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Thread: 61 MU Handforth

  1. #111

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    1970's aerial view of Site 7 courtesy of the Twinmaps website. I have also added a key reference for the colour photographs of the remaining structures. Click on the link and then left click again to enlarge it.

    James


    http://u1.ipernity.com/19/55/66/11285566.be2417cd.jpg

  2. #112
    Junior Member 61MUfan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Now I'm getting confused! I was only there a couple of days ago for a look around, but the Bing pic seems substantially different to the current layout. Do we know what date the Bing pic was taken? I'm guessing it's pre 2000, as the mystery building(s) seem to be as I remembered them, flat roofed and derelict. The Cornerstone House conversion seems to be after this was taken....

    The "Grand Designs" house is there though, so to try to rectify the anomalies I will pay Foden Lane another visit tomorrow. Are you local to the area btw?

    Do you have any closeup current pics of Foden Lane from Google streetview? If so could you post them?

  3. #113

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Hi again, not really had much time to devote to the thread recently, due to one thing and another, but I thought I would keep it chugging along with these two aerial pictures from when the MU was earning its keep. The first picture is undated, but probably some time during the war. It shows part of the HQ site and Site 5, but has been censored. However, if you save it and zoom in, you can clearly see lots and lots of equipment stored outside the buildings, in particular around Site 5.

    The second picture is dated 1947 and shows the HQ site (dead centre of the pic) as well as Site 6 (top right), Site 1 (lower right), Site 5 (Lower left), Wing HQ site (middle right) as well as the Camp A sites (Communal site is middle top).

    James

    1940-45.jpg1947.jpg
    Last edited by Jamesb; 24-09-2011 at 18:49.

  4. #114
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    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    I've just been talking with my father about his time at the 61MU site. He did his national service there and he says he didn't have to work that hard as he was the CO's Batman. He used to stay out overnight (strictly forbidden) and catch the first bus to Grove Lane from Adswood in the morning so he was back early enough to give the CO his morning tea. He'd have to hide his greatcoat on sneaking back into camp so he had an arrangement with Ted Bratt the pig farmer (next door to what is now the Smithy pub), that he'd leave his coat in his yard and collect it later in the day. He left in 1949 but having met my mother he eventually stayed in Stockport.

  5. #115
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    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Hi, I have been reading your thread regarding 61 MU with great interest. With regards to Foden Lane / Foden Farm, I can perhaps offer some information regarding it. My uncle bought Foden Farm back in the 50's and lived there with his wife and parents in law who re-located from Wales. He had greenhouses on the site and grew flowers as a nurseryman. Foden Farm (farmhouse) was on the left hand side of the Foden Lane at the end facing north, and had various barns attached. I remember visiting regularly in the 60's as a small child. During the early 70's he sold Foden Farm and all its land including 1 pond to a family called Claphams who were civil engineers and did a lot of construction work in the Middle East. Claphams demolished the original farm house to the left of Foden Lane and built the large house at the end. It has since passed into the hands of I think the Hadfield family who had a large chain of carpet retail stores. As far as I am aware, I have never heard of any reference to it being a former RAF MU site nor POW. I do remember in later years some flat roofed out buildings but I am pretty sure they were built in the 70's. If you pm me I can put you in touch with my uncle who still lives on Moor Lane and can probably shed more light on it. Otherwise I will ask him when I next see him, but I have to say I can remember playing around the farm as a child and cannot remember any other outbuildings apart from the barns. I think I would know if it had been a former RAF site, as it was of interest to me and I used to play in the shelters being the Smithy at the end of Gill Bent Road and later on the old site on the other side of the railway line nearer to Cheadle Hulme. I think we used to get to is on the end of Green Bank Road. We too used to cycle round the peri tracks and explore the remaining building, pretending to be in that popular childrens drama at the time called "TIMESLIP" if I remember rightly.
    Bryan.

  6. #116

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    I used to live in Handforth from 77 until 86. Went to school next to the camp. Dean row Secondary school. Was always in the old camp trying to find anything we could from that camp. Was always worried about the housing estate creeping into the site even in the 80s.
    The camp and depot seemed to stretch for quite a long way on the other side of the railway. I always thought that Woodford airfield was part of this RAF camp as a kid ).
    Visited the sites 5 years ago. Found that both my old schools had been knocked down to make way for the bypass road (good news) and talking with it the rest of the RAF camp in Dean row.

  7. #117
    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Quote Originally Posted by BRYAN View Post
    Hi, I have been reading your thread regarding 61 MU with great interest. With regards to Foden Lane / Foden Farm, I can perhaps offer some information regarding it. My uncle bought Foden Farm back in the 50's and lived there with his wife and parents in law who re-located from Wales. He had greenhouses on the site and grew flowers as a nurseryman. Foden Farm (farmhouse) was on the left hand side of the Foden Lane at the end facing north, and had various barns attached. I remember visiting regularly in the 60's as a small child. During the early 70's he sold Foden Farm and all its land including 1 pond to a family called Claphams who were civil engineers and did a lot of construction work in the Middle East. Claphams demolished the original farm house to the left of Foden Lane and built the large house at the end. It has since passed into the hands of I think the Hadfield family who had a large chain of carpet retail stores. As far as I am aware, I have never heard of any reference to it being a former RAF MU site nor POW. I do remember in later years some flat roofed out buildings but I am pretty sure they were built in the 70's. If you pm me I can put you in touch with my uncle who still lives on Moor Lane and can probably shed more light on it. Otherwise I will ask him when I next see him, but I have to say I can remember playing around the farm as a child and cannot remember any other outbuildings apart from the barns. I think I would know if it had been a former RAF site, as it was of interest to me and I used to play in the shelters being the Smithy at the end of Gill Bent Road and later on the old site on the other side of the railway line nearer to Cheadle Hulme. I think we used to get to is on the end of Green Bank Road. We too used to cycle round the peri tracks and explore the remaining building, pretending to be in that popular childrens drama at the time called "TIMESLIP" if I remember rightly.
    Bryan.
    Thanks for that little history Bryan, it helps to make sense of the structures in that area.

  8. #118
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    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    What a fabulous read this thread has been. Like many who have posted on this thread, I was a child of the 70's and I used to live down the southern end of Woking Road up until about 1977.

    I remember the place being referred to as 'The MU' but I never knew why - now I do.

    Around Coopers Fold on the north side of Stanley Road there was two or three collapsed 'Air Raid Shelters' - Stanton Shelters as I now know - they were very close to where I lived and a popular playground when we didn't fancy crossing Stanley Road.

    Our route to the HQ Site was straight down Longsight Lane and I remember well the empty sheds, railway tracks in the road, the tower and many many other sights which made up a fantastic playground for a kid in the 70's on his Chopper

    I also remember the old concrete roads on the west side of the railway line towards Heald Green - reached by a particularly hairy rail-level foot crossing round about where the A34 bypass crosses.

    Happy days... thanks to all for the pictures and maps which have proved to me that I didn't actually dream it all, it was all there

    Steve N

  9. #119
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    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Ditto the previous comments, this thread is fascinating and I hope it picks up again with so many more areas to investigate. Special thanks for the details from Jamesb and Hughs for going the extra distance...don't give up!

    I moved into Cheadle Hulme from the Wirral in 2008, on to the new Jones Housing estate - Eden Park development, Eden Park Road to be precise in the middle of site 4. I've been told by a number of locals this was previously an RAF base with a runway that the new A34 cut through. It's great to see and read what actually took place here.

    Now that the developers have completed building there is an area of rough ground that's been left untouched for the wild life, running alongside of the A34 near to the underpass walkway. This has a few concrete bases/footings that aren't completely overgrown yet - I'll try to get some pictures and post them on here - it will be great to find out what they were. Planting in the back garden, digging any decent hole nearly always turns up some old bricks, lumps of concrete or cinders, which are far older than the new development, and I can only assume they're part of site 4 and will pay more attention in case I unearth something like the gas mask plug hole

    I've also noticed some old buildings walking and driving around the area that could also relate to the MU, and will take my camera along to share the photos with this thread

    Jamesb - Is it possible to get a scan of the plan you have for site 4, or can you tell me where I can get this?

    Many thanks, Mark
    Last edited by marklw; 05-06-2012 at 17:27.

  10. #120

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Hi, I am glad that this thread is still alive and well and that people are enjoying it. I haven't had too much spare time to continue my investigations but hopefully that will change. Marklw, send me a Pm with your contact details and I will try and get a scanned image to you.

    Kind regards, James

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