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Alconbury Heritage Centre and other stuff

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Alconbury Heritage Centre and other stuff

Old 15th Sep 2018, 20:28
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: UK East Anglia
Age: 61
Posts: 657
Question Alconbury Heritage Centre and other stuff

I had the pleasure to attend a preview event at RAF Alconbury. A group of enthusiastic volunteers with a bit of sponsorship have put a collection of artefacts and displays together. Well done them. Small but some of it very interesting covering the early days, WW2 right up to the closure of the airfield.

My first memories were of the noisy RF4 Phantoms flying over St Ives. As an apprentice I did a bit of bricks and sticks work on the airfield for a local engineering company, mainly checking and maintaining lifting equipment. I remember climbing the longest ladder ever to get to the hoist at the top of the helicopter hanger. ( a pair of Huskies with the contra rotating rotors) Every step the ladder swayed a foot. No harnesses or fall arrest in those days!

Whilst driving back across the runway I noted the alignment of the water tower at Wyton, dead down the centreline. Some who know me will know of my new found interest in water towers. The Wyton tower is out of service and just used to support the mobile phone operators. I am guessing the tower was built in the 50s. Not noted in Barry Bartonís book. Does anyone know if the alignment was intentional as a navigational aid or pure coincidence? I would like to know since I have a genuine interest.

If anyone is passing whilst the centre is open it is worth an hour. The airfield is quite a mess being redeveloped. A number of small businesses operating out of the HASs and other buildings.

I still think it a missed opportunity not to have developed the airfield into a airfreight terminal, probably along the lines of East Midlands. I remember the Council objections due to poor transport links. They had just built the A1 (M) eight lane highway to within a mile of the place. Also the A14 East/West let alone the main east coast main train line with sidings going onto the base!
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