Off course! No H&S in the 1930s
I was very fortunate to have a good look around Hullavington a couple of days back, with many thanks to David Weston, who owns a beautiful Hornet Moth (hoping he will join the forum soon), and his friend Phil.
It is a truely beautiful expansion period site, with no modernisation, most of the buildings being listed.
One thing I found odd though was what appeared to be a Bulk Fuel Installation right in the middle of the tech site.
At first it looked like one of those semi buried ops blocks, similar in size and shape, it has earth and grass banks, a brick sided doorway on each side, and turfed top.
However there are two boxes housing fuel pipes and control valves each side of one of the roads that surround it, and cocks and piping on the roof.
Our collective second guess was maybe it being the main oil supply for heating etc, but inside one of the control boxes was an ancient AVGAS sign.
Could this really be AVGAS bulk, right outside a hangar, parachute store and canteen type building, also with old trees surrounding it?
Off course! No H&S in the 1930s
Still seems odd to not have it in a more remote area, and away from trees, are there other instances of this?
I thought that even in the mid '30s they were wary of wher bombs could land and explosion damage etc.
Attached a portion of RAF Leuchars Tech site; the yellow pin marks where a BFI stood until about 1997. It hadn't been used since a new BFI on the airfield connect to the National pipeline was opened. This also spelt the end of the fuel trains coming into the station and unloading at the fuel gantries adjacent to Station Workshops. Our New £ 6m surface finishing facility now occupies the spot removing the tanks all the contaminated earth etc was a huge undertaking.
Thanks Ted, that is a very similar position actually, even same place in relation to the Hangar array.
Seems odd though, you would think with all the open expanses of an airfield that it could be put somewhere more remote.
At the time they were built weren't the hangars meant to store aircraft over night? This would mean the BFI was perfectly placed for the mornings fill with a dash of Redex.
It always seemed odd to me but in Leuchars case the station was reletively compact in WW2, bounded by the Eden estuary to the south. I mentioned the BFI site now being occupied by the Surface finish facility , In 1990 the Old QRA sheds were to be converted, internal politics dragged that one out until we lost funding. We then looked to a site between the east most C hangar and the first 1917 GS shed as the old Eng Wg HQ was soon to be bulldozed, that turned political as external forces wanted the old eng HQ as an exercise deployement building. We then looked to a green field site. The cost of getting an access road, aircraft quality pavement plus utilities would have added £7 or 8m to the now £6m project; As the BFI was now redundant it was cheaper to erase it than go to a green field site.
This type of issue may well have been why that BFI was built where it was; it was very near the rail tanker unloading point, near main road access and utilities.
If it had been put out in the boondocks it may have doubled the cost and trebled the works effort. just a thought
Thornaby always one of its two 72,000 gal BFIs adjacent to a 'C' hangar and the main road - not too far from private houses. There was also an MG range in the vicinity, which was later relocated to the other side of the airfield.
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