As some of you know I am trying to compile a list of every airfield and seaplane base in the UK. One of the problems that I keep on finding is the various names for a site. A possible solution is to get people to agree on a common format like the following:
Location - nearest village
Location - nearest town (over say 5,000 inhabitants)
Longitude and Latitude (not National Grid reference) - based on location of the threshold of the main runway
Alternative names (including ones it is known by)
This would help in making sure that duplicate sites are not listed.
Any thoughts on the above and how one can persuade people to use such a structure?
It would also good if a way could be found to persuade map publishers to be consistent in showing all used airfields, and not just a selection, either all or just those with scheduled services.
From my research on ranges there are three issues:
1) One is the official name which can be more than one over time.
2) Contemporary unofficial names used in official communications eg ORB
3) Name used by locals, mainly unaware of the official name(s) and these can be throughout the life of the location.
From this I have deduced that I should record all three so that someone searching for a particular name will find an entry which may be the actual record or just a pointer to the actual record. By its nature this approach will almost certainly be incomplete but a grid reference will help confirm they have the right location.
As much as you try to convince people that a certain base was never known by the name they use it will not change their minds.
As an example, range related though, the extant direction arrow on Brean Down has caused Brean Down to be used as the name of the bombing range. It wasn't. It also wasn't Stert Flats or even Stert North, all within spitting distance, but was called Berrow Flats and closed down during the war! Airfields, military or civil have the same issue but I should allow for someone looking for Brean Down otherwise I will be told I missed one out.
It sounds like the list is of open aerodromes - it will be quite short then. I had thought there should be an up to date list for all airfields etc. If such a list was compiled, the following may help:
I would rather see a National Grid reference of the centre of the site. Lat and Long to me is meaningless
The best list to date is the Merseyside Aviation Society lists, first complied in the 1960s - at least one version had a fold-out map which was / is superb, Edited by ARG member Phil Butler but this uses Lat and Long, they also have an alternative name list
I would be careful using the word definitive for such a list as it won't be.
There is a need to define the titles 'airfield', 'aerodrome', 'landing ground', 'airport', 'farm strip' 'heliport', 'seaplane station', 'balloon station', 'airship station' etc. Some of these may need sub-groups such as AA LG and RFC LG
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