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Thread: Ratcliffe

  1. #1
    SuperMod stevie's Avatar
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    Default Ratcliffe

    I was so pleased to finally visit an airfield i've wanted to visit for years today. The old Ratcliffe aerodrome was once upon a time back in the 1930's one of the most respected airfields in the UK for it's unrivalled facilities and prestigious Air Pagents and social gatherings for air men and women at the time. It's also the airfield where the forerunner to the Auster (Model Plus C - G-AFWN) made it's first flight. It also played it's part in the war years when No 6 Ferry pilots Pool of the Air Transport Auxiliary took over the grass field with various aircraft.

    After the war the site continued as a leading private airfield until the airfield owner and much respected aviator in Leicestershire Sir Lindsey Everard passed away and the site became farm land.

    Many thanks to the current owners - The Rosmini Centre - for allowing us to have a thorough look around what remains of this great airfield. Heres my pics -

    Apparently this is the old guard room below -








    One of the two remaining original hangars out of the three that originally stood here at Ratcliffe.. What a great building this is!!








    ..and the view from within -
















    Heres the other remaining hangar -




    ...and the one time enterance to the third hangar here -

  2. #2
    SuperMod stevie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ratcliffe

    More surviving buildings -












    Swimming pool (not quite so inviting nowadays!!)


    A view across where the grass runways used to be. Hardly recognisable now -




    Shame the control tower and 3rd hangar are no longer still standing here at Ratcliffe but it was great to finally have the chance to have a look around this once great airfield.

    Cheers
    Steve

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ratcliffe

    Brilliant photos Steve, the hangars are really nice to see as well.

  4. #4
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ratcliffe

    Looks more like a disued airfield was like in the 70s. Didn't realise so much remained.

  5. #5
    SuperMod stevie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ratcliffe

    I was suprised myself as well with how much was still here. I've always had to make do with quick glimpses of the site whilst traveling up and down the A46 in the past so it was great to have a proper wonder about on the site.

    Heres a great link which tells the history of the site with some great pics of the place when it was active -

    http://www.airclark.plus.com/RatAerodrome/Rataero.htm

    Cheers,

    Steve

  6. #6
    Senior Member WiganMick59's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ratcliffe

    Great Pics Stevie....It was great to get on there after all this time. Many thanks to the Rosmini Centre.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ratcliffe

    This is fascinating, we had a look around two years ago 2009 but couldn't gain access to the site as we didn't know anything about the Rosmini Centre.

    My wife is the granddaughter of Sir William Lindsay Everard the owner of Ratcliffe aerodrome and she is trying to find out all she can about the airfield and Sir William as, although her aged father is still alive, he refuses all contact with her. So she is anxious to hear from anyone still around who has memories about Ratcliffe.

    My personal memories are of passing the airfield on the Six Hills road as a child. The water tower was a prominent landmark and there were always Bedford bowsers visible and other military vehicles.

    Malcolm

  8. #8
    SuperMod stevie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ratcliffe

    Hi Kezbell,
    That is facinating that your wife is related to the Everards. Sir Lindsey Everard was one of the most respected men on the aviation scene back in the 30's as i'm sure your aware & Ratcliffe Aerodrome was one of the finest and best equipped airfields in the country at that time before the outbreak of WW2. Although i'm to young to have any memories of Ratcliffe i do have a huge interest in the place and if i can help in any way please don't hesitate to get in touch. I've been studying Ratcliffes history for years.

    The nearby Ratcliffe college may well be able to help you out as well. I've spoken with them and there are a few people on site who may be able to help -
    http://www.ratcliffe-college.co.uk/

    Inside the collage is this memorial dedicated to the airfield and Sir Lyndsley Everard. I took these pics with the College's permission -
    http://www.airfieldinformationexchan...4712#post74712

    I've already posted this link in this thread. Some good bits of info -
    http://www.airclark.plus.com/RatAerodrome/Rataero.htm

    ...and finally the present day owners of the former Aerodrome are the Rosmini Centre. They were more than happy to let us wander around the site -
    http://www.rosminicentre.co.uk/

    Your best bet would be to contact the college though. They actually use one of the remaining Hangars for the Air Corps still. The guy who runs the air corps will be able to help.

    Hope this helps. Drop me a private message if you need any help. Only to happy to help.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Last edited by stevie; 20-08-2011 at 19:43.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Denis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ratcliffe

    From your photos Steve, it looks a very atmospheric place, the style of the buildings are very unusual from the standard wartime ones we are normally used to. Just love the trusswork in the hangar roof.

  10. #10
    SuperMod stevie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ratcliffe

    Quote Originally Posted by Praesta View Post
    Not a bad pint either Steve
    Quite a family history eh? They're main brewery is not far from where i live actually. They did have a heli pad until recently so there was still a small family aviation link (just!!).

    Cheers
    Steve

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