The Dispersed Sites

Technical, NAAFI, Sick Quarters, Mess, Operations, Parachute Stores, MT, Barracks etc.

Blakehill had a total of 386 buildings on 14 sites, 8 of which were living sites, the others being the actual airfield, Technical Site, Communal Site, Mess Site, Sick Quarters Site, Radio Transmission Site and the Sewage Disposal Site.    Air Raid shelters and static water tanks were built around the site for fire fighting.

The Living Sites

The camp provided accommodation for 176 officers, with 3 to 6 per hut, 540 sergeants with 10 per hut, 1762 airmen, 18 per hut and 393 airwomen, 13 per hut.    The huts stood on concrete bases and were the 'Nissen' type with curved corrugated sheets forming the roof and walls and with windows and doors in the brick end walls.     The floors of the huts were covered in a thick brown lino and heating was provided by round coke burning tortoise stoves.   Separate buildings were provided for the latrines, ablutions and drying rooms, where wet clothes were aired.

Ancillary Sites

The mess site had separate cookhouses and dining halls for officers, sergeants and other ranks.    The sick quarters site was a medical centre with first aid facilities and beds for twenty two male and eight female in patients.    The Transmitter site near the top of common hill housed the radio transmitters used by operations staff to communicate with aircraft by morse code.    The local council later took over the sewage disposal site near Waterhay lane.

Communal Site

On the communal site, was a large NAFFI which was a recreation centre with restraunt and bar for ranks up to corporal.    It was staffed by civilian women who also drove the popular NAFFI tea vans which served refreshments to personnel working on remote parts of the station.

Other buildings included the tailors, shoemakers and barbers shops, the barrack stores for clothing and domestic equipment, food stores and a coal compound.

After the war, the site became the Chelworth industrial estate.

 

Technical Site

 

The technical site adjoined the airfield and consisted on buildings associated with flying and aircraft maintenance.   There were 2 T2 Steel Hangers, on on the eastern side near Whitehall Farm and the other near Chelworth Farm.

Other buildings included the engineering workshops, Link Trainer, station headquarters, guardroom, armoury (a later version being installed near the entrance to the airfield during the cold war phase) flight offices, technical stores, motor transport facilities, crew rooms, post office, rec centre, parachute section and the Ops Block and briefing room.

The Dispersal Sites Today

It is important for the visitor to understand where these sites were on the ground and what they look like today.   Most of the technical site buildings have disappeared and have been replaced with modern industrial units, or the ex ministry units completely  re-purposed. Little gems like the charming "Technical Latrine" remain - circled on the photo above.

As all of the sites are now privately owned, it would be inappropriate of the author to stand outside and take photographs - so for the purpose of reference and illustration only, photos here are from Google Street Images and are freely available on line.

Living Site Number 1 Today

This site is now used for equestrian activity and is STRICTLY PRIVATE

This site is now used for equestrian activity and is STRICTLY PRIVATE

Living Site Number 1 - Showing original 2nd entrance leading to the site of Living Site number 3

 

Living Site Number 3 Today 

 

This site is now the site of a private dwelling and is STRICTLY PRIVATE

Living Site Number 4 Today 

 

This site is now the site of a private dwelling and small industrial units

Living Site Number 5 Today 

 

This site is now the site of a private dwelling and small industrial units re purposed from original ministry buildings - STRICTLY PRIVATE

Living Site Number 6 Today 

 

Now the site of Chelworth Fields Livery - original ministry concrete tracks remain

WAAF Site Number 1 Today 

 

This site is now the site of a PRIVATE  Farm - original ministry concrete tracks remain

WAAF Site Number 2 Today 

 

PRIVATE DWELLING - roadway follows original line of ministry concrete track

NAFFI Site Today 

 

Part of Chelworth Industrial Estate - note re-purposed ministry building in centre of photo

The Mess Site Today 

 

Part of Chelworth Industrial Estate - site virtually completely erased with small patches of original concrete remaining 

UHF Radio Site Today 

 

At the top of Common Hill - still used by commercial communication company - small patches of original concrete remaining 

Sick Quarters 

 

PRIVATE FARM - please see section on the Casualty Evacuation Centre for full details

RAF BLAKEHILL BUILDING SCHEDULE - the complete inventory of buildings courtesy of the CRICKLADE MUSEUM - T RAMSDEN BINKS 2003

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