A moving post about Cotswold airfields and their landscape legacy, with some brilliant photographs.
All across the Cotswolds, if you stop for just a few minutes on hilltops, you can find strips of broken concrete, grass growing in the jumbled cracks. Red brick buildings with peeling, grey render and steel framed, glassless windows. Today, they’re derelict, but these World War II RAF bases were once crammed with life as they brought Britain’s war effort to the peace of the Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire countryside.
RAF Broadwell – closed, March 1947. A few seconds off the A361 between Burford and Lechlade. Now mostly farmland (although the control tower still stands), Broadwell saw clouds of Horsa gliders take off for the D-Day beaches and Arnhem. The main runway that launched the glider fleets is now a minor road linking the A361 and Kencot. You can ride along it.
RAF Kelmscott – closed December 1946. A few minutes walk from William Morris’ home in the village, in early…
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2 responses to “The past. Very much present.”
Thanks Dave – that’s one I’ll have to take a look at.
I discovered one at the weekend I’d never heard of – RAF Cricklade, or Blakehill Farm, north of Swindon, from where Dakotas took off to D-Day and Arnhem. Thanks to Swindon historians it’s not forgotten.
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