View Full Version : Twinwood Farm

17-12-2008, 20:47
Taken Jun 1997. Are the buildings below on the a/f site? or is it Milton Ernest?

P Bellamy
17-12-2008, 23:04
Twinwood Farm airfield is between and to the left of the two blocks of woodland in the top left on the photo.
The buildings in the middle are the old RAE wind tunnels etc, now put to various uses and also the location of Yarl's Wood detention centre.
You'd have been directly above Thurleigh airfield when you took the photo.

All the best,

airfields man
18-12-2008, 16:22

18-12-2008, 19:30
So Thurleigh and Twinwoods farm were that close?

P Bellamy
18-12-2008, 19:58
A (very) rough outline of Twinwood Farm onto the photo:


From the closest points of the WWII boundaries, there was 2.5 miles between Twinwood Farm and Thurleigh.


Twinwood Farm bottom left, with RAE Bedford "Twinwood Farm" Site just above, RAF Thurleigh/RAE Bedford at top.

All the best,

18-12-2008, 20:49
Thanks Paul. I was photographing Thurleigh at the time & wondered if those buildings were part of it. It was only the other night that I checked our route on GE and found Twinwood Road that I realised the airfield was there! BTW, can you do your shapey thing for that massive airfield planned to take in Thurleigh, Twinwood and Staunton? Does a plan of it still survive?

18-12-2008, 20:52
Was there another airfield between these two? There looks to be a very straight road to the north east of Twiinwood.

18-12-2008, 21:14
Does a plan of it still survive?

One does survive as I recall Norwichpaul saying in another thread he had see the plans somewhere.


Heres NP's post from the Thurleigh and Tinwood taxiway (http://airfieldinformationexchange.freeforums.org/thurleigh-and-twinwood-taxiway-t723.html) thread

the plans for the five mile runway are at the RAFM. It also had two parallel railway lines for testing rocket engines running one either side over its full length.


19-12-2008, 18:04
Was there another airfield between these two? There looks to be a very straight road to the north east of Twiinwood.

No. There was a taxiway planned between Thurleigh and Twinwood Farm but this was further to the West. This was planned to cross an existing lane which was modified to suit - see the circled area below and the Thurleigh thread. However the taxiway was never built.



21-12-2008, 17:42
Canberra, the straight line is the old field drain between the north edge of Twinwoods Airfield (Outfields Farm) heading down to Rutters Farm. Think it was at one time an ancient road as it also has a bridleway on the west side for most of the way, it also runs dead straight to the south of Twinwoods Airfield into Clapham.

can post up the OS map image if its any help.

Peter Kirk
21-12-2008, 18:01
1970's aerial view of the site near Twinwood


Paul Francis
21-12-2008, 19:55
Wind Tunnel Site

P Bellamy
28-02-2009, 17:06
Restoration of a Laing Hut

Here's a few photos from a couple of years ago of the restoration of a Laing Hut at Twinwood Farm we run as part of the museum.
Building 44 on the Site Plan, it was originally Officers' Quarters, divided into six Officers' Rooms, with a central corridor and an Orderlys' Room at one end.
All the interior partitions had been removed post-war, and one end had a large section missing to allow access for large objects. A couple of the roof joists at that end had also been cut through to accommodate whatever it was stored inside.

What it was like the day we started, after we'd cleared out the huge amount of pallets and other rubbish that filled it to roof height, and cut most of the ivy off the exterior:







Doorway interior, showing the scar of the missing blackout porch:

The porches have since been rebuilt, from measurements taken from this one elsewhere on site:

The damage at the cut end can be seen here, along with the sag of the cut joists and the shadows of the former partitions:

The joists have now been repaired, and to arrest the twist the hut had taken on, we decided to rebuild two of the Officers' Rooms, Orderly Room and corridor, leaving one half of the hut to represent an OAs' Billet, seen looking somewhat untidy in this shot:


Once the interior was done, the next project was to repair the exterior.
The original felted plasterboard panels had been clad in corrugated iron at some point, removing this revealed the sorry state of the original wall:


All the plasterboard was stripped away.....:


....and replaced with new, in suitable "period attire":


Finishing touches:


And the end result:


We have had to replace virtually every pane of glass in the building, which threw up the surprise that the original pattern of frosted glass was no longer produced.
Also, plasterboard now comes in metric, not Imperial, sized sheets, which made fitting them to the old frames... interesting.... to say the least.

I'll get some more photo of the interior posted as soon as I take them, the home-made stove has since been replaced by a proper Tortoise Stove, and very warm it is too, especially in mid-December. ;)

All the best,

airfields man
21-03-2009, 14:46

airfields man
21-03-2009, 14:53
Door inside the tower, Flying Control Private, The skeletons we found in side one of the adjacent buildings

Paul Francis
21-03-2009, 18:08
Well I must admit it looks far better without the mock camouflage, its like painting a WW2 aeroplane in un-authentic colours and expecting folk on Key to love it.

airfields man
05-04-2009, 14:46
This photograph was taken Jan' 1987.

P Bellamy
05-04-2009, 15:55
Well I must admit it looks far better without the mock camouflage, its like painting a WW2 aeroplane in un-authentic colours and expecting folk on Key to love it.

I'm afraid it was probably a "necessary evil" to match the rest of the site.
Many of the surrounding original TB buildings have had to be partially re-rendered, so to cover up the patchiness the camouflage was added.
Having said that, we know that at least some of the buildings were originally camouflaged as there are still traces of the paint on some, the Pyro Store in particular. :)

All the best,

airfields man
09-07-2009, 21:41
This article was shown within the Today newspaper,Saturday 28-9-1991.

airfields man
28-02-2010, 19:59
A few more of Twinwood's tower.

airfields man
28-02-2010, 20:02
Some of the towers interiors doors.

airfields man
28-02-2010, 20:13

P Bellamy
09-05-2010, 20:04
Picked this up beside our hut at Twinwood on thursday:


All the best,

10-05-2010, 10:41
Just the box? For one of these? (Third frame down)


P Bellamy
10-05-2010, 13:23
Sadly the Astrograph box is empty, it holds the more delicate items when I take the AAF display out on the road.


11-05-2010, 08:54
Oh, I see. So the box was convenient to show the white disc which, I assume, is a plate?

31-05-2010, 21:11

I dragged Richenda for a romantic bank holiday mystery tour to Twinwood Farm.........the link is a series of pictures I took there. What a very friendly group of people run the museum site, I would recommend this place to anyone.



P Bellamy
16-07-2010, 21:44
Well I must admit it looks far better without the mock camouflage, its like painting a WW2 aeroplane in un-authentic colours and expecting folk on Key to love it.

All the TBC buildings on site are now losing the camouflage paint and getting an overall coat of green.
Here's one of Mick's photos of the control tower from last month's site visit to illustrate:


I can't remember exactly when the repainting began, but I think the majority was done prior to the filming of First Light in May.

I'm sure Mick, Noel, Richard and co. will add some of their photos of the visit in due course..... ;)

All the best,

17-07-2010, 20:56
Hiya Paul,

Follow the link for some pictures of Twinwood June 2010 .....sorry Steve ;)


A few shots of the newly painted Tower. Many thanks tp PB for showing us inside the hut and the fuel store.


Richard Flagg
18-07-2010, 18:34

P Bellamy
28-07-2010, 10:06
Noel's annotated photos of the visit are now online HERE (http://oldairfields.fotopic.net/c1874607.html).

Random Twinwood Farm snippet I only discovered last week:
The photo in Works showing the Speech Broadcast Microphone in use appears to have been taken in the control tower, judging from the plan of the airfield visible in the foreground. :-D

All the best,

28-07-2010, 11:27
The photo in Works showing the Speech Broadcast Microphone in use appears to have been taken in the control tower, judging from the plan of the airfield visible in the foreground.
Yes (page 502). I remember studying this and other photos in the book years ago trying to locate them.
I've just noticed that in this picture there is a Contact Lighting panel on the wall, (box on far right - see also page 522). That is of great interest as Twinwood is in my list as 'Contact lighting - requirements uncertain'

Another tick in the box - will amend the audit.


Richard Flagg
31-07-2010, 13:41
Here is a selection of my photos from my trip to Twinwood on 24 June 2010
http://airfields.fotopic.net/twinwoodfarm (http://airfields.fotopic.net/twinwoodfarm)



NFE Shed

Blister Hangar

Aviation Fuel Installation


P Bellamy
06-08-2010, 19:09
Nice to see the owner has seen sence and painted over that applying paint scheme at last. I remember the abuse that I received when challinging the authenticity of such a paint scheme.

I couldn't resist posting this 1943 photo... ;)


Not taken at Twinwood, but "somewhere in England".

All the best,

29-08-2010, 23:22
First time at the Festival very good altough the weather was freezing and a bit wet on Saturday! Had the experience of walking around the preserved airfield at 1am.




P Bellamy
08-05-2011, 18:06
Yes (page 502). I remember studying this and other photos in the book years ago trying to locate them.
I've just noticed that in this picture there is a Contact Lighting panel on the wall, (box on far right - see also page 522). That is of great interest as Twinwood is in my list as 'Contact lighting - requirements uncertain'

Another tick in the box - will amend the audit.


Just as final confirmation, I found two remaining transformer pits and one of the adjacent CL sockets (brick lined!) where the main runway crossed the western peritrack this afternoon on my way home.
I'll try to remember my camera next time.


P Bellamy
03-07-2011, 18:47
Twinwood's Contact Lighting photo's as promised...
These are where the main runway crossed the western perimeter track, now the access road to the museum, and are set into the runway surface itself rather than outside it.

Northern edge of runway:



Southern edge:



All the best,

19-10-2011, 23:02
I took these on a flight on Sept 29th 2011. Hopefully they are of interest to some of you..

Was these buildings part of RAF Twinwood Farm?


Former RAF Twinwood Farm runways..


Peter Kirk
20-10-2011, 13:39
Thanks for posting all the aerial shots captainflynn23. Amazing to see the runways "shadows". Not sure when they were removed but they were still there in 1971.

20-10-2011, 14:41
Thanks. :) Its sad that they removed them but the way they look now gives them a 'ghost of the past' sort of look! Too bad it didnt remain a GA airfield or anything.

18-01-2015, 22:29
Reading the excellent article by M. Dobson in AR145..... and looking at Fig. 1. The curved road that runs to the west and north of Twinwood from Clapham to the wind tunnel site was presumably a new road built in connection with the construction of the NAE site? I am presuming that as there is road access directly to the north end of the wind tunnel site along Thurleigh Rd. that it was too small to take some of the large loads used in making the tunnel site, and so this road was built? Can anyone advise on this please. Thanks

19-01-2015, 00:14

That is indeed correct. The road you refer to was built specially for access and is/was of concrete construction. I haven't been along it for a few years as, since the tunnel site shut (at least for the RAE/DRA/DERA/QinetiQ), it is now the entrance road to Yarls Wood detention centre.

The road to the west of the tunnel site, running north (Thurleigh Road) was also improved/created between the western entrance to the tunnel site and the airfield site. To the south it's quite narrow through the village of Milton Earnest, so that entrance is best reached by larger traffic from further up the A6, north of Bletsoe. However the entrance you refer to was treated as the main entrance.


19-01-2015, 07:44
I visited EMI Radar who were based there in 1979 and my guide indicated that the sunken road running east west between the two airfields had been constructed to permit a taxiway between the two airfields however apart from the sunken road nothing more had been constructed.

My colleague from fleet services when we stored our fleet hire vehicles on Thurleigh airfield in 2004/6 had been told a similar story.

Assume that its correct however always open to corrections.


19-01-2015, 19:20
No, that is correct. As you say, the initial plans for the National Aeronautical Establishment were much more grandiose, with the site of Twinwood Farm airfield becoming a large parking area, linked to the main Thurleigh airfield with the taxiway. I believe that the public roads were built first, in the late 1940s, hence the feature you mention, but the revision and simplification of the plans to what was actually built on the airfields must have followed shortly after, thus leaving a superfluous feature. As well as a dip, it features a raised concrete central reservation which serves no purpose other than for lorries to scuff their tyres on....

There are some photos of this on Page 2 of the Thurleigh/Bedford thread.

20-01-2015, 14:11
...the site of Twinwood Farm airfield becoming a large parking area, linked to the main Thurleigh airfield with the taxiway...[/url]

More info here:


20-01-2015, 16:00
Thanks for the links with pictures to explain the true history behind the stories.

When I started working at EMI the first new hire training session had been based around the film of 12 O'clock high which we had to watch and discuss over two days.

When I started working for well known American company a few years later I had related this training experience to the elderly engineer who acted as my minder and it turned out that he was involved with a group rebuilding a B17 and he related the true story behind the film.

Again if I've remembered it correctly it was based around a Colonel Armstrong who had also flown with Major Tibbet's and had been located around either Thurleigh or Grafton Underwood ?