View Full Version : Coventry (Baginton) Airport

17th Jul 2003, 18:22
A seemingly very easy question to answer - when was it opened? I keep coming up with either 1932 or 1936, but both answers are from equally reputable sources... Anyone know the answer please?

Ex Oggie
17th Jul 2003, 21:55
The land was aquired in 1935. AWA aircraft started using it as an airfield during 1936.

wet wet wet
18th Jul 2003, 00:11
Baginton Airport opened in July 1936. Coventry Corporation had in fact bought the land in 1897 for use as a sewage farm which opened in 1901.

18th Jul 2003, 15:14

Thanks for asking the question about the birth of Baginton Aerodrome. I lived in the village from the age of 6 to 19 and I didn't know I didn't know that! In fact, nearly 50 years later my sister is still living in the family home.

You've revived some marvelous memories of the airfield in the 50's and 60's for me. It was all grass in those days, the biggest grass aerodrome in the country, if I remember right. The annual display's included the Lockheed Aerobatic Trophy and the King's Cup Air Race - all magic moments. We used to watch the build up for the displays from the junior school playground when lessons were held outside in the summer. Unfortunately, I can also remember the smell of the sewage farm when the wind was in certain directions, but that may have been from the (new) establishment between Baginton and Stonleigh, Finham I think.

Again, thanks.


18th Jul 2003, 17:01
Hi Airbedand

Isn't it a small world, my very first 'spotting' trip was to Baginton, saw Bristol Freighters and Carvairs, also a Connie rotting away. Attended an interview at HSA at Baginton, subsequently got an appreticeship with them.

The biggest coincidence is I live 3 miles from Biggleswade!

Scary old world, isn't it??

Ex Oggie
20th Jul 2003, 00:25
Great days!! As a child I was weaned on the 1960's and 70's airshows at Baginton, together with Gaydon, Little Riss and Staverton. Lucky enough to have a father who missed the RAF after he left, so got dragged to nearly all of them for many years.

Jack Davidson
20th Jul 2003, 21:30
There's a lot of history at Baginton. So much so that I've recently started research for a book on the complete history of the site. My project has full backing from the Atlantic Group which is nice. They were most enthusiastic about the idea.

Grandad Biggles
21st Jul 2003, 05:10
My first recollection was picnicing and playing cricket in the visitor parking area which was then all grass.
Can't recall much about the aircraft of the day but then I was only around 7 years of age some 48 years ago.
Don' think they had an ILS or instrument approaches at that time:O

27th Jul 2003, 16:40
Also started spotting there late 50s early 60s. Wonderful memories of helping to push Hornet/Puss and Leopard Moths into the hangars. First light aircraft flight in an Aiglet in 63 and first job working for Executive Air Engineering in 1969.

Anyone else remember ACE Freighters Connies and all the Doves and Herons at Exec?

vintage ATCO
27th Jul 2003, 20:13
Grandad B

I doubt radio had been invented when you were a lad . . . :p


28th Jul 2003, 18:59
Thanks for all the responses guys. It's always nice to hear fond stories of the place in the good old days! I know I've posted this question before, but does anyone remember the early days of AWA Flying Group?

Hanslope - Great name... I was brought up there. :)

Flying Boat
29th Jul 2003, 01:31
My dad told me he remembered as a small child, that Baginton was a rubbish tip (as it was high up) and Finham was the sewage works, before baginton was an airfield.

He also mentioned seeing Bristol Blenheims lined up in 1942, he thought they were beautiful as a schoolboy of 10.

He told me of the scandal of the 1950s:

Pearl Hyde (sorry for the bad spelling) was a dynamic councillor for Coventry and was pushing for Baginton to be made into the international airport for the Midlands.
The rival was Elmdon, Birmingham.

Coventry were winning the political battle of the towns for obtaining the biggest airport in the Midlands (in those days people wanted airports near them as it meant more jobs and a better local economy, an overall better quality of life for the masses) until one fateful day.

Just as the competition between the two Councils was coming to a head, with Coventry winning, Pearl was sadly involved in a fatal car crash. The Coventry bid collapsed and shortly after Birmingham won the bid.
Many Coventrians allegedly thought this tragic accident was very suspicious and fortuitous for the Birmingham camp.

JD How about researching that for a 'sinister' paragraph in your book?


29th Jul 2003, 14:47
AWA Flying Group

Father worked for AWA at the time, so it was inevitable that I should fly with them at some stage. It took ages of lobbying, but I eventually got my first flight with them in their Tiger in 1958. I was only 8 at the time and too small for the sutton harness. Another Club member got in the front, I sat on his lap and the straps were done up around the two of us.

Dad had bought 20 mins, so the pilot said he would do a circuit and see how I felt, if I was OK he would do another. I knew I'd be OK, so I insisted that he just flew for the 20 mins without the intermediate landing. He flew the circuit, landed and asked me how I was; all I wanted to do was get back into the air again - I still have the same problem!