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Thread: STORAGE DEPOT - Handforth (61 MU)

  1. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: RAF 61 MU Handforth, Cheshire.

    Quote Originally Posted by PNK View Post

    I am not sure if this is the right place but it looks like an MU layout.

    It was taken from this website where a lot of Cheshire is covered from the 1970s.
    Hi PNK,

    Quick question for you please, how did you copy the map from CEC website? i need it zoomed out a bit more to include some other areas on the perimeter of the camp. I tried yesterday and it wont let me.


    Big Ant

  2. #22
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Peoples Republic of Kent

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    I normally use a screen grab utility that allows me to copy only the rectangle I want and then paste into Paintshop Pro or Paint .NET and stich together. If you have no screen grab utility then the "Print Scrn" is ok but you need to crop each grab.

    I tend to go for the best possible zoom on the site and resize if required afterwards but this can be very time consuming on a site like Handforth.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Hello again all.

    OK, further to the last posts I decided to venture out today with my camera, a raincoat and a printed copy of PNK's aerial map and a modern day print of Google maps. Below are the results of my little 'field trip'. I have modified the aerial map slightly to cover the area i explored today (hope thats ok PNK) and it is annotated with the picture numbers.

    Pics 1, 2 & 3:

    I started from Grove Lane and made my way along Dairyhouse Road. From studying the 70's aerial map, it looked like there was a large building just off this road, near to the junction with Grove lane. Turning onto Dairyhouse Road, a gate now bars the way to vehicles, access is by foot only. After much tramping through brambles i located the perimeter fence-posts, now crumbling and succumbing to nature.

    Part 2 to follow....
    Last edited by Jamesb; 02-10-2009 at 19:00.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Part 2

    Pics 4 & 5:

    A little further on was the concrete floor of the building. Not sure what it was, but the aerial map shows a large building of some kind.

    Pics 6 & 7:

    At the edge of the floor, towards the road, was a drop of around 3 feet. A brick base with an iron edge was still visible. The remains of a loading dock of some kind? As you can see, the whole area is very overgrown and thick with brambles.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Part 3

    Pics 8, 9 & 10:

    Strewn around were piles of concrete and rubble, presumably left over from the demolition of the building. Other than this, there was nothing else remaining.

    Pics 11 & 12:

    Extracting myself from the brambles I made my way back towards Dairyhouse Lane. With the building of the A555 Bypass, Dairyhouse Road was severed just beyond the first building i explored and a new link, named Dairyhouse Lane was built, linking Grove Lane/Woodford Road with the entrance to what is now Total Fitness and the MOD Pay offices. A gate post stands alone at the side of the road. The long entrance road to the pay offices is very busy with traffic to and from the Sports centre. The round objects are believed to be WW2 era tank traps and line the road every 15 or so feet.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Pics 13 & 14:

    I continued along the lane to the entrance to the Pay offices. After obtaining permission, I got a couple of quick snaps. The road bends to the right and into the Pay office complex via the grey gate hut.
    Straight ahead would have continued into the MU buildings seen to the left of the Pay offices (marked as 'D'), but this is now a secure car park and access was not granted. To the left is the access to Total Fitness which requires a member's key card, again preventing access. Total Fitness is built on the site of the large warehouse shown on the map as 'A'.

    Pics 15, 16 & 17:

    Re tracing my steps I then turned right and headed along Dairyhouse Lane and out into open country. Had it not been cold and drizzling, it would have been a pleasant walk! Reaching the end of the lane, I turned right onto what was an access road to the larger part of the MU marked as 'B'. A pair of gates remain, long since rusted open. The concrete road is slowly returning to nature and at it's far end, has been dug up completely.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Pic 18:

    Showing how the concrete road has been completely removed. The hedge row and fence are recent additions since the MU closed.

    Pics 19 & 20:

    Once over the fence and through the hedge I was surprised to come out onto a neatly mown field, which looks to be a cricket pitch. Consulting my printed aerial maps, I am reasonable certain I was standing at point 'C' when i took the pictures. Total Fitness can be seen in the background of Pic 19, which was taken looking back towards the Pay office complex.

    Pic 21:

    The only evidence I could find of a Perimeter track was this rough path through the grass. No signs at all of concrete or gravel.

    Pic 22:

    Difficult to see on this picture, but at several places there are low mounds of earth, which i assume are the remains of the buildings. Again, time and nature have removed any traces of the structures, but given their locations I'm pretty certain that is what they are.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Pic 23:

    The lane heading out towards Handforth has been severed by the Wilmslow Bypass. A footbridge has been provided which is located here.

    Pic 24:

    Turning back towards the Pay office complex we can see the Total Fitness centre, built on the site of building 'A'.

    Pic 25:

    Another of the 'mounds'. Again, estimating my postion from the aerial maps, I think i was standing here.

    Pic 26:

    The final one. The remains of the Perimeter fence here.

    Apart from the the Pay offices there is little to see. Site D has disappeared completely under the access slip road for the Handforth Dean shopping centre. Site A is under the Total Fitness leisure complex and site B, despite it's obvious size, has been wiped off the face of the earth. I expected to see something here, perhaps an odd piece of concrete floor or rubble, but there is nothing save the earth mounds. If I can use the word is this context, the best 'preserved' site is that at the junction of Dairyhouse Road and Grove lane, but in reality it is little more than a concrete floor and some fence posts.

    So there you have it folks! My first 'Field trip' and not a lot to see!


  9. #29
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Peoples Republic of Kent

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    Excellent stuff Jamesb. The annotated aerial makes it much easier to understand the photos.
    As you say not much to see but it is a valuable record of what remains. You can't photograph atmospehere or memories.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Carnaby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Bristol, UK

    Default Re: Handforth / 61 MU

    I feel this thread should be relocated to.. /Non Airfield Sites /Storage Depots

    Does anyone have information on the Handforth / Poynton site 201 MU (Centralized Overseas Unit) ?

    Last edited by Carnaby; 16-04-2012 at 17:57.

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