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TOPIC: Birch

Birch 28 Jan 2009 17:12 #1

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[img]http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/ALL OTHER PHOTOS/DJA/2007-1.jpg
Taken in 2007 by DJA

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Birch 10 Jun 2010 16:51 #2

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I found this today, not sure if it is something to do with the Airfield

Located Here www.flashearth.com/?lat=51.833996&lon=0....2&z=16.9&r=0&src=msl

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Last Edit: by netcompsys.

Birch 21 Aug 2010 16:21 #3

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I went back again today to get some shots of the ramp I mentioned in the Metfield thread! And got a few more of a building I never knew exsisted - according to the people who live there(who I asked to wander about being the gracious soul that I am :-)) it was an Officer's mess. I had to take some caution when approaching it as there are numerous beehives both inside and outside the building, and wearing a high miz motorbike jacket was just asking for trouble! LOL...

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Chris
ETOPS - Engines Turn Or Pax Swim!...
Last Edit: by netcompsys. Reason: broken links to photo removed

Birch 10 Jun 2011 13:42 #4

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I can add some more information about Birch Airfield. In 2006 I surveyed the whole site (Airfield and Dispersed Sites) as part of the ongoing Essex County Council project to record every World War Two defensive structure remaining in the County. The project started in 1995 and is not yet complete (funding issues!). Working from the original plans dated November 1944 I investigated the sites of every structure. What remains of the Airfield site are, as already stated, the three runways (albeit considerably reduced in width), with runway 3 now a public road, Blind Lane; two perimeter tracks, adjacent to runways 1 and 2; 4 loop dispersals at the north end of runway 3 and the Main Stores (Technical), the Romney Hut shown in previous photos. Of the Dispersed sites, there is the concrete plinth of a fuel storage tank for an adjoining standby set house, the Commanding Officer's Quarters (the brick building shown in previous photos), the remains of a latrine block and a large number of concrete plinths of accomodation blocks in both Layer and Pod's Woods. Most of the roads built to connect the dispersed sites remain as farm tracks. For further information, including the 2006 surveys of Wormingford and Boxted Airfields, see 'Survey of World War Two Defences in the Borough of Colchester, Volumes 1 & 2', of which there are 4 copies in the Local Studies section of Colchester Library (1 set for loan, 1 set for reference).Photos of items not shown in previous posts are attached.

[IMG]/community/76729=4858-Birch Airfield Plinth of Standby Set House Fuel Tank.jpg

[IMG]/community/76729=4857-Birch Airfield Plinth of Latrine Block.jpg
[IMG]/community/76729=4854-Birch Airfield Latrine Block.jpg

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Birch 11 Jun 2011 07:38 #5

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Welcome to AiX John and thanks for the photographs.

Recording every WW2 defence structure in the county is a full time job. Be aware that Airfield Record Site Plans often do not show true defence positions such as pillboxes, gunpits etc and even multiple field visits through the year can reveal new remains.

I should have thought that a project of this size would have called heavily upon inputs from amateur historians/enthusiasts albeit in a prescribed format.

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Birch 13 Jun 2011 10:58 #6

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The recording is being done by amateur historians/archaeologists, under the direction of the County Military Archaeologist, who writes all the final reports. Essex is, I think, unique in having a complete set of the 'Wartime Contraventions' which list nearly all defence sites built on private land during the war (although, of course, these do not cover military establishments, including airfields). For the record, there were 74 A3 pages covering the Borough of Colchester, and there are now 389 sites photographed and recorded in text. Some of the more important ones will, hopefully, receive statutory protection.

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Birch 13 Jun 2011 12:18 #7

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JohnHeritage;76910 wrote: Some of the more important ones will, hopefully, receive statutory protection.


It's great to know an official body is trying to do something to preserve these sites. I hope you're successful in getting some protection in place.
Recently, the owner of the Administration building at Matching Airfield secured planning approval from Epping Forest District Council to convert it into a 2 bedroom bungalow. I had been assured by Lizzie Haynes (Head of Planning Conservation at EFDC) less than a year before that ALL the buildings at Matching were 'locally listed' and it would be almost impossible for anyone to get planning approval for anything. I even sent her a number of emails with plans & photos to ensure all the buildings I was aware of were 'on the list'. Although the Admin block was in a poor state, it's still a shame that planning was granted - another building lost forever. :sad:

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Birch 20 Jun 2011 12:48 #8

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I would refer you to the Matching thread on this, where I have posted links to the plans. As it stands, the Admin block and the Norden Store have both had consent granted to convert them into dwellings, that the existing buildings are considered to be of 'considerable historical interest', and therefore are not to be demolished. The submitted and approved drawings clearly show the existing buildings, without additions or extensions.

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Birch 09 Jun 2012 20:24 #9

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Hi Guys,
Thanks for posting info, my wife and i drove on part of runway last summer, i plan to take the jeep back soon.
While on subject of this runway- my gt aunt told me that when they were looking to find this site the, other option was Weeley Heath (where they lived) has anyone else heard this or where could i find any info???

Thanks Gerry

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Birch 10 Jun 2012 08:22 #10

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Be aware that Weeley Heath was planned, but never built, along with nearby surveyed sites at Little Clacton and Beaumont-cum-Moze.
See Roger Freeman's Mighty Eighth War Manual for more info on the "planned" Essex airfields.

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