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Former Basingstoke Airfield?

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Former Basingstoke Airfield?

Old 20th Feb 2021, 11:20
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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For what it's worth as a negative, my 1966 Pooleys does not mention Basingstoke in any category; nor Hook, as it happens.

I've trawled the Pooleys for a recognisable name in that area, but found nothing, which may be simply my geographic ignorance. Could "Basingstoke" have had a different name?
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 11:22
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wycombe View Post
I remember the AA Cessna 421 (G-OBCA) and subsequently their 2 Beech 200's (I think G-KBCA was one of them) and Agusta 109 (G-HBCA?) being based at Blackbushe during the late 80's/90's.
The Cessna 441 was I think G-AUTO but I don't remember seeing that at Blackbushe much.

Prior to that (I think in the 70's) there was a PA23 that they operated, in an all-over Union Jack scheme and a Jet Ranger. These both also lived at Blackbushe from what I remember.
All of those except G-AUTO were operated by British Car Auctions/Phil Cardew ; no connection with the AA; 'AUTO of course was AA
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 12:01
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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I remember the AA Cessna 421 (G-OBCA) and subsequently their 2 Beech 200's (I think G-KBCA was one of them) and Agusta 109 (G-HBCA?) being based at Blackbushe during the late 80's/90's.
The Cessna 441 was I think G-AUTO but I don't remember seeing that at Blackbushe much.

Prior to that (I think in the 70's) there was a PA23 that they operated, in an all-over Union Jack scheme and a Jet Ranger. These both also lived at Blackbushe from what I remember.
All of those except G-AUTO were operated by British Car Auctions/Phil Cardew ; no connection with the AA; 'AUTO of course was AA
Doh, apologies all, I was forgetting this was about the AA and not BCA!
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 13:39
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.airhistory.net/photo/86153/G-BMOA

https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/view/1028500

https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/operator/Automobile%20Association


We used to look after them at Rogers Aviation. G-AUTO was on the fleet, the one above replaced it. There were several, we also looked after the Learjet.
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 14:08
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Was there a grass /farm strip at the western end of Odiham village behind a pub- which is called the Water Witch on Colt Hill. . I was there some years ago ona sunny day when a distinctive sound of a light aircraft running engine (s) up and then taking off, didnt geta good look but it was blue and something like a twin Commanche or Seneca or older Piper twin. . Looking at a Google sat view there might be room and there is a large shed at the pub end . I was extremely surprised at the time and never saw any sign of aircraft again. Any other ideas about it or have I got the location wrong
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 15:07
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Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post
Was there a grass /farm strip at the western end of Odiham village behind a pub- which is called the Water Witch on Colt Hill. . I was there some years ago ona sunny day when a distinctive sound of a light aircraft running engine (s) up and then taking off, didnt geta good look but it was blue and something like a twin Commanche or Seneca or older Piper twin. . Looking at a Google sat view there might be room and there is a large shed at the pub end . I was extremely surprised at the time and never saw any sign of aircraft again. Any other ideas about it or have I got the location wrong
Never heard of that one.
Valentines farm is a small strip between the village and the bypass; I think it was a SIPA 903 operated there; it certainly wasn't long enough for a twin (apart from maybe an Islander).
We did have someone do an emergency landing in the parkland surrounding the hotel just north east of the vllage once; maybe you saw it being flown out.
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 17:41
  #27 (permalink)  
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I was an AATC at Odiham in '76 / '77 and used to get a landing fee signature from the AA aircraft, when Duty Driver.

We occasionally used the Preston Candover strip for Puma circuits.
One of our QHI's had a family connection.

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Old 20th Feb 2021, 18:20
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Originally Posted by AirUK View Post
Hi everyone,

Lockdown boredom and extended furlough has meant I've developed an interest in the history of airfields in Hampshire (!) - and I understand that there used to be an airstrip somewhere SW of Basingstoke about 30-40 years ago, used by the AA (their head office used to be in Basingstoke). I've heard reports that it's long been built over with houses and I suspect this is the case, but I wondered if anyone knew/knows of the exact location of this former site by any chance? I can find no record of it, only vague reports of it's rough whereabouts and despite hours spent examining historical Google Earth imagery and hunting for charts, it has not proved fruitful!

I know PPRuNe isn't the font of knowledge it once was, but someone here must know something or know someone who was familiar with this airstrip... Any ideas?!

Many thanks in advance and have a good weekend!

UK.
I was born in Basingstoke in the late Ď40s and I have never heard of this. However, looking at the map and remembering the old town. An area to the southeast might work. It would be what we knew of as the Basingstoke Common, on todayís maps itís a lot smaller. The area would be to the east of the War Memorial Park, bounded on the north by London Road and the Grove Road in the south and out the east an area known as Black Dam. In fact from the top floor of the(now) AA Fanum House it would all be due south. This as far as I can remember had a bit a slope from the north east to south west but you could make a good sized SW strip. I left Basingstoke in the mid '70s.

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Old 20th Feb 2021, 21:55
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Minor thread drift but I've always wondered what was the AA's commercial justification for owning any aircraft, never mind a Learjet!

Flying spare parts around to ensure prompt roadside repairs?
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 23:46
  #30 (permalink)  
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Andrasz, I'm in agreement with you - The area adjacent to the Viables Cottages looks a likely candidate, but Sealo0's suggestion of the Common is an interesting one - thank you for your info Sealo0. Would a town common have been an acceptable place for the AA to use as a (regular?) airstrip however?

Chevron, I see - I'm only just old enough to remember that the M3 didn't reach all the way to Southampton until the early 90s, so I wrongly assumed that all of it was open at once! Your information is very interesting - thank you, I suppose that 1:50k chart is long gone now! So if you are correct, we're proposing a location somewhere in the Brighton Hill/Hatch Warren estates?

nvubu, your transmission was clipped - did you find anything?

old, not bold, thanks for having a look - it's possible that if it was a private or farm strip that it wasn't included I suppose? Or perhaps in a slightly later/1970s edition? There is of course the possibility that only the AA used it, occasionally at that, and therefore there was never a need to widely publish it? That might explain the lack of readily-available information about the location...
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 09:04
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I've looked at some old OS maps of the area and can't see any airfield marked - however on a map that was made of bench marks(!!), when they were laying out the ring road, there appears to have been a linear airstrip type feature just west of the Black Dam Roundabout, just south of the London Road on the edge of the Common oriented SW-NE - this is pretty much the site of the Crowne Plaza Hotel now - accessed by Old Common Road
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 09:06
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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"Minor thread drift but I've always wondered what was the AA's commercial justification for owning any aircraft"

I seem to remember it was used for spotting traffic jams in the pre GPS days
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 09:07
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"Minor thread drift but I've always wondered what was the AA's commercial justification for owning any aircraft"

I seem to remember it was used for spotting traffic jams in the pre GPS days
and in later days, air ambulance
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 10:15
  #34 (permalink)  
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Morning everyone,

On closer inspection of the 1968 OS map on old-maps.co.uk, there are a few long, straight tracks on a few of the fields in the area in question to the SW of the town, all orientated NE-SW. Brighton Hill Farm has two tracks (present day Corinthian Cl and Danebury Rd areas), another track adjoining the Hatch Warren Cottages (running through present day The Crofts area) and again in the field to the west of Viables Cottages (present day Sullivan Rd). Could any of these farm tracks have been used as an airstrip?
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 10:41
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AirUK - go and look at the various maps on the web site I linked to - I can't post screenshots due to copyright - edit to add: posts crossed.

In the area next to the Viables cottages there doesn't seem to be anywhere to store an aircraft, whereas there are a number of possibilities around Hatch Warren Farm. I also think that area around the cottages may well have been built over by 1979, whereas the building work seemingly hadn't got to Hatch Warren farm by 1983.

Edit to add:
If you slightly click away from the area you are interested in, you can sometimes get a different choice of maps to look at.
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 16:59
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by AirUK View Post
Morning everyone,

On closer inspection of the 1968 OS map on old-maps.co.uk, there are a few long, straight tracks on a few of the fields in the area in question to the SW of the town, all orientated NE-SW. Brighton Hill Farm has two tracks (present day Corinthian Cl and Danebury Rd areas), another track adjoining the Hatch Warren Cottages (running through present day The Crofts area) and again in the field to the west of Viables Cottages (present day Sullivan Rd). Could any of these farm tracks have been used as an airstrip?
Hi AirUK

That was my playground in the 50' & 60' and being an Air Scout I would have know about any landing strip I'm sure. I walked through that area often and not too sure that the owners of Hatch Warren Farm would be too happy they throw me off once!!
As most people have at present I can only think of Popham, Hook and the wider area of Lasham, Blackbush and Odiham.

I'll have look at the maps and see.

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Old 21st Feb 2021, 17:57
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Chevron

Thank you for your reply. Icannot find valentines farm on G maps but the Pub of course is quite close to the bypass and as I said I didnt really have any idea of the type it was the noise that got my attention and by the time it took off it was mostly out o site because o the way the land lies . Perhaps even more likely is the emergency landing that at some stage had to fly away again because i never saw any sign of an aircraft there again. Thanks for the trouble.

I suppose if the RAF ever give up on the Chinooks Odiham could be come London Basingstoke Airport lol

PB
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 19:21
  #38 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by nvubu View Post
AirUK - go and look at the various maps on the web site I linked to - I can't post screenshots due to copyright - edit to add: posts crossed.

In the area next to the Viables cottages there doesn't seem to be anywhere to store an aircraft, whereas there are a number of possibilities around Hatch Warren Farm. I also think that area around the cottages may well have been built over by 1979, whereas the building work seemingly hadn't got to Hatch Warren farm by 1983.

Edit to add:
If you slightly click away from the area you are interested in, you can sometimes get a different choice of maps to look at.
Hi nvubu,

I agree with you, that track at Hatch Warren farm seems to end with some farm buildings in the NE corner, one of which could have been used as a hangar of sorts. Thatís presuming it was hangared of course! The fact that it was built over by 1979 would tie in with the move to Odiham/Blackbushe by the early 80s...
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 19:22
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I worked at the AA from 78-79 as a Radio Tech at HQ Fanum House & also lived in Basingstoke from 71-85. As a department we did radios in all vehicles including the DGs Daimler & all the management cars, which were Rover SD1s & a few Princesses.
I wasn't aware of any aircraft they flew and certainly nothing near Basingstoke.
I believe there was a DH Rapide in the early days which would have been pre- Fanum House in Basingstoke when the AA had an HQ in London. Just checked the Rapide was 57 the year of my birth.
This forum won't let me post URLs which is a bit dim. If you google AA & go to their website & then timeline you'll find the info.
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 19:25
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...
According to their website the AA moved to Basingstoke in 1973 -

https://www.breakdowncover.org.uk/the-aa/aa-history/

which suggests this ephemeral airstrip was a solely AA user from 1973, as a convenient ancillary to their maintenance base - Fairoaks or wherever, and perhaps terminated by the rolling housing estate or the introduction of the Lear 35A in 1984.

A photo of Apache G-APZE included on the website but
"Apache was G-APZE, and using G-INFO, was with the AA from 1963 until 1972"


From an authoritative source, the Apache was replaced -

"in 1972 by a Navajo PA31. From May 1975 the aircraft was used an an air ambulance - part of the AA 5-Star service to repatriate motorists stranded on the Continent through illness or accident."
As an aside, according to - Hampshire Airfields - the Basingstoke Master Plan in the late 1920s included provision for a Municipal Airport, location unknown, but it does not look as if the idea took off.

LFH
...
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