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Thread: RAF Peterborough (Westwood)

  1. #1
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    RAF Peterborough (Westwood)

    Does anyone have any photographs, or indeed any information, about the RAF station at Peterborough (Westwood)? I used to hang around there in the 1950s and have a few photographs of the various Austers, Tiger Moths, Messengers etc that used it. But I have no pictures of it from any other source.

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    Any chance of posting those pictures of Austers?

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    Austers at Westwood

    Hello Mudmover. I shall sort out the better ones and do so, but maybe in the meantime you can take a look at the first two on:

    http://l.garey.googlepages.com/aviationphotos

    PS: after doing my PPL on Tiger Moths I converted to the Auster at Cambridge.

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    Mudmover asked for some Auster pictures at Westwood. I took these in 1952.
    They are, in order, Autocrats G-AHAV, 2 of G-AHAL, G-AIGL. Also Hawk Trainer 3 G-AIDF and Messenger G-AKKC.
    I hope I have not taken up too much space.
    In the background of 'AV you can see the Baker Perkins factory, recently demolished. Almost the whole airfield is now housing estates.






    Last edited by l.garey; 27th December 2007 at 16:26.

  5. #5
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    Hi
    Peterborough museum sells a DVD on the history of the airfield. I have not seen it yet so I dont know how good it is. Also No. 26 of the Airfield focus series of books is on Peterborough. I have an interest on the site as I work roughly where the Fuel store / M T shed stood.

    Andy

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    Thanks for the links Andy. I knew the place well as I was in 115 ATC there
    http://l.garey.googlepages.com/115sqdairtrainingcorps

    We had Vampire T11 XE887 delivered ex Cranwell in November 1963. It stayed for 10 years.
    During the war I remember my grandfather showing me a bit of an aircraft that had apparently crashed in or near his garden As I was very little then I cannot remember what bit it was, nor where it went.
    The only bit of the airfield I recognise now is the old officers' mess.
    When I was a student I worked canning peas for the H....... pea and jam factory, in a hangar just inside the main gate. There was a railway siding to make loading easier.
    The civil traffic was fairly active in the 1950s and 60s. Anything from Perkins gliders through Tiger Moths, Austers, Messengers, Magisters to Dragon Rapides. Even the Sparrowjet and Mew Gull for the King's Cup in 1957. Also BEA trials with a Dragonfly and a Whirlwind. Even Aztecs toward the end.

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    Hi
    There is a picture of Vampire XE887 on page 26 with members of 115sqn air cadets cleaning her. Who knows you may be one of them ? On page 27 is the 115Sqn band "at some time in the 1950s".

    Andy

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    Hi Laurence
    I am also ex 115 ATC (66-70) but unfortunately had still not developed an interest in airfield archaeology,so no photos,however there are some photos at...
    http://www.Westwoodworks.net/Howitwa...mpanyAeroplane This is a Baker Perkins historical site and there is a further link to views of the Airfield if you scroll down the page to 'outside views'.

    Regards Baz
    Last edited by bazv; 27th December 2007 at 19:10.

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    Westwood Works

    Thanks Baz. Without wanting to get off the thread of "RAF" Westwood. I have to say the photos of Baker Perkins' Westwood Works are very evocative to me. You can even see Priory Road where I lived on some of the photos. Both my grandfathers worked for B-P.
    I well remember the Baker Perkins Aztec and the Mitchell's Dove. There was another Aztec, G-APXN, which I think was also Mitchell's.
    When they landed at Westwood there might well be a Valiant overhead on a wide circuit to Wittering.
    Aircraft were housed in 2 corrugated iron hangars, both visible on the aerial shots Baz gives. The first was just past the main hangars, in which Mr J Bancroft kept his Autocrat G-AHAV. It can be seen in my earlier photo, with Westwood Works visible behind. The other was further round the peri-track, near Horrell's farm. It contained, for example, G-AHAL.

    Yokel: I do not have the book with the photos you mention. How can I get it, as I live a long way away now! Or can you copy the photos, or are they copyright or something? I may well be on the photos!
    Thanks.

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    I have sent you a PM Laurence

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    Quote Originally Posted by l.garey View Post
    Does anyone have any photographs, or indeed any information, about the RAF station at Peterborough (Westwood)? I used to hang around there in the 1950s and have a few photographs of the various Austers, Tiger Moths, Messengers etc that used it. But I have no pictures of it from any other source.
    The old Officers Mess at Westwood became a teachers training college as my first wife trained there. Whilst I was at RAF Wittering in the 70's, they were building one of the many housing estates on the fringes of Peterborough a digger revealed some aircraft wreckage containing some human remains. I helped identify some of the parts as a Miles Master Mk.II which had been crashed on a night flying exercise by a P/O AH Jones. I still have a yellow paint fragment from this a/c. Somewhere I have a small booklet about RAF Westwood which was published a few years ago.

    John

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    Thanks John. Yes, the Mess is still there. Interesting about the Master crash: I wonder if this is the one from which my grandfather had a piece (see my message above, #6).

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    One of the Westwood Bellman hangars was re-erected at Sibson in the late 1960's for the Peterborough Aero Club. It still does a fine job probably 70 years after it was first put up at Westwood.

    David Pittham eventually rose to the dizzy rank of Wing Commander RAFVR(T) and was OC the East Midlands Wing of the ATC.

    Cheers,

    Reaper 69

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    I saw that hangar at Sibson last year, but did not know it was ex-Westwood. I knew about Dave Pittham. I flew with him from Westwood in Auster G-AMTM in 1960.

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    Mr Clifton of Peterborough and Spalding Aviation used a Dragon Rapide G-AEMH and a Tiger Moth G-ADOK which i understand flew from a small airfield at Horsey Toll and Spalding,as well as Westwood. Would be grateful for any nostalgia tales of this era.

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    For T21

    I have no record of seeing G-AEMH or G-ADOK at Westwood. Rapides that used it were G-AHED, KNY, LBH, LBI. Tiger Moths G-AHMN, NRV, and later HUE glider towing for the Perkins Club.
    From 1960 on, regulars based there were Aztecs G-ARBR of Baker Perkins, and PXN of Mitchell Engineering, who also had Dove G-AOYD.
    I mentioned other users in my posts earlier in this thread.
    In view of your avatar name, maybe you would like to look at this link to a T21b of Perkins, which I actually flew.
    http://www.westwoodworks.net/SportsA...nReadyToGo.jpg
    Also, re Spalding, see:
    http://www.psgc.co.uk/our_clubs_history.htm

  17. #17
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    Interesting as I live in Warboys and fly from Conington and never knew that Westwood existed, where is the Officer's mess?
    J Atkins - A PPL once More!



    Are you an Aero-ist? Then fly with style at www.aero-ist.co.uk

  18. #18
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    Westwood Officers' Mess for Wessex Boy

    If you go west along Westfield road to the new roundabout, the old aerodrome road continues westward. The Mess is on that road.

    See: http://www.westwoodworks.net/HowItWa...wOfFactory.jpg

    It is easily visible on Google Earth.

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    Thanks! I'll look out for it next time I am up there!
    J Atkins - A PPL once More!



    Are you an Aero-ist? Then fly with style at www.aero-ist.co.uk

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    For I Garey Many thanks for the information.

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    Master crash at Westwood

    Quote Originally Posted by John Aeroclub View Post
    The old Officers Mess at Westwood became a teachers training college as my first wife trained there. Whilst I was at RAF Wittering in the 70's, they were building one of the many housing estates on the fringes of Peterborough a digger revealed some aircraft wreckage containing some human remains. I helped identify some of the parts as a Miles Master Mk.II which had been crashed on a night flying exercise by a P/O AH Jones. I still have a yellow paint fragment from this a/c. Somewhere I have a small booklet about RAF Westwood which was published a few years ago.

    John
    Dear John
    I have a bit more information about another Master crash at Westood. I just got hold of "Wings over Westwood" by Graham Simons. In it he quotes:
    19/8/43 T8659 Master "Engine failed ... Pilot bailed out, but aircraft hit house in Priory Road"
    As my grandfather lived in Priory Road it is likely this is the aircraft friom which he recovered a few pieces, that are now lost:
    During the war I remember my grandfather showing me a bit of an aircraft that had apparently crashed in or near his garden As I was very little then I cannot remember what bit it was, nor where it went.

    Clearly not the case to which your refer. Yours could be the Master that crashed during night flying on 5/5/44

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    Quote Originally Posted by l.garey View Post
    Dear John
    I have a bit more information about another Master crash at Westood. I just got hold of "Wings over Westwood" by Graham Simons. In it he quotes:
    19/8/43 T8659 Master "Engine failed ... Pilot bailed out, but aircraft hit house in Priory Road"
    As my grandfather lived in Priory Road it is likely this is the aircraft friom which he recovered a few pieces, that are now lost:
    During the war I remember my grandfather showing me a bit of an aircraft that had apparently crashed in or near his garden As I was very little then I cannot remember what bit it was, nor where it went.

    Clearly not the case to which your refer. Yours could be the Master that crashed during night flying on 5/5/44

    Hello Ian

    I missed your reply and as I have been moving house my library has been packed in boxes. I have now found the original notes (tucked into the pages of a book). My crash was 20/06/1944, Pilot P/O RA Jones, from No7 A.P.S Crashed soon after takeoff from Westwood at 02.20. Pilot killed and a/c (Master Mk.II AZ262) burnt out. Surface debris and pilots remains removed at the time but the engine, prop and under-carriage and other components not recovered until the early 70's? Also recovered was a flying boot containing remains which led to a coroners inquiry. The wreckage was removed to an M/t garage at RAF Wittering and at least the prop was obtained by one of the painters and dopers (Mick, who I believe now runs an a/c paint finishing company) and went to the museum at the railway yard at Tattershall near Coningsby. The engine a Bristol Mercury XX narrowed the possible types down but the clincher was a small piece of fretted wood which I recognised as part of the front fuselage structure of a Master. Records of Master crashes at Peterborough soon came up with the rest of the details.

    Regards

    John

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    Dear l.garey,

    Unatotaigma has just replied to a thread you have subscribed to entitled - RAF Peterborough (Westwood) - in the Historic Aviation forum of Key Publishing Ltd Aviation Forums.


    I just got the above email notification that there is a new posting on this thread, but there is nothing on the thread that I can see. Can "Unatotaigma" check and repost? Thanks

    Laurence

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    Oops, I just opened a couple of attachments to the message I mentioned above. It is obviously soft porn spam. How does that get through to Key?

    Laurence

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    Very interesting...........I worked at Peterborough passport office during my college holidays and was given a couple of pieces of a `light aircraft` (was told a fighter)which came down in what was later developed into a housing estate,on the old RAF Westwood.Will dig them out and see if anyone can ID them.

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    I don't know if this helps at all, but there is some info on Westwood on AIX here, http://www.airfieldinformationexchan...d-Peterborough

  27. #27
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    My father was based at the MU at Westwood. He drove Queen Mary low loaders. He was based there 1946/7. He was A/C Frank Hutchinson. Does anyone remember anyone that served at this base please?

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