 & asked if the doors of this building were red then? The other doors in the building opposite are faded blue. The plans I now have has this area as MT Vehicle Sheds & individual buildings aren't itemised.

Gypsymoth
11-12-2011, 10:30
REF - The plans show a 1967/17 number.

Richard Flagg
11-12-2011, 13:30
REF - The plans show a 1967/17 number.

the last two digits reflect the year of the drawing so it definitely wont be 1917! Possibly a misprint on the plan and it may read 1967/37?

Gypsymoth
11-12-2011, 14:05
SORRY.....my typing error....37 it is :oops:

Richard Flagg
30-05-2012, 00:47
A couple of photos taken by Nigel Bailey-Underwood at Kirkbride on 28 May 2012.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/ALL%20OTHER%20PHOTOS/Nigel%20Bailey-Underwood/Kirkbride28May20121.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/ALL%20OTHER%20PHOTOS/Nigel%20Bailey-Underwood/Kirkbride28May20122.jpg

Gypsymoth
20-06-2012, 23:24
9222

I've trawled Kirkbride & taken many photographs in order to make it as accurate as I can. It's a nice airfield to fly from too!

David Thompson
20-06-2012, 23:38
I've never been but have always wanted to after seeing various photographs of it in use as a storage MU in the 1950's and early 60's , same too for Anthorn and Silloth . One day hopefully ?
Is that a FS graphic Gypsymoth ?

Gypsymoth
21-06-2012, 08:49
Yes....I made Kirkbride after Silloth (see pic) & then Carlisle (Crosby on Eden) followed by Cark, & Great Orton. I hope to go on to Anthorn with those amazing machine gun butts. I'd like to do the SLGs too. I found 2 rare Maycrete huts wandering round those.
I visit the airfields twice a year.
Silloth's interesting as the water level gauge there is still in situ so I asked Richard Harrison if I could buy it to preserve it before it get stolen or goes missing. He said it's just scrap & would talk with his father about it, but I'm still waiting for a phone call about the price. He said to him it's just scrap. I asked him to suggests a price.....my fingers are crossed.

carmedic
07-07-2012, 11:53
Called into Kirkbride for the annual fly-in and open day, not many visitors due to the weather but I enjoyed wandering around the old buildings

1
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0059007_0921.jpg

2
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0039005_0918.jpg

3
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0079009_0923.jpg

4
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0109013_0927.jpg

5
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0129016_0931.jpg

6
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0169022_0936.jpg

carmedic
07-07-2012, 11:55
7
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0179023_0937.jpg

8
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0189024_0938.jpg

9
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0199025_0939.jpg

10
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0209026_0941.jpg

11
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0239030_0944.jpg

12
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0249031_0945.jpg

carmedic
07-07-2012, 11:59
13
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0259032_0946.jpg

14
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0269033_0947.jpg

15
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0279034_0948.jpg

16
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0309037_0951.jpg

17
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0349041_0955.jpg

18
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0359042_0956.jpg

carmedic
07-07-2012, 12:01
19
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0439050_0964.jpg

20
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0709082_0996.jpg

21
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0978148_0909.jpg

22
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0988150_0911.jpg

23
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0019002_0916.jpg

24
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/carmedic/Kirkbride%20Buildings/S0049006_0920.jpg

Mike Y Bunker 13
15-04-2013, 18:03
Does Kirkbride still have the open day? Is there a one happening in 2013? Are there any photos of the airfield during the war or just post war? I would like to see any photos of Kirkbride or Siloth.

Cheers Mike

hudgor44
22-04-2013, 16:15
Does Kirkbride still have the open day? Is there a one happening in 2013? Are there any photos of the airfield during the war or just post war? I would like to see any photos of Kirkbride or Siloth.

Cheers Mike

Hi Mike.. I don't know if Kirkbride is holding a flyin this year, but, if you have a Facebook account, I have a reasonable collection of pics on my FB group, 'Cumbrian airfields past and present'.. Send us an add request and I will add you, and anyone else interested..
The best way to navigate the site is to select albums, then choose a site (album) to view ie, Silloth 22MU, 1939 -1960 (or whatever I called it) there are a good few old ones of Silloth and in the Kirkbride album, mostly modern views.. I have also added a selection of aircraft crash accounts covering the Silloth area & Crosby & Annan..
I would love contributions from enthusiasts, to keep the pages interesting..

Regards..

Gordon..

Another Number
22-04-2013, 18:48
Hi Mike.. I don't know if Kirkbride is holding a flyin this year, but, if you have a Facebook account, I have a reasonable collection of pics on my FB group, 'Cumbrian airfields past and present'.. Send us an add request and I will add you, and anyone else interested..
The best way to navigate the site is to select albums, then choose a site (album) to view ie, Silloth 22MU, 1939 -1960 (or whatever I called it) there are a good few old ones of Silloth and in the Kirkbride album, mostly modern views.. I have also added a selection of aircraft crash accounts covering the Silloth area & Crosby & Annan..
I would love contributions from enthusiasts, to keep the pages interesting..

Regards..

Gordon..

Be great to see the photos on here too, it gets a much bigger audience than faceache

Mike Y Bunker 13
27-04-2013, 17:25
Hi Gordon

Thanks for the info on Facebook. The only problem is I am not a face book user I have an account and Bunker 13 have a Facebook page but I do not know how to view photos etc can you assist?

Cheers Mike

David Thompson
19-06-2013, 00:23
This years Open Day and fly-in is being held on Sunday 23 June .