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RAF Chigwell

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tc2324
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RAF Chigwell

Post by tc2324 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:24 am

Who I ask you say? :lol:

Well most of the old site of RAF Chigwell has gone the same way as parts of North Weald and Duxford. It`s buried under the M11 motorway, while the rest of RAF Chigwell has been turned into a nature reserve. But if you look in the right places you can still find the `bones` of the old base.

Why..? Well, Chigwell may not be one of the `famous` bases but it played a rather important role during WW2 and beyond. Opened in 1938 and sold off by the RAF in 1964, it began life as a barage balloon launching site until around 1943 when the base took on many secret trails, testing and training of comunication equipment for the allies. One `operation` involved 220 and 206 Sqns during Operation `Intone` and to date there are not many records regarding this action.

It continued in this role right up to 1958. Unknown by many the Royal Observer Corps had a bunker in operation in a field by the old launching areas right up to 1991 when it was closed down.

I have a special bond to the place as it`s where my old Air Training Corps unit was `stood up` and became the last RAF `unit` to leave the base after it was sold on.

There are many areas I couldn`t get too as time was an issue, but I will be returning soon to find these areas and update this post. For now, on with the show.... :thumb:

A sports centre now dominates where the officers mess and main winch lorry and trailer hangar used to be.

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This area was where the balloons and trailers would be assembled. A balloon hangar would have been on the left of the concreted area.

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Various hard tracks leading to the launching sites......

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.....then a junction leading to two of the three launch areas......

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.....and finally the circular area where the balloons were launched....

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A few bits of concrete I could see from the paths that will warrant further investigation when I return.

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:) [/QUOTE]
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698
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Re: RAF Chigwell

Post by 698 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:18 pm

My Uncle, rest his soul, told me there was a radar station there in WWII and afterwards, and that North Weald was its parent station and they all got bussed in from there.
I always thought he really meant to Kelvedon, but that was not there in WWII so who knows what he meant now :)

But as someone who serviced Typhoons and Tempests I don't know how he got tied up here :lol:

Interesting to see that some of Chigwell still survives.
Thanks for posting and please add more if you get them.

698
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tc2324
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Re: RAF Chigwell

Post by tc2324 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:32 pm

Thanks for the comments 698. :thumb:

As regards to your uncle, if he served on Typhoon units, he may well have been linked to RAF Fairlop just down the road from Chigwell as this was a Typhoon base for a couple of years. :)

As far as I`m aware though, no Tempests were based there. :unsure:
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Re: RAF Chigwell

Post by 698 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:41 pm

tc2324 wrote:Thanks for the comments 698. :thumb:

As regards to your uncle, if he served on Typhoon units, he may well have been linked to RAF Fairlop just down the road from Chigwell as this was a Typhoon base for a couple of years. :)

As far as I`m aware though, no Tempests were based there. :unsure:
Well I know he met my aunt whilst in the RAF and they both ended up living in Ilford so that may well have been the connection, perhaps the Tempests came later, however, he did always tell a good story ;)
So who knows :)

He did his bit though :thumb:

Cheers.

698
For good or for ill, air mastery is today the supreme expression of military power and fleets and armies, however vital and important, must accept a subordinate rank.
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CH2
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Re: RAF Chigwell

Post by CH2 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:50 am

Fascinating stuff, it never fails to amaze me that how in a relatively short period of time nature reclaims everything back.

Thanks for posting with the infomation. :thumb:
Cheers,

Chris

grounded
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Re: RAF Chigwell

Post by grounded » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:52 am

I remember being part of a convoy of R A F signals vehicles being delivered to Chigwell in august 1950, It's a long time ago.

SaladDodger
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Re: RAF Chigwell

Post by SaladDodger » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:58 am

TC2324 - do any aerial photos or maps survive of the site? Did 2324 have any in archive or on display?
Oh. And keep up with the puns.

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Re: RAF Chigwell

Post by Supra » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:17 pm

WOW! :O
This thread is right-up there with the '2nd Coming' when it comes to "Extreme Resurrection" ? :whistle:

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tc2324
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Re: RAF Chigwell

Post by tc2324 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:14 pm

It is indeed a blast from the past... :D

Can`t say I have any aerial photo`s of the site while in operation but I do have the following based on Air Ministry works.

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Hope this helps?
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Re: RAF Chigwell

Post by SaladDodger » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:33 am

Thanks TC. The site was quite small. I know it encompassed the area behind the school (known locally as the bomb dump, but actually a large concrete pan ideal for teenage motorist to be stupid on), and the area occupied by the M11 police control site. What I was trying to identify was an interesting structure to the southeast on the Grange farm site. Unfortunately this now seems to have been demolished to make way for a new housing development. It looked like a raided loading platform surrounded by whitewashed concrete buildings. Similar in some ways to the Bahamas site- which piqued my interest! Possibly nothing but now I guess we'll never know.

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