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Stretton Airfield – Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) HMS Blackcap Cheshire.

Record Site Plan.

(Image Courtesy of Royal Navy Research Archive)

3 Miles SE of Warrington

OS/Ref SJ652825 Height ASL 220 ft

Opened 1st of June 1942

Closed 4th of November 1958

Planned as an RAF airfield but later transferred to the Admiralty on completion.

2 Control towers were constructed.

The first control tower watch office for fighter satellite stations 3156/41

The second control tower type was watch office for all commands drawing number 12779/41

The Control Tower in the Early 80’s

The airfield had the 3 RAF runway ‘A’ layout rather than it having the standard RNAS 4 runways.

The runways are:

16/34 1,120 yds long

03/27 1,120 yds long

Main runway 10/28 1,600 yds long

All 3 runways were 50 yds wide and constructed of concrete & surfaced with tarmac.

Runway 28 was later extended & the North East & South taxi tracks extended to suit the new threshold of runway 28.

The main runway was fitted out with a dummy deck landing area painted on it the same size as the carriers of the time to train pilots and landing signal officers (LSO).

Hangars 1944:

4 squadron 60 x 70 x 20ft

4 squadron 60 x 70 x 17ft

1 Blister

1 ARS 185 x 105ft on North Side of airfield at repair yard

Hangars 1945:

4 Teeside ‘S’ 60 x 70 x 20ft

6 Mains 60 x 70 x 17ft

1 Blister for ATC gliders

Workshops at repair yard (Storage planned for 300 aircraft)

2 large A1 (Aircraft Production) Hangars – Drawing number 454/43 were built on the North East edge of the airfield for Fairey Aviation for the repair & modification and flight testing of Barracudas fire flies & fulmars.

In 1944 an aircraft maintenance yard was built on the side of Barley Castle Lane access from the airfield to the maintenance yard was via a taxiway crossing Barlay Castle Lane.

A police post was built and manned by Royal Navy Police to allow movement across the road.

HMS Blackcap was the home to 41 Naval Air Squadrons including the home station of 1831 and 1842 squadrons RNVR.

Post war the airfield was used by RNVR Squadrons and by the Naval Airyard.

Today the M56 cuts across the airfield from East To West and the runways & taxi tracks remain on the South side of the M56 motorway & 2 type ‘B’ dispersal pens are still present.

Other buildings on the South & North side of the motorway can still be seen also.

Shell research ltd used the airfield as a test rack but are no longer using the site.

Micro light flying uses part of the North East taxi way as of 2013.

Airfield facilities consisted of

Control tower inside the perimeter track on the west side of the landing area.

and meteorological office in the control tower limited service by RN personnel.

Runways three tarmac

16/34 1,120 yds long x 50 yds wide

03/27 1,120 yds long x 50 yds wide

10/28 1,600 yds long x 50 yds wide

Perimeter tracks

45 feet wide perimeter track

40 feet wide track connects the north perimeter with the R.N. yard.

two 20 feet wide tracks lead to the fairey aviation hangars on the N/E

side of the airfield.

Approach

Recommended sector, mean QDM. 3050.

Wind indicators

windsocks inside the perimeter track on the north-west side of the landing area.

and outside the perimeter track on the south-east side

Homing- radio

D/F H/F and VH/F beacons YG. and 251 MS.

Communication equipment

M/F and H/F 3 transmitters, and 4 receivers.

VH/F 4 transmitters and 4 receivers.

Call signs

R/T Stretton

W/T mge

identity letters -JA -ST from 1955.

Dispersals

six pens and nine A/C standings dispersed around the perimeter track.

in addition to two aprons.

dispersals for 200 A/C on hardstandings and Sommerfield tracking outside

and inside of the perimeter.

Fuel and oil

Aviation-24,000 gallons in two tanks of 12,000 gallons each 100 octane

12,000 gallons of 87 octane in one tank.

12000 gallons of 73 octane in one tank

mechanical transport 3,000 gallons in one tank of 1,030 gallons and one tank of 2,000 gallons

and an additional 40-gallon drums as requires

Oil

D.E.R.N. – 650 gallons

M.V.O. – 650 gallons

Firing ranges

machine gun and cannon A/C test butt.

25 yards outdoors .303 weapons range.

. 22 indoor range.

Medical

crash room and sickbay 500 yds north-west, sick quarters at grappenhall ,two half miles R.N.
Accommodation

officers and ratings living quarters in dispersed sites about 600 yds north-west of the airfield.

W.R.N.S. quarters in dispersed sites 3 miles R.N. and in station

Capacity

officers- 106

chief petty officers and ratings- 1,162

W.R.N.S.officers – 11

W.R.N.S. chief petty officers and ratings,-136

Control tower photo/ fairy swordfish NF389 overflies the control
tower at RNAStretton prior to the start of an airshow in summer 1953

The Control Tower/Watch Office built at Stretton is designed to the air ministry’s directorate of works and buildings, as a watch office for all commands designed to air ministry drawing number 12779/41.

The two-story building is constructed with temporary brick with a sand and cement rendered finish, and the roof is waterproofed with ash felt.

The front elevation of the building is 34ft 6 ins and the side elevations 36 ft 9 ins. Outside viewing is provided by large multi-paned steel casement windows to the front and to flank walls of the control room and watch office.

The first-floor exit door leads out to the concrete balcony and onto a steel staircase gaining access to the roof. The balcony and roof are fitted with tubular steel railings supported by iron columns. The ground floor has access to the first floor by an internal flight of concrete stairs.
Watch office Ground -floor plan

Watch office first-floor plan

Workmen installing the watch office balcony steel railings.

To the left of the watch office is the rear of the crash fire tender house,
constructed to air ministry drawing number 7829/41

Watch office side elevation.

The small building to the right of the watch office
is the Meteorological weather balloon filling hut.

To the right of the watch office is the front of the crash fire tender house, constructed to air ministry drawing number 7829/41, it appears to have had an added lean-to at the side built at some period.

Watch office Rear and side elevation.

To the right of the watch office is the crash fire tender house,
constructed to air ministry drawing number 7829/41.

To the left of the watch office next to the tree is the Meteorological weather balloon filling hut.
The building far left is a Latrine constructed to air ministry drawing number 9026/41.

Looking out of the front of the watch office across the airfield.

flying control Signage inside the watch office at the bottom of the internal staircase.

Public open day program.

Public open day program.

Next 2 photos crash crew at Stretton 1950

Blackcap 1947 Xmas Card WRNS.

All the following photos were taken just before Christmas in 2013.

RNAS HMS Blackcap South Taxi-Way Looking East From The Middle of The Airfield

RNAS HMS Blackcap South Extension Taxi-Way Looking
West Quite Near To The End of The Main Runway 28

This Taxi-Way Was Added Later & We Aren’t Sure Why?

If Anyone Knows Then Please Contact us at: gazandmalc@yahoo.co.uk

South West Taxi Way Quite Near The Top of Runway 10

The Top of Runway 10 Looking East Down The Main Runway

(There is a White Cross on The Left Just Over The Barriers)

The White Cross Simply Means ‘Runway Closed’

This is The Original North East Taxi Way (on the right)

To The Left of The Island (in the middle of the photo) is The Later
Extended North East Taxi Way to the Head of Runway 28

This is Another View of The Original North East Taxi Way (on the right)

To The Left of The Island (in the middle of the photo) is The Later
Extended North East Taxi Way to the Head of Runway 28

This is Another View of The Original North East Taxi Way (on the right)

To The Left of The Island (in the middle of the photo) is The Later
Extended North East Taxi Way to the Head of Runway 28

This Photo Was Taken From The Middle of The Main Runway Looking West

This Photo Was Taken From The Middle of The Main Runway Looking East

This is The South Taxiway Looking East

This is The South Taxiway Looking West
(Please Note That the Head of Runway 34 is on the Right of The Photo)

In The Foreground is The South Taxi Way (Going Left to Right on the Photo)

In The Background is Runway 34

Runway 34 Runs North-Westerly Across the Airfield

You Can Just See The White Cross on Runway 34

The White Cross Simply Means ‘Runway Closed’

This is a Better Photo of The White Cross on The Head of Runway 34

This is The South Taxiway Looking West

The Building on the Left Was Used By Shell Research When Being Used as a Test Track

Drainage Grid Cover on the Eastern Taxi-Way Quite Near The Head of Runway 28

South Taxi-Way (extended) Facing West

South Taxi-Way (extension) Turning Towards the Head of Runway 28

Main Runway 28 Looking East

Main Runway 10 Looking West

Aviation Fuel Tanker’s Inspection Apron (Now Overgrown as You Can See)

Aviation Fuel Tanker’s Inspection Apron (Now Overgrown as You Can See)

North East Taxi-Way Looking East (The Aviation Fuelling Inspection Area is on the Right)

Dispersal Type ‘B’ Pens for 2 x Fighter Aircraft Situated
on the Threshold of The North East Taxi-Way

(Now Demolished Within The Undergrowth)

View Down The Main Runway 28 at the Original Head

(The Sweeping Bend is the Shell Test-Track)

Intersection of the Original North East Taxi-Way at the Original Head of Runway 28

(Please Note: The Concreted Area to the Right is The Added Main Runway 28 Extension)

Extension of Runway 28 Looking East

Extension of Runway 28 Looking North East
(Fairey Aviation Hangars Can be Seen on the Right)

Extension (the end) of Runway 28 Looking East

Extension (the end) of Runway 28 – This We Think Has
Something to do With ‘Dummy’ Deck Practice Landing?

Another View of the Extension (the end) of Runway 28 – This We
Think Has Something to do With ‘Dummy’ Deck Practice Landing?

Another Close-Up View of the Extension (the end) of Runway 28 – This We
Think Has Something to do With ‘Dummy’ Deck Practice Landing?

View of the Fairey Aviation Hangars Looking North From The Extended Main Runway 28

‘Cambered’ Threshold of the Main Runway 28 Showing The Original Drainage Cover

The Full Width of The Main Runway 28 Looking West

The South Taxi-Way Looking East & to the Right is the Extension of the East Taxi-Way

South Taxi-Way Looking East (Watch Out For the ‘Angry’ Farmer)

The East (Extension) Taxi-Way at the End of the Main (Extended) Runway 28

The Main Head (Extended) of Runway 28 is Just Over the Fence on The Left

The Earthed up Banking Shown Here on the Right has Reduced
The Original Taxi-Way to Half of it’s Width

(Photo 1) The East Taxi-Way Swinging North West

You Can See Quite Clearly The ‘Swing’ of the Taxi-Way (Especially on Photo 2)

(Photo 2) The East Taxi-Way Swinging North West

You Can See Quite Clearly The ‘Swing’ of the Taxi-Way

North of the Airfield is the VHF Homing Beacon

It has a concrete roof supporting a wooden lattice tower
and access ladder that allows for gaining access to the radio antenna.

The homing beacon was used as an aid for returning aircraft to locate the airfield.

The Homing Beacon Has 3 Rooms

Amazingly, the Homing Beacon Lattice Tower is Made of Wood
and is Still in a Well Preserved State as You Can See

Machine Gun & Cannon Aircraft Test Butt DRG Number 16461/41

A shooting in butt for aircraft with installed guns.

A tail trestle was put in position to raise the aircraft to the normal flying attitude. Aircraft would test & harmonise their machine guns by blasting into a bank of sand at the rear of the butts.

The blast of the rounds in the butt were dispelled through 2 roof apertures. A red warning flag was raised when the test butt was in use.

The newly bricked up blockwork is where the aircraft would fire their guns into.

(Originally, on the left where the brickwork is, there would have been a small annex building)

The side view and back view of the gun butt.

Side view of the gun butt.

Close up of reinforcing bars.

View of the inside showing the back wall of the gun butt.

The back wall would have had huge sand banking
to absorb machine gun and canon rounds.

You can see the light coming in through the 2 apertures in the gun butt roof.

These apertures were their to dispel the blasts of the rounds.

Side view of supporting brickwork.

You can see here (at the top and middle) the red warning flag pole support brackets.

Battle Headquarters Built to Air Ministry drawing number 11008/41

The battle headquarters was used to coordinate the defences of the airfield against enemy ground attack. It was built mostly underground.

There was a main entrance that lead to a main passageway.

It then consisted of 5 rooms, which were:

1 The PBX telephone/switchboard room.

2 Messengers and ‘runners’ room (In the event of the telephone lines being disabled or inoperable, ‘runners’ were sent out to deliver messages to the relevant areas of the airfield).

3 Defence officers room.

4 A semi sunken observation room (note the emergency exit with a steel ladder).

5 A water closet (elsan toilet cubicle).

Main Steps Down Into The Main Passageway (Now back-filled).

Main Passageway

The 1st opening on the left is the ‘runners’ and messengers room.

The 2nd opening on the left is the defence officers room. This room was the defence room and was used to coordinate the defence of the airfield.

The opening at the end (facing you) is the (elsan) toilet room.

You can still see the electrical conduit and bulkheads hanging from the ceiling.

The Defence Room

(Photo taken from the steps down from the observation room)

The opening on the left (where you can see the steel conduit and light switch) is the main passageway (main passageway is photo above) and the opening in the centre of the photo is the messenger’s and ‘runners’ room and the opening on the right is the PBX telephone/switchboard room.

Almost all the rooms are flooded to about 3 feet when the photos were taken (25th of May 2014).

The 3 sloping brick walls was the support for the plotting table. Hanging from the ceiling are the electrical steel conduits and what is left of the bulkhead light fittings.

The Semi Sunken Observation Room with Reinforced
Concrete Coupler & 360 Degree Viewing Slit.

The small concrete square on the left is the emergency exit.

Steel Ladder Leading Out To The Emergency Exit
Taken From Inside The Observation Room

Original Light Switch inside The Observation Room

Emergency Exit Outside of The Observation Room Which
Would Have Originally Been Fitted With a Steel Hatch

Fairey Aviation

Aircraft manufacturers Fairey Aviation had 2 A1 aircraft maintenance
hangars on the North East edge of the airfield for modification,
repair and flight testing of Barracuda’s, Firefly’s & Fulmar’s.

1 of the 2 re-clad A1 hangars (photo 2013) built to drawing number 454/43

5 DeHavilland Sea Venom FAW.21’s at
the Fairey Aviation Hangars in 1956

Fairey Hangars in The Distance Looking North East.

The photo was taken from the extended runway 28

Fairey Aviation Compass Swinging Platform
(Concrete Base) Drawing number 10936/41

The compass swinging platform was used to
accurately adjust each aircraft magnetic compass

(An example of the compass swinging platform at work – airfield unknown)

The compass swinging platform was sited away from buildings, electrical & telephone cables so as to avoid any magnetic interference.

The compass swinging platform was to adjust the aircraft compass by swinging the aircraft on a rotating platform.

An aircraft fitter sitting in the cockpit would adjust the compass to North heading ( 0 degrees) East (90 degrees) South (180 degrees) & West (270 degrees headings). The aircraft fitter would check the magnetic compass by adjusting the compass compensator screws with a non magnetic screwdriver.

It had a well in the centre and a circular wooden platform covering it. A set of wheels ran in the well and this enabled the platform to act as a turntable. The aircraft sat on top of the turntable and was turned to the compass points.

Compass Turning Platform from a Distance

The Remains of the North East Perimeter Concrete Fence Posts

The thickest post (in the foreground) has 4 ratchet strainers
to tension the barbed wire through the other posts.

These thickest posts are at each corner and are also spaced out at
regular intervals along the length of the actual fence itself and
wire mesh would have been fixed on the front (the face that is showing).

Police Post (Photos Taken Just Before Christmas 2014)

In 1944 an aircraft maintenance yard was built on the North side of Barleycastle Lane and 4 large workshops and several smaller hangers were built.

To gain access from the airfield to the air maintenance yard (AMY) a taxi way was constructed crossing Barleycastle Lane.

At the crossing a police post building was built which was manned by Royal Naval Police to stop the public traffic and allow the movement of aircraft and transport to cross Barleycastle Lane.

The police post was constructed of brick with an outside rendered finish. The roof pitch is constructed of asbestos corrugated roofing sheets fixed to steel rafters.

Police Post Reception Room

The airfield taxi track came across the front of
the lodge from left to right of the picture.

Police Post Crossing Can be Seen in This
Photo at the Top Left of the Photo

The Ceiling of The Police Post Reception Area

The Original Door and Window has Been Blocked up

This is a Photo of the Left & Back Side of the Post
(When looking from the reception entrance)

The Back Side of The Police Post. You Can Still See Traces of Light Blue Paint at the Bottom.

Another View of The Reception Room

This is the inside View of the Room to the Right Hand Side of the Reception Room Taken
Through the Hole that You Can See in the Modern Blockwork to The Right of the Photo

Barleycastle Lane. The Police Post is Just on the Right Behind the Large Tree. You Can See the Dark Green Bush that Grows on the Back of the Post as you have Just Seen in a Previous Photo (above).

The road junction to the left is the entrance into the aircraft maintenance yard and the taxi track went from right to left across the front of the lodge from the airfield right across Barleycastle Lane and into the aircraft maintenance yard.

PABX Telephone Exchange Communications Centre & Signals Dept.

This was the PABX Telephone Exchange for the Airfield & is on the
South side of Arley Rd almost Next to Appleton Thorn Primary School.

The building contained the PABX switchboard office with
telegraphists, a yeoman of signals & a W.R.N.S cipher officer.

It was Last Being used as a Cattery, but now it appears to be Disused.

The Original Re-clad Hangars on the Naval Air Yard.

(Pentag hangar with sloping sides and the other is a callender hamilton hanger)

An Admiralty ‘S’ Shed Mainhill Type Hangar on the Naval Air Yard

Front View

Admiralty ‘S’ Shed Mainhill Type Hangars on the Administration Site on Arley Road

Pyro Technics Building Situated North of the South Taxi Way

Note The 2 Brackets on Top of the Reinforced Concrete
Roof (above) are Fixings For The 2 Lightning Conductors.

Note The 2 Lines going Down The Walls Had Lightning Conductor Ground Cables
Which Extended From The 2 Lightning Conductor Brackets To The Ground.

Southside Fighter Pens at Stretton.

There were numerous fighter pens around the airfield at Stretton. These fighter pens were there to protect the flight & ground crews in case of enemy air raids during WW2. There are 2 that still exist today (as of November 2013 when photos were taken) and these are still accessible today.

The layout consisted of 3 arms outlined with brick dwarf walls with retaining earthwork traverses to surround both aircraft. At the rear of the pen is a stanton type air raid shelter for flight & ground crews with access from either bay. Also an emergency exit sited at the rear of the shelter

Rear View of Fighter Pens Showing Emergency Exit for
2 Aircraft Type ‘B’ Building Drawing No. 7161/41

View from the Top (front) of the South Fighter Pens Entrance
Looking Down onto the Aircraft Dispersal Bay

(Note: The South taxi way can be seen just beyond the aircraft dispersal bay)

Top View of the South Fighter Pens Air Raid Shelter Entrance

Left Hand (front) of the South Fighter Pen Showing the Air Raid Entrance

The Ground & Aircrew Would Use During an Air Attack.

Photo Taken From the Aircraft Dispersal Bay Showing the Brick
Dwarf Wall (on left) With Retaining Earthwork Traverses Above.

Close up View of the Brick Dwarf Wall

The Other Aircraft Dispersal Bay of the South Fighter Pens (The
Shell Offices and Observation Buildings can be Seen on the Left)

Walking in to the shelter from the Emergency Exit & Aircraft
Dispersal Bay Exit (Note: The electrical switched fuse)

Photo Taken From The Emergency Exit & The Aircraft Dispersal
Bay Entrance of the South Fighter Pens Air Raid Shelter

Photo inside The Air Raid Shelter Leading to the
Aircraft Dispersal Bay (turn right at the doorway)

(Note: The brick supports of the seating can clearly be still be seen)

Emergency Exit End/Opposite Direction/End of the Shelter Leading to The Doorway that
you Can See Leads to the Emergency Exit (turn right at the doorway) & The
Aircraft Dispersal Bay (turn left at the doorway)

North Fighter Pens

These North Fighter Pens are situated quite near to the
M56 and are also next to the North East Taxiway.

Photo taken from left to right of the diagram facing
the right hand side dispersal entrance.

Photo taken from right to left of the diagram facing the emergency exit.
Note the original seating still exists as of November 2013

Emergency Exit at the Rear of the North Dispersal Pen

The Right Hand Air Raid Shelter Entrance
with Aircraft Dispersal Bay in Foreground

Another View of the Right Hand Air Raid Shelter Entrance
with the Aircraft Dispersal Bay in the Foreground

Closer View of the Right Hand Side Air Raid Shelter Entrance.

Both the Right & Left The Air Raid Shelter Entrances can be Seen on this Photo.

Note: In the Foreground is the Earth Traverse Banking
that Separates the Left & Right Aircraft Dispersal Bays.

Left Hand Side of the Fighter Pens.

Note: The Brick Dwarf Wall & The Earth Traverse Banking.

Also in the Foreground to the left is the Aircraft Dispersal Bay.

Left Hand Side Aircraft Dispersal Bay

Long Distance Photo of the North Fighter Pens

ADI Block

The ADI Block is opposite the aviation fuel inspection
apron next to the North East taxi way in the wooded area.

Inside the ADI Building.

The steel roof structure can still be seen in great condition (2013)

The entrance of the ADI Building

Inside of the ADI Building.

The entrance is on the right hand side of the photo.

Standby Sethouse (Standby Electricity Generator Building)

(All the following photos were taken around 2013
and show the outside and inside the building)

The standby sethouse is constructed of brick with a reinforced flat concrete
roof, with a central supporting RSJ and consisted of 3 rooms.

The building itself is situated quite near the South Extension
Taxi-Way at the end of the main runway 28.

Note the Low Level & High Level Vents in the Main Room (1)

Note the Clay Pipe Cable Ducts Entering The Floor Ducts in Main Room 1

Note the Central Supporting RSJ in the Main Room (1)

Note the Floor Cable Ducts in the Main Room (1)

The Door on the Left is the Entrance to Room 2

View From Room 2 Into Main Room (1)

Room 2 – Note the Floor Ducts Would Have Removable
Concrete Slabs Resting on the Lip if the Concrete.

Room 3

The Outside View of Room 3

More Outside Photographs

The Parish Church of St Cross Appleton Thorn

Specially Made Kneeling Mats inside The Church.

Remembrance Corner to The Memory of The Pilot’s
of The Northern Air Division inside The Church.

This is The Royal Naval Flag.

Gravestone’s of Service Personnel of Royal Naval Air Station Blackcap.

This Plaque (below) is in the Middle of The Row of Graves (above).

A Terrible Accident on The Night of The 31st of May 1943.

On the night of the 31st of May 1943 a party of WRNS were returning from a local dance to the Royal Naval Air Station Stretton/HMS Blackcap as passengers in the back of a truck.

The truck driver lost control at Wright’s Green/Lumbrook Lane and crashed into a ditch and overturned.

12 were injured and 6 passengers were killed … 3 WRNS and 3 Naval Air Mechanics.

5 Were buried in their home town’s and 28 year old Annie Elizabeth Mccormick was buried in the graveyard of St Cross Church, Appleton Thorn – the church was 300 yards from the main airfield gate.

HMS Blackcap 1943 – Annie Elizabeth Mccormick Middle Front Row

Funeral of Annie Elizabeth Mccormick

The Grave of Annie Elizabeth Mccormick.

(Note: Annie’s grave is 2nd from the right hand side of the row of graves below)

The Royal Visit 17th/18th of May 1956

On the 17th/18th of May 1956 HRH Prince Philip paid a visit to the airfield shortly before the airfield was closed.

The Prince was inspecting the Northern Air Division and here he can be seen walking past Supermarine Attackers and Their Pilots of 1831 NAS (Naval Air Squadron) of the RNVR (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve).

Below is the aircraft of the ‘Royal Flight’
and is a Heron – serial number XH375

HRH Prince Philip inspecting HMS Blackcap Gliding Club.

In the background is the glider winch, which was a sawn off
furniture wagon with a modified barrage balloon winch on top.

Below you can see the wing of an Avenger Anti
Submarine Aircraft of the Naval Air Service 1841.

Barley Castle Lane is in the background and you can see 1 of the maintenance hangars on the
air naval yard to the right of the photo (the hangar still exists today and has been re-clad).

The farmhouse in the background still survives today (2013) but it is in a poor state.

His Royal Highness Prince Philip is talking to 1 of the pilots
of 1831 NAS of the RNVR (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve)

This is the maintenance hangar (as it is today 2013)
shown in the photo above at the back of the Prince.

Wren’s Inspecting a Vought Chesepeake in 1945

Vought Chesapeake being inspected
during 1943 at HMS Blackcap.

Pilot LT-JF Bird, RNVR in the cockpit of a
Corsair fighter at HMS Blackcap during 1944

Recent aerial photo of the airfield looking West.

The main runway can be seen to the right and
the southern perimeter track to the left.

Modern Aerial Image of The
Engine Test Bed(s) Site 2014

Aerial Image of The Engine Test Bed(s) Site 1945

The North Perimeter Fence Next To Barleycastle Lane
(Which is the site of the engine test beds)

Engine Test Bed(s) Site Next To Barleycastle Lane (Possibly Hut Bases)

The Actual Engine Test Bed Bases (Note The
Steel Sections in The Reinforced Concrete)

Close up Image of The Steel in The
Base of The Engine Test Bed(s)

More Overall View of The Engine Test Bed(s) Site Taken 2013

(Note The Steel Again)

The South Dispersals Site 1944 Showing 3 of the 4 Admiralty ‘S’ Sheds Mainhill Hangars

The South Dispersals Site 2014 Showing 3 of the 4 Admiralty ‘S’ Sheds Mainhill Hangars

South Dispersal Perimeter Fence

South Dispersal Perimeter Track

South Dispersal Perimeter Track

Static Water Tank (Emergency Water Supply) in The Background & the
South Dispersal Perimeter Track in the Foreground and to the Left

Static Water Tank (Emergency Water Supply)

Static Water Tank (Emergency Water Supply)

Static Water Tank (Emergency Water Supply)

Static Water Tank (Emergency Water Supply) Photo Taken
from the Opposite Angle Showing the Fighter Pens

Remains of Building Bases on the South Dispersal Area

Remains of Building Bases on the South Dispersal Area Showing a Raised Area

The Following Photos are Showing 2 Seafire/Spitfires Being Recovered on Brierley’s
Scrapyard Warrington Wilderspool Causeway That Were From HMS Blackcap Stretton.

The scrapyard was behind Warrington corporation bus garage which
was the former site of 2 Fairey aviation workshop hangars.

At Least One of These Was Rebuilt to Become the SX336
Shown Below in The Colour Photograph in Flying Condition.

The SX336 as it is Today ‘Flying’

Sea Fury T 20 two-seat trainer of No. 1831 Squadron
RNVR at RNAS Stretton, Cheshire, in 1951

The Officer’s Houses at Yew Tree Lane

The first 3 photos vice admiral sir d Boyd opening the
187th squadron ATC gliding school during 1945

Antrobus radar station was sited a short distance
away from Stretton airfield HMS blackcap

The radar station was built at Antrobus in 1941 with the electrics and instruments being installed by G.E. Taylor & Co. Ltd. of London.

Its wartime use and immediately after is unknown, it was regarded as top secret by those aware of its existence.

In late 1952 it was modified for use by Blackcap’s Air Traffic Control to ensure the safety of flights into and out of Stretton. The equipment in use was ‘Type AMES (Air Ministry Experimental Set) 15 and Type 277T’

Other active airfields in the vicinity of Stretton included Speke (Liverpool Airport), Ringway and Burtonwood (U.S. Military Air Transport HQ). At that time a Manchester Control Zone was in operation with Ministry of Civil Aviation Zone controllers located at Ringway.

Northern Air Traffic Control Centre at Broughton near Preston maintained an Area Control. On 13th February 1953 trials commenced at Antrobus under Lieutenant J.R. Gee with a view to controlling all naval traffic.

A few weeks later after some 1500 sorties, it was also providing a service to military aircraft through the zone. The use of the facility was then offered to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. It duly commenced its own trials early in 1954 with a team from Manchester led by Mr I.M. Lucas.

At 0745 on Tuesday 1st June 1954 the unit became operational, controlling civil and military aircraft at peak periods. It was the first Joint Air Traffic Control Radar Unit and became known as Northern radar.

Antrobus Type 15 Radar

Royal Naval Type 277 Radar

Click Here To Go Back To Airfields Page ….
Royal Naval Air Station HMS Ringtail
(Burscough Lancashire)

Ringtail Monument Relocation

The HMS Ringtail Monument that was built during 2004 has been relocated across the road to the new ringtail retail park.

Photo Courtesy of Lawrence Critchley
but Photograph by Mike Dawson

The new monument and memorial garden have been
relocated outside of the new booths supermarket.

Photo Courtesy of Lawrence Critchley but Photograph by Mike Dawson

The bronze sculpture of the WW2 fleet air arm pilot is designed and built by Peter Hodgkinson

Photo Courtesy of Lawrence Critchley but Photograph by Mike Dawson

The supermarket itself has been designed to resemble a
WW2 aircrafthangar and stands on part of the airfield site

Inside Booths is this Display Area of H.M.S. Ringtail

Lawrence Critchley Temporarily Putting up The Ringtail Flag
near the Monument For a Photo-Shoot by Mike Dawson.

The monument and the flag will eventually be moved to a new
permanent location near the new nearby ‘Booth’s’ Supermarket.

(Note: The supermarket has been designed to look like a hangar)

Lawrence Critchley (red shirt), Mike Dawson (blue jacket), Richard Houghton (brown jumper)
are dedicated to keeping the history of the airfield of HMS Ringtail ‘alive’.

The ‘guys’ can be seen here talking to Brian Lea who was stationed at
HMS Ringtail/camp 2 for a short stay during his national service around 1955.

Ringtail Road

Keeping the History of the Airfield ‘Alive’ the Road has been Named ‘Ringtail Road’.

In the Distance (past the white barrier) is the ‘Old’ Remains of the North Perimeter Track Facing West

This photo is directly across the junction to the left of the photo above

Admiralty ‘S’ Shed Close to the ‘Plantation Road’
Sign Above Now Being Used by Baybutts Haulage

Airfield Record Site Plan

Burscough Airfield Royal Naval Air Station HMS Ringtail is 1 mile North East of Ormskirk in Lancashire.

The OS Reference is: SD425114

The Airfield Code is: -A4

The airfield opened on the 1st of September 1943 and closed in May 1946.

On the 15th of Jun 1946 the airfield was transferred to care and maintenance and on the 5th of May 1955 was transferred to the Admiralty Dockyards Department.

There were 4 runways to admiralty specification, i.e. 3 runways of 1,000 yards long by 30 yards wide & the 4th runway aligned with the prevailing wind of 1,240 yards long by 30 yards wide.

The runways were constructed of concrete and surfaced with tarmac.

The visual angle of approach at night was airfield lighting (Naval and RAF installed).

Living quarters were built on 2 camps ….. camp 1 off Higgins Lane and camp 2 off Abbey Lane to accommodate 189 officers, 1,204 chief petty officers and ratings, 15 women’s Royal Naval Service Officer’s and 355 women’s Royal Naval Service Chief Petty Officer’s and Ratings, and also, the Medical sick bay was in the station area on the east side of the airfield.

Airfield facilities consisted of:

Communications equipment was:

M/F and One Line M/F

H/F 4 T Lines H/F

Ground Radar Intermediate GCI

Homing Radio D/F

Beacons YG

Aircraft Radar Test Base Available

2 Wind Socks … one on the west side of the landing area inside the taxi track and one at the intersection of the runways on the east side

4 Armouries to accommodate 4 squadron’s

2 x 70 feet in diameter compass swinging bases

Meteorological office on the ground floor of the control tower

Machine gun and cannon test butts north of the landing area near the hangars

3 aircraft dispersal standings off the taxi track close to the control tower

Explosive area on the north west side of the airfield. Practice stocks for provision of 1 T.B.R & 4 F.R. Squadrons

8 Flood light standings

And 1 cloud height search light

Aviation fuel storage (holding 68,000 gallons)

Motor transport fuel storage (4,000 gallons)

Oil storage (4,000 gallons)

The Control Tower 1943

The control tower was situated on the east side of the landing area outside of the taxi way.

It had 3 stories with an internal stair case and the air watch office was on its roof (on the photo below the air watch office has been removed).

For reasons unknown the control tower was originally built with just 2 floors, and the air watch office was on top of the 2 floors below as you can see?

We think, that the control tower only had the earlier 2 floors because the airfield’s had to be built so quickly (by McAlpine’s)

Later, an additional 3rd floor was added to comply with the standard naval watch office design (drawing number 3860/42) as you can see in the image below.

The Ground Floor

The ground floor was offices for the meteorological section and consisted of 3 offices:

Met office

Senior Met Officers Office

Met Teleprinter Office

Also, ladies and gents toilets and store room.

A stair case descended down to a small basement which housed the central heating boiler and PBX telephone equipment.

The First Floor

The first floor consisted of 4 offices:

2 General Offices

1 Air Staff Officer Office

1 Commander of Flying Office

The offices were divided up with glass and wood partitions with message hatches and 2 doors opened out to the platform outside.

The Second Floor

The second floor was for flying control and consisted of 1 office. There was only 1 office (compared to the other offices) simply because the rest of the floor area consisted of just seating and desks.

The Roof

The roof of the control tower was accessed by a steel vertical ladder through a roof hatch and this lead to the Air Watch Office and also sited on the roof was the communications mast and lighting gantry.

For safety, hand rails were fitted around all the corners of the roof.

The ground to air signals square was immediately north of the control tower.

The Control Tower 1984

The hangars consisted of 32 admiralty ‘S’ type mainhill hangars (traverses size 60 by 70 feet and door height 17 feet and door width 55 feet) dispersed around the taxi track & were intended to store 6 – 8 aircraft with their wings folded.

18 of them were for the squadron with earth traverses, 14 of them were used for storage

Also 2 Callender Hamilton Hangar maintenance hangars (size 110 feet by 185 feet).

1 Callender Hangar was the ARS Workshops and the other Callender Hamilton Hangar was the reserve servicing workshops to 4 – 6 sqadron scale.

The size of the Callender Hamilton Hangars had a span (width) of 90 feet and 185 feet in length with a door height of 23 feet …. drawing number 3546/43.

Some hangars are in their original positions & others have been moved to other areas on the airfield.

The Air Station was used mainly by day and night fighters.

After the airfield closed in 1957 it was used by crop-spraying aircraft and by a parachute club.

Camp II – Living Quarters 1945

1771 Squadron at HMS Ringtail, the
Squadron arrived on the 3rd March 1944 and
departed at the end of July 1944.

1820 Squadron at HMS Ringtail.

The Squadron arrived on the 11th of
August 1944 and was disbanded
in December 1944.

Christmas of 1944.

Panto of Cinderella.

Ringtail Xmas Card

Control Tower Photo Just Before Demolition ….

Control Tower Photo Just Before Demolition ….

View of the Airfield From the 1st Floor
of The Control Tower 1984

View of the Airfield From the 1st Floor
of The Control Tower 1984

View of the Airfield From the 1st Floor
of The Control Tower 1984

The Roof of The Control Tower 1984
(The raised area shows the outline of the air watch office)

Side View of The Control Tower 1984

Crash Tender & Ambulance Shed 1984

Free Gunnery Trainer & To The Right is
The Ambulance & Crash Tender Shed 1984

Aviation Fuel Pump House 1984
(The fuel tanks are below ground)

Explosives Area Plan

(ALL of the explosive area photographs below are courtesy of Michael Dawson Photography)

In the foreground are the remains of the rocket motor fitting area blast walls, and in the distance can be seen the remains of the non explosive components building (small) and 303 ammunition building (large), on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains the flares and distress rockets building on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the 20mm shells and incendiary ammunition building on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the 5lbs practice bombs building on the explosives area, with one of the original mainhill hangers in the distance, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the 20mm shells and incendiary ammunition building on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the blast wall (left) and the ready to use bombs / 250lbs
bombs building on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the blast walls on the rocket motor fitting area, on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the flares and distress rockets building (left), 303 ammunition building (centre) and the 20mm shells and incendiary ammunition building (right), on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the 303 ammunition building on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains the flares and distress rockets building on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the non explosives components building (front) and the 303 ammunition building, on the explosives area, in the background can be seen one of the old mainhill hangars, 29th April 2011.

The Station Commander of HMS Ringtail’s House Called The Retreat (Date of Photo 2003)

To the right of the photo is where the admiral of the camp lived and was called ‘the retreat’ and it was opposite the parachute packing house and the sub station. On the left of the photo is a nissen hut and was used as offices for the camp and later after WW2 it was used as a canteen for the civilian work force that worked on the airfield in the maintenance workshops.

Built 1935 and demolished the 5th of February 2013

Sub Station Main Electrical Distribution
Centre Building 201 Camp III

The sub station is split into 3 sections.

The main switch room is in the centre of the building and is 20 ft long x 15 ft 3 inches wide, with a front right sliding equipment door and the opening size is 6 ft wide x 7 ft 8 inches high, and the rear exit door is 6 ft 7 inches x 2 ft 11 inches.

Background heating was provided by 2 electrical wall heaters controlled by room stats.

The left side of the building has 2 transformer cubicles 1 and 2.

Both cubicles are 9 ft high x 9 ft 8 inches wide, with double doors and the opening size of both doors is 8 ft 2 inches high x 7 ft 10 inches wide, with 1 high level air vent and 2 low level small vents in each cubicle housing a transformer of 10,000 volts high voltage with secondary output of 3,000 volts medium voltage.

The right side of the building is an office and store and is 20 ft long by 10 ft wide, with a rear opening that is 6 ft 7 inches high by 2 ft 11 inches wide.

Inside height of all rooms is 11 ft 9 inches.

High level windows in switch room and store room for natural light.

The building is built of 13 and a half inches of solid brick walls supporting the reinforced concrete flat roof.

A heavily protected brick blast wall 13 and a half inches thick and 8 ft 6 inches high.

It runs full length of 3 sides of the building where door entrances are present.

All cabling between switch room and transformer cubicles are run in the solid concrete floor ducts with removable slab covers.

All cables are lead sheathed steel tape.

All cables entering and leaving the building are run in clay pipe cable ducting.

The sub station switch gear is 10,000 volts primary with high voltage oil circuit breakers enclosed class QA151 type JB721.

Secondary voltage is 3,000 volts medium voltage, with oil circuit breakers type BP11 that are supplying ring mains that go out to outdoor district area transformer plinth secondary sub station feeder pillars in to useable 415 volts 3-phase supplies.

All switch gear is made by the British Thomson Houston Co Ltd Rugby England.

Note the voltages medium and high are different to the ones used currently.

Electricity North West are still using transformer number 1 cubicle which is still referred to as electricity sub station 414226 R.N.A.S. (Royal Naval Air Station)

Transformer Cubicles Number 2 in the Foreground & Number 1 in the background

Switch Gear 3-Phase 415 Volts (Rear Elevation)

Switch Room High Voltage Switch Gear (Right Elevation)

The Photo Below Was Taken in 2013

The dangling cables (as shown on the photo above) were attached to
metering equipment (as shown on the photo below)

Please note: The actual busbars are situated behind the top 4 enclosures.

Malc Recently Found the 10,000 Volt Switchgear Interlock
Handle Hidden under Rubbish (2015 Update Photo)

The 2004 Image Below Shows The
Original Switchgear Almost Complete

Image Below (Taken 2013) Shows The Rear of the High Voltage Switchgear,
Showing the High Voltage Cabling

Left to Right: Transformer No.2 Supply, Transformer No. 1
Supply and main intake supply cable

Medium Voltage Switchgear & Metering (Left Elevation)

The Photo Below Was Taken in 2013

The 2004 Image Below Shows The
Original Switchgear Almost Complete

Medium Voltage Electrical Drawing
Showing The Sub Station 201

Earthing Drawing

Medium Voltage Electrical Distribution System Legend

Sub Station Office and Store image Date Taken 2013

Parachute Packing House & Store Building 104

The parachute packing house & store is situated at the side of the sub station building (on camp 3) opposite what was the admirals house (called ‘the retreat’) and is where the parachutes were hung and dried and then re-packed ready for use again and carefully maintained.

The store had suitable housing that was adequately heated, lighted and ventilated for drying and airing the parachutes.

The tall part of the building with the 3 tall windows (known as the ‘loft’ and shown below) had a long flat table underneath that was used to help packing and had a pulley system at high level where the parachutes were hung to dry before they were packed again.

The 3 tall South facing windows (shown below in the photo) were for good natural light and is the actual front of the building. The lower building on the left is the parachute store and the taller part on the right is the parachute packing room.

The building was built of brick in stretcher bond with 2 reinforced concrete roofs for added protection.

(B&W photos below taken in the 1970’s)

The right hand side of the parachute packing store shows the boiler house on the right of the photo below. The fuel and ash hatch can be seen just below the window to the right of the photo. The boiler chimney can also be seen.

The photo above was taken in the 1970’s and as you can see below in the 2001 colour photo (taken at a slightly different angle) a modern building has been added to it.

You can still see the large window but it has been reduced in height. The main entrance in the black and white photo is on the left and on the colour photo it is where the chickens are roaming.

This was my own photo taken in 2003

Air Cadet’s at Ringtail on the 9th of February 1945 in the parachute packing house … a WREN Officer shows trainee’s the working’s of a parachute.

(Please note: IWM – Used under the IWM’s non commercial licence)

The front entrance shows an electrical cast iron switched fuse that looks like a light above it. It’s purpose unknown?

The front entrance view at a slightly different angle showing the back entry conduit that comes from the electrical switched fuse (above).

The front of the parachute packing house showing the 3 large windows.

Front of the building with the packing room on the right and the parachute packing house store on the left.

The rear door out of the lower buildings store room.

The back of the parachute packing room.

The boiler house chimney on the back of the parachute packing room.

Inside the boiler house showing the chimney flu.

Steps down to the boiler room. The boiler room is semi sunken compared to the parachute building in general.

The boiler house stairwell guard rail.

The front entrance.

Bore Hole Pump House 2004 on Camp 3
(This is behind the parachute packing house)

Bore Hole Pump House 2014 on Camp 3
(This is behind the parachute packing house)

Electrical Plynth – Normal Supply 2014
(This is behind the bore hole pump house on camp 3)

Electrical Drawing of The Sub Station Normal Supply Building 0.1/4C
(3 Phase & Neutral) Supply Feeding The Bore Hole Pump House.

Civil Engineering Compound & Offices Area Foundations Camp 3 2015.

What you can see is the civil engineering compound and offices area.

The rear of the sub station is in the far left background and the
parachute packing house and store is on the far right.

The Fuel & Coke Store.

The fuel and coke store/area as you can see is split into 3 separate bays.

The Back of the Fuel and Coke Store

Remains of the North Perimeter Track Facing West (Mike Dawson is just in the Photo)

Continuation of the Remains of the North Perimeter Track Facing West

This Can be seen From the Remains of the North Perimeter Track Facing North.
In fact it was taken from the perimeter track looking north.

Continuation of the Remains of the North Perimeter Track Facing West

Mainhill Hangar ‘S’ Shed on the North Facing Side of the North Perimeter track

Continuation on From the Remains of the North Perimeter Track turning
slightly left and in the distance where the tree line is, is the head of runway 17.

The concrete blocks on the left are in the position of runway 12

4 Way Stoneware Conduit Electrical Ducts Encased in
Concrete on the head of Runway QDM170 (Runway 17)

Head of Runway 17

The Tree Line (Below) Follows the Route of Runway17

Head of Runway 17

Note: The communication mast just visible in the distance was
next to where the control tower used to be .. (now demolished)

Higgins Lane Perimeter Fence Photos 2014
(at the back of Camp 3)

The thickest post (the 5th post along in the photo) has ratchet
strainers to tension the barbed wire through the other posts.

These thickest posts are at each corner and are also spaced out every 10th post along the length of the actual fence itself and wires would have been fixed on the front (the face that is showing).

Ratchet Strainer Post
(These are spaced out every 10th post on the perimeter fence)

Higgins Lane Perimeter Fence Posts Continued
(Note: The blue sign has a propeller on it and the industrial
park now is called ‘Swordfish Business Park’)

Radar Test Area Hangar 2014

The 3 larger hangars behind are NOT original, although
they are built from other hangars from around the airfield

Runway Controllers Van Standing

This is the remains of the exact area where the runway

controllers van standing used to be.

It is situated at the south end of runway 03/21.

Perimeter Fence (Back of Red Lion in the Distance)

Callender Hamilton Maintenance Hangar 1984
(This is now Firwoods as of 2015)

Admiralty ‘S’ Shed Hangar 1984

Admiralty ‘S’ Shed 2014 Close to the Main Gate Was Sited

Pippin Street Dispersals 2004
Originally there was 6 mainhill admiralty type ‘s’ hangars.
4 still remain today in their original location on the airfield.

Same Hangar 2013

Pippin Street Dispersals 2004

Same Hangar 2013

Hangar 2013

Pippin Street Dispersals (2014 though now) Continued …
The building on the left of the photo is listed as a shelter but we think it was an electrical transformer plynth.
In the background is a static water tank/emergency water supply.

Ablution & Laterine Building 2014
An unusual name but this was a bathhouse and toilet block.

Ablution & Laterine Building in 2004

Stubbs Lane Entrance Gate to Pippin St
Dispersal Area (Off Pippin Street) 2004

Stubbs Lane Entrance Gate to Pippin St
Dispersal Area (Off Pippin Street) 2004

Bull & Dog 2014

Bull & Dog 1944
1772 Squadron celebrate a 21st Birthday at the Bull and Dog in May 1944.
This Squadron was formed at Burscough on 1st May 1944.

The Bull and Dog was a regular ‘haunt’ for the Naval Personnel.

Bull & Dog (Inside) 2014
Royal Naval Personnel had a tradition of inserting coins into the wooden beams
inside the pub … who knows, it could be some of the guys above?

‘Cold War’ ROC (Royal Observer Corps) Monitoring Post United
Kingdom Warning & Monitoring Organisation Burscough Lancashire.

Picture of ROC Post Burscough Taken From a Different
Angle When in Operation During the Cold War in 1984

Cutaway Drawing (1) of a Typical Monitoring Post Layout

Cutaway Drawing (2) of a Typical Monitoring Post Layout

An Example of a Fully Restored ROC Post
(Note: This is NOT Burscough/Ringtail)

The following photos are of the master post No.45 located on Pippin Street on the airfield perimeter in a large square-gated fenced compound. 1,563 of these posts were built throughout the country, 8 square miles apart in clusters of 3 or 4.

1 post in each cluster being the master post, with a VHF radio. Woodvale & St Helens being in Burscough’s cluster. The post opened in April 1962 & closed in September 1991. The entrance hatch leads to a 15 foot vertical ladder down to an underground chamber measuring 7 foot by 16 foot by 7 foot high.

A chemical toilet is located in a small room at the bottom of the entrance ladder.

The main monitoring room houses the 3 observers & their instruments. The cluster was linked by telephone landline to each post in the cluster & group headquarters.

Group headquarters being at 21 group control Langley Lane Goosnargh North of Preston. In the event of the landlines going down the radio master post was used as a back up.

A petrol electric generator set was used in the posts to charge up the batteries for lighting & for the VHF radio.

The post instruments consisted of a ground zero indicator sighted on the side of the entrance hatch above ground to record the position & height of a nuclear detonation. This consisted of a 4 pin hole camera in 1 enclosure.

Light sensitive photographic papers recorded the position & size of the fire ball of the bomb.

A bomb power indicator was used to detect the size of the peek pressure of the blast of a nuclear bomb by an above ground baffle plate fed down a pipe to a bomb power indicator meter below ground.

A fixed survey meter for measuring radio active fallout was carried out by using a plessy dose rate meter radiac PDRM 82F from the monitoring room.

A radiac meter head (also known as the guiger muller head) was pushed through a flange in the monitoring room ceiling up a tube to the outside.

The radiac meter head was connected by a coax cable to the radiac PDRM82F meter display.

The Ventilation Stack
(The ventilation stack showing the round dome cover for the aerial connections. The round
dome cover is removed to expose the aerial socket when the post is operational)

Originally the 2 square apertures were fitted with 2 louvered wooden vents.

To take the dome cover off, there was a tool that was used that was
inserted into the 2 holes to gain access to the aerial conections

Behind The Dome
(This is the view behind the dome. It shows the aerial coax cable
leading down the ventilation shaft to the monitoring room)

Furse copper earth strapping was installed from a ground point a few feet away from the ventilation shaft and was then routed down the ventilation shaft and fitted to all corners of the ceiling below ground and it was also cross bonded to the dome lid cover, the fixed survey meter pipe, bomb power indicator pipe and also the
sump pipe discharge, ladder and had a loop of wire even on the hatch lid.

This was used as a safety measure in case lightning hit the radio mast and potentially killed the occupants.

This is the aerial mast bracket which was originally fitted to the ventilation stack

The aerial was telescopic and could be raised and lowered by an air hose by a foot pump
in the monitoring room. When not in use, the aerial mast was stored
in the entrance shaft next to the ladder.

Fixed Survey Meter Pipe
(With its blanking plate fitted)

When the post was operational the blanking plate was removed by unscrewing the 4 bolts and fitted with a polycarbonate dome cover, in which the guiger muller head was then inserted through the roof flange below ground. This was used for measuring radiation fallout readings.

Fixed Survey Meter with Polycarbonate Cover Fitted
(Note: In the background is the bomb power indicator baffle plate)

Ground Zero Indicator Mounting Bracket

The ground zero indicator consisted of a 4 pin hole camera with light sensitive photographic paper (called shadow graph) in 4 photographic cassettes and were aligned with the cardinals of the compass to determine the direction and height of a nuclear blast.

Ground Zero Indicator Mounted on Bracket
(Note that you can see 1 of the 4 pin holes)

Ground Zero Indicator with its White Cover Removed

Below is the Bomb Power indicator
with it’s blanking bolt fitted.

BOMB POWER INDICATOR (BPI)

Provided that the distance from ground zero is known, the power of a nuclear weapon can be calculated from the peak over-pressure produced by the blast wave. The Bomb Power Indicator is designed to record this pressure.

External to the monitoring post exists a baffle plate. This baffle plate consists of two metal discs that is screwed onto the top of a pipe that leads down into the underground monitoring post. The over-pressure from a nuclear explosion would be funnelled through the two plates and down the pipe into the monitoring room whereby the over-pressure would be detected on the Bomb Power Indicator (BPI).

The BPI works in the following way:-

The over-pressure from the explosion makes its way down the pipe into the BPI, and is detected by small bellows. One side of the bellows is exposed to normal atmospheric pressure. Attached to the bellows is a push rod which bears against a level fixed to a spindle. When the bellows are expanded, a pointer attached to the spindle moves over a dial reading from either 0 to 5 Pounds per square inch (PSI) or 0 to 50 kilopascals (kPa). The pointer not being actually attached to the bellows, does not return to zero after the passage of the blast wave but is left indicating the peak over-pressure reading. It may then be reset to zero by means of a spring-loaded rod operated by a small push button.

P.E.S. Petrol Electric Set Generator.

The monitoring post had no running water or electrical connection, water was stored in jerry cans in the post.

Electricity for lighting and power for the radio was by 12-volt batteries being charged up by a P.E.S. petrol-electric set.

The P.E.S. was a swan/ Morrison generator consisting of a Villiers four-stroke engine coupled to an alternator direct current.

When the post was not operational the P.E.S. was stored at the bottom of the entrance shaft in the toilet area together with its charging leads.

When the post became operational the P.E.S. was hoisted up the entrance shaft by means of the cargo net /rope.

The observers were told to never store petrol inside the post.

Petrol jerry cans were stored in a refuge pit dug outside of the post within the compound.

The Monitoring Post Entrance Hatch

View Down The Entrance Hatch

The View Inside The Entrance Shaft Looking Up

Back Wall View of The Monitoring Room

The Burndept VHF BE525 Radio Transmitter/Receiver Position

The 2 black lines (below) is where the radio cabinet of the Burndept BE525 VHF transmitter radio/receiver was sited. The frequency of Burscough & 21 group was 80.3125 Channel 2 CER, Chanel 3 NWA, Code PRE

(Note the actual aerial lead dangling down underneath the 2 black lines)

The Burndept VHF BE525 Radio Transmitter/Receiver
osition Actually in Use/Example

Although this is not a photo of Burscough’s ROC post, this example shows observer
Harry Wilkinson at 21 group post at Fleetwood actually using the Burndept VHF BE525 radio.

(Note the bomb power indicator at the bottom left with its blast pipe connected from the surface)

The Fixed Surface Meter Flange

This photo shows the Fixed Surface Meter flange on the ceiling of the monitoring room.

Note the furse copper earth bonding tape connected to it.

The Carrier Warning Receiver (after next photo) was
Sited to The Left above the Monitoring Room Table

WB1401 CARRIER SPEECH WARNING RECEIVER

The WB1401 equipment in the post are armored and waterproof and is normally mounted on a wooden board on the wall of the post above the left-hand end of the post table.

The WB1401 consists of the receiver, Loudspeaker and the line filter unit.

The WB1401 is connected to the post telephone circuit it receives signals and spoken messages which are transmitted at a very high frequency and filtered out of the normal speech traffic before it reaches the L.S.T.or the control telephone system.

The unit has its own battery trickle charged by the line current from the serving telephone exchange.

In the event of a nuclear attack, a high pitched warbling sound would be broadcast over the receiver followed by the spoken message ATTACK WARNING RED repeated three times.

Warning Receiver Instruction Card

Incoming Landline Connection Point

This is the left hand wall of the monitoring room looking from the door.

The round connection box in the centre of the photo is the incoming telephone landline.

The Air Vent with its Steel Shutter

Note the furse copper Earth tape bonding connection running under and round the sides of the vent.

The bottom earth tape goes through the wall and runs up the ventilation shaft above ground bonding connection. Note also the black cables going through the wall.

These also run up the ventilation shaft and are for the aerial mast.

The View From the Back Wall Towards the Monitoring Room Door
(Turn left through the door to the entrance shaft ladder & turn right to the chemical toilet room.)

Please note: If you look at the desktop/table you can see a rectangular slot in it.

This is roughly where the Plessey Radiac Meter was situated.

The Plessey Radiac Meter PDRM 82F

The Teletalk Type AD 8010

Also on the monitoring room table was the loudspeaker telephone and was known as a TeleTalk Type AD 8010 and was connected to a dedicated private land line circuit to 21 group headquarters at Lingley Lane Preston by simply pressing a call button.

The other posts in the cluster could talk amongst themselves without involving group headquarters.

Bomb Power Indicator Blast Pipe Connection Point

Note the green and yellow bonding cable which would have had an earth clamp fitted to the blast pipe

The Monitoring Room Entrance Door View
From Inside the Monitoring Room

The square on the left is where the emergency fire blanket was situated.

The monitoring room light switch is unusual because most post were fitted with a timed light switch.

Water Discharge Pump

The photo below is of the water discharge pump. This was used as a hand pump to pump out the water from the sump below the grill (below) to the outside above ground. Note the furse copper earth bonding attached to the pipe at the bottom of the pump.

Close up of The Water Discharge Pump

Close up of the Water Discharge Pump Grill

(The chemical toilet is through the door opening on the right
and to the left is the access ladder to the outside/surface)

The Chemical Toilet

Entrance/Exit Shaft Leading to Outside/Surface

The hatch lid counter balance is the large rectangular weight in the centre of the image. The long pipe coming from the left of the photo is the water sump discharge pipe. Note the furse copper earth bonding tape attached to the discharge pipe and cross-bonded to the steel ladder.

Maroon Rockets

To warn the local public of nuclear fallout radiation, 3 projectile/rockets. known as
‘maroon rockets’ were sent high into the sky and then exploded making 3 large bangs in quick succession.

A Hand-Cranked Sekomak 447 Warning Siren

A hand cranked warning siren positioned above ground was sounded to warn the local public of a nuclear
attack. 2 different sounds were used. 1 rising and falling sound was to warn of an attack
and 1 continuous sound was for the all clear.

An Example of an ROC Post Showing Such Features as the Ground Zero Indicator Mounted on the Side of the Hatch & the Fixed Survey Meter with its Polycarbonate Cover Fitted

ROC 21 Group Headquarters & UKWMO National Protected Group Headquarters Langley Lane Goosnargh Preston Lancashire

(The guard room in the foreground dates back to WW2.
Note the 3 huge air exhausts/vents on the roof)

Side view of the bunker

The 100 foot high aerial mast is now used by a communications company.

Note: The site is now owned by a CCTV monitoring company

Regarding the image above, we were confused at first why there would be a (seemingly)
fully functioning ROC post at Goosnargh right next to the main old HQ.

We originally thought that it was there for training purposes but we sent
the query to Nick Catford of Sub Brit and this is his reply:

“Hi Gary & Malc

Yes all sorted. This came from Mike Norris of the ROCA at Preston

“The current owner of the control, a security company still maintain an interest in the ROC. In fact the manager allows our ROCA meetings to be held in the former control about every six months, in return we have provided him with various item of memorabilia. The post you see has actually been recreated from parts salvaged from a local post (36 post Catforth/Inskip) which were for a temporary display in a museum. Later transferred to the control, the features on your photograph are only the surface items. A full sized mock up has been recreated inside the control in a former tank room. He has made a quite superb job of this, right down to the battery powered lighting!”

I think that answers it. Below is a photo of the monitoring room they have created in the bunker. I think it looks pretty good. Not sure about the post radio box and of course the carrier receiver and speaker should be mounted on a sheet of chipboard painted grey.

Nick”

Built on the former site of the WW2 9 group control, the group HQ opened in January 1962.

To offer a greater level of protection to survive a nuclear attack the bunker was semi sunken into an earth banking. The roof and walls were constructed of 1 metre thick reinforced concrete. The bunker housed state of the art ventilation/heating and filtration plant and 2 standby electric generators.

The main entrance was through 2 gas tight blast doors made of steel and inside the building there were male and female toilets, a canteen, dormitories were also built.

Water tanks were provided for sinks and a decontamination wash room.

The control room collected information from all 21 groups ROC monitoring posts including Burscough’s post to establish the location of height power & fallout of a nuclear explosion. The group headquarters close in 1992 and is now used for private commercial use.

ROC Control Room (When Operational in 1991)
(Photo by Terry Tracey)

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Stretton Airfield – Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) HMS Blackcap Cheshire.

Record Site Plan.

(Image Courtesy of Royal Navy Research Archive)

3 Miles SE of Warrington

OS/Ref SJ652825 Height ASL 220 ft

Opened 1st of June 1942

Closed 4th of November 1958

Planned as an RAF airfield but later transferred to the Admiralty on completion.

2 Control towers were constructed.

The first control tower watch office for fighter satellite stations 3156/41

The second control tower type was watch office for all commands drawing number 12779/41

The Control Tower in the Early 80’s

The airfield had the 3 RAF runway ‘A’ layout rather than it having the standard RNAS 4 runways.

The runways are:

16/34 1,120 yds long

03/27 1,120 yds long

Main runway 10/28 1,600 yds long

All 3 runways were 50 yds wide and constructed of concrete & surfaced with tarmac.

Runway 28 was later extended & the North East & South taxi tracks extended to suit the new threshold of runway 28.

The main runway was fitted out with a dummy deck landing area painted on it the same size as the carriers of the time to train pilots and landing signal officers (LSO).

Hangars 1944:

4 squadron 60 x 70 x 20ft

4 squadron 60 x 70 x 17ft

1 Blister

1 ARS 185 x 105ft on North Side of airfield at repair yard

Hangars 1945:

4 Teeside ‘S’ 60 x 70 x 20ft

6 Mains 60 x 70 x 17ft

1 Blister for ATC gliders

Workshops at repair yard (Storage planned for 300 aircraft)

2 large A1 (Aircraft Production) Hangars – Drawing number 454/43 were built on the North East edge of the airfield for Fairey Aviation for the repair & modification and flight testing of Barracudas fire flies & fulmars.

In 1944 an aircraft maintenance yard was built on the side of Barley Castle Lane access from the airfield to the maintenance yard was via a taxiway crossing Barlay Castle Lane.

A police post was built and manned by Royal Navy Police to allow movement across the road.

HMS Blackcap was the home to 41 Naval Air Squadrons including the home station of 1831 and 1842 squadrons RNVR.

Post war the airfield was used by RNVR Squadrons and by the Naval Airyard.

Today the M56 cuts across the airfield from East To West and the runways & taxi tracks remain on the South side of the M56 motorway & 2 type ‘B’ dispersal pens are still present.

Other buildings on the South & North side of the motorway can still be seen also.

Shell research ltd used the airfield as a test rack but are no longer using the site.

Micro light flying uses part of the North East taxi way as of 2013.

Airfield facilities consisted of

Control tower inside the perimeter track on the west side of the landing area.

and meteorological office in the control tower limited service by RN personnel.

Runways three tarmac

16/34 1,120 yds long x 50 yds wide

03/27 1,120 yds long x 50 yds wide

10/28 1,600 yds long x 50 yds wide

Perimeter tracks

45 feet wide perimeter track

40 feet wide track connects the north perimeter with the R.N. yard.

two 20 feet wide tracks lead to the fairey aviation hangars on the N/E

side of the airfield.

Approach

Recommended sector, mean QDM. 3050.

Wind indicators

windsocks inside the perimeter track on the north-west side of the landing area.

and outside the perimeter track on the south-east side

Homing- radio

D/F H/F and VH/F beacons YG. and 251 MS.

Communication equipment

M/F and H/F 3 transmitters, and 4 receivers.

VH/F 4 transmitters and 4 receivers.

Call signs

R/T Stretton

W/T mge

identity letters -JA -ST from 1955.

Dispersals

six pens and nine A/C standings dispersed around the perimeter track.

in addition to two aprons.

dispersals for 200 A/C on hardstandings and Sommerfield tracking outside

and inside of the perimeter.

Fuel and oil

Aviation-24,000 gallons in two tanks of 12,000 gallons each 100 octane

12,000 gallons of 87 octane in one tank.

12000 gallons of 73 octane in one tank

mechanical transport 3,000 gallons in one tank of 1,030 gallons and one tank of 2,000 gallons

and an additional 40-gallon drums as requires

Oil

D.E.R.N. – 650 gallons

M.V.O. – 650 gallons

Firing ranges

machine gun and cannon A/C test butt.

25 yards outdoors .303 weapons range.

. 22 indoor range.

Medical

crash room and sickbay 500 yds north-west, sick quarters at grappenhall ,two half miles R.N.
Accommodation

officers and ratings living quarters in dispersed sites about 600 yds north-west of the airfield.

W.R.N.S. quarters in dispersed sites 3 miles R.N. and in station

Capacity

officers- 106

chief petty officers and ratings- 1,162

W.R.N.S.officers – 11

W.R.N.S. chief petty officers and ratings,-136

Control tower photo/ fairy swordfish NF389 overflies the control
tower at RNAStretton prior to the start of an airshow in summer 1953

The Control Tower/Watch Office built at Stretton is designed to the air ministry’s directorate of works and buildings, as a watch office for all commands designed to air ministry drawing number 12779/41.

The two-story building is constructed with temporary brick with a sand and cement rendered finish, and the roof is waterproofed with ash felt.

The front elevation of the building is 34ft 6 ins and the side elevations 36 ft 9 ins. Outside viewing is provided by large multi-paned steel casement windows to the front and to flank walls of the control room and watch office.

The first-floor exit door leads out to the concrete balcony and onto a steel staircase gaining access to the roof. The balcony and roof are fitted with tubular steel railings supported by iron columns. The ground floor has access to the first floor by an internal flight of concrete stairs.
Watch office Ground -floor plan

Watch office first-floor plan

Workmen installing the watch office balcony steel railings.

To the left of the watch office is the rear of the crash fire tender house,
constructed to air ministry drawing number 7829/41

Watch office side elevation.

The small building to the right of the watch office
is the Meteorological weather balloon filling hut.

To the right of the watch office is the front of the crash fire tender house, constructed to air ministry drawing number 7829/41, it appears to have had an added lean-to at the side built at some period.

Watch office Rear and side elevation.

To the right of the watch office is the crash fire tender house,
constructed to air ministry drawing number 7829/41.

To the left of the watch office next to the tree is the Meteorological weather balloon filling hut.
The building far left is a Latrine constructed to air ministry drawing number 9026/41.

Looking out of the front of the watch office across the airfield.

flying control Signage inside the watch office at the bottom of the internal staircase.

Public open day program.

Public open day program.

Next 2 photos crash crew at Stretton 1950

Blackcap 1947 Xmas Card WRNS.

All the following photos were taken just before Christmas in 2013.

RNAS HMS Blackcap South Taxi-Way Looking East From The Middle of The Airfield

RNAS HMS Blackcap South Extension Taxi-Way Looking
West Quite Near To The End of The Main Runway 28

This Taxi-Way Was Added Later & We Aren’t Sure Why?

If Anyone Knows Then Please Contact us at: gazandmalc@yahoo.co.uk

South West Taxi Way Quite Near The Top of Runway 10

The Top of Runway 10 Looking East Down The Main Runway

(There is a White Cross on The Left Just Over The Barriers)

The White Cross Simply Means ‘Runway Closed’

This is The Original North East Taxi Way (on the right)

To The Left of The Island (in the middle of the photo) is The Later
Extended North East Taxi Way to the Head of Runway 28

This is Another View of The Original North East Taxi Way (on the right)

To The Left of The Island (in the middle of the photo) is The Later
Extended North East Taxi Way to the Head of Runway 28

This is Another View of The Original North East Taxi Way (on the right)

To The Left of The Island (in the middle of the photo) is The Later
Extended North East Taxi Way to the Head of Runway 28

This Photo Was Taken From The Middle of The Main Runway Looking West

This Photo Was Taken From The Middle of The Main Runway Looking East

This is The South Taxiway Looking East

This is The South Taxiway Looking West
(Please Note That the Head of Runway 34 is on the Right of The Photo)

In The Foreground is The South Taxi Way (Going Left to Right on the Photo)

In The Background is Runway 34

Runway 34 Runs North-Westerly Across the Airfield

You Can Just See The White Cross on Runway 34

The White Cross Simply Means ‘Runway Closed’

This is a Better Photo of The White Cross on The Head of Runway 34

This is The South Taxiway Looking West

The Building on the Left Was Used By Shell Research When Being Used as a Test Track

Drainage Grid Cover on the Eastern Taxi-Way Quite Near The Head of Runway 28

South Taxi-Way (extended) Facing West

South Taxi-Way (extension) Turning Towards the Head of Runway 28

Main Runway 28 Looking East

Main Runway 10 Looking West

Aviation Fuel Tanker’s Inspection Apron (Now Overgrown as You Can See)

Aviation Fuel Tanker’s Inspection Apron (Now Overgrown as You Can See)

North East Taxi-Way Looking East (The Aviation Fuelling Inspection Area is on the Right)

Dispersal Type ‘B’ Pens for 2 x Fighter Aircraft Situated
on the Threshold of The North East Taxi-Way

(Now Demolished Within The Undergrowth)

View Down The Main Runway 28 at the Original Head

(The Sweeping Bend is the Shell Test-Track)

Intersection of the Original North East Taxi-Way at the Original Head of Runway 28

(Please Note: The Concreted Area to the Right is The Added Main Runway 28 Extension)

Extension of Runway 28 Looking East

Extension of Runway 28 Looking North East
(Fairey Aviation Hangars Can be Seen on the Right)

Extension (the end) of Runway 28 Looking East

Extension (the end) of Runway 28 – This We Think Has
Something to do With ‘Dummy’ Deck Practice Landing?

Another View of the Extension (the end) of Runway 28 – This We
Think Has Something to do With ‘Dummy’ Deck Practice Landing?

Another Close-Up View of the Extension (the end) of Runway 28 – This We
Think Has Something to do With ‘Dummy’ Deck Practice Landing?

View of the Fairey Aviation Hangars Looking North From The Extended Main Runway 28

‘Cambered’ Threshold of the Main Runway 28 Showing The Original Drainage Cover

The Full Width of The Main Runway 28 Looking West

The South Taxi-Way Looking East & to the Right is the Extension of the East Taxi-Way

South Taxi-Way Looking East (Watch Out For the ‘Angry’ Farmer)

The East (Extension) Taxi-Way at the End of the Main (Extended) Runway 28

The Main Head (Extended) of Runway 28 is Just Over the Fence on The Left

The Earthed up Banking Shown Here on the Right has Reduced
The Original Taxi-Way to Half of it’s Width

(Photo 1) The East Taxi-Way Swinging North West

You Can See Quite Clearly The ‘Swing’ of the Taxi-Way (Especially on Photo 2)

(Photo 2) The East Taxi-Way Swinging North West

You Can See Quite Clearly The ‘Swing’ of the Taxi-Way

North of the Airfield is the VHF Homing Beacon

It has a concrete roof supporting a wooden lattice tower
and access ladder that allows for gaining access to the radio antenna.

The homing beacon was used as an aid for returning aircraft to locate the airfield.

The Homing Beacon Has 3 Rooms

Amazingly, the Homing Beacon Lattice Tower is Made of Wood
and is Still in a Well Preserved State as You Can See

Machine Gun & Cannon Aircraft Test Butt DRG Number 16461/41

A shooting in butt for aircraft with installed guns.

A tail trestle was put in position to raise the aircraft to the normal flying attitude. Aircraft would test & harmonise their machine guns by blasting into a bank of sand at the rear of the butts.

The blast of the rounds in the butt were dispelled through 2 roof apertures. A red warning flag was raised when the test butt was in use.

The newly bricked up blockwork is where the aircraft would fire their guns into.

(Originally, on the left where the brickwork is, there would have been a small annex building)

The side view and back view of the gun butt.

Side view of the gun butt.

Close up of reinforcing bars.

View of the inside showing the back wall of the gun butt.

The back wall would have had huge sand banking
to absorb machine gun and canon rounds.

You can see the light coming in through the 2 apertures in the gun butt roof.

These apertures were their to dispel the blasts of the rounds.

Side view of supporting brickwork.

You can see here (at the top and middle) the red warning flag pole support brackets.

Battle Headquarters Built to Air Ministry drawing number 11008/41

The battle headquarters was used to coordinate the defences of the airfield against enemy ground attack. It was built mostly underground.

There was a main entrance that lead to a main passageway.

It then consisted of 5 rooms, which were:

1 The PBX telephone/switchboard room.

2 Messengers and ‘runners’ room (In the event of the telephone lines being disabled or inoperable, ‘runners’ were sent out to deliver messages to the relevant areas of the airfield).

3 Defence officers room.

4 A semi sunken observation room (note the emergency exit with a steel ladder).

5 A water closet (elsan toilet cubicle).

Main Steps Down Into The Main Passageway (Now back-filled).

Main Passageway

The 1st opening on the left is the ‘runners’ and messengers room.

The 2nd opening on the left is the defence officers room. This room was the defence room and was used to coordinate the defence of the airfield.

The opening at the end (facing you) is the (elsan) toilet room.

You can still see the electrical conduit and bulkheads hanging from the ceiling.

The Defence Room

(Photo taken from the steps down from the observation room)

The opening on the left (where you can see the steel conduit and light switch) is the main passageway (main passageway is photo above) and the opening in the centre of the photo is the messenger’s and ‘runners’ room and the opening on the right is the PBX telephone/switchboard room.

Almost all the rooms are flooded to about 3 feet when the photos were taken (25th of May 2014).

The 3 sloping brick walls was the support for the plotting table. Hanging from the ceiling are the electrical steel conduits and what is left of the bulkhead light fittings.

The Semi Sunken Observation Room with Reinforced
Concrete Coupler & 360 Degree Viewing Slit.

The small concrete square on the left is the emergency exit.

Steel Ladder Leading Out To The Emergency Exit
Taken From Inside The Observation Room

Original Light Switch inside The Observation Room

Emergency Exit Outside of The Observation Room Which
Would Have Originally Been Fitted With a Steel Hatch

Fairey Aviation

Aircraft manufacturers Fairey Aviation had 2 A1 aircraft maintenance
hangars on the North East edge of the airfield for modification,
repair and flight testing of Barracuda’s, Firefly’s & Fulmar’s.

1 of the 2 re-clad A1 hangars (photo 2013) built to drawing number 454/43

5 DeHavilland Sea Venom FAW.21’s at
the Fairey Aviation Hangars in 1956

Fairey Hangars in The Distance Looking North East.

The photo was taken from the extended runway 28

Fairey Aviation Compass Swinging Platform
(Concrete Base) Drawing number 10936/41

The compass swinging platform was used to
accurately adjust each aircraft magnetic compass

(An example of the compass swinging platform at work – airfield unknown)

The compass swinging platform was sited away from buildings, electrical & telephone cables so as to avoid any magnetic interference.

The compass swinging platform was to adjust the aircraft compass by swinging the aircraft on a rotating platform.

An aircraft fitter sitting in the cockpit would adjust the compass to North heading ( 0 degrees) East (90 degrees) South (180 degrees) & West (270 degrees headings). The aircraft fitter would check the magnetic compass by adjusting the compass compensator screws with a non magnetic screwdriver.

It had a well in the centre and a circular wooden platform covering it. A set of wheels ran in the well and this enabled the platform to act as a turntable. The aircraft sat on top of the turntable and was turned to the compass points.

Compass Turning Platform from a Distance

The Remains of the North East Perimeter Concrete Fence Posts

The thickest post (in the foreground) has 4 ratchet strainers
to tension the barbed wire through the other posts.

These thickest posts are at each corner and are also spaced out at
regular intervals along the length of the actual fence itself and
wire mesh would have been fixed on the front (the face that is showing).

Police Post (Photos Taken Just Before Christmas 2014)

In 1944 an aircraft maintenance yard was built on the North side of Barleycastle Lane and 4 large workshops and several smaller hangers were built.

To gain access from the airfield to the air maintenance yard (AMY) a taxi way was constructed crossing Barleycastle Lane.

At the crossing a police post building was built which was manned by Royal Naval Police to stop the public traffic and allow the movement of aircraft and transport to cross Barleycastle Lane.

The police post was constructed of brick with an outside rendered finish. The roof pitch is constructed of asbestos corrugated roofing sheets fixed to steel rafters.

Police Post Reception Room

The airfield taxi track came across the front of
the lodge from left to right of the picture.

Police Post Crossing Can be Seen in This
Photo at the Top Left of the Photo

The Ceiling of The Police Post Reception Area

The Original Door and Window has Been Blocked up

This is a Photo of the Left & Back Side of the Post
(When looking from the reception entrance)

The Back Side of The Police Post. You Can Still See Traces of Light Blue Paint at the Bottom.

Another View of The Reception Room

This is the inside View of the Room to the Right Hand Side of the Reception Room Taken
Through the Hole that You Can See in the Modern Blockwork to The Right of the Photo

Barleycastle Lane. The Police Post is Just on the Right Behind the Large Tree. You Can See the Dark Green Bush that Grows on the Back of the Post as you have Just Seen in a Previous Photo (above).

The road junction to the left is the entrance into the aircraft maintenance yard and the taxi track went from right to left across the front of the lodge from the airfield right across Barleycastle Lane and into the aircraft maintenance yard.

PABX Telephone Exchange Communications Centre & Signals Dept.

This was the PABX Telephone Exchange for the Airfield & is on the
South side of Arley Rd almost Next to Appleton Thorn Primary School.

The building contained the PABX switchboard office with
telegraphists, a yeoman of signals & a W.R.N.S cipher officer.

It was Last Being used as a Cattery, but now it appears to be Disused.

The Original Re-clad Hangars on the Naval Air Yard.

(Pentag hangar with sloping sides and the other is a callender hamilton hanger)

An Admiralty ‘S’ Shed Mainhill Type Hangar on the Naval Air Yard

Front View

Admiralty ‘S’ Shed Mainhill Type Hangars on the Administration Site on Arley Road

Pyro Technics Building Situated North of the South Taxi Way

Note The 2 Brackets on Top of the Reinforced Concrete
Roof (above) are Fixings For The 2 Lightning Conductors.

Note The 2 Lines going Down The Walls Had Lightning Conductor Ground Cables
Which Extended From The 2 Lightning Conductor Brackets To The Ground.

Southside Fighter Pens at Stretton.

There were numerous fighter pens around the airfield at Stretton. These fighter pens were there to protect the flight & ground crews in case of enemy air raids during WW2. There are 2 that still exist today (as of November 2013 when photos were taken) and these are still accessible today.

The layout consisted of 3 arms outlined with brick dwarf walls with retaining earthwork traverses to surround both aircraft. At the rear of the pen is a stanton type air raid shelter for flight & ground crews with access from either bay. Also an emergency exit sited at the rear of the shelter

Rear View of Fighter Pens Showing Emergency Exit for
2 Aircraft Type ‘B’ Building Drawing No. 7161/41

View from the Top (front) of the South Fighter Pens Entrance
Looking Down onto the Aircraft Dispersal Bay

(Note: The South taxi way can be seen just beyond the aircraft dispersal bay)

Top View of the South Fighter Pens Air Raid Shelter Entrance

Left Hand (front) of the South Fighter Pen Showing the Air Raid Entrance

The Ground & Aircrew Would Use During an Air Attack.

Photo Taken From the Aircraft Dispersal Bay Showing the Brick
Dwarf Wall (on left) With Retaining Earthwork Traverses Above.

Close up View of the Brick Dwarf Wall

The Other Aircraft Dispersal Bay of the South Fighter Pens (The
Shell Offices and Observation Buildings can be Seen on the Left)

Walking in to the shelter from the Emergency Exit & Aircraft
Dispersal Bay Exit (Note: The electrical switched fuse)

Photo Taken From The Emergency Exit & The Aircraft Dispersal
Bay Entrance of the South Fighter Pens Air Raid Shelter

Photo inside The Air Raid Shelter Leading to the
Aircraft Dispersal Bay (turn right at the doorway)

(Note: The brick supports of the seating can clearly be still be seen)

Emergency Exit End/Opposite Direction/End of the Shelter Leading to The Doorway that
you Can See Leads to the Emergency Exit (turn right at the doorway) & The
Aircraft Dispersal Bay (turn left at the doorway)

North Fighter Pens

These North Fighter Pens are situated quite near to the
M56 and are also next to the North East Taxiway.

Photo taken from left to right of the diagram facing
the right hand side dispersal entrance.

Photo taken from right to left of the diagram facing the emergency exit.
Note the original seating still exists as of November 2013

Emergency Exit at the Rear of the North Dispersal Pen

The Right Hand Air Raid Shelter Entrance
with Aircraft Dispersal Bay in Foreground

Another View of the Right Hand Air Raid Shelter Entrance
with the Aircraft Dispersal Bay in the Foreground

Closer View of the Right Hand Side Air Raid Shelter Entrance.

Both the Right & Left The Air Raid Shelter Entrances can be Seen on this Photo.

Note: In the Foreground is the Earth Traverse Banking
that Separates the Left & Right Aircraft Dispersal Bays.

Left Hand Side of the Fighter Pens.

Note: The Brick Dwarf Wall & The Earth Traverse Banking.

Also in the Foreground to the left is the Aircraft Dispersal Bay.

Left Hand Side Aircraft Dispersal Bay

Long Distance Photo of the North Fighter Pens

ADI Block

The ADI Block is opposite the aviation fuel inspection
apron next to the North East taxi way in the wooded area.

Inside the ADI Building.

The steel roof structure can still be seen in great condition (2013)

The entrance of the ADI Building

Inside of the ADI Building.

The entrance is on the right hand side of the photo.

Standby Sethouse (Standby Electricity Generator Building)

(All the following photos were taken around 2013
and show the outside and inside the building)

The standby sethouse is constructed of brick with a reinforced flat concrete
roof, with a central supporting RSJ and consisted of 3 rooms.

The building itself is situated quite near the South Extension
Taxi-Way at the end of the main runway 28.

Note the Low Level & High Level Vents in the Main Room (1)

Note the Clay Pipe Cable Ducts Entering The Floor Ducts in Main Room 1

Note the Central Supporting RSJ in the Main Room (1)

Note the Floor Cable Ducts in the Main Room (1)

The Door on the Left is the Entrance to Room 2

View From Room 2 Into Main Room (1)

Room 2 – Note the Floor Ducts Would Have Removable
Concrete Slabs Resting on the Lip if the Concrete.

Room 3

The Outside View of Room 3

More Outside Photographs

The Parish Church of St Cross Appleton Thorn

Specially Made Kneeling Mats inside The Church.

Remembrance Corner to The Memory of The Pilot’s
of The Northern Air Division inside The Church.

This is The Royal Naval Flag.

Gravestone’s of Service Personnel of Royal Naval Air Station Blackcap.

This Plaque (below) is in the Middle of The Row of Graves (above).

A Terrible Accident on The Night of The 31st of May 1943.

On the night of the 31st of May 1943 a party of WRNS were returning from a local dance to the Royal Naval Air Station Stretton/HMS Blackcap as passengers in the back of a truck.

The truck driver lost control at Wright’s Green/Lumbrook Lane and crashed into a ditch and overturned.

12 were injured and 6 passengers were killed … 3 WRNS and 3 Naval Air Mechanics.

5 Were buried in their home town’s and 28 year old Annie Elizabeth Mccormick was buried in the graveyard of St Cross Church, Appleton Thorn – the church was 300 yards from the main airfield gate.

HMS Blackcap 1943 – Annie Elizabeth Mccormick Middle Front Row

Funeral of Annie Elizabeth Mccormick

The Grave of Annie Elizabeth Mccormick.

(Note: Annie’s grave is 2nd from the right hand side of the row of graves below)

The Royal Visit 17th/18th of May 1956

On the 17th/18th of May 1956 HRH Prince Philip paid a visit to the airfield shortly before the airfield was closed.

The Prince was inspecting the Northern Air Division and here he can be seen walking past Supermarine Attackers and Their Pilots of 1831 NAS (Naval Air Squadron) of the RNVR (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve).

Below is the aircraft of the ‘Royal Flight’
and is a Heron – serial number XH375

HRH Prince Philip inspecting HMS Blackcap Gliding Club.

In the background is the glider winch, which was a sawn off
furniture wagon with a modified barrage balloon winch on top.

Below you can see the wing of an Avenger Anti
Submarine Aircraft of the Naval Air Service 1841.

Barley Castle Lane is in the background and you can see 1 of the maintenance hangars on the
air naval yard to the right of the photo (the hangar still exists today and has been re-clad).

The farmhouse in the background still survives today (2013) but it is in a poor state.

His Royal Highness Prince Philip is talking to 1 of the pilots
of 1831 NAS of the RNVR (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve)

This is the maintenance hangar (as it is today 2013)
shown in the photo above at the back of the Prince.

Wren’s Inspecting a Vought Chesepeake in 1945

Vought Chesapeake being inspected
during 1943 at HMS Blackcap.

Pilot LT-JF Bird, RNVR in the cockpit of a
Corsair fighter at HMS Blackcap during 1944

Recent aerial photo of the airfield looking West.

The main runway can be seen to the right and
the southern perimeter track to the left.

Modern Aerial Image of The
Engine Test Bed(s) Site 2014

Aerial Image of The Engine Test Bed(s) Site 1945

The North Perimeter Fence Next To Barleycastle Lane
(Which is the site of the engine test beds)

Engine Test Bed(s) Site Next To Barleycastle Lane (Possibly Hut Bases)

The Actual Engine Test Bed Bases (Note The
Steel Sections in The Reinforced Concrete)

Close up Image of The Steel in The
Base of The Engine Test Bed(s)

More Overall View of The Engine Test Bed(s) Site Taken 2013

(Note The Steel Again)

The South Dispersals Site 1944 Showing 3 of the 4 Admiralty ‘S’ Sheds Mainhill Hangars

The South Dispersals Site 2014 Showing 3 of the 4 Admiralty ‘S’ Sheds Mainhill Hangars

South Dispersal Perimeter Fence

South Dispersal Perimeter Track

South Dispersal Perimeter Track

Static Water Tank (Emergency Water Supply) in The Background & the
South Dispersal Perimeter Track in the Foreground and to the Left

Static Water Tank (Emergency Water Supply)

Static Water Tank (Emergency Water Supply)

Static Water Tank (Emergency Water Supply)

Static Water Tank (Emergency Water Supply) Photo Taken
from the Opposite Angle Showing the Fighter Pens

Remains of Building Bases on the South Dispersal Area

Remains of Building Bases on the South Dispersal Area Showing a Raised Area

The Following Photos are Showing 2 Seafire/Spitfires Being Recovered on Brierley’s
Scrapyard Warrington Wilderspool Causeway That Were From HMS Blackcap Stretton.

The scrapyard was behind Warrington corporation bus garage which
was the former site of 2 Fairey aviation workshop hangars.

At Least One of These Was Rebuilt to Become the SX336
Shown Below in The Colour Photograph in Flying Condition.

The SX336 as it is Today ‘Flying’

Sea Fury T 20 two-seat trainer of No. 1831 Squadron
RNVR at RNAS Stretton, Cheshire, in 1951

The Officer’s Houses at Yew Tree Lane

The first 3 photos vice admiral sir d Boyd opening the
187th squadron ATC gliding school during 1945

Antrobus radar station was sited a short distance
away from Stretton airfield HMS blackcap

The radar station was built at Antrobus in 1941 with the electrics and instruments being installed by G.E. Taylor & Co. Ltd. of London.

Its wartime use and immediately after is unknown, it was regarded as top secret by those aware of its existence.

In late 1952 it was modified for use by Blackcap’s Air Traffic Control to ensure the safety of flights into and out of Stretton. The equipment in use was ‘Type AMES (Air Ministry Experimental Set) 15 and Type 277T’

Other active airfields in the vicinity of Stretton included Speke (Liverpool Airport), Ringway and Burtonwood (U.S. Military Air Transport HQ). At that time a Manchester Control Zone was in operation with Ministry of Civil Aviation Zone controllers located at Ringway.

Northern Air Traffic Control Centre at Broughton near Preston maintained an Area Control. On 13th February 1953 trials commenced at Antrobus under Lieutenant J.R. Gee with a view to controlling all naval traffic.

A few weeks later after some 1500 sorties, it was also providing a service to military aircraft through the zone. The use of the facility was then offered to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. It duly commenced its own trials early in 1954 with a team from Manchester led by Mr I.M. Lucas.

At 0745 on Tuesday 1st June 1954 the unit became operational, controlling civil and military aircraft at peak periods. It was the first Joint Air Traffic Control Radar Unit and became known as Northern radar.

Antrobus Type 15 Radar

Royal Naval Type 277 Radar

Click Here To Go Back To Airfields Page ….
Royal Naval Air Station HMS Ringtail
(Burscough Lancashire)

Ringtail Monument Relocation

The HMS Ringtail Monument that was built during 2004 has been relocated across the road to the new ringtail retail park.

Photo Courtesy of Lawrence Critchley
but Photograph by Mike Dawson

The new monument and memorial garden have been
relocated outside of the new booths supermarket.

Photo Courtesy of Lawrence Critchley but Photograph by Mike Dawson

The bronze sculpture of the WW2 fleet air arm pilot is designed and built by Peter Hodgkinson

Photo Courtesy of Lawrence Critchley but Photograph by Mike Dawson

The supermarket itself has been designed to resemble a
WW2 aircrafthangar and stands on part of the airfield site

Inside Booths is this Display Area of H.M.S. Ringtail

Lawrence Critchley Temporarily Putting up The Ringtail Flag
near the Monument For a Photo-Shoot by Mike Dawson.

The monument and the flag will eventually be moved to a new
permanent location near the new nearby ‘Booth’s’ Supermarket.

(Note: The supermarket has been designed to look like a hangar)

Lawrence Critchley (red shirt), Mike Dawson (blue jacket), Richard Houghton (brown jumper)
are dedicated to keeping the history of the airfield of HMS Ringtail ‘alive’.

The ‘guys’ can be seen here talking to Brian Lea who was stationed at
HMS Ringtail/camp 2 for a short stay during his national service around 1955.

Ringtail Road

Keeping the History of the Airfield ‘Alive’ the Road has been Named ‘Ringtail Road’.

In the Distance (past the white barrier) is the ‘Old’ Remains of the North Perimeter Track Facing West

This photo is directly across the junction to the left of the photo above

Admiralty ‘S’ Shed Close to the ‘Plantation Road’
Sign Above Now Being Used by Baybutts Haulage

Airfield Record Site Plan

Burscough Airfield Royal Naval Air Station HMS Ringtail is 1 mile North East of Ormskirk in Lancashire.

The OS Reference is: SD425114

The Airfield Code is: -A4

The airfield opened on the 1st of September 1943 and closed in May 1946.

On the 15th of Jun 1946 the airfield was transferred to care and maintenance and on the 5th of May 1955 was transferred to the Admiralty Dockyards Department.

There were 4 runways to admiralty specification, i.e. 3 runways of 1,000 yards long by 30 yards wide & the 4th runway aligned with the prevailing wind of 1,240 yards long by 30 yards wide.

The runways were constructed of concrete and surfaced with tarmac.

The visual angle of approach at night was airfield lighting (Naval and RAF installed).

Living quarters were built on 2 camps ….. camp 1 off Higgins Lane and camp 2 off Abbey Lane to accommodate 189 officers, 1,204 chief petty officers and ratings, 15 women’s Royal Naval Service Officer’s and 355 women’s Royal Naval Service Chief Petty Officer’s and Ratings, and also, the Medical sick bay was in the station area on the east side of the airfield.

Airfield facilities consisted of:

Communications equipment was:

M/F and One Line M/F

H/F 4 T Lines H/F

Ground Radar Intermediate GCI

Homing Radio D/F

Beacons YG

Aircraft Radar Test Base Available

2 Wind Socks … one on the west side of the landing area inside the taxi track and one at the intersection of the runways on the east side

4 Armouries to accommodate 4 squadron’s

2 x 70 feet in diameter compass swinging bases

Meteorological office on the ground floor of the control tower

Machine gun and cannon test butts north of the landing area near the hangars

3 aircraft dispersal standings off the taxi track close to the control tower

Explosive area on the north west side of the airfield. Practice stocks for provision of 1 T.B.R & 4 F.R. Squadrons

8 Flood light standings

And 1 cloud height search light

Aviation fuel storage (holding 68,000 gallons)

Motor transport fuel storage (4,000 gallons)

Oil storage (4,000 gallons)

The Control Tower 1943

The control tower was situated on the east side of the landing area outside of the taxi way.

It had 3 stories with an internal stair case and the air watch office was on its roof (on the photo below the air watch office has been removed).

For reasons unknown the control tower was originally built with just 2 floors, and the air watch office was on top of the 2 floors below as you can see?

We think, that the control tower only had the earlier 2 floors because the airfield’s had to be built so quickly (by McAlpine’s)

Later, an additional 3rd floor was added to comply with the standard naval watch office design (drawing number 3860/42) as you can see in the image below.

The Ground Floor

The ground floor was offices for the meteorological section and consisted of 3 offices:

Met office

Senior Met Officers Office

Met Teleprinter Office

Also, ladies and gents toilets and store room.

A stair case descended down to a small basement which housed the central heating boiler and PBX telephone equipment.

The First Floor

The first floor consisted of 4 offices:

2 General Offices

1 Air Staff Officer Office

1 Commander of Flying Office

The offices were divided up with glass and wood partitions with message hatches and 2 doors opened out to the platform outside.

The Second Floor

The second floor was for flying control and consisted of 1 office. There was only 1 office (compared to the other offices) simply because the rest of the floor area consisted of just seating and desks.

The Roof

The roof of the control tower was accessed by a steel vertical ladder through a roof hatch and this lead to the Air Watch Office and also sited on the roof was the communications mast and lighting gantry.

For safety, hand rails were fitted around all the corners of the roof.

The ground to air signals square was immediately north of the control tower.

The Control Tower 1984

The hangars consisted of 32 admiralty ‘S’ type mainhill hangars (traverses size 60 by 70 feet and door height 17 feet and door width 55 feet) dispersed around the taxi track & were intended to store 6 – 8 aircraft with their wings folded.

18 of them were for the squadron with earth traverses, 14 of them were used for storage

Also 2 Callender Hamilton Hangar maintenance hangars (size 110 feet by 185 feet).

1 Callender Hangar was the ARS Workshops and the other Callender Hamilton Hangar was the reserve servicing workshops to 4 – 6 sqadron scale.

The size of the Callender Hamilton Hangars had a span (width) of 90 feet and 185 feet in length with a door height of 23 feet …. drawing number 3546/43.

Some hangars are in their original positions & others have been moved to other areas on the airfield.

The Air Station was used mainly by day and night fighters.

After the airfield closed in 1957 it was used by crop-spraying aircraft and by a parachute club.

Camp II – Living Quarters 1945

1771 Squadron at HMS Ringtail, the
Squadron arrived on the 3rd March 1944 and
departed at the end of July 1944.

1820 Squadron at HMS Ringtail.

The Squadron arrived on the 11th of
August 1944 and was disbanded
in December 1944.

Christmas of 1944.

Panto of Cinderella.

Ringtail Xmas Card

Control Tower Photo Just Before Demolition ….

Control Tower Photo Just Before Demolition ….

View of the Airfield From the 1st Floor
of The Control Tower 1984

View of the Airfield From the 1st Floor
of The Control Tower 1984

View of the Airfield From the 1st Floor
of The Control Tower 1984

The Roof of The Control Tower 1984
(The raised area shows the outline of the air watch office)

Side View of The Control Tower 1984

Crash Tender & Ambulance Shed 1984

Free Gunnery Trainer & To The Right is
The Ambulance & Crash Tender Shed 1984

Aviation Fuel Pump House 1984
(The fuel tanks are below ground)

Explosives Area Plan

(ALL of the explosive area photographs below are courtesy of Michael Dawson Photography)

In the foreground are the remains of the rocket motor fitting area blast walls, and in the distance can be seen the remains of the non explosive components building (small) and 303 ammunition building (large), on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains the flares and distress rockets building on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the 20mm shells and incendiary ammunition building on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the 5lbs practice bombs building on the explosives area, with one of the original mainhill hangers in the distance, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the 20mm shells and incendiary ammunition building on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the blast wall (left) and the ready to use bombs / 250lbs
bombs building on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the blast walls on the rocket motor fitting area, on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the flares and distress rockets building (left), 303 ammunition building (centre) and the 20mm shells and incendiary ammunition building (right), on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the 303 ammunition building on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains the flares and distress rockets building on the explosives area, 29th April 2011.

Remains of the non explosives components building (front) and the 303 ammunition building, on the explosives area, in the background can be seen one of the old mainhill hangars, 29th April 2011.

The Station Commander of HMS Ringtail’s House Called The Retreat (Date of Photo 2003)

To the right of the photo is where the admiral of the camp lived and was called ‘the retreat’ and it was opposite the parachute packing house and the sub station. On the left of the photo is a nissen hut and was used as offices for the camp and later after WW2 it was used as a canteen for the civilian work force that worked on the airfield in the maintenance workshops.

Built 1935 and demolished the 5th of February 2013

Sub Station Main Electrical Distribution
Centre Building 201 Camp III

The sub station is split into 3 sections.

The main switch room is in the centre of the building and is 20 ft long x 15 ft 3 inches wide, with a front right sliding equipment door and the opening size is 6 ft wide x 7 ft 8 inches high, and the rear exit door is 6 ft 7 inches x 2 ft 11 inches.

Background heating was provided by 2 electrical wall heaters controlled by room stats.

The left side of the building has 2 transformer cubicles 1 and 2.

Both cubicles are 9 ft high x 9 ft 8 inches wide, with double doors and the opening size of both doors is 8 ft 2 inches high x 7 ft 10 inches wide, with 1 high level air vent and 2 low level small vents in each cubicle housing a transformer of 10,000 volts high voltage with secondary output of 3,000 volts medium voltage.

The right side of the building is an office and store and is 20 ft long by 10 ft wide, with a rear opening that is 6 ft 7 inches high by 2 ft 11 inches wide.

Inside height of all rooms is 11 ft 9 inches.

High level windows in switch room and store room for natural light.

The building is built of 13 and a half inches of solid brick walls supporting the reinforced concrete flat roof.

A heavily protected brick blast wall 13 and a half inches thick and 8 ft 6 inches high.

It runs full length of 3 sides of the building where door entrances are present.

All cabling between switch room and transformer cubicles are run in the solid concrete floor ducts with removable slab covers.

All cables are lead sheathed steel tape.

All cables entering and leaving the building are run in clay pipe cable ducting.

The sub station switch gear is 10,000 volts primary with high voltage oil circuit breakers enclosed class QA151 type JB721.

Secondary voltage is 3,000 volts medium voltage, with oil circuit breakers type BP11 that are supplying ring mains that go out to outdoor district area transformer plinth secondary sub station feeder pillars in to useable 415 volts 3-phase supplies.

All switch gear is made by the British Thomson Houston Co Ltd Rugby England.

Note the voltages medium and high are different to the ones used currently.

Electricity North West are still using transformer number 1 cubicle which is still referred to as electricity sub station 414226 R.N.A.S. (Royal Naval Air Station)

Transformer Cubicles Number 2 in the Foreground & Number 1 in the background

Switch Gear 3-Phase 415 Volts (Rear Elevation)

Switch Room High Voltage Switch Gear (Right Elevation)

The Photo Below Was Taken in 2013

The dangling cables (as shown on the photo above) were attached to
metering equipment (as shown on the photo below)

Please note: The actual busbars are situated behind the top 4 enclosures.

Malc Recently Found the 10,000 Volt Switchgear Interlock
Handle Hidden under Rubbish (2015 Update Photo)

The 2004 Image Below Shows The
Original Switchgear Almost Complete

Image Below (Taken 2013) Shows The Rear of the High Voltage Switchgear,
Showing the High Voltage Cabling

Left to Right: Transformer No.2 Supply, Transformer No. 1
Supply and main intake supply cable

Medium Voltage Switchgear & Metering (Left Elevation)

The Photo Below Was Taken in 2013

The 2004 Image Below Shows The
Original Switchgear Almost Complete

Medium Voltage Electrical Drawing
Showing The Sub Station 201

Earthing Drawing

Medium Voltage Electrical Distribution System Legend

Sub Station Office and Store image Date Taken 2013

Parachute Packing House & Store Building 104

The parachute packing house & store is situated at the side of the sub station building (on camp 3) opposite what was the admirals house (called ‘the retreat’) and is where the parachutes were hung and dried and then re-packed ready for use again and carefully maintained.

The store had suitable housing that was adequately heated, lighted and ventilated for drying and airing the parachutes.

The tall part of the building with the 3 tall windows (known as the ‘loft’ and shown below) had a long flat table underneath that was used to help packing and had a pulley system at high level where the parachutes were hung to dry before they were packed again.

The 3 tall South facing windows (shown below in the photo) were for good natural light and is the actual front of the building. The lower building on the left is the parachute store and the taller part on the right is the parachute packing room.

The building was built of brick in stretcher bond with 2 reinforced concrete roofs for added protection.

(B&W photos below taken in the 1970’s)

The right hand side of the parachute packing store shows the boiler house on the right of the photo below. The fuel and ash hatch can be seen just below the window to the right of the photo. The boiler chimney can also be seen.

The photo above was taken in the 1970’s and as you can see below in the 2001 colour photo (taken at a slightly different angle) a modern building has been added to it.

You can still see the large window but it has been reduced in height. The main entrance in the black and white photo is on the left and on the colour photo it is where the chickens are roaming.

This was my own photo taken in 2003

Air Cadet’s at Ringtail on the 9th of February 1945 in the parachute packing house … a WREN Officer shows trainee’s the working’s of a parachute.

(Please note: IWM – Used under the IWM’s non commercial licence)

The front entrance shows an electrical cast iron switched fuse that looks like a light above it. It’s purpose unknown?

The front entrance view at a slightly different angle showing the back entry conduit that comes from the electrical switched fuse (above).

The front of the parachute packing house showing the 3 large windows.

Front of the building with the packing room on the right and the parachute packing house store on the left.

The rear door out of the lower buildings store room.

The back of the parachute packing room.

The boiler house chimney on the back of the parachute packing room.

Inside the boiler house showing the chimney flu.

Steps down to the boiler room. The boiler room is semi sunken compared to the parachute building in general.

The boiler house stairwell guard rail.

The front entrance.

Bore Hole Pump House 2004 on Camp 3
(This is behind the parachute packing house)

Bore Hole Pump House 2014 on Camp 3
(This is behind the parachute packing house)

Electrical Plynth – Normal Supply 2014
(This is behind the bore hole pump house on camp 3)

Electrical Drawing of The Sub Station Normal Supply Building 0.1/4C
(3 Phase & Neutral) Supply Feeding The Bore Hole Pump House.

Civil Engineering Compound & Offices Area Foundations Camp 3 2015.

What you can see is the civil engineering compound and offices area.

The rear of the sub station is in the far left background and the
parachute packing house and store is on the far right.

The Fuel & Coke Store.

The fuel and coke store/area as you can see is split into 3 separate bays.

The Back of the Fuel and Coke Store

Remains of the North Perimeter Track Facing West (Mike Dawson is just in the Photo)

Continuation of the Remains of the North Perimeter Track Facing West

This Can be seen From the Remains of the North Perimeter Track Facing North.
In fact it was taken from the perimeter track looking north.

Continuation of the Remains of the North Perimeter Track Facing West

Mainhill Hangar ‘S’ Shed on the North Facing Side of the North Perimeter track

Continuation on From the Remains of the North Perimeter Track turning
slightly left and in the distance where the tree line is, is the head of runway 17.

The concrete blocks on the left are in the position of runway 12

4 Way Stoneware Conduit Electrical Ducts Encased in
Concrete on the head of Runway QDM170 (Runway 17)

Head of Runway 17

The Tree Line (Below) Follows the Route of Runway17

Head of Runway 17

Note: The communication mast just visible in the distance was
next to where the control tower used to be .. (now demolished)

Higgins Lane Perimeter Fence Photos 2014
(at the back of Camp 3)

The thickest post (the 5th post along in the photo) has ratchet
strainers to tension the barbed wire through the other posts.

These thickest posts are at each corner and are also spaced out every 10th post along the length of the actual fence itself and wires would have been fixed on the front (the face that is showing).

Ratchet Strainer Post
(These are spaced out every 10th post on the perimeter fence)

Higgins Lane Perimeter Fence Posts Continued
(Note: The blue sign has a propeller on it and the industrial
park now is called ‘Swordfish Business Park’)

Radar Test Area Hangar 2014

The 3 larger hangars behind are NOT original, although
they are built from other hangars from around the airfield

Runway Controllers Van Standing

This is the remains of the exact area where the runway

controllers van standing used to be.

It is situated at the south end of runway 03/21.

Perimeter Fence (Back of Red Lion in the Distance)

Callender Hamilton Maintenance Hangar 1984
(This is now Firwoods as of 2015)

Admiralty ‘S’ Shed Hangar 1984

Admiralty ‘S’ Shed 2014 Close to the Main Gate Was Sited

Pippin Street Dispersals 2004
Originally there was 6 mainhill admiralty type ‘s’ hangars.
4 still remain today in their original location on the airfield.

Same Hangar 2013

Pippin Street Dispersals 2004

Same Hangar 2013

Hangar 2013

Pippin Street Dispersals (2014 though now) Continued …
The building on the left of the photo is listed as a shelter but we think it was an electrical transformer plynth.
In the background is a static water tank/emergency water supply.

Ablution & Laterine Building 2014
An unusual name but this was a bathhouse and toilet block.

Ablution & Laterine Building in 2004

Stubbs Lane Entrance Gate to Pippin St
Dispersal Area (Off Pippin Street) 2004

Stubbs Lane Entrance Gate to Pippin St
Dispersal Area (Off Pippin Street) 2004

Bull & Dog 2014

Bull & Dog 1944
1772 Squadron celebrate a 21st Birthday at the Bull and Dog in May 1944.
This Squadron was formed at Burscough on 1st May 1944.

The Bull and Dog was a regular ‘haunt’ for the Naval Personnel.

Bull & Dog (Inside) 2014
Royal Naval Personnel had a tradition of inserting coins into the wooden beams
inside the pub … who knows, it could be some of the guys above?

‘Cold War’ ROC (Royal Observer Corps) Monitoring Post United
Kingdom Warning & Monitoring Organisation Burscough Lancashire.

Picture of ROC Post Burscough Taken From a Different
Angle When in Operation During the Cold War in 1984

Cutaway Drawing (1) of a Typical Monitoring Post Layout

Cutaway Drawing (2) of a Typical Monitoring Post Layout

An Example of a Fully Restored ROC Post
(Note: This is NOT Burscough/Ringtail)

The following photos are of the master post No.45 located on Pippin Street on the airfield perimeter in a large square-gated fenced compound. 1,563 of these posts were built throughout the country, 8 square miles apart in clusters of 3 or 4.

1 post in each cluster being the master post, with a VHF radio. Woodvale & St Helens being in Burscough’s cluster. The post opened in April 1962 & closed in September 1991. The entrance hatch leads to a 15 foot vertical ladder down to an underground chamber measuring 7 foot by 16 foot by 7 foot high.

A chemical toilet is located in a small room at the bottom of the entrance ladder.

The main monitoring room houses the 3 observers & their instruments. The cluster was linked by telephone landline to each post in the cluster & group headquarters.

Group headquarters being at 21 group control Langley Lane Goosnargh North of Preston. In the event of the landlines going down the radio master post was used as a back up.

A petrol electric generator set was used in the posts to charge up the batteries for lighting & for the VHF radio.

The post instruments consisted of a ground zero indicator sighted on the side of the entrance hatch above ground to record the position & height of a nuclear detonation. This consisted of a 4 pin hole camera in 1 enclosure.

Light sensitive photographic papers recorded the position & size of the fire ball of the bomb.

A bomb power indicator was used to detect the size of the peek pressure of the blast of a nuclear bomb by an above ground baffle plate fed down a pipe to a bomb power indicator meter below ground.

A fixed survey meter for measuring radio active fallout was carried out by using a plessy dose rate meter radiac PDRM 82F from the monitoring room.

A radiac meter head (also known as the guiger muller head) was pushed through a flange in the monitoring room ceiling up a tube to the outside.

The radiac meter head was connected by a coax cable to the radiac PDRM82F meter display.

The Ventilation Stack
(The ventilation stack showing the round dome cover for the aerial connections. The round
dome cover is removed to expose the aerial socket when the post is operational)

Originally the 2 square apertures were fitted with 2 louvered wooden vents.

To take the dome cover off, there was a tool that was used that was
inserted into the 2 holes to gain access to the aerial conections

Behind The Dome
(This is the view behind the dome. It shows the aerial coax cable
leading down the ventilation shaft to the monitoring room)

Furse copper earth strapping was installed from a ground point a few feet away from the ventilation shaft and was then routed down the ventilation shaft and fitted to all corners of the ceiling below ground and it was also cross bonded to the dome lid cover, the fixed survey meter pipe, bomb power indicator pipe and also the
sump pipe discharge, ladder and had a loop of wire even on the hatch lid.

This was used as a safety measure in case lightning hit the radio mast and potentially killed the occupants.

This is the aerial mast bracket which was originally fitted to the ventilation stack

The aerial was telescopic and could be raised and lowered by an air hose by a foot pump
in the monitoring room. When not in use, the aerial mast was stored
in the entrance shaft next to the ladder.

Fixed Survey Meter Pipe
(With its blanking plate fitted)

When the post was operational the blanking plate was removed by unscrewing the 4 bolts and fitted with a polycarbonate dome cover, in which the guiger muller head was then inserted through the roof flange below ground. This was used for measuring radiation fallout readings.

Fixed Survey Meter with Polycarbonate Cover Fitted
(Note: In the background is the bomb power indicator baffle plate)

Ground Zero Indicator Mounting Bracket

The ground zero indicator consisted of a 4 pin hole camera with light sensitive photographic paper (called shadow graph) in 4 photographic cassettes and were aligned with the cardinals of the compass to determine the direction and height of a nuclear blast.

Ground Zero Indicator Mounted on Bracket
(Note that you can see 1 of the 4 pin holes)

Ground Zero Indicator with its White Cover Removed

Below is the Bomb Power indicator
with it’s blanking bolt fitted.

BOMB POWER INDICATOR (BPI)

Provided that the distance from ground zero is known, the power of a nuclear weapon can be calculated from the peak over-pressure produced by the blast wave. The Bomb Power Indicator is designed to record this pressure.

External to the monitoring post exists a baffle plate. This baffle plate consists of two metal discs that is screwed onto the top of a pipe that leads down into the underground monitoring post. The over-pressure from a nuclear explosion would be funnelled through the two plates and down the pipe into the monitoring room whereby the over-pressure would be detected on the Bomb Power Indicator (BPI).

The BPI works in the following way:-

The over-pressure from the explosion makes its way down the pipe into the BPI, and is detected by small bellows. One side of the bellows is exposed to normal atmospheric pressure. Attached to the bellows is a push rod which bears against a level fixed to a spindle. When the bellows are expanded, a pointer attached to the spindle moves over a dial reading from either 0 to 5 Pounds per square inch (PSI) or 0 to 50 kilopascals (kPa). The pointer not being actually attached to the bellows, does not return to zero after the passage of the blast wave but is left indicating the peak over-pressure reading. It may then be reset to zero by means of a spring-loaded rod operated by a small push button.

P.E.S. Petrol Electric Set Generator.

The monitoring post had no running water or electrical connection, water was stored in jerry cans in the post.

Electricity for lighting and power for the radio was by 12-volt batteries being charged up by a P.E.S. petrol-electric set.

The P.E.S. was a swan/ Morrison generator consisting of a Villiers four-stroke engine coupled to an alternator direct current.

When the post was not operational the P.E.S. was stored at the bottom of the entrance shaft in the toilet area together with its charging leads.

When the post became operational the P.E.S. was hoisted up the entrance shaft by means of the cargo net /rope.

The observers were told to never store petrol inside the post.

Petrol jerry cans were stored in a refuge pit dug outside of the post within the compound.

The Monitoring Post Entrance Hatch

View Down The Entrance Hatch

The View Inside The Entrance Shaft Looking Up

Back Wall View of The Monitoring Room

The Burndept VHF BE525 Radio Transmitter/Receiver Position

The 2 black lines (below) is where the radio cabinet of the Burndept BE525 VHF transmitter radio/receiver was sited. The frequency of Burscough & 21 group was 80.3125 Channel 2 CER, Chanel 3 NWA, Code PRE

(Note the actual aerial lead dangling down underneath the 2 black lines)

The Burndept VHF BE525 Radio Transmitter/Receiver
osition Actually in Use/Example

Although this is not a photo of Burscough’s ROC post, this example shows observer
Harry Wilkinson at 21 group post at Fleetwood actually using the Burndept VHF BE525 radio.

(Note the bomb power indicator at the bottom left with its blast pipe connected from the surface)

The Fixed Surface Meter Flange

This photo shows the Fixed Surface Meter flange on the ceiling of the monitoring room.

Note the furse copper earth bonding tape connected to it.

The Carrier Warning Receiver (after next photo) was
Sited to The Left above the Monitoring Room Table

WB1401 CARRIER SPEECH WARNING RECEIVER

The WB1401 equipment in the post are armored and waterproof and is normally mounted on a wooden board on the wall of the post above the left-hand end of the post table.

The WB1401 consists of the receiver, Loudspeaker and the line filter unit.

The WB1401 is connected to the post telephone circuit it receives signals and spoken messages which are transmitted at a very high frequency and filtered out of the normal speech traffic before it reaches the L.S.T.or the control telephone system.

The unit has its own battery trickle charged by the line current from the serving telephone exchange.

In the event of a nuclear attack, a high pitched warbling sound would be broadcast over the receiver followed by the spoken message ATTACK WARNING RED repeated three times.

Warning Receiver Instruction Card

Incoming Landline Connection Point

This is the left hand wall of the monitoring room looking from the door.

The round connection box in the centre of the photo is the incoming telephone landline.

The Air Vent with its Steel Shutter

Note the furse copper Earth tape bonding connection running under and round the sides of the vent.

The bottom earth tape goes through the wall and runs up the ventilation shaft above ground bonding connection. Note also the black cables going through the wall.

These also run up the ventilation shaft and are for the aerial mast.

The View From the Back Wall Towards the Monitoring Room Door
(Turn left through the door to the entrance shaft ladder & turn right to the chemical toilet room.)

Please note: If you look at the desktop/table you can see a rectangular slot in it.

This is roughly where the Plessey Radiac Meter was situated.

The Plessey Radiac Meter PDRM 82F

The Teletalk Type AD 8010

Also on the monitoring room table was the loudspeaker telephone and was known as a TeleTalk Type AD 8010 and was connected to a dedicated private land line circuit to 21 group headquarters at Lingley Lane Preston by simply pressing a call button.

The other posts in the cluster could talk amongst themselves without involving group headquarters.

Bomb Power Indicator Blast Pipe Connection Point

Note the green and yellow bonding cable which would have had an earth clamp fitted to the blast pipe

The Monitoring Room Entrance Door View
From Inside the Monitoring Room

The square on the left is where the emergency fire blanket was situated.

The monitoring room light switch is unusual because most post were fitted with a timed light switch.

Water Discharge Pump

The photo below is of the water discharge pump. This was used as a hand pump to pump out the water from the sump below the grill (below) to the outside above ground. Note the furse copper earth bonding attached to the pipe at the bottom of the pump.

Close up of The Water Discharge Pump

Close up of the Water Discharge Pump Grill

(The chemical toilet is through the door opening on the right
and to the left is the access ladder to the outside/surface)

The Chemical Toilet

Entrance/Exit Shaft Leading to Outside/Surface

The hatch lid counter balance is the large rectangular weight in the centre of the image. The long pipe coming from the left of the photo is the water sump discharge pipe. Note the furse copper earth bonding tape attached to the discharge pipe and cross-bonded to the steel ladder.

Maroon Rockets

To warn the local public of nuclear fallout radiation, 3 projectile/rockets. known as
‘maroon rockets’ were sent high into the sky and then exploded making 3 large bangs in quick succession.

A Hand-Cranked Sekomak 447 Warning Siren

A hand cranked warning siren positioned above ground was sounded to warn the local public of a nuclear
attack. 2 different sounds were used. 1 rising and falling sound was to warn of an attack
and 1 continuous sound was for the all clear.

An Example of an ROC Post Showing Such Features as the Ground Zero Indicator Mounted on the Side of the Hatch & the Fixed Survey Meter with its Polycarbonate Cover Fitted

ROC 21 Group Headquarters & UKWMO National Protected Group Headquarters Langley Lane Goosnargh Preston Lancashire

(The guard room in the foreground dates back to WW2.
Note the 3 huge air exhausts/vents on the roof)

Side view of the bunker

The 100 foot high aerial mast is now used by a communications company.

Note: The site is now owned by a CCTV monitoring company

Regarding the image above, we were confused at first why there would be a (seemingly)
fully functioning ROC post at Goosnargh right next to the main old HQ.

We originally thought that it was there for training purposes but we sent
the query to Nick Catford of Sub Brit and this is his reply:

“Hi Gary & Malc

Yes all sorted. This came from Mike Norris of the ROCA at Preston

“The current owner of the control, a security company still maintain an interest in the ROC. In fact the manager allows our ROCA meetings to be held in the former control about every six months, in return we have provided him with various item of memorabilia. The post you see has actually been recreated from parts salvaged from a local post (36 post Catforth/Inskip) which were for a temporary display in a museum. Later transferred to the control, the features on your photograph are only the surface items. A full sized mock up has been recreated inside the control in a former tank room. He has made a quite superb job of this, right down to the battery powered lighting!”

I think that answers it. Below is a photo of the monitoring room they have created in the bunker. I think it looks pretty good. Not sure about the post radio box and of course the carrier receiver and speaker should be mounted on a sheet of chipboard painted grey.

Nick”

Built on the former site of the WW2 9 group control, the group HQ opened in January 1962.

To offer a greater level of protection to survive a nuclear attack the bunker was semi sunken into an earth banking. The roof and walls were constructed of 1 metre thick reinforced concrete. The bunker housed state of the art ventilation/heating and filtration plant and 2 standby electric generators.

The main entrance was through 2 gas tight blast doors made of steel and inside the building there were male and female toilets, a canteen, dormitories were also built.

Water tanks were provided for sinks and a decontamination wash room.

The control room collected information from all 21 groups ROC monitoring posts including Burscough’s post to establish the location of height power & fallout of a nuclear explosion. The group headquarters close in 1992 and is now used for private commercial use.

ROC Control Room (When Operational in 1991)
(Photo by Terry Tracey)

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