Akeman Street RLG

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Akeman Street RLG

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Akeman Street Relief Landing Ground is situated north of the A40 west of Whitney Oxfordshire.

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Akeman Street RLG

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Akeman Street RLG

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Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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The place we parked is at P on the map and walked the perimeter track in a clockwise direction.

1 - Bellman hangar.
10 - Blister hangars, Over Blister 65ft.
9- Pillboxes (approx).
1 -Operations Block.
1 - Dining room & Mess.
1 - Link trainer.
Red - buildings, mostly now removed.
Yellow - pill box defence, about half still there.

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Link trainer.

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Bellman hangar.

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Over Blister hangar

Akeman Street RLG

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A.M. Record Site Plan 2988/45

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Akeman Street RLG

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1 - Dining Room & Messes. - Laing - (1032/41)
2to4 - Barrack Huts - Laing.
5 - Barrack used as Sick Quarters - N.
6 - Camp Commd. Office - N.
7to8 - Officers & Sergeants Ablutions - TB -(1033/41).
9to10 - Airmens Latrines - TB.
11 - Fuel Compound - TB - (1683/41).
12 - Sub Station - PB.
13 - Bellman Hangar - St - (5498/36).
14 - Guard Room now used as MT Office - N.
15 - Equipment Store now used as NAAFI - Laing - 1032/41
16 - Flight Store - T.
17 - Barrack Block - Laing - (1032/41).
18 - Air Raid Shelter.
19 - Armoury - PB.
20 - Pillbox now used as Guard House - PB.
21a - Flight Office - T.
21b - Flight Office - H.
22 - Link Trainer - TB.
23 - A.M.W.D. Mess room &Store Hut - T.
24 - Barrack Hut - Laing - (1032/41).
25 - C/W's Office & Store - N.
26 - Temporary Petrol Installation.
27 - Bucket Emptying Enclosure (below ground)
28 - Operations Block - T&CI.
29 - Barrack Hut - - Laing - (1032/41).
30 - Temporary Latrine - T&CI.
31 - Speech Broadcasting Instillation - PB.
34 - Air Raid Shelter.
35 - Temporary Latrine - C.
36 - N.E.E. Store - T&CI.
37to41 - Blister Hangar Over type 65ft - (12512/41)
42to46 - Barrack Hut - Thorn.
47 - Settling Tank & Filter bed.
48 - Temporary Latrine - T&CI.
49 - Air Raid Shelter.
50 - Temporary Latrine - T&CI.
51to55 - Blister Hangar Over type 65ft - (12512/41).

N - Nissen. TB - Temporary Brick. PB - Perminent Brick. H - Handcraft. T - Tin. CI - Corrugated Iron. P.Box - Pill boxes. C- Concrete. Commd - Camp Commandant. (use of brackets) the AM plan numbers I have added. A.M. Air Ministry. C/W - Clerk of Works. A.M.W.D. - Air Ministry Works Department.

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Link trainer.

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Bellman hangar.

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Over Blister hangar

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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As you can see where we parked and walked up the track, Akeman Street Roman Road.

History : work started in 1939 and It was developed as a Relief Landing Ground for No 2 Service Flying Training School at Brize Norton and came into use on 29 June 1940. Training aircraft, Harvard's and Oxford's, used the airfield to relieve congestion at Brize Norton.

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North American Harvard trainer.

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Airspeed Oxford.

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Queen Mary aircraft articulated trailer.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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Walking up the track to where it joins the perimeter track.

History : it took its name from the Roman Road that bisected the landing ground. As you can see the road is still strait and true to Roman principles. Usually airfields were named after the village parish they were constructed in.

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Plan.
Yellow - Roman Road.
Red - our route. .

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MT.

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Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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Perimeter track going anti clockwise.
Taking a left turn and walking clockwise around the perimeter. There is not very much left of Akeman Street so you have to be observant and look carefully for clues. There are three pillboxes, two pieces of concrete, a perimeter track, an MT section (we have not yet found yet) and two huts.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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A piece of Concrete.
A large block sat by the hedge and I think it was used for a Cloud Height Projector. Inset is another one at RAF Holmsley South. By switching a vertical lamp on and measuring the angle, it gives the height of the clouds. That way a pilot trying to land can be given accurate height information.

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They could be Cloud height measuring lamp fittings ?

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Measure the angle.

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Cloud Height Projector.
Drawing No.TW 508/42.
ARG.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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Perimeter track.
Now about a quarter of the way around and looking back. The technical site is to the left of the trees in the distance, the airfield is on the left and two pillboxes are on the right in the hedge row.

History : following the bombing of Brize Norton on 16 August the Advanced Training Squadron with its Oxfords were dispersed to Akeman Street.

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Plan.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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These pillboxes are prefabricated and would arrive on site in several pieces. A base, two sides, a top, a lid, a steel/concrete door assembly and a couple of hoops to secure the sides together.

History : on 14 March 1942 No 2 SFTS was re-designated No 2 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit and its role was changed. By now the bulk of elementary and service flying training had been transferred overseas as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme (later the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan).

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Home Guard defended many airfields at the start of the war.

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Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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A steel door frame and the door itself made of light steel still lying on the floor. You can see the top with a hole. In it a lid fits (now missing). The lid was optional and could be left off so an a machine gun could be used to fire at aircraft.

History : now the (P) AFU's in the UK gave refresher and acclimatization training to pilots returning from the EATS overseas. 

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The steel rod that tightened the pieces together.

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Hoops on the top to lift the lid on.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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Inside the pillbox.
The hole in the top was supplied with a removable lid and a traversing ring rail to support a Vickers MG or a Bren LMG.

Inside : this one somebody has placed quarry tiles around the lip, none of the others have this feature??

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BREN LMG.

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Le Enfield rifle.

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Vickers K gun.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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The second pill box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elevation of this style of pill box. the removable roof and the door details.

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Oxford trainers.

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Crews in training.

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Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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This style of pill box is very common around Gloucester, Oxford & Berkshire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pill box plan.

imageDoor detail
Door : the door itself framed with steel and the rest is made of concrete.

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Steel door.

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Another steel door with concrete infill, giving it a bit more protection.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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Concrete base picket screw aircraft tie down. A short screw picket, set in concrete and it would have been sunk into the ground. There would have been a minimum of three per plane. Maybe 30 planes on the airfield, making at least 90 of these, probably several still in the ground.
In November 1918 there was a full storm that swept across England. At RAF Netheravon several HP0/400 bombers were blown over. Probably not tied down.

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Aircraft tie down.

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A German WW1 screw picket, so many of these were retrieved from the WW1 battlefield and re used.

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Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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History : by1942 much building work had been completed at Akeman Street, including 10 Over Blister type hangars and a larger Bellman hangar, mainly built by John Laing & Son. Airspeed Oxfords continued to be the aircraft used. No 2 (P) AFU was disbanded on 13 July 1942, and its RLG at Akeman Street was transferred to No 6 (P) AFU at RAF Little Rissington.

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RAF Little Rissington watch office..

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Oxford.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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Perimeter track in the south.

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Plan.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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The third pillbox covering the SE corner.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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Still looking good, in the early part of the war an invasion was imminent from the air (parachutes) and on the coast. A quick solution to defend large areas was needed. Prefabrication is one quick way to manufacture pillboxes and this type and Norcon, a type of drain pipe pillbox was another.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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Airfield looking North.

Relief Landing Ground : after WW1 most airfields were completely removed, only a small amount left. These in the 1930's under the RAF's expansion plan started to be rebuilt to a modern standard. When war broke out more airfields were needed to relieve congestion at the parent airfield's, so Relief Landing Grounds were built.

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Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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Well Well Well

Every military establishment needed water and wells were bore holes and pump houses built. This one uses concrete pipe as its walls, at RNAS Charlton Horethorne they used brick.

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RNAS Charlton Horethorne.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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The technical Area
The perimeter track, with the airfield on your left and the technical site to the right.
There were 10 Over Blister hangars all around the perimeter Also many huts. These huts were made of wood, plasterboard and tarred paper to keep them waterproof and were purely temporary.

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Blister hangar.

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Blister frame.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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31 - Speech Broadcasting Instillation - PB.
The Two buildings left. One was the Speech Broadcast building here. A well built perminent brick construction.

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RAF Speakers.

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RAF Speakers.

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RAF Speakers.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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22 - Link Trainer - TB.
Link trainer building, a very important one to have. The Link was an essential part of RAF flying training, you could fly it on instruments and a pre planned course could be plotted out on a table.

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Plan.

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How it would have looked inside.

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Plan of a single Link trainer room.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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22 - Link Trainer - TB.
Also plenty of left over corrugated iron sheet lying around.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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Sunset
23to26 A.M.W.D. hut, Barrack Hut, C/W's Office and store, Temporary Petrol Installation. This is either for vehicle fuel or for filling aircraft, Aviation Fuel?

History : for the remainder of the war Akeman Street was used by No 6 (P) AFU Oxford's for twin-engine training, until flying ceased there on 15 August 1945. It remained under Flying Training Command until final closure on 1 February 1947. It then returned to agriculture, but has occasionally been used by crop-spraying aircraft.

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Plan.

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Plan.

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Plan.

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Laing hut, wood frame plaster board and tarpaper covering.

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Handcraft hut.

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Hall hut inside.

Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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Three Bomb Craters

The farmer kindly let us photograph the whole area and told us about three bomb dropped along this ridge. You can see when you are there three craters.

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He111.

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Akeman Street RLG

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10 April 2005

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Akeman Street RLG

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