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Stretton runways

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Stretton runways

Old 28th Nov 2015, 14:58
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Stretton runways

I am confused about the situation in Stretton - coordinates 53.3437 N 2.5210 W
I see what looks like a WW2 military base, cut in two by the M56 motorway, the northern part converted into a business park. On the South side, the E/W runway is partly marked unusable but not entirely. Moreover, https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/2...3.3437/-2.5210 suggests a shortish parallel runway on the North-East side. Then again, looking at satellite images, I see what looks like a grass runway just South of the perimeter road, with a kind of apron and some hangars at the West end; and another grass runway, equaly oriented East-West, a few 100 m further South.

Are all four of these really existant active runways? Who are the operator(s)?
Anyone acquainted round there?
Jan Olieslagers is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2015, 15:31
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Well there's definitely an active airfield there:

Stretton Airfield

But my guess is thats its just the short grass strip, not the hard runways.

I see that it was a Fleet Air Arm station https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNAS_S...MS_Blackcap%29

Its not unusual in the UK to find abandoned or disused WWII airfields (of which there were over a thousand) with a bit still in use or with a grass strip somewhere inside the original airfield.
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Old 28th Nov 2015, 15:50
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Jan, The co-ordinates you give are for Burscough disused airfield not Stretton, for which I get N53.20.42.5 W0002.31.30.8.
The satellite photo from Bing on Flash Earth - Zoom into satellite and aerial imagery does not show a grass strip in the north east part of the site, but there might be one on the south west corner. Having said that, a large portion of the old main E/W runway looks useable.
Looking further south about half a mile, there's another east - west grass strip.

Last edited by chevvron; 28th Nov 2015 at 16:12.
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Old 28th Nov 2015, 16:10
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Anyone acquainted round there?
Yep - have some inside knowledge - will PM you as there are "sensitivities" - but aren't there always
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Old 28th Nov 2015, 17:14
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There's a private strip at Stretton, but it doesn't incorporate the main runways (RNAS Stretton, the old HMS Blackcap, is divided by the M56 motorway with most of the runways south of the motorway).

RNAS Burscough (the old HMS Ringtail) is near Ormskirk and I did parachute flying from there in the early '80s. I think the runway has deteriorated considerably since then, and the control tower has gone.

Both airfields were busy in WW2 handling aircraft flown off carriers in the Mersey at Liverpool.
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Old 29th Nov 2015, 00:41
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Thanks for all replies. I meanwhile found extensive photography of the site at http://www.historicaviationmilitary.com/stretton.html

Would anyone have more info about the grass runway next to the Southern perimeter road, it seems shortish so perhaps microlights operated? By whom?
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Old 29th Nov 2015, 08:35
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Be nice to see it reopen. The north west a GA desert.
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Old 29th Nov 2015, 10:02
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Old 30th Nov 2015, 22:12
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My first job on leaving Uni was working on the M56, 1973. In those days you could learn to fly at Manchester. There was a single crop duster operating at Stretton, Woodford made aeroplanes and the swamp at Barton was well run and very active. A few changes in 40+ years.
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Old 1st Dec 2015, 07:03
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Yep and there was gliding and the occasional Huey at Burtonwood during that era too.
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Old 3rd Dec 2015, 15:58
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Have been in a few times recently, none of the grass strips seem accessible unless you know the people who know somebody
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Old 3rd Dec 2015, 17:16
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Thank you Bob, that seems to confirm the earlier information.
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