A gorgeous Saturday morning. Too good to head into the office, so instead I decided to head out and do some history. I’m lucky enough to live in probably the most airfield-dense part of the country. There are around thirty disused RAF stations around Oxfordshire and into Gloucestershire. I’ve always been fascinated by them, so I often get on the bike and end up standing on an old concrete peri track, somewhere in a field – all that’s left of an old training base or satellite strip.
So, the Panzermoto saddled up, I primed the GPS and headed off to find RAF Windrush.
It’s a bit of a challenge as it’s not on any roads anymore. In fact, you get to the old airfield on a track off the A40 that links Cheltenham and Witney:
It’s a gorgeous ride, with views over the countryside for miles. It doesn’t take long to realise you’re on the right track for an airfield – here’s one of the link roads between two parts of the old camp:
And this, believe it or not, is all that remains of an old air-raid shelter:
The roof’s gone, but you can see the banking and internal structure here:
The accommodation and domestic sites were to the North West of the landing ground, some close to the A40. To the North West of the site, other concrete and brick buildings were training facilities. Plenty are still there, dotted around the site:
Not all in such good shape now though:
The control tower is still there, restored
The runways are still there too, although now used as a dump for old farm machinery (and, in this case, a more modern agricultural machine):
They’re still intact though – or at least, the North/South one is:
You can see from the air how the runways and peri were laid out:
It’s certainly an atmospheric place:
A man after my own heart. Just ask Rose. She says I certainly know how to show a girl a good time!!!!!! The control tower seems to have been demolished. It’s one airfield I haven’t yet got on to yet. Try RAF Southrop if you haven’t already done so.
Thank you for posting this story and pictures. My father was stationed at Windrush (and Little Rissington) during the war. He seldom spoke about those days but now and again I could get a good story out of him. This is the first time I’ve seen photos of the place. I promised myself I’d visit there one day, just to get a look in person. Now, you’ve piqued my interest again!
2005 BMW R1200GS
It’d be cool if you could find old pictures of these air bases, sort of a “then and now” thing…..
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