RAF Tilstock

Hi All,

Last weekend we had a great time camping in Wem, Shropshire. As it was close by, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to do some urban exploration around the remains of RAF Tilstock (source: wikipedia)

Construction of an airfield was completed by mid 1942, with a classic three concrete runway RAF “star” arrangement. The name ‘Whitchurch Heath’ being used until 1 June 1943, when RAF Tilstock was adopted. Between 1 September 1942 and 21 January 1946, the airfield was used by No. 81 Operational Training Unit and No. 1665 Heavy Conversion Unit Royal Air Force for the training of pilots and crews in the operation of Whitley, Stirling and Halifax heavy bombers. During the 1950s, Auster AOP.6 ‘spotter’ aircraft of No. 663 Squadron RAF used the facilities of the otherwise non-operational airfield during weekends for liaison flights with Royal Artillery units.

Abandoned Airbase(image © Gary Danton)

There are perhaps 15 abandoned structures at the site, all in various states of disrepair. Several are holding up really well considering their age. The more solid buildings are the sqaure brick type stuctures. The are a number of prefabricated buildings (typically breeze blocks and corrogated steel) that are now missing roofs and walls.

Abandoned Airbase(image © Gary Danton)

Sunbeam-Talbot 90 (Seen better days)(image © Gary Danton)

This is the remains of a Sunbeam-Talbot 90, left at the site probably when it was abandoned in the 1950’s. Theres not much left of it, although what is left is in surprisingly good condition, probably because its been spared the worst of the elements over the years.

WW1 Trench System(image © Gary Danton)

This is the remains of a WW1 trench system that was used for training troops stationed at the camp (source: wikipedia)

Opened in 1915 as a training base for the British Army, it had a capacity for 30,00 men for training in trench warfare. It additionally acted later as a store for supplies, with its own railway depot feed by a 1 mile (1.6 km) branch line from the LNWR’s Crewe and Shrewsbury Railway. As casualties mounted, it became a hospital with a fully fledged barracks.

The scale and size of the camp brought about the appointment of the first female police officers in the Shropshire Constabulary, to manage and restrain local women from heading to the camp.

After the war ended, the facilities were downgraded, with the British Government keeping ownership of the site for Army training purposes.

A link to the location on google maps is here.




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