After yet another enforced spell in hospital, I finally had the opportunity to visit what is for me No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadrons spiritual home, Downham Market. My guide on this occasion was Chris Coverdale, the leading authority on this aerodrome. Chris and I spent almost 8 hours walking around this once active front line station. Chris, who spent his youth roaming the station talked me through every remaining building and with the generosity of Mr Eves and the local farm manager I was allowed assess to many buildings that would generally be out of bounds. Over the coming weeks I will be loading the photographs taken.
A wonderful photograph depicting the Short Stirlings of No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron as they taxi towards Downham Markets runway A during the winter of 1942/43.
The same view in 2015. The sound of the Bristol Hercules are replaced by song-birds on a peaceful summers day.
Stirling “S” Sugar of “B” Flight ready for action. Note the other dispersed Stirlings doted in the background. The wooded area behind is Oak Woods.
The same view in 2015. The concrete in the foreground is all that remains of Downham Markets many dispersal hard stands.
The crew locker room.
Inside the crew locker room. The large double doors are a post war addition.
The former locker room door in poor condition.
Just visible after 70 years. A Flight entrance into the locker room.
The drying room. Behind the doors on the right was a corridor that joined the crew locker room. This is probably one of the best preserved buildings on the airfield.
The floor level heating vent which was used to heat up the drying room.
Inside fusing shed.
Once a place of activity, now stands quiet.
The communal Site No.1 Mess.