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Henry Pond

Coal Aston Aerodrome, and Alcock and Brown

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Looking at the pictures on picture Sheffield, I found a few that piqued my curiosity. There is a picture of the Great Yorkshire show, Coal Aston Aerodrome ( http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=u03685 ), showing a large area, apparently nothing like, or near the place at the top of Dyche lane.

There are some other aerial photos of the site, and the implication ( http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s15316 ) is that it occupied space to the South East of the Norton Hotel, around what is now Gilders and Meadowhead college, and not what I would call Coal Aston at all.

Another photo shows a Vickers Vimy there - and a search then turned up this:

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/vie...20-%201020.html

Does anyone know more about:

The Aerodrome - it appears to still have had some purpose in 1920 ( http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written...aston-aerodrome ), it wasn't a small site and can't have been secret, so why don't we know more?

or

The visit of these flight pioneers to Sheffield?

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Looking at the pictures on picture Sheffield, I found a few that piqued my curiosity. There is a picture of the Great Yorkshire show, Coal Aston Aerodrome ( http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=u03685 ), showing a large area, apparently nothing like, or near the place at the top of Dyche lane.

There are some other aerial photos of the site, and the implication ( http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s15316 ) is that it occupied space to the South East of the Norton Hotel, around what is now Gilders and Meadowhead college, and not what I would call Coal Aston at all.

Another photo shows a Vickers Vimy there - and a search then turned up this:

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/vie...20-%201020.html

Does anyone know more about:

The Aerodrome - it appears to still have had some purpose in 1920 ( http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written...aston-aerodrome ), it wasn't a small site and can't have been secret, so why don't we know more?

or

The visit of these flight pioneers to Sheffield?

Hi Henry

It was called Coal Aston because it was huge and Meadowhead was just one corner of it. I guess it was as close to Coal Aston as to Sheffield at the time.

Have a look at post 22 on this thread

http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/i...mp;hl=aerodrome

Bayleaf

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Hi Henry

It was called Coal Aston because it was huge and Meadowhead was just one corner of it. I guess it was as close to Coal Aston as to Sheffield at the time.

Have a look at post 22 on this thread

http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/i...mp;hl=aerodrome

Bayleaf

Thanks for that. Could it be that some remains lasted until the 60's? The land to the east of Rowlinson, where the Graves tennis centre is, and just to the North, now Bochum parkway, used to be known as "the admiralty", and there were still bits of concrete and hard standing scattered around at that time.

It does look huge though, so surprised there's so little information about it.

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Thanks for that. Could it be that some remains lasted until the 60's? The land to the east of Rowlinson, where the Graves tennis centre is, and just to the North, now Bochum parkway, used to be known as "the admiralty", and there were still bits of concrete and hard standing scattered around at that time.

It does look huge though, so surprised there's so little information about it.

Could well be. On the other Forum some while ago the subject came up, and an ex-pupil of Meadowhead said that over a lot of the site, there was a concrete surface below the grass which he was told was part of the remains of the airfield site.

Not sure about the Admiralty, but there have been a number of Admiralty establishments in and around Sheffield. I've always thought it odd so far from the sea!

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Not sure about the Admiralty, but there have been a number of Admiralty establishments in and around Sheffield. I've always thought it odd so far from the sea!

At least it means the enemy's ships couldn't get to you.

Perhaps it was something to do with armaments?

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Hi Henry

It was called Coal Aston because it was huge and Meadowhead was just one corner of it. I guess it was as close to Coal Aston as to Sheffield at the time.

Have a look at post 22 on this thread

http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/i...mp;hl=aerodrome

Bayleaf

So it was bigger than it appears then.

Big enough for aircraft to land and take off from

In fact, as has already been stated in the other thread, it could have been a candidate for Sheffields Civilian airport at one time.

What an opportunity missed!

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Looking at the pictures on picture Sheffield, I found a few that piqued my curiosity. There is a picture of the Great Yorkshire show, Coal Aston Aerodrome ( http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=u03685 ), showing a large area, apparently nothing like, or near the place at the top of Dyche lane.

Strange that in 1920's Coal Aston was in Derbyshire so why was the "Great Yorkshire Show" there. I think maybe the picture is not taken over Coal Aston.

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Strange that in 1920's Coal Aston was in Derbyshire so why was the "Great Yorkshire Show" there. I think maybe the picture is not taken over Coal Aston.

According to the Great Yorkshire Show site, the show was held at various locations, but throughout Yorkshire. More research needed I think.

Thus the wheels were set in motion and the first Yorkshire Show was held in Fulford, York, in 1838. Attendance figures were not recorded until 1842 when the Show was held in York. The figure was 6,044. In the early years, in common with other shows, the Yorkshire was peripatetic. It was held in all the main centres of population - no fewer than 30 towns in the three ridings.

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So it was bigger than it appears then.

Big enough for aircraft to land and take off from

In fact, as has already been stated in the other thread, it could have been a candidate for Sheffields Civilian airport at one time.

What an opportunity missed!

I did not realise the extent of what was Coal Aston airfield before, but looking at PictureSheffield I agree it appears to have been sited in the area between Meadowhead and Coal Aston, around Dyches Ln. I always assumed the references to Coal Aston airfield referred to the grass landing strip at Aperknowle.

It just goes to show you can learn something new every day on Sheffieldhistory.co.uk :)

This might explain some of the other military sites at Meadowhead, namely the TA centre, which has been totally rebuilt in recent years, originally it was quite an old group of buildings.

Also there was a ROC underground site at Meadowhead, which I think was lost due to road widening outside the entrance to the Transport Club, the air vent to this was visible for many years.

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All being well I will try and get to the central library tomorrow lunch time

In my other thread on Sheffield places Now Gone / Norton Aerodrome Bayleaf made some references to a book and information about this airfield. Perhaps Bayleaf would be able to help out here as the information being asked looks fairly similar.

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This site has three entries for Coal Aston airfield. Scroll down the list. :http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/06airfields/UK/Airfields_1.htm

Yes, found that yesterday. Unfortunately it looks wrong!

The first of the 3 entries is marked as WW1 and No 2 Aircraft Repair depot, but has the same grid reference as the second entry, which is the grass strip at Apperknowle.

The last entry is commented as " Earlier airfield - but not the WW1 site." and the grid reference of N 53 20 W 01 29 would put it somewhere North and West of the Norton Hotel, Given that the old Jordanthorpe North (Boys) school site is at N 53 19 35 W 01 28 17, I think they've got it wrong - unless (Sounf of can of worms opening), there really was an even earlier strip around there.

Whilst looking around, I did find a piece in the flight magazine archives "Sheffield Returns to the Dark Ages" about aircraft being banned from landing in preparation for the 1936 Great Yorkshire Show. It also says "... it is rumoured that the ban will remain, and that the site will be used by the Corporation for housing."

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Sounds promising, keep digging eh?

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Sounds promising, keep digging eh?

I have been to Sheffield Library today, copied the document Henry Pond mentions in a previous post, also have some copies from a book "Norton at War" copied the WW1 pages.

Seems this site was huge, need to take it all in before posting, watch this space.

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The info I found was in a book called 'Bailey to Bailey' by Stephen Johnson. It's in the library, and so is Stephen, he's a member of staff in the Local Studies Library!

All the info in the book is in the posting on the other thread. He might be able to 'help with enquiries though?!

I wonder if the subject is clouded by boundaries? In the same book it refers to the first flight in Sheffield being at Redmires before WW1. If there was an airfield at Coal Aston at the time it wouldn't have counted as Sheffield would it. But it would be a logical place for early flights, Redmires was simply a usable field at the time, it was only an airfield briefly during WW1 as a night landing field for aircraft defending South Yorkshire from the beastly Hun. :angry:

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The info I found was in a book called 'Bailey to Bailey' by Stephen Johnson. It's in the library, and so is Stephen, he's a member of staff in the Local Studies Library!

All the info in the book is in the posting on the other thread. He might be able to 'help with enquiries though?!

I wonder if the subject is clouded by boundaries? In the same book it refers to the first flight in Sheffield being at Redmires before WW1. If there was an airfield at Coal Aston at the time it wouldn't have counted as Sheffield would it. But it would be a logical place for early flights, Redmires was simply a usable field at the time, it was only an airfield briefly during WW1 as a night landing field for aircraft defending South Yorkshire from the beastly Hun. :angry:

Once again I have failed to fully read a previous topic, I have now.

Glancing through the information I have copied from the library today, the place at Meadowhead was huge, it even had its own light railway.

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Landing Ground 33 Squadron A Flight

In 1915 work started to prepare a landing area south of Norton Lane and west of Jordanhorpe House. (East of Dyches Ln, present Norton College/Graves Tennis Centre)

The airfield was brought into use in March 1916 as the landing ground for 'A' flight 33 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, equipped with B.E.2c aircraft. They remained at the airfield until October 1916 mainly on night patrol duties.

Coal Aston was the only Landing ground in the Sheffield area to continue to be in use after 1916, chiefly because the main use of the site changed.

No.2 (Northern)Aircraft Repair Depot, RFC Greenhill, Sheffield

Workshops and hangars were erected, forming the No.2 (Northern) Aircraft Repair Sepot (No.2 (N)ARD). This was one of seven repair depots, local builders were employed in the construction, however much of the labour was provided by POW's who were held there.

The site eventually covered a wide area, Jordanthorpe house in the east to the present Greenhill Avenue in the west and from Little Norton in the North to the fields well down Dyche Ln towards Coal Aston in the south.

The establishment comprised of three camps housing the large number of personnel (two for airmen and one for women), a stores depot, an engine and transmission repair depot and an aeroplane repair depot, plus the original landing ground.

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1875 OS map with the camp drawn on

Very little of the camp is on the 1923 OS map, only camps 1 & 3 are shown

There is a scale plan in Sheffield Archives.

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Camp Detail North of Norton Lane

The 3 personnel camps were north of Norton Ln

Camps 1 & 2 Mens Camps

Each consisted of around 30 80' x 15' huts, plus bath house, ablusions and latrines. There were also the regimental store, managers quarters,guard room, cook house, kitchen, wash up and drying room. Each camp also had a boiler house.

Camp No.3 Womens Camp

Similar to the mens camp except the buildings had brickwalls, as apposed to wood and asbestos in the men's camp. After the war this became the "Painted Fabrics" workshops for ex servicemen.

The Stores Depot

The Stores depot completes the area north of Norton Ln, including Stores HQ, Depot HQ and Post Office. There was also a Tailors, Shoemaker, Bread Store, Timber Store and a Large General Storage building.

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Camp Detail South of Norton Lane

Engine and Mechanical Transport Repair

This was sited in the area bounded by Vhesterfield Rd, Norton Ln and Dyches Ln, the old Meadowhead school site now the Gilders dealership.

Link to PictureSheffield

The workshops included Test Bench Buildings, Smith's Shop, Vulcan Shop, Receiving Shed, Loco Shed, Repair Garage and Engine Packing Shed.

Aeroplane Repair Section

Link to PictureSheffield

Link to PictureSheffield

This was sited across Dyche Ln from the EMTR on the site of the present Sheffield College and Graves Tennis Centre. It is thought there were 4 hangoars measuring 160' x 75' and a Salvage Shed measuring 150' x 150'

The Light Railway

This was used to convey heavey materials from the Engine Repair Workshops across Dyche Ln to the Aeroplane Repiar Section. in total 4 locomotives were used at this site.

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Could well be. On the other Forum some while ago the subject came up, and an ex-pupil of Meadowhead said that over a lot of the site, there was a concrete surface below the grass which he was told was part of the remains of the airfield site.

Not sure about the Admiralty, but there have been a number of Admiralty establishments in and around Sheffield. I've always thought it odd so far from the sea!

Hi,

The Admiralty presence in Sheffield was in connection with armaments. Its title full title was the Admiralty Inspectorate and its main office/worshops were on Jansen Street, Attercliffe. This was obviously a vunerable location once WWII began so it would have made sense to have one or more locations away from the East end.

My wife attended Rowlinson School when it first opened in 1953. She remembers a sinister set of buildings on the East side of the school property (towards Norton) enclosed by a very secure enclosure - that is a strong masonry wall topped with broken glass and a barbed wire entaglement. This was always know as the "Admiralty". It had its own secuity.

One thing she does remember about the place was if a ball went over the fence from the school side, it was never ever returned.

Regards

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Hi,

The Admiralty presence in Sheffield was in connection with armaments. Its title full title was the Admiralty Inspectorate and its main office/worshops were on Jansen Street, Attercliffe. This was obviously a vunerable location once WWII began so it would have made sense to have one or more locations away from the East end.

My wife attended Rowlinson School when it first opened in 1953. She remembers a sinister set of buildings on the East side of the school property (towards Dyce Lane) enclosed by a very secure enclosure - that is a strong masonry wall topped with a barbed wire entaglement and broken glass. This was always know as the "Admiralty". It had its own secuity. One thing she does remember about the place was if a ball went over the fence from the school side, it was never ever returned.

Regards

I always seem to forget or am easily confused, was Rowlinson School what is now Norton College and there were 2 Meadowhead Schools (Boys and Girls) on the Greenhill/Lowedgees side of Dyche Ln.

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Looking at the pictures on picture Sheffield, I found a few that piqued my curiosity. There is a picture of the Great Yorkshire show, Coal Aston Aerodrome ( http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=u03685 ), showing a large area, apparently nothing like, or near the place at the top of Dyche lane.

There are some other aerial photos of the site, and the implication ( http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s15316 ) is that it occupied space to the South East of the Norton Hotel, around what is now Gilders and Meadowhead college, and not what I would call Coal Aston at all.

Another photo shows a Vickers Vimy there - and a search then turned up this:

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/vie...20-%201020.html

Does anyone know more about:

The Aerodrome - it appears to still have had some purpose in 1920 ( http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written...aston-aerodrome ), it wasn't a small site and can't have been secret, so why don't we know more?

or

The visit of these flight pioneers to Sheffield?

Hello,

Ref photo #15316 in your post. I recall the building shown in the lower left corner of the photo, end-on to Chesterfield Road was still there well after the war. I don't know if it was still there as late as 1960. I seem to recall that there were other buildings close to it and these may aslo have been survivors from the engine repair section.

After the War, maybe in the War also, there were a number of different engineering businesses operating at that location.

I'll stick my kneck out and say one was called Marston Excelsior. I think they made/repaired heat exchangers but just what they did during the war I couldn't say.

Regards

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