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My Flying Control Jeep - The Ongoing Story


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Inside the Miskins hangar, the picture shows that one of the welded trusses shows signs bracing wire weld failure and buckling of the outer truss members.

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This view is looking over a frying pan dispersal towards the Miskins hangar. The site plan describes this frying pan dispersal location as having a blister hangar which is "wrecked". There's no indication of why or how, nor when the concrete pan was laid down.

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Around the back of the Blister hangar, over a small ditch, there is another type of air raid shelter. Unlike the brick shelters already shown, this shelter is made from pre-cast concrete sections. The foundations must have moved as the concrete sections are starting to fall to the left.

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This site differs from the Air Ministry plan. I've redrawn it here to show how it is now, but the plan at the top of the page is the original. This hut base isn't shown on the plan, so I can't be sure what it is. To the North are two hut bases that were Contractors Paint Stores. To the South of this base was the Motor Transport shed and office. Close by are the Camouflage Paint Stores. None help to identify it.

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From here we walked back to the vehicles at hangar 1 to go for a drive around the site. We left hangar 1 and drove over hangar 2, then left around to the perimeter track leading to the main runway. There were parked up for some photos. 

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Eventually it was time to go, so we set off back towards the technical site gate. Since Neil had to lock up after we left, he took up position at the back of the convoy as there wasn't space for the whole convoy just outside the airfield gate. The rest followed me back to the camp site.

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I've missed out a number of pictures from day one but both the morning and afternoon tours can be found on my website,

here - http://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2020/tranwell_a.htm

and here - http://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2020/tranwell_a2.htm

I'll post the pictures from day 2 tomorrow.

Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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Still a lot of airfields left in the UK.

Good to see there are some people driving in a little group. A few friends of mine came over in their Renegade Jeep to join my brother and me in his Jeep during the heatwave.

Will be strange coming September to basically have no events for market Garden.

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RAF Eshott, the Coast and RFC Ashington - Saturday 22nd

Day 2

Setting off from the WAAF site on Saturday's trip out. The day would be spent with the convoy changing order and numbers by accident or by chance. Neil took the lead, then Derek and Andy, Chris and me at the back. For day two, I changed Jessie to Flying Control and put the checkered roof back on. This would make me more visible at the back of the convoy on the A1. 

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RAF Eshott was built in 1942 and opened in November that year. It was the home of 57 OTU flying Spitfires, although Miles Masters, Martinets, Magisters, an Oxford, Dominie and Tiger Moth were also on station strength. Around 2,000 personnel were stationed there. Spitfire training continued at Eshott until August 1944 when the unit was transferred to RAF Boulmer. The airfield was then on Care and Maintenance and finally sold off in 1948. In the early 1990's, the airfield reopened for light aircraft and flex-wing operations, once again being used for training.

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The owners had suggested a photoshoot with some aircraft and a drive down the runway, but once we were there, the aircraft were all in bits and not able to be moved. We had a bit of a look around, but didn't get the chance to see any of the old buildings or parts of the airfield. There was nothing much going on so we left and headed for the coast.

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Getting out of the junction onto a busy A1 was virtually impossible. In the end, we sent Derek and Andy around the loop road to a point further North on the A1. They managed to get the Jeep out and then drove slowly to block the traffic, allowing the rest of the convoy to pull out.

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From Eshott, we drove to Druridge Bay to the park at Ladyburn Lake, but it was really busy. Since we couldn't find anywhere to park, we continued South a few miles before turning for the coast. At this point, the convoy was quite spread out, mixed with other traffic due to a difficult junction to get out from a couple of miles back.

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This resulted in Chris not spotting where Neil turned left at a roundabout, loosing us, after which he just returned to the camp site. We parked up for a little while on the sea front road, behind the dunes at Dunbar burn.

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The remaining Jeep and GMC headed back to camp at this point, but we headed for Ashington, to visit a Royal Flying Corps Station near by. The site had been opencast mined around 2015, but had been returned to a grass field after the mining had finished.

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A concrete building had survived the mining, presumably since it wasn't worth the effort to remove it. This had been the WW1 bomb store for RFC Ashington. 'C' Flight of 36 Squadron had been based there, flying the BE2, FE2b and DH6 biplanes.

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After leaving RFC Ashington, we headed towards Morpeth to shop for a barbeque that evening. While in the car park, we bumped into Derek and Andy who were doing the same thing! We followed them back to camp after leaving the shop, catching a few pictures along the way. A barbeque followed to finish off the evening.

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Little legs had a set of overalls that didn't fit well, so the night before we set off, Lynne started cutting them up and modifying them. They are now a set of trousers and shirt which have a much better fit.

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The following morning, before packing up, I went to explore another building on the edge of the WAAF site. It is marked on the site plan but not identified in the key. From the pipework inside, it may well have been a pump house. It does lie on a line between the water tower and the WAAF site.

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The few days hadn't been a bit public event, no huge collections of MV's, no trade stalls, but it had been a great get away, some interesting exploring and history, some enjoyable convoying and a nice social occasion, even with sensible family distancing. While the virus is going to be around for some time yet, there's still the opportunity to have some olive drab fun!

Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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