View Full Version : Action Stations books on their way

08-01-2012, 01:42
As some of you know, I've been plodding along with two volumes of the Action Stations Revisited books for a long time, fitting them between other projects. Number 5 is now finally completed and should be published very soon, covering Wales and the Midlands. I think the volume looks good although to be honest I don't think it's going to add anything new to the subject, as the region was a real nightmare to cover. Information is certainly out there but ultimately there isn't much that one can add which could be described as "new" (history is history after all) and naturally one has to re-trace the standard potted history within the space available, so the result is essentially a re-tread of the original Action Stations entries. However, I have at least updated each entry to add a few comments on more recent years and also described what state the sites are now in.

Number 6 is also on the way and I'm completing the text over the next week or so. This covers the Yorkshire and N. Lincolnshire region so there's certainly plenty of information to include, and unlike volume 5 it's more a case of deciding what to leave-out, with a finite number of pages to fill - and a lot of entries to include.

If anyone has any photographs which might be of interest for this volume, do please let me know as one can never have too much material to choose from! I did struggle to find enough imagery for Volume 5, especially when my publisher expressed a dislike for too many images of disused sites as they currently are. My own view was that pictures of sites taken recently are worth including as they help the reader determine what he might see, should he wish to visit any of the locations. By comparison, my publisher seems to believe that pictures of aircraft (particularly WWI and WWII) are of more interest, so I am naturally obliged to go with the publisher's preferences. I think we've struck a good balance though.

Thanks to the AIX guys who helped with Volume 5 - a copy of the book is certainly yours! I've also given AIX a good mention in the book which might help to attract some more people who share an interest in the subject.

Anyway, I hope some of you like the books. I don't imagine they'll tell you anything you don't already know, but at least they will help to get the series completed and updated... probably just in time to start all over again! I guess it is a never-ending process until all of the airfields are finally obliterated, but I'm sure I'll also be dismantled and grassed-over long before then!

If anyone has any images (or can point me in the direction of any) for the Yorks/N Lincs region, you can reach me on Timothymclelland@gmail.com. I'd be particularly grateful for any aerial photos of any of the airfields (either wartime shots or current ones) as these seem to be the kind of pictures that the reader, publisher and I all seem to like!


08-01-2012, 10:45

My stamping ground is Lincs. What stations are you including in North Lincs, which is just some political creation which has nothing to do with the real world. Having been born in the East Fen, I'm "Proud to be a Yellow Belly" as they say on Radio Lincolnshire.

May all your trenches be deep.


08-01-2012, 10:57
In my defence I did mean "North Lincolnshire" in a purely geographical sense! The books trace some very odd geographical lines. This one goes from a line more or less parallel with Lincoln, so it embraces sites north of Lincoln such as Ludford, Binbrook, Strubby etc. but it excludes Waddington, Bracebridge and so on. It extends up through all of Yorkshire and out to the west, including Finningley.

08-01-2012, 13:58
Hi Tim,

Glad to hear you finally got the books sorted. I did wonder what was happening. :D I hope some of the photos I gave you were useful.

I just recently found some new and interesting information about Stoke Orchard and Northleach which would certainly of been worth and update in the book but alas it came to late. :(

12-01-2012, 02:57
I'm afraid both books have taken much longer to complete than I ever envisaged! Problem is, I'm no expert on airfield histories so I had to work "from scratch" and as you will understand, it's very difficult to find anything new to add to a history which is already published. Basically, you have the same information and roughly the same amount of space to fill, so you end-up basically re-writing the original volumes. The best you can do is update them a little so that they make mention of what the sites are currently like. The only real option for doing anything differently is to use different photos but of course they're pretty hard to find. It's possible to use new images of the sites as they now are but the publisher believes that readers prefer to see historical shots rather than modern shots of disused buildings.

So, it becomes a frustrating business! I have no doubt that as soon as the books are published, more information and images will appear - life's like that! No doubt the series will be revised and re-done sometime in the future but I certainly will not be tackling them. I wouldn't do any more even if I was asked, as they really are far more difficult to do than I ever imagined. Ultimately, I think they need a true "expert" who has a lot of archive material, lots of contacts, a good writing ability and the time/will to do a lot of research and writing. Trouble is, I don't think many people like that exist these days.

Still, having said that, I think it will be nice to get the series completed as a neat package which covers the whole country. At least they will then be able to act as a good, comprehensive resource which can be built-upon either through new publications or through the internet on sites such as this.