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Thread: Birch

  1. #1

    Default Birch


    Taken in 2007 by DJA

  2. #2
    Senior Member Southend Spitfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    Ive found this today, not sure if it is something to do with the Airfield



    http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=51.83....5&r=0&src=msl

  3. #3
    Senior Member cwbalmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    Blimey - you were out and about yesterday mate having been at Rivenhall as well!! The building above looks like it might be related to Birch as it's an odd building to have in the middle of farmland like that., but it would be distant from what might have been the boundaries in 1944 - see the pic below:



    I am in the process of looking into this airfield in some detail, so will see what I can find. I am going down there tomorrow first thing too.
    Last edited by cwbalmer; 11-06-2010 at 09:56.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cwbalmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    I think I found the building! Stupidly I only took a long lens on my camera this morning, so these were taken with my Blackberry. The funny thing was that the area around this building is packed with Peacocks running everywhere! I have some more picture I will post later.






  5. #5
    Senior Member cwbalmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    I had a lot of access to this site today - right into the compost site and then down one of the remaining roads. Leaving the site itself saw me loop around towards Layer Marney and then into a farm (complete with peacocks and emus!) where the building was. A good trip indeed. The only real evidence I could find that was left on the asphalt was the faded painted numbers as shown in one of the images below:

    Let's start with the route I took:




















  6. #6
    Senior Member cwbalmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    I went back again today to get some shots of the ramp I mentioned in the Metfield thread! And got a few more of a building I never knew exsisted - according to the people who live there(who I asked to wander about being the gracious soul that I am ) it was an Officer's mess. I had to take some caution when approaching it as there are numerous beehives both inside and outside the building, and wearing a high miz motorbike jacket was just asking for trouble! LOL...















    Geo locations can be found in the album here.
    Last edited by cwbalmer; 22-08-2010 at 08:43.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    I can add some more information about Birch Airfield. In 2006 I surveyed the whole site (Airfield and Dispersed Sites) as part of the ongoing Essex County Council project to record every World War Two defensive structure remaining in the County. The project started in 1995 and is not yet complete (funding issues!). Working from the original plans dated November 1944 I investigated the sites of every structure. What remains of the Airfield site are, as already stated, the three runways (albeit considerably reduced in width), with runway 3 now a public road, Blind Lane; two perimeter tracks, adjacent to runways 1 and 2; 4 loop dispersals at the north end of runway 3 and the Main Stores (Technical), the Romney Hut shown in previous photos. Of the Dispersed sites, there is the concrete plinth of a fuel storage tank for an adjoining standby set house, the Commanding Officer's Quarters (the brick building shown in previous photos), the remains of a latrine block and a large number of concrete plinths of accomodation blocks in both Layer and Pod's Woods. Most of the roads built to connect the dispersed sites remain as farm tracks. For further information, including the 2006 surveys of Wormingford and Boxted Airfields, see 'Survey of World War Two Defences in the Borough of Colchester, Volumes 1 & 2', of which there are 4 copies in the Local Studies section of Colchester Library (1 set for loan, 1 set for reference).Photos of items not shown in previous posts are attached.Birch Airfield 2nd Plinth of Sergeant's Quarters.jpgBirch Airfield Plinth of Standby Set House Fuel Tank.jpgBirch Airfield Plinth of Sergeant's Quarters.jpgBirch Airfield Plinth of Latrine Block.jpgBirch Airfield Latrine Block.jpg

  8. #8
    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    Welcome to AiX John and thanks for the photographs.

    Recording every WW2 defence structure in the county is a full time job. Be aware that Airfield Record Site Plans often do not show true defence positions such as pillboxes, gunpits etc and even multiple field visits through the year can reveal new remains.

    I should have thought that a project of this size would have called heavily upon inputs from amateur historians/enthusiasts albeit in a prescribed format.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    The recording is being done by amateur historians/archaeologists, under the direction of the County Military Archaeologist, who writes all the final reports. Essex is, I think, unique in having a complete set of the 'Wartime Contraventions' which list nearly all defence sites built on private land during the war (although, of course, these do not cover military establishments, including airfields). For the record, there were 74 A3 pages covering the Borough of Colchester, and there are now 389 sites photographed and recorded in text. Some of the more important ones will, hopefully, receive statutory protection.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnHeritage View Post
    Some of the more important ones will, hopefully, receive statutory protection.
    It's great to know an official body is trying to do something to preserve these sites. I hope you're successful in getting some protection in place.
    Recently, the owner of the Administration building at Matching Airfield secured planning approval from Epping Forest District Council to convert it into a 2 bedroom bungalow. I had been assured by Lizzie Haynes (Head of Planning Conservation at EFDC) less than a year before that ALL the buildings at Matching were 'locally listed' and it would be almost impossible for anyone to get planning approval for anything. I even sent her a number of emails with plans & photos to ensure all the buildings I was aware of were 'on the list'. Although the Admin block was in a poor state, it's still a shame that planning was granted - another building lost forever.

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