View Full Version : Jurby

18-09-2008, 19:15

hi all,
any ex raf jurby guys out there?i was based @ jurby nov63-dec65,i was a radar op on the bombing range,we used a decca acr7,to watch for the splash of the bombs and from this we could tell how accurate the drop had been.
most of the aircraft were from the usaf,voodoos,a7 corsairs,b52s,we also had vulcans,canberras,victors,pembrokes. the last day of my service @the cronk,we had a voodoo on range,and i got the pilot to drop a 25lb practice bomb 20yds off shore and when the tide went out,i was able to retrieve it,and now use it as a door stop,during the summer months.

Paul Francis
18-09-2008, 21:18
I think you mean RAF Jurby Head. The range also had the most number (as far as I know) in the British Isles of atomic weapons dropped on on it - abiet inert. I have photos of the range towers and the Decca radar vans etc. I have also written a book on the history of RAF Jurby, that includes RAF Jurby Head, the other ranges and the ASR unit at Ramsey (which was part of Jurby Head).

19-09-2008, 21:13
paul,no i meant raf jurby.that was the unit on my posting order,we lived in the billets just behind what used to be the officers mess.
because the officer cadet unit had closed down,we used the officers mess as our dining place,and because the civvies who were still employed until the closure in early 64,we were treated to silver service waiter standard.the unit then moved to the old airsea rescue place in ramsey,and the personnel were billeted in a small holiday hotel on the outskirts of ramsey/laxey rd.
flt lt JOHN CONNING a victor pilot was doing a ground tour as the unit co,a 1st class officer firm but fair.

Paul Francis
10-10-2008, 20:49
I stand corrected.

24-04-2009, 19:46
Hi folks, nice to see a bit of chat, I'd love to have seen the 25pounder. I've caught a few 3-4 pounders (fish) out at the targets. How my Dad knew when it was safe to go out there I'll never know.
I have fired a Bofors at an Oildrum target in the 1940-50s. Good fun, very noisy and I was VERY surprised to find that I could see the (tracer) round all the way to the target (nearly).

I was the secretary of the Andreas Racing Association motorcycle racing club. I am now the President. Shows how very old I am.
I will attach a copy of our badge and from this you will see that we never got to use Andreas Aifield but got the use of Jurby AND Jurby ROAD circuit as well.

Look at Google Earth and Jurby Airfield and you will see our competitors at the end of the main runway, using it as a paddock.
Track straight off the airfield onto the road outside and move to the right and then in a large road triangle going anti-clock. Seven riders are visible on the road, no other traffic is on the road as there is a Road Closing order in effect. The circuit on the road is 4.25 miles long, laps speeds are over 113mph and fastest speed recorded thus far is 185mph.

date of Google depiction is July 2006.

I have flown from Jurby in A Percival Prentice, an Avro Anson, a Slingsby Sedburgh glider and, whilst in the R.A.F. in a Vickers Varsity to RAF Ternhill where I was stationed. A Golden Hitch as I had missed the boat back to England and otherwise would have been AWOL.
The Varsity had come over to replace a prop on a Percival Provost from my camp, which had been performing for the Battle of Britain day. It had been taxying in and dropped a wheel in an athletics sand pit. A few extra revs and woopsey, on the nose and a bent prop.
I don't think the engine was damaged.
I even got a schoolmate to ride my motorbike back home for me.


11-08-2009, 21:43
5 photos hopefully. recent ones of Jurby
1 - update on control tower repairs
2 - hangar front-blue wall is crash bags for m/c race
3- funny Nissen hut and tall building
4 - back of Guardhouse
5-remaining half of MT section:-)

11-08-2009, 21:55
further shot as last message had max 5 shots

Richard Flagg
11-08-2009, 22:05
The third photo has an unusual type of 'nissen' hut.

11-08-2009, 22:42
Great all systems go.
Is the hangar ww2 style ? I think this contains quite a few kites including a 1/1 scale model Spitfire and a DH Moth of a 4seat cabin type (Puss Moth?0

What is the large barn structure in the nissen hut photo? I don't think it is wartime issue.

There is still a bomb dump across the airfield which I will try and get to, racing bikes permitting.

Paul Francis
12-08-2009, 09:34
The large barn is the turret instructional building, buit in 1939 / 1940. Check out my five books on military IoM availble from the museum in Douglas.

Richard Flagg
29-08-2009, 15:07


Officers Initial Training Course No. 28/1 (Blue) July 21st - October 20th 1954

30-08-2009, 07:35
Can anyone point to a WW2 or just post-war aerial of Jurby airfield covering the Bomb Store area?

It should have had a 3054/36 pattern layout but, although the remains indicate some buildings which conform, there are too few so perhaps part of the site has been levelled.

Peter Kirk
30-08-2009, 08:03
The GE image shows it well. There was only one three door storehouse at Jurby, with a components store opposite. It also looks as if the gantry is still there in the GE image.

30-08-2009, 08:14
The GE image shows it well. There was only one three door storehouse at Jurby, with a components store opposite. It also looks as if the gantry is still there in the GE image.

Yes, I see that which is why I asked for an older image to confirm.
I expect that it had some 3054/36 buildings but thought there would be more.

Peter Kirk
30-08-2009, 08:51
Sorry Peter, forgot to say the source was a 1948 plan and description by Paul Francis in a book on Jurby I got from Manx Heritage where he states that only one was built instead of the normal clusters of four. I wonder why?

A post war image would be good as the OS map I looked at didn't show any of the minor features at all.

Incidentally if you look at the remaining pans dotted around the airfield you can see that they pre date the runways and perimeter track.

30-08-2009, 10:08
OK, that satisfies me. The role of Jurby from the start was as a Bombing and Gunnery School, not operational support so a small number of the (then) current pattern stores would have been sufficient to support that requirement, in fact, it may even have been 'over the top'.

The planners of course would have to factor in the chance of any change of function, say, to Coastal Command operations. No doubt CC aircraft used it for diversion if required.

I would have been involved in the Jurby Head Range clearance task (RAF Bomb Disposal)
in 1966 (?) but was posted abroad just before the task started so might have had first hand knowledge.

I shall have to get a copy of NPs book.

20-09-2009, 23:16
I've just been up to Jurby (to attend a motorcycle race meeting!?) and I decided to take a look at the Bomb store and get some photos.
Would some be of interest to you?
The gantry still has the name plate on - Herbert Morris, Loughborough, 1 ton, and the steel work looks as if it was put up and left out in the elements about 3 years ago! (by today's standards)
For other the latest shot of the conttrol tower.

21-09-2009, 07:26
Thanks manxix, if you have other images of the bomb store why not post them. It's not a place that many AiX members would get to although NPs been there.

16-10-2009, 21:05
Jurby Bomb store

Road system is - straight through road from the HighRoad - between lifting area and 2 storage areas to meeting the peri-track at a tangent.
Entry left to lifting area before the 1st storage area - right to area- entry to area-shots of area exit-turn-turn.
several shots to follow

16-10-2009, 21:06
final bomb store

16-10-2009, 21:10
longshot of whole bombdump

16-10-2009, 21:12
oh yes - are these pillboxes at all 4 corners and if they are, how the hell does anyone get into one? slit is too small, interior is triangular, no obvious entry points.

16-10-2009, 21:19
8 part series first 5 herewith of road layout

16-10-2009, 21:22
oops didn't realise I had 2 number 7s

16-10-2009, 21:26
top right store
still has building -2 doors padlocks(new) and 2 built-in locks all marked OUT.
more to come

16-10-2009, 21:28
1 more shot

16-10-2009, 21:31
8 various shots 5 here and 3 to follow

16-10-2009, 21:33
last 3 shots - previous last shot showed friend Phil Kneen

16-10-2009, 21:38
last 3 pics

1 pillbox slit
2 long shot with clearer view of pillboxes
3 sentry box ? at entrance from mainroad. couldn't see from the road.

17-10-2009, 08:49
Thanks for the pix manxix, the HE Bomb Store is to AM Drawing 3054/36 and was built pre-war. Nice to see that it still has the doors and gantries but for how long?

27-01-2010, 22:37
There should be no bother about anything being done away with. There may be more worry about it deteriorating as our Government spends are dropping enormously.
Will try and do what I can.
Do you know what the corner blocks are? If there is an entry and if so, where?

29-01-2010, 08:29
There should be no bother about anything being done away with. There may be more worry about it deteriorating as our Government spends are dropping enormously.
Will try and do what I can.
Do you know what the corner blocks are? If there is an entry and if so, where?

No, I suspect the apparent defence positions are unique to Jurby I have not seen the like elsewhere. They may simple have been dummies to fool the enemy. but then some would ask why would the Germans want to 'invade' Jurby?

Was there a Battle HQ? If so, where?

Paul Francis
29-01-2010, 15:59
Why would the Germans want to invade Jurby, well I would have thought it was obvious, they were not particularly interested in the IoM but they would be in capturing Liverpool Docks, and if had they acquired the IoM, then they could use it in that campaign. The AM knew this and as a result, Jurby was very well defended (for a training drome) with ten pillboxes, plus two forts, one of these being the bomb stores. Andreas was also well-defended as was Ronaldsway and the RDF stations.

Peter Kirk
29-01-2010, 17:05
Out of interest I understand that the IOM will no longer treat you under the NHS agreement (and vice versa).
Seems strange to me as it would appear to discourage tourism. I hope my contact got it wrong.
Mind you the airport extension is probably for business traffic not tourists.

Paul Francis
29-01-2010, 17:23
I dont know about NHS but the IoM's days as a tourist attraction are long gone, its just too expensive to get over there. Now days its the likes of the film industry that frequent the place, like 'Orson and Me', a small part of Douglas masquarading as 1930s New York I think.

Chris Lowe
29-01-2010, 21:51
I hope to go over to the Island later in the year so I'll try and visit Jurby.

A few years ago staying in Castletown the local armed response officer informed us that we out gunned him after he proudly showed off his machine gun.

30-01-2010, 06:04
Why would the Germans want to invade Jurby, well I would have thought it was obvious, they were not particularly interested in the IoM but they would be in capturing Liverpool Docks, and if had they acquired the IoM, then they could use it in that campaign. The AM knew this and as a result, Jurby was very well defended (for a training drome) with ten pillboxes, plus two forts, one of these being the bomb stores. Andreas was also well-defended as was Ronaldsway and the RDF stations.

Yes,thanks Paul, I wasn't thinking laterally but commanding the land and sea areas on the approach to Liverpool Bay would have been essential strategy. Converting the Laxey Wheel to a fairground attraction would not have been high on the Wehrmacht agenda!:-P

But, back to the defence points in the Bomb Store, how were they accessed?

Chris Lowe
07-01-2011, 13:37
An interesting use for hangars at Jurby http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-12128590

17-01-2011, 17:46
Hello, I went to 243MSU [later Jurby Bombing Range]in June 1961 and left in Dec 1963. The Radar trucks were Decca 424 NB2 and were more powerful and accurate than ACR7. Very useful for watching for the bus coming to collect us at the end of a shift. Austin

17-01-2011, 19:31
Hello, I went to 243MSU...
Hi Austin - welcome to the forum. Just wondered what MSU stood for. Thought it might be a Maintenance Sub Unit, but it clearly isn't as 243 was at Kirknewton and Keith, and closed in 1956.


18-01-2011, 19:18
hello, MSU was short for Mobile Signals Unit. We were actually posted to RAF Mildenhall and later to HQ Strike Command at High Wycombe before becoming Jurby Bombing Range.Austin Wynne

Peter Kirk
18-01-2011, 23:25
Someone mention Bombing Ranges? Any info on how the range was operated in the 1960s would be most welcome. TNA have records from that period.


09-02-2011, 17:24
I was at raf jurby bomping range from 1962 to jan 1964 but I lived in married quarters with my wife jean I remember sargent HARIS geordi farrel ,he got posted to eladam ,I rember the deep snow when we were cut off from humanity for a week
I forgot to say I was sac peter johnston radar mechanic

09-02-2011, 17:35
could you be austin win ,I am peter johnston radar mec

07-03-2011, 22:11
I've looked at Jurby via Flash Earth, hoping to see the location of the Officers Mess, having learned that it's been demolished, but can't see it. Can someone help me, please? I've seen photos of a rather splendid red building in wood that was a hotel until not long ago.........

08-03-2011, 09:22

The GE imagery is dated 2006

08-03-2011, 10:13
Thanks Peter. I've made an RAF Jurby for my flight sim & have made a nice red Officers Mess hut so want it placed properly!

15-05-2011, 19:07
Hi all, the other half had a few days away on the I O M, but on strict orders she takes the camera and get around at least one of the airfields on the island, so she went to Jurby to Jurby Junkers and came up with these






15-05-2011, 19:13
Here are a few more






and this map taken from the book "Manx aviation" by Gordon Kniveton


15-08-2011, 18:04
Congratulations to the other half on the quality of the snaps she brought back.........

20-02-2012, 18:19
a few photo's from a visit in Sept 2010

The Tower

one of the many former RAF buildings that survive around Jurby

a section of R/W 25/07 at Jurby Airfield, which is bisected by a road

20-02-2012, 21:44
Jurby is now the site of the Isle of Man prison.

And the picture of the course from 1954 shows Warrant Officer Cooke, allegedly his voice could be heard from 2 miles away!

02-07-2013, 11:27
A couple of pictures taken in 2002 showing (I think) the radio communications room in Jurby tower. This was behind the main 'Control Room' at the front of the building and the slots underneath the window would have been for passing message slip written out by the controller which were then transmitted by C/W (morse) to the aircraft. Replies would have been recieved and similarly transcibed onto message slips and passed back to the controller. The coming of VHF R/T radio during WW2 allowed direct communication between pilots and controller.
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06-07-2013, 16:49
A couple of charts of Jurby dated 1951-09-21 that might be of interest12947 12948

06-07-2013, 17:15
An aerial photo of Jurby taken by me in 2001


Before the prison was built and a lot of the airfield buildings and roads altered to create the Jurby Industrial Estate

Chris Lowe
06-07-2013, 17:39
Thats a fantastic shot.

I really must get back to the IOM again I haven't been to Jurby yet as I usually stay in Castletown near Ronaldsway is there much left of what can be seen in your photo?

06-07-2013, 18:34
The runways are still there, although mainly used for motorsports. However, over the past few days there has been a Spitfire based there for a film being made in the IOM. It passed through Ronaldsway on the 3rd:


and overhead this morning on the way back to Duxford. Although the road layout has been altered considerably, there are quite a few of the old buildings left, including the preserved control tower, now used as race control for the motorcycle racing. I think we last used if for ATC in 2004 at last last Jurby airshow.

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The interior picture is from the 2003 airshow, note all the hi-tech ATC equipment! It was always a culture shock going from Ronaldsway to Jurby!


ATC desk from 2004 with new equipment - a fax machine. One year we forgot the clock and had to back to Ronaldsway for it!

Worth a visit if you're over here.

Chris Lowe
06-07-2013, 19:04
I'll be back over there as soon as I can the IOM is one of my favourite places & most interesting having slept several times in the castle keep in Castletown.

I'm sure our resisdent ATC guys are going to be interested in those shots in the tower

In my visits I've never had time to check over the airfields & it's something that needs rectifying.


05-10-2013, 18:13
A few photos of the bomb store.

I have a lot more of the airfield over the years that I will post shortly.


06-10-2013, 08:31
Thanks Corkish, a nice set of images.

The HE Bomb Store (AM Drawing 3054/36) is unusual in that there was just a single building instead of the usual group of four and most unusual the earth traverse on the airfield side has two defence positions. Any idea how the defenders would have got into them?

Directly opposite the Bomb Store was a Component Store (demolished?) - AM Drawing Number? - for bomb pistols, exploders and fuzes and just up the road an Incendiary Bomb & Pyrotechnic Store (demolished) to AM Drawing 3800/38

06-10-2013, 09:35
Morning Peter,

The bomb store has four defensive positions one in each corner of the surrounding berm. I could not find the entry points due to the time of the visit. It was very overgrown.
However managed to get some photos inside which shows they have all been back filled.

The component & pyro stores are still in place. Some photos will follow.


06-10-2013, 09:38
Some Photos of the component store


06-10-2013, 09:41
Some photos of the Pyro Store, very overgrown but the building is still there under the undergrowth.


06-10-2013, 13:02
Thanks. So both are sfll there, that's encouraging but until you said the Pyro Store was overgrown I thought from your photos it had gone.

25-06-2014, 10:36
As seen from a passing Easyjet a few days ago.

Richard Flagg
25-06-2014, 19:53
Nice ww2ni, here is a similar photo I took in April;


01-09-2014, 19:04
31st August 2014
The demolition of the AML and Turret trainer buildings has started. To be replaced by a car museum.

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The Guardhouse is under renovation.


7th September 2014

19-09-2014, 20:48
Hi all, Can anyone remember a chap running a business somewhere on the airfield, called "Two-Stroke Services". He specialised in two-stroke boat engines, like Mercury and Evinrude, but was also a fanatic about Scott motorcycles. He originally came from the Leicester area. He was Pete, and his wife was Moira, and she was of Manx origins. Sadly I have forgotten their surname.

26-12-2014, 14:14
Some of the surviving Pill Boxes.

Airmen Married Quarters

A Flight Dispersal

C Flight Dispersal

D Flight Dispersal
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