Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Warehouse Wednesday: Thatcham airport huts

Airport Hut

Wandering around the Greenham Business Park in Thatcham recently, I spotted several of these prefabricated huts dotted around between the more modern buildings. My guess is that the site used to be an airfield, possibly from WW2. The giveaway being the hanger-like buildings also present.

The huts appear to be longer than most, but the prefabs could be built any size you like thanks to the modular design. I'm pretty sure no-one expected them to last this long!

If the buildings don't interest you, perhaps one of the occupiers would - The National Needlework Archive. Who knew such a thing existed?


Stuart said...

Yes, it's the old Greenham Common Airbase where the Americans housed the nuclear missiles and where there were so many protests in the 80's. Looking at Google Maps you can see the remains of the runway behind the all the buildings.

Bill Newstead said...

Those buildings look like Air Ministry temporary brick buildings put up in large numbers during WW2. These had 4½in brick walls laid in stretcher bond reinforced by brick piers at nominal 10ft intervals and rendered on the outside. The piers can be clearly seen in your second picture.

There are some long abandoned buildings still standing in a wood where I walk my dog. The roofs are mostly gone and the walls beginning to fail but a remarkable tribute to temporary structures built using a minimum of materials and with a design life of 10 years.

Best wishes

Bill Newstead

Christopher said...

Sorry to be pedantic, but this was originally RAF [Station] Greenham Common (USAAF Station AAF-486). (I remember seeing the protesters in the 1980s.) The US[A]AF in the UK was and is based on RAF stations, even though they may be US property for all intents and purposes. But yes, we all say "airbase" and "train station" now... ;-)

Well-spotted. These buildings date from around 1941, and are to a standard design for military airfields of the period. Indeed, there is a similar grouping of four on the technical site of what was RAF Grove, not far from where I live. I suspect that when built, they weren't expected to be still in use over 75 years later!

Phil Parker said...

We don't say "Train Station" on THIS blog...