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Thread: Donibristle

  1. #1

    Default Donibristle

    Donibristle / Dalgety Bay / HMS Merlin

    Dalgety Bay Radioactivity "linked to remains of buried WW2 aircraft"

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...-fife-16806519

    Officials from the MoD will visit Dalgety Bay in Fife later to explain what they plan to do about radioactive particles found on the beach there.

    The radiation is thought to be linked to the remains of World War II aircraft buried in the area.

    The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has given the MoD until the end of February to devise a plan to make the beach safe.

    If no plan emerges Sepa will declare the land contaminated.

    Over the past few months more than 200 radioactive particles have been found and part of the shore was cordoned off in October for further investigation.

    Dalgety Bay hosted a wartime airfield, where many aircraft were dismantled.

    They were used as landfill and it is thought erosion has led to radioactive radium from the aircraft dials leaking onto the foreshore.
    'Solve this problem'

    After a meeting between Sepa, the MoD and members of the local community in November, Sepa said it wanted a full draft of the MoD's plan for the site by the end of January, with a final set of plans by the end of February.

    "If that isn't forthcoming, Sepa will continue with its progress to designate the land as contaminated by the end of March," a spokesman said.

    If Sepa did declare the area as "Radioactive Contaminated Land", it is understood this would be the first time it has happened in the UK.

    Chairman of Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council Colin McPhail said this was the last thing residents wanted.

    He told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "It's a requirement certainly and responsibility of the Ministry of Defence on a voluntary basis to come up, to solve this problem and carry out remedial works and solve it once and for all - and that should be this year."

    MoD representatives also met with Sepa, the Scottish government and members of the Dalgety Bay Forum in November, describing the talks as "constructive".
    Last edited by tigger; 09-11-2012 at 09:36.

  2. #2
    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dalgety Bay Radioactivity "linked to remains of buried WW2 aircraft"

    The adjacent airfield was RNAS Donibristle, HMS Merlin that housed an Aircraft Repair Yard and the bay was used also as a practice bombing range. Both airfield and range were Royal Naval Air Service.
    Last edited by tigger; 09-11-2012 at 09:37.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dalgety Bay Radioactivity "linked to remains of buried WW2 aircraft"

    there is a rather good page on this very matter on the Secret Scotland website.

    http://www.secretscotland.org.uk/ind...ets/DalgetyBay

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dalgety Bay Radioactivity "linked to remains of buried WW2 aircraft"

    It was on BBC radio 4 'Farming Today' programme this morning, which pointed directly to the disposal of luminous aircraft instruments. Sounds like the story has gone 'viral'. Much talk about "the poluter pays".

  5. #5

    Default Re: Dalgety Bay Radioactivity "linked to remains of buried WW2 aircraft"

    out of interest ,anybody know the dismantling procedure for old planes at that time ? its my guess that the engines were cut off and the rest set on fire and then the metal raked out clear of the ashpile . Could be that trucks then carted the ashpile down to the bay and tipped up ?
    only about a mile from Dalgety was a ship breaking yard( towards Inverkeithing),it was still working in the 1970s when i lived at Dalgety and it too had an evil looking foreshore . it had a dirty pyrenean mountain dog as the guard dog
    Last edited by corij; 18-02-2012 at 20:43.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Donibristle airfield original buildings

    The airfield at Donibristle became operational in 1917, one of the first occupants was The Royal Naval Air Service, some buildings still survive up to its closure in 1959, herewith a few shots of the original Officers Mess taken just about 3 weeks ago, complete with the letters RNAS set in stone over the main entrance, I have included a concrete base and manhole cover within the grounds for curiosity's sake, I wonder what was its original purpose?.
    Regards, Gerry.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member mawganmad's Avatar
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    Default Donibristle

    Does anyone here have pictures of the place when it used to store FAA aircraft, particularly Gannets?
    Last edited by mawganmad; 09-11-2012 at 10:14.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Donibristle

    This is a pic of what looks like an ex FAA hangar and is located at Inverkeithing (Belleknowes), I am not sure if it was once located at Donibristle airfield/HMS Merlin. There were quite a number of this particular type scattered around 'Donnybee' as the other older pic shows.
    Not so long ago there were two hangars of this type at this location, the other within the scrapyard opposite, I thought to take a photo of the surviving one, as I feel sure that it too will disappear shortly.
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  9. #9
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    Default MOD responsible for contamination of former airfield site.

    Yesterday the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) reported that 'the MOD has been solely responsible for radioactive contamination at Dalgety Bay in Fife'. This area was once part of Donibristle airfield, during the period 1939 to 1959 housed a RN Aircraft Repair Yard HMS Merlin.
    The contamination has arisen after Sepa investigated procedures over the years of aircraft instrument disposal, the old dials were illuminated by paint containing Radium-226. They were then incinerated and buried along with the their residue ash mainly in the area of the present day Dalgety Bay Yatch Club, creating a small headland into the bay.

    Natural coastal erosion over the years has brought the radium to the surface, it is not a significant amount but still poses a hazard until removed, Sepa and the MOD are now talking about the next steps to take the matter forward, former PM Gordon Brown has added his voice on the matter saying 'the MOD should now de-contaminate the affected area'.

    Regards to all, Gerry.

  10. #10
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: MOD responsible for contamination of former airfield site.

    No doubt the funds will not be there for the MOD to carry out the task so a private contractor will be brought in a twice the cost.

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