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Thread: Expansion Period Airfields

  1. #11
    Senior Member jason's Avatar
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    Default Magazine artlcle, help needed.

    I am planning on doing a series of articles for the Airfield Review, it will be all about the Expansion Airfields, how they came about, how they were built and why the style of building was used amongst other aspects.
    My reason for this post is to ask everyone out there for help in this article, i am a novice with a lot of enthusisam but my knowledge is limited yet there is a huge wealth of knowledge out there.
    I plan on splitting it up into parts and what to do this subject justice, i have plenty of pictures though the more the better, i really need word facts and help getting it together. I haven't got a planned time when i want top get the first part together, so can you help?
    Last edited by jason; 14-01-2010 at 00:12.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Jerry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Magazine artlcle, help needed.

    I've got the book as detailed below, and remember a chapter on expansion period buildings and airfields.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Archaeology-...ref=pd_sim_b_1

    I would recommend getting a copy.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Magazine artlcle, help needed.

    Jason,

    I work at Cranfield so if you want a tour round just drop me a line.

    As far as an article is concerned I'd be happy to help where I can. My first tip would be to plan out what topics you want it to cover and come up with some sort of structure. The Expansion period is a big topic and if you're not careful it could become a lifetime's work

    If you've been in the ARG for a couple of years or more you would have seen my series on post-war Fighter Command airfields. From the initial idea ("I've never seen much on that subject") to completing the series took nearly three years of research and writing.

    I'm not trying to put you off - just the opposite - but as with many things planning is everything. I'd certainly recommend the book British Military Airfield Architecture by Paul Francis as a good starting point if you can get hold of a copy.

    If you want to discuss further, drop me a PM.

    Peter

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Magazine artlcle, help needed.

    Jason
    It was a political decision to expanding the RAF and many schemes were implemented such as 'B', C' etc.
    The style of the building was approved by the then English Countryside Heritage or a similar nationwide body. Different airfield required differing aspects for example, Figther station only require smaller hangars as opposed to the bomber station. As war was imminant the style changed to more austere construction.

  5. #15
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    Default Airfield architecture in the pre war expansion period

    Slightly odd one - does anyone know if the architect Lutjens was involved in any way with the committees making decisions on the style of RAF buildings, such as officers mess's, in the pre-war expansion period?

  6. #16

    Default Re: Airfield architecture in the pre war expansion period

    'Ramsey MeDonald, as Prime Minister, had instructed that the Royal Fine Arts Commission to be involved in airfield design, and that a process of consultation with the Air Ministry was initiated with visits by commissioners - three distinguished architects (Sir Edwin Lutyens, Sir Reginald Blomfield and Giles Gilbert Scott) and the planning authority Professor S D Adshead - to Upper Heyford and Abingdon in 193 1. This resulted in the creation of the new post of architectural advisor to the Director of Works and Buildings, first occupied by A Bulloch in 1934, with many of the early (1934-35) building designs being specifically approved by the commissioners; afterwards, liaison over layout and other matters was personally handled by Lutyens.7 The buildings erected for much of the 1930s Expansion Period were, as a consequence, more carefully proportioned than their predecessors, a clear distinction being made between neo-Georgian for domestic buildings and more modern styles for technical buildings'.

    This source from http://www.ihbc.org.uk/context_archi...airfields.html

    Stand by for Mr Paul Francis to elaborate though

  7. #17
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airfield architecture in the pre war expansion period

    Yes we have a load of stuff on this, mainly the early period such as the visits to Upper Heyford and Abingdon. The architects slated the building designs and the planning of the stations. They accused the RAF of flying over Upper Heyford with a plane full of bricks and timber and dumping the whole lot out. Where this debris had landed, so became the buildings.

    The Air Ministry were not happy and it took a long time to recover. The architect A Bulloch was drafted in and he took charge of the planning within AMWD. Even his plans for the first two stations (Feltwell and Marham) were not satisfactory and had to be re-designed. The commissioners were very harsh and Bulloch did not last long, being replaced by J Binge.

    This is all from memory so may not be terribly accurate but you get my point.

  8. #18
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    Red face Re: Airfield architecture in the pre war expansion period

    Thanks Chaps,

    Just the answer I was looking for and it is nice to see the children can still argue with each other over inconsequential things!

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Airfield architecture in the pre war expansion period

    Lutyens did indeed design an officers mess.................. what is now Greywalls Hotel in Gullane on the Firth of Forth was requisitioned for officers at nearby RAF Drem ......... http://greywalls.co.uk/

  10. #20
    SuperMod Carnaby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airfield architecture in the pre war expansion period

    Lovely place - would make a superb AiX Archive HQ.

    Graham

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