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View Full Version : OT: Shoreham Airport - The UK's Oldest Operating Airport (PIC HEAVY)



Realjambo
10-02-2007, 02:35 PM
I thought I'd show you round the Airport in my home town. Most of the photo's you'll see are mine, but some - as you can imagine - I couldn't have possibly taken!

Located on the South Coast Of England in Sussex. It proudly boasts of being the oldest operating airport in the UK, if not Europe. The art-deco style terminal building is grade two listed, and has featured in various films and programmes - 'Poirot' fans might recall the espisode 'Death In The Skies' and more lately the Tom Hanks film 'The Da Vinci Code' was filmed here at night under great secrecy.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/BigAirportMap.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/airportgoogleearth.jpg


The very first recorded cargo flight took off from here and landed some 5 miles or so away just west of Brightonto great applause. It's payload was a box of lightbulbs - to demonstrate how 'safe' flying was. Wether they all worked after that I couldn't say!

During WW2 Shoreham Airport was the base for patrol aircraft Lysanders and later as home base for Hurricanes. A pair of Beaufighters of the Fighter Interception Unit were based at Shoreham Airport in 1940. In 1942 the Lysanders were replaced by Defiants and in 1943 these were replaced by Spitfire II's. Amphibious Walrus aircraft also took off from Shoreham to rescue pilots downed in the English Channel. In 1944 Sea Otter aircraft were also used. The Free French 345 Squadron in Spitfire Vb's and IX's flew on sorties out of Shoreham from 1944. As D-Day approached both the harbour and airport were a constant flurry of activity. The main activities were Air Sea Rescue operations.

The Terminal Building from yesteryear:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/terminal-front.jpg
As it is today (note the modern ATC added atop the original building):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport2.jpg

The memorial outside the Terminal Building:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport4.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport5.jpg

In contrast, an aeronautical firm based here keeps a static display outside their building at the airport:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport8.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport9.jpg

The Airport is bordered on one side by the River Adur (pronounced A-Durr). It's along the towpath of this river that you come across the WW2 AA gun emplacements. I'd have got a shot of inside of them but sadly they are home only to rubbish and all manner of unsavoury things these days - the graffiti is testament to this - Quite sad I think, given good men spent countless hours in these in all manner of weathers during the war:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport30.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport29.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport28.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport20.jpg
The view beyond this one has changed very little since the war. It's odd to think the guys who sat behind the sights of the AA guns gazed over at the same view:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport19.jpg

The Battle of Britain Airshow is hosted here every September. Some of the visitors we get:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/me108.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/246845339_f05a44563b.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0639.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0634.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0632.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0612.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0629.jpg

Last year the organisers decided to liven things up with a simulated attack by the Luftwaffe:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0605.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0604.jpg

OK there's more to come tomorrow!

Realjambo
10-02-2007, 02:35 PM
I thought I'd show you round the Airport in my home town. Most of the photo's you'll see are mine, but some - as you can imagine - I couldn't have possibly taken!

Located on the South Coast Of England in Sussex. It proudly boasts of being the oldest operating airport in the UK, if not Europe. The art-deco style terminal building is grade two listed, and has featured in various films and programmes - 'Poirot' fans might recall the espisode 'Death In The Skies' and more lately the Tom Hanks film 'The Da Vinci Code' was filmed here at night under great secrecy.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/BigAirportMap.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/airportgoogleearth.jpg


The very first recorded cargo flight took off from here and landed some 5 miles or so away just west of Brightonto great applause. It's payload was a box of lightbulbs - to demonstrate how 'safe' flying was. Wether they all worked after that I couldn't say!

During WW2 Shoreham Airport was the base for patrol aircraft Lysanders and later as home base for Hurricanes. A pair of Beaufighters of the Fighter Interception Unit were based at Shoreham Airport in 1940. In 1942 the Lysanders were replaced by Defiants and in 1943 these were replaced by Spitfire II's. Amphibious Walrus aircraft also took off from Shoreham to rescue pilots downed in the English Channel. In 1944 Sea Otter aircraft were also used. The Free French 345 Squadron in Spitfire Vb's and IX's flew on sorties out of Shoreham from 1944. As D-Day approached both the harbour and airport were a constant flurry of activity. The main activities were Air Sea Rescue operations.

The Terminal Building from yesteryear:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/terminal-front.jpg
As it is today (note the modern ATC added atop the original building):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport2.jpg

The memorial outside the Terminal Building:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport4.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport5.jpg

In contrast, an aeronautical firm based here keeps a static display outside their building at the airport:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport8.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport9.jpg

The Airport is bordered on one side by the River Adur (pronounced A-Durr). It's along the towpath of this river that you come across the WW2 AA gun emplacements. I'd have got a shot of inside of them but sadly they are home only to rubbish and all manner of unsavoury things these days - the graffiti is testament to this - Quite sad I think, given good men spent countless hours in these in all manner of weathers during the war:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport30.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport29.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport28.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport20.jpg
The view beyond this one has changed very little since the war. It's odd to think the guys who sat behind the sights of the AA guns gazed over at the same view:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport19.jpg

The Battle of Britain Airshow is hosted here every September. Some of the visitors we get:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/me108.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/246845339_f05a44563b.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0639.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0634.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0632.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0612.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0629.jpg

Last year the organisers decided to liven things up with a simulated attack by the Luftwaffe:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0605.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/sh0604.jpg

OK there's more to come tomorrow!

Messervy
10-02-2007, 02:40 PM
Ahhh...Yes...I remember it from "Poirot" series.

Lovely building - Should we start a petition to save it now?

Thanks for sharing RJ http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

Realjambo
10-02-2007, 02:46 PM
You remember it Messervy! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

In the episode I think you see inside the terminal building. I should have gone in and tried to get some shot in there of the ceiling - it's apparently been left as it was - with 1920's style aircraft painted on it.

I'm updating to my initial post as I continue to work on it. More to come.

WilhelmSchulz.
10-02-2007, 03:10 PM
Ahhhh the 109. I remember 2 weeks ago I was ablt to walk right on up to one and tuch it. A perk of my school.(a aviation school) http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

geoffwessex
10-02-2007, 06:14 PM
Thanks RJ - particular nostalgia for me too - I spent hours there, some of it while there was the "Beagle" aircraft factory there.

I also remember, aged about 12 watching "The Hollies" arrive there for their concert in Brighton (1964 I'd think) and also being able to have a good look around the "Dragon Rapide" (a biplane "airliner") that used to run from there for pleasure flights, and also an aerial photography company there too. Two small airlines used to fly from there when I was young, Jersey Airways and Channel Airlines - destinations obvious - using Dakotas.

VikingGrandad
10-02-2007, 06:33 PM
Great pics RJ http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Old wartime buildings like that gun emplacement have a timeless quality even though they are ruins. It doesn't take much to imagine 'being there'.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WilhelmSchulz.:
Ahhhh the 109. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Don't you mean 108? I think the picture in RJ's post is of a Bf 108, which has a very similar tail to a Bf 109.

WilhelmSchulz.
10-02-2007, 07:10 PM
No I honestly thought that was a 109. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blush.gif

PhantomKira
10-02-2007, 07:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Don't you mean 108? I think the picture in RJ's post is of a Bf 108, which has a very similar tail to a Bf 109. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sure looks like a Bf 108 Taifun to me. That aircraft was a four place touring plane built by Bayerische Flugzeugwerke starting in the mid 1930's. The reason it bears a close resemblance to the Me-109, is that it is that aircraft from which the Me-109 directly decended. You can definitely be forgiven for mistaking this particular aircaft for the Me-109 due to the desert camoflage, in addition to the tail, wings and landing gear that are very 109ish. It's a tendancy of people who don't have the real thing to paint up their aircraft like some war veteran aircraft. Not a bad thing, if that's all they have. It certainly can confuse those who aren't super familiar with the nuances X airplane versus Y airplane, though.

In regards to the defacement of WWII etc era relics, I see the same on the old artillery battery at Cape Henlopen in Delaware. I'm afraid that's somewhat universal. Some people just can't help themselves, I guess.

WilhelmSchulz.
10-02-2007, 08:09 PM
Looking at the cockpit I can clearly see its not a 109. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Celeon999
10-03-2007, 02:17 AM
Very interesting and very good pics http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Now i cant wait for the next Berlin Air show in May next year. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Realjambo
10-03-2007, 08:15 AM
Wide view of the Terminal Building and Apron:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport27.jpg

Vintage aircraft you can take a flight in I'm led to believe. In the background a Hawker Hunter?:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport16.jpg

Celebrities come and learn to fly here, the UK forum members should recognise names such as Ian Botham, Chris Evans, Gary Numan. I wonder if any of these were used by them?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport17.jpg

Weren't these just in about every US made Cop show in the eighties? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport37.jpg

One for lane - 'Black' helicopters! No, phew it has a registration on it! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport36.jpg

I wonder if they ever leave the keys in them? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/halo.gif
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport35.jpg

Look directly above the helicopter cockpit - is it Hawker Hunter?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport34.jpg

Last two for GeoffWessex - Remember Ropetackle? Originally they made er, ropes and tackle here, then there was a car park and a pub (The Kings Head?) and eventually after years of wrangling, these houses and flats went up about 3 years ago - lots of them. They never did build the cinema, hotel, riverside restaurants and bars they had on their original plans. Funny that! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport41.jpg

I like the old church poking out through all the new houses - but even that has been converted into luxury apartments now! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport42.jpg

M0ttie
10-04-2007, 03:14 PM
If I was a gambling man - Hawker Hunter.

andy3536
10-04-2007, 03:29 PM
Must be a Hunter, but it needs jazzing up a little!



http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd271/Andy3536/ley0420G-PSST20Hunter20F58A20ex_20J.jpg

geoffwessex
10-04-2007, 09:20 PM
Ah yes, RJ - the bridge in my day was the more dramatic "Norfolk Bridge", built 1922 which, in turn, had succeeded a suspension bridge built in 1833 (Dukes of Norfolk opened them, I suppose). The next road bridge up river was a rickety old toll bridge - I found a picture of a bit of it on this fascinating website (http://www.glaucus.org.uk/History.htm) and even more here. (http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Bridges2.htm)

wh1skea
10-05-2007, 06:17 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Realjambo:

Vintage aircraft you can take a flight in I'm led to believe. In the background a Hawker Hunter?:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/Airport16.jpg

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Is that a T-6/SNJ Texan I see?