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Thread: Shobdon

  1. #1

    Default Shobdon

    Does anyone have any contemporary pictures of Shobdon airfield in Herefordshire? Initially used by the army from 1940 and known as Pembridge Landing Ground, it was then handed over to the RAF in 1941 and opened as No 5 Glider Training School in July 1942.

    By the way, there is quite a good chapter on the airfield in a local history book on Shobdon:

    Pfuell, Ivor. 1994. A History of Shobdon. pp. 133-143.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Shobdon

    Late reply but this is an aerial taken in 2004

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Shobdon

    Theres an article on Shobdon in the latest Pilot magazine. Incidentally the runway at Shobdon looks as if it was much wider during wwii anyone know if this is correct or is it just an illusion?

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    Default Re: Shobdon

    Canberra- The main E/W runway was originally 92 metres wide in order to facilitate the quick turnround of gliders and tugs when 5 Glider Training School was in residence .It would be too costly for the current owners to maintain such a huge expanse therefore the useable width has been reduced to 18 metres and the length reduced to 842 metres (from the original 1800 metres approx)
    If anyone is visiting by air or road there is always a welcome in their excellent cafe (as long as you are not counting calories).
    Last edited by Ray; 03-09-2011 at 14:02.

  5. #5
    SuperMod Carnaby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shobdon

    Can of worms here,

    Strangely AIR10/4028 describes the runway in 1942 as '80 degrees 1,600. 300 yds', (whereas most other airfields of the period (of Class 'A' standard) are described as 'XX degrees 2,000 x 50 yds')

    AIR10/4039 states for 1944, QDM 275 1,600 x 50 yards.

    In Action Stations 3, we have:

    10/27 tarmac 4,900 feet, 300 feet wide. Other strips grass = 150 ft wide. It then goes on to say ' A runway three times wider than normal helped because a glider / tug combibation could be marshalled to one side landed on the other half. (Note in this instance it is only twice, not three times the normal width).

    So there we have it - the QDM has changed from 80 to 95 to 100 in just two years, and the width is anybodies guess.

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    Default Re: Shobdon

    Carnaby - I would guess that ARI 10/48 was referring to the former grass runway as 300 yards is a bit wide for tarmac.
    This could also account for the change in QDM to 09/27 when the runway became hard surfaced.

  7. #7
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shobdon

    AIR 10/4028 states that the runway was of "concrete and asphalt" in 1942. Not sure about the heading but the 300 could easily be a typo and should be feet. It measures about 300feet/100yds/92metres in Gooogle Earth

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    Default Re: Shobdon

    Thanks for the answer, I thought my mincers were playing tricks at first!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Shobdon

    09/27 is the hard, the other two runways were grass, but all that south side has been turned into an industrial site and gravel-pit for many decades. The old control tower was at the western side of the south-side, but was demolished about 25 years ago. Also, about a third of the western end of 09/27 is private and used for periodic farm-machinery sales, so is permanently fenced-off with frangible fencing. The peri-track and most of the old hangars are still extant. As explained earlier, as it was a specialist RAF site for training glider-pilots, it had just the one, extra-wide hard runway. Most of the tugs used were Lysanders, and they towed-up Hotspurs.
    The a/d is run by the HAC (Herefordshire Aero Club.) who also run the on-site M3 Maintenance Facility. There is also a gliding and a microlighting school in residence. The parachute club went about twenty years ago. There is also a helecopter school on site now, which has, over more recent times taken-on a large contract to train Arab pilots....Algerians I think, - as part of a large order placed with Westlands for helis. This has made the a/d much busier, and rather spoilt things for the fixed-wing operations, as the wretched things just hover around, getting in the way and making a lot of annoying noise... Hopefully, this will soon end and the place can get back to being an aerodrome again....!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Shobdon

    Both of these photos are from the AiX-ARG Archives

    'Old' Control Tower, 30 July 1985


    'New' Control Tower, 11 August 1996

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