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Thread: RAF Freckleton / Lytham (Warton)

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    SuperMod Carnaby's Avatar
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    Default RAF Freckleton / Lytham (Warton)

    The Freckleton Community website http://www.freckleton.org/index.html is looking for information re the former RAF Freckleton. Below is what we know so far:

    TNA ORBs reveal that show that there was a Medical Training Establishment at Lytham/Warton from September 1951 to December 1955.
    The unit moved to Freckleton in January 1956 and then to Halton in the early 1960s.

    When we were first asked about RAF Freckleton our response was very similar to yours. However, a quick Internet search soon found the Spitfire that was on display there. We have also consulted with the 'village fathers' who, much to our surprise, didn't know it ever existed!

    During the war the Warton base was called BAD2 and it was huge. It was divided into 'sites'. On handover to the RAF in September 1947 it became RAF Warton and soon after that English Electric moved onto the aerodrome. What was to become RAF Freckleton was 13 site. In the interim period, RAF Lytham was created. This was a transit camp for personnel being sent abroad. We believe that 13 site was part of RAF Lytham, despite its location. We also think that 13 site was used for medical training from 1951 to 1955. (Air 29/2391 and 2953 confirms this). The common thread throughout is the references to '13 site'. RAF Freckleton closed sometime in 1961. The buildings are thought to have been used by the Air Training Corps for some time after this. At some point the site was sold and Arvin opened a research and development centre for exhaust systems there. Arvin subsequently seem to have been taken over by EMCON Technologies.
    The main gate to RAF Freckleton was located on Hillock Lane. The front gate was at 53.7615, -2.884 here. Google shows a road layout that no longer exists and there is now a large factory on the site. The location and site number have been confirmed by several independent sources. but that is really the only bit of solid information we have. The rest has been gleaned from the internet, mostly people talking about their service life and postings.

    We think the main part of RAF Lytham was located where the new Land Registry is now located at coordinates 53.745 -2.912 - here but are unable to confirm this. The father of one of the Freckleton Half marathon runners was there during his national service but other than a vague memory of approximately where it was could not identify anything from visiting the area.
    Anybody out there with further information?

    Graham

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    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAF Freckleton / Lytham (Warton)

    Aerial photos from 1940s and 1960s here

    http://mario.lancashire.gov.uk/viewer.htm

    Just zoom in to Freckleton and select category as Aerial Photographs.

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    Default Re: RAF Freckleton / Lytham (Warton)

    Quote Originally Posted by PNK View Post
    Aerial photos from 1940s and 1960s here
    Excellent Peter, here is the legendary Spit.

    j

    Below is `'RAF Lytham'


    Warton Sites shown are:
    (1) Site 9 - became RAF Lytham
    (2) Dispersal Area 1 (now a caravan park)
    (3) Base Hospital
    (4) Site 8
    Todays comparison here

    See also this thread

    Graham
    Last edited by Carnaby; 25-08-2010 at 13:15. Reason: Link added

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    Default Re: RAF Freckleton / Lytham (Warton)

    Received from new forum member Iain Campbell

    I was hoping to add to the information on RAF Lytham. I was stationed there during National Service 1949 to 1951 as a driver.
    Then number 4 on the picture, site 8 was 21 PDC, personel dispersal centre, where airmen were processed on demob. With national service hundreds came in each week and at the other end hundreda went out each week. men would arrive by train during the day, transported to the station, medical, dekit and sent happily on their way the following day. There were bursts of activity when drafts came in from overseas they arrived by special train late afternoon or early evening, processed through the night and also sent off the following day. (No such thing as drivers hours!)
    Athe end of 1950 the grvernment increased national service from 18 months to two years and our supply of demobees dried up overnight. Most of the staff were posted out but I remained to service the other site, 19 PTC, personel transit centre. This was a families camp used for those awaiting accomodation on a home station either going to or returning from overseas.
    The MT section was based in a hanger in the area behind the row of shops which had the post office, the other hanger there was used by the MU (RAF Warton) to store vehicles for release to units.

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    Default Re: RAF Freckleton / Lytham (Warton)

    The transit families unit was going well in to the seventies and I think only finished in the early eighties. In some ranks and trades it wasnt unusual for people to be posted back from overseas with no posting to go to so they were sent to Warton. One bloke I worked with was posted to the tranit families unit for almost 3 months.

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    Default Re: RAF Freckleton / Lytham (Warton)

    I actually stayed at the TFU at Lytham in 1967 when my father was posted to RAF El Adem and we had to wait for 1 month at the TFU until our accomodation in Tobruk was ready and we flew out to be with him.
    My experience from what I can remember (because I would only be 11 or 12 years old at that time) was that our "chalet" was through the main gate, turn right and it was the second building on the right.
    We would go to the cook house every morning for a cooked breakfast and I would then go to the "on camp" school which I remember was run by nuns !!
    Anyone else ever stay there?

    Tony Naylor

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    Default Re: RAF Freckleton / Lytham (Warton)

    Welcome to the forum Tony.

    Always interested in new information about these lesser-known sites.

    Nuns - hmm ?

    Graham

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    Default Re: RAF Freckleton / Lytham (Warton)

    Got a query as to the date of closure of Freckleton. In May or June 1964 was posted to Halton where I got ... er shall we say friendly with a WRAF who was on her Nursing Att course. She had transferred from Freckleton so it cann't have closed before late 1963 at the earliest, or even later as the Natt course wasn't that long.

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    Default Re: RAF Freckleton / Lytham (Warton)


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    Default Re: RAF Freckleton / Lytham (Warton)

    I lived at Warton with my mother and sister whilst my father did a year in Bahrain. Out of curiosity I was trying to find my old school on google earth. Warton quarters were, I believe called a “headless” camp. Used for families of men serving unaccompanied tours. Apparently rumour had it that one of the permanent staff (a sgt) did a bit of servicing whilst the husbands were away. Anyways after combing google earth the picture showing the main entrance to the transit camp caught my eye and I blundered into this forum.

    It was way back in 67-68 and all that I can remember, being 5 was:
    1. The bus travelled towards Lytham and not Freckleton.
    2. If you stood on the steps to our classroom you could see the ships in the estuary.
    3. The transit camp was either next door or you went through it to get to the school.
    4. I had a friend you lived in the transit camp until a married quarter at Warton came available.

    Now having read your post and seen the map above I had a flash back to being lined up by nuns. It’s amazing what memories lie deep in our minds. Do you know where on the map the school was?

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