RAF Calshot

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RAF Calshot

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RAF Calshot, Hampshire has no hard runways, no perimeter track but lots of hangars and it was a very important seaplane base where aircraft & sea craft were tested, trained & raced.
Calshot opened for the Royal Naval Air Service in 1913. It expanded rapidly with WW1 and had many hangars built on the Spit. The Spit was the operational and inland the large camp for the personnel. 1917 Calshot was a Flying Boat Base and then by 1918 it became 210 TDS (Training Depot Station). This comprised of Float Seaplane Aerial Gunnery & Bomb Dropping School and The Boat Seaplane School. August 1918, 345 & 346(FB) Flights were stationed here, they were operating the Curtiss H.12 and Felixstowe flying boats. Mostly used as anti-submarine patrols.

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RAF Calshot

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Felixstowe F.2. The dazzle feature on this plane was only used on planes at Felixstowe and Great Yarmouth, to frighten the life out of the enemy and also to distinguish between friend and foe.

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Curtiss H.12.

RAF Calshot

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RAF Calshot

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RAF Calshot

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Air Ministry 1091/45 1945

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RAF Calshot

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Two camps "Top Camp, Eaglehurst Camp" and "Bottom Camp, The Spit". Accommodation/Operational.

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RNAS boat & plane crews.

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Plane crew.

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RAF Calshot

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Record Site Plan 1091/45

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RAF Calshot
Eaglehurst Camp

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A very large camp, mostly concrete block construction hutting and quite a lot of married quarters from WW1 to the 30's & the 50's
  1 Officers Mess (for 102) PB & CB.
10 Education Rooms CB.
11 Engine Shed CB.
12 Dinning Room CB.
14 Sergeants Mess CB.
27 Latrines Airmen CB.
34 Institute CB.
36 Coal & Coke Yard CB.
53a-b-c Quarters Married Airmen PB 312-3/22.
58/59 Quarters Married Officers PB 160/21.
60 Quarters Married Officers PB 79/33.
61 Quarters Married Officers PB CA/18.
62 Sewage catch pit W 1680/18.
73 Guard House.
121 Engine House PC.
PB - Permanent Brick. CB - Concrete Block. PC - Permanent Concrete. T - Timber.
/18 = 1918, /22 = 1922, etc.

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RNAS wooden hut from WW1.

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Huts before they were removed.

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Air photo of the Officers Mess.

RAF Calshot

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IWM 1917

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RAF Calshot
IWM 1917 air photo

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The basic layout and huts were kept right up until the end. This camp was built very much as a permanent site, as most buildings were made of CB - concrete block or PB - permanent brick and most of the married quarters are still in use today as private housing.

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Officers Mess drinks.

RAF Calshot

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NARA Post WW2

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RAF Calshot
WW2

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A good aerial view of the camp.

RAF Calshot

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RAF Calshot
Air-Raid Shelter

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On the left of this track it looks like an air-raid shelter from WW2 and the buildings on the right seem to be of wooden construction and could have been temporary hutting for the camp.

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Plan.

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RAF Calshot

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RAF Calshot
Married Quarters

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Tristan Close part of the RAF Married quarters with everything a married Man needs. Beds, dinning room furniture, knives, forks, spoons and even bedding would be supplied out of central stores. The down side is, if you damaged anything, you had to pay for it. These houses airmen´s married quarters possibly PB D.F.W.73/13. Based o a 1913 drawn plan.
Tristan Close - why Tristan, well a small island in the south Atlantic called Tristan De Cunha has a volcano and it erupted in 1961 and the islanders were evacuated and as Calshot camp was by then empty, they were allowed to use the houses and huts until they all returned by 1963, although I believe one lady is/was still living here.

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Tristan De Cunha.

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Tristan De Cunha families arriving in England.

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Hampshire helped the Islanders build a harbour and its now called Calshot Harbour.


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The high council of Tristan De Cunha.

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A book on the disaster.

RAF Calshot

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RAF Calshot
Married Quarters

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These married quarters were built post war (1950's) and they now are all in private hands.

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Plan.

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Families party.

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RAF Uxbridge married quarters.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
Church

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9 Church CB.
Still a church.

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Plan.

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Church.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
Eaglehurst Camp

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And this was the camp.

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Plan.

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The old main gate.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
Eaglehurst Camp

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Soon to be a cemetery if the planners have their way.

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RAF Calshot

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Google Earth 1999

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RAF Calshot
Officers Mess

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This was a lovely building, later on it was a public house and we ate a really nice sausage and mash dinner there. And I now wish I had taken loads of photos inside. It was a typical Mess building with lots of small rooms where snooker could be played and another for reading and then another for eating and of course a bar area. Some will tell you there was no bar in an RAF Mess as you asked the Mess servant to get your drinks.

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RAF bell box, if you pressed a bell button in you room, the panel would light up and a servant would see what the officer needed.

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Mess servant.

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Officers Mess.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
Married Quarters

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53, 53A & 53B Married Quarters PB 512-3/22.
Three blocks of remaining 1922 married quarters.

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Plan.

RAF Calshot

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RAF Calshot
Married Quarters

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53, 53A & 53B Married Quarters PB 512-3/22.
Three blocks of remaining 1922 married quarters.

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Plan.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
121 Engine House PC

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In here would have been two large diesel engines to be able to power the camp if the mains electric was temporarily disrupted.

RAF Calshot

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18 April 2019

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RAF Calshot
121 Engine House PC

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Plan.

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Armoured cable.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
121 Engine House PC

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Steel shutters on the windows to protect the building from a close bomb explosion. This building is called a protected type, so is slightly hardened to give it some protection from bomb blast.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
121 Engine House PC

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Inside two engine beds.

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Two standby set generators.

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RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
121 Engine House PC

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Inside two engine beds and rooms off to the right side.

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RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
121 Engine House PC

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Now this is interesting, this engine house was not only protected building as in from a close bomb blast, but also defended. It has rifle embrasures in at least two sides. And then there are the armoured shutters on the windows.

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A soldier at a pillbox embrasure.

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Le-Enfield .303 rifle.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
121 Engine House PC

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The second rifle embrasure.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
Lewis gun AA gun position

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This small mound was used as a Lewis gun AA gun position.

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Anti Aircraft Lewis gun.

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Anti Aircraft Lewis gun.


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Plan.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
Lewis gun AA gun position

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There would have been a ring of sand bags to give the gunner some protection.

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Brengun position.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
Lewis gun AA gun position

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The support for the gun.

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Lewis gun mount.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot

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In the 1920's Calshot also has the RAF Maritime Craft development and training.

RAF Calshot

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RAF Calshot
70 Projector PC.
73 Guard House.

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Well these two buildings maybe the guard house and the seating area the projector (search light).

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Search light.

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Plan.

RAF Calshot

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RAF Calshot

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Now we continue up the Spit. The railway ran on the far side of the water.

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Plan.

RAF Calshot

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Int

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RAF Calshot
The railway.

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This 2´ 0” gauge steam locomotive was built by Andrew Barclay Ltd, Kilmarnock as their No 1431 to an order which was placed in 1917 by the Admiralty, for use by the Air Service Construction Corps. In Feb 1918 delivery was made and it was put to work at RAF Manston, assisting with the construction of underground hangar. In 1921 it then was transferred to RAF Calshot where it operated on the Calshot line between the Sea Plane Base and Eaglehurst Barracks for the Air Ministry Works Dept as their No 1. This train became known as the “Calshot Express”.

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Wren.

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Wren.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
The railway

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57788 No 6 Douglas now at the Talyllyn Railway 0-4-2WT

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
The Spit, Bottom Camp

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  3 A.M.W.D. Office PB 107. Air Ministry Works Department.
  5 Detonator Store CB.
  7 Machine Gun Range PC.
10 Dining Room & Institute PB CA/224.89.
13 Barrack Block 4 NCO's & 70 A/M PB.
14 Transport Shed & Marine Store St 169.
16 Decontamination Centre Type 'J' PB 1096/39 - 1097/40.
22 'G' Shed Aeroplane Repairs, Office & Store St.
24 Power House CB.
33 'A' Shed, Dope Shop, & Drying Room T&W.
35 Carpenters Shop T&Ci .
36 Gun Turret Instructional Building St. 177722/39.
50 Technical Store T&Ci 31611/13.
63 Compass Platform T.
64 Slipway PC CAL501.
65 Pier PC &T.
66 Pump House Fire T.
67 'E' Shed Office & Drying Rooms T&Ci 14451.
68 Petrol Pump House Demolished St&Ci.
69 Petrol Meter House & Tanks 3-No. 10,000gal. PC&Sc.
70 Castle, Camera Obscurer & Telephone Exchange. Stone.
71 Gangway 'A' [Duty Look out Shelter] PC.
72 Slipway PC Cal531.
73 Gangway B PC.
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB.
77 'F' Shed & Offices.
St - steel. AsB - Asbestos. T - Tin. PC - Permanent Concrete. Ci - Corrugated Iron. W - Wood.

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RNAS.

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RNAS pilot Anthony Mantle.

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RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
The Spit, Bottom Camp

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 This is how Calshot Spit looked at the start in 1913, one [E shed 67 on plan] ARS and the 50 Sopwith ARS shed and three side by side sheds. Bell tents for air & ground crews to live in. And the old battery with four of the old Victorian guns and two later WW1 guns. Then by 1917 all the batteries were completely removed and a very large triple [H shed 76 on plan.] three linked type 'F' Admiralty Seaplane Sheds were built.

The Hangars (Sheds as they were called) were lettered A,E,H,F,G, etc.

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F Shed.

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E Shed.

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G Shed.

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Sopwith Baby.

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Sopwith Bat Boat 1912/1914.

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RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
The Spit, Bottom Camp

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  5 Detonator Store CB. is the first building you can see and its still there today used by a boat yard.
  7 Machine gun range PC 121, now removed .
10 Dining Room & Institute PB CA/224.89. has been removed.
13 Barrack Block 4 NCO's & 70 A/M PB. which is still here.
14 Transport Shed & Marine Store St 169. which makes the point that they used a lot of Motor Transport.

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Sopwith Schneider.

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WW1 artist Algernon Black seaplane RNAS.

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RFC Crosley tender leading a convoy of RFC vehicles. The RNAS would have as many vehicles as they could.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot

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Looking back along the Spit.
The RAF's High-speed Flight in the late 1920s and early 1930s were base here for the Schneider Trophy Races and 480 Coastal Reconnaissance Flight using Supermarine Southampton´s flew from here.

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Supermarine Southampton.

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Supermarine Stranraer. Also London´s, Scapa and Singapore were used in that period.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
Lecture Block

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18 Lecture Block & Instructional Room PB 1696/39 1097/40 I think? (the plan is not very clear)

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
Lecture Block

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The HSF were here to the run up to the races, where ever they were held spent the run up to the competition here.
The Coupe d'Aviation Maritime Jacques Schneider, commonly called the Schneider Trophy or Schneider Prize, was a trophy awarded annually (and later, biennially) to the winner of a race for seaplanes and flying boats. The Schneider Trophy is now held at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London. Announced in 1912 by Jacques Schneider, a French financier, balloonist and aircraft enthusiast, the competition offered a prize of £1000. The race was held twelve times between 1913 and 1931. It was intended to encourage technical advances in civil aviation but became a contest for pure speed with laps over a (usually) triangular course (initially 280 km, later 350 km). The contests were staged as time trials, with aircraft setting off individually at pre-agreed times, usually 15 minutes apart. The contests were very popular and some attracted crowds of over 200,000 spectators. An earlier trophy, also presented by Jacques Schneider in 1910, in France, was the Schneider Cup, which is now in the possession of the RAF College Cranwell. If an aero club won three races in five years, they would retain the trophy and the winning pilot would receive 75,000 francs for each of the first three wins. Each race was hosted by the previous winning country. The races were supervised by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale and the aero club in the hosting country. Each club could enter up to three competitors with an equal number of alternatives. The race was significant in advancing aeroplane design, particularly in the fields of aerodynamics and engine design, and would show its results in the best fighters of World War II. The streamlined shape and the low drag, liquid-cooled engine pioneered by Schneider Trophy designs are obvious in the British Supermarine Spitfire, the American North American P-51 Mustang, and the Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore. The Schneider Trophy is a sculpture of silver & bronze set on a marble base. It depicts a zephyr skimming the waves, and a nude winged figure is seen kissing a zephyr recumbent on a breaking wave. The heads of two other zephyrs and of Neptune, the god of the Sea, can be seen surrounded by octopus and crabs. The symbolism represents speed conquering the elements of sea and air.
Wiki.

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Jacques Schneider was a French industrial manager, licensed plane and balloon pilot, and, for a long time, held the balloon altitude record (33,074 ft.). Deprived of flying due to a serious accident, he supported various competitions and aero clubs financially

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Schneider trophy medal 1927 obverse.

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RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
Lecture Block

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18 Lecture Block & Instructional Room PB 1696/39 1097/40 I think? the plan is not very clear so some of the numbers and details are very obscure.

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Plan.

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Sunderland crew.

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Erks under instruction.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
5 Detonator Store CB.

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This building would have had an earth berm around it and an entrance made of brick and block.

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details

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Plan.

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Fuze detonators.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
5 Detonator Store CB

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This building would have had an earth berm around it and an entrance made of brick and block.

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RFC Fuze instruction.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
5 Detonator Store CB

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Concrete blocks were used to allow an access into the store but by WW2 a brick rendered overhead was added so maybe the earth berm was increased in size.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot

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The top end of the Spit.

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Plan.

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RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
13 Barrack Block 4 NCO's & 70 A/M PB.

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6 NCO's would have their own individual rooms and the men would be 70 in four large barrack rooms.

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Plan.

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RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
13 Barrack Block 4 NCO's & 70 A/M PB

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Lawrence was here for a short time as Clerk to the CO of RAF Mount Batten and did a lot of interesting and important work here with helping to design fast marine craft to be used as Air Sea Rescue and fast tenders to go out to landing seaplanes and help them in. One other job for fast boats was to drive along the aircraft Trots ( a Trot is a runway on the water for sea planes) to make sure there are no foreign objects in the water to damage the planes.

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High speed launch.

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Seaplane tender.

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RAF dingy.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
13 Barrack Block 4 NCO's & 70 A/M PB

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Plan.

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RAF.

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RFC/RNAS.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
13 Barrack Block 4 NCO's & 70 A/M PB

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Dated 1935.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
13 Barrack Block 4 NCO's & 70 A/M PB

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Looking back.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
17 Lecture Room & Instruction Room PB 1633 building.

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This is the rear of the Lecture Room which is interesting that it is orientated towards the sea.

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Plan.

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RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
17 Lecture Room & Instruction Room PB 1633 building.

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The front face looking over the sea.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
17 Lecture Room & Instruction Room PB 1633 building.

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Another nice dated block.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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We now come to a triple 'H' Shed. A three bay Type 'F' seaplane sheds, the RFC/RAF named their sheds (hangars) mostly with a letter prefix.

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RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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St - Steel (frame). AsB - Asbestos corrugated sheet covering. But it could also have Ci - corrugated iron.
A tripple Type 'F' Admiralty Seaplane Shed.

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Plan.

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Camel seaplane.

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Catalina.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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The very large door that later on a Sunderland flying boat would fit in.

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Sunderland pilot.

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Sunderland cockpit.

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Inside a Sunderland.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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Four Sunderlands outside the hangar in the 1940's.

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Attacking a submarine.

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Engine change on water.

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Bristol radial engine.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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Between the slipway and the large shed was, 22 'G' Shed Aeroplane Repairs, Office & Store St.
St - Steel.
This was another single, Type 'F' Admiralty Seaplane Shed.

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This is roughly where it would have been where a 'G' Shed sat.

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22 'G' Shed Aeroplane Repairs, Office & Store St.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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This is the southern end of the hangar.

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Plan.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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And this is the northern end of the hangar.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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Lovely paint job on the door.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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This is the 'H' shed being built, some nice RFC/RNAS lorry tenders.

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Tender Air Ministry number AM7904.

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RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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Almost finished and the planes have arrived. It looks like a Curtiss H.12 or a Felixstowe. Both look very alike.

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Felixstowe F2A.

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Supermarine Scapa.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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RAF airmen training to maintain marine craft.

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RAF Calshot

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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This is the north side of the hangar inside.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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This is the south end with the velodrome that fits nicely inside.

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RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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This is the sea side with the offices and stores along this side.

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RAF Calshot

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2018

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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All down this side would be engineering, stores, pilots room, crew room, planning, etc. In wartime a hive of activity.

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1935 Fleet Air Arm Conversion Course at RAF Calshot. Top row left to right Sgt. Joe Lane, PO Beck, PO Jurdwine [sic], PO Hards [sic], PO West.

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Ground crew at Calshot.

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RAF Calshot

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50's/60's

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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All National Service lads doing their two year stint in the airforce, sitting on the sea wall in front of the 'H' hangar.
With the war ended in 1945 Calshot slowed down like all operational units. But 1946 and the Berlin Air Lift started due to the Russians closing the land route. So Sunderlands were used to carry food into the city with a 1000 sorties.

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Sunderland flying boats supported the Berlin Airlift.

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Routes into Berlin.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

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The north side with 72 the slipway running to the left.
On 1 April 1961, the RAF base finally closed, the marine craft work being transferred to RAF Mount Batten.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

Details

Base of the winch and winch house.

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Plan.

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22 the Hangar, the yellow square the winch house and then 72 the Slipway.

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RAF winch shed.

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RAF seaplane winch.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
76 'H' Shed Pilots Room etc St & AsB

Details

This is by the winch shed and I have no idea what it is but I think it maybe a base for a pulley for the steel strop to run around from the winch to the seaplane.

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This is how it may have worked??

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
72 the Slipway PC Cal 501.

Details

The large slipway.
1939 and war started, and there was a large increase in trainees to learn the use of marine craft. Also the maintenance and modification of flying boats in the anti-submarine role. Later No.201 Sqn flew in and started anti-submarine patrols.

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Slipway in use.

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The slipway.

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Plan.

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No. 201Sqdn (Flying Boat) RAF.

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A 201Sqdn Sunderland attacking a U-Boat.

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Sunderland nose section.

RAF Calshot

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2018

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RAF Calshot
70 Castle, Camera Obscurer & Telephone Exchange. Stone.

Details

The Castle built for Henry VIII to defend the port of Southampton. Here it was used for, flying control, offices, telephone exchange, camera obscurer and also as a defence site for the Spit.

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Camera Obscurer.

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The way the RAF used a camera obscura.

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PBX Private Branch Exchange telephone system.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
70 Castle, Camera Obscurer & Telephone Exchange. Stone.

Details

I do like the way the RAF plan states that the Castle was built in Stone. Typical detail of a Civil Servant in the Air Ministry.

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Henry VIII.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
70 Castle, Camera Obscurer & Telephone Exchange. Stone.

Details

Probably a WW1 defence gun on the tower.

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RAF Regiment defence troops.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
67 'E' Shed & Drying Rooms T &Ci 14451 (possibly 144/16)

Details

This area has now been taken up by the coastguard and RNLI.

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RNLI Yarmouth class boat.

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RNLI inshore boat.

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Air-Sea.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
67 'E' Shed & Drying Rooms T &Ci 14451 (possibly 144/16)

Details

And this is how it looked with the 'E' Shed, a General Service Shed with one opening on he west side.

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'E' Shed closed end.

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'E' Shed with Esavian sliding doors.

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An advert for Esavian Bi-folding doors that were fitted to this hangar..

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The Belfast Truss principle.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
77 'F' Shed & Offices St&Ci Schneider Hangar

Details

Admiralty 'F' Type 'F' Admiralty Seaplane Shed 100ft span x 200ft length and 28ft heigh. Made originally with steel supports and corrugated iron cladding. This is a lovely example sitting very proud on the Spit.

There are two Suffixes here using 'F'. The first 'F' is the sheds name here on Calshot. All of the sheds were lettered A,E,H,F,G, etc. But its designated A.M. building name was also an 'F' Type Admiralty Seaplane Shed.

Confusing.com or what.

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End view of an 'F' Shed.

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An 'F' Shed under construction.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
77 'F' Shed & Offices St&Ci Schneider Hangar

Details

Completely re clad now.

RAF Calshot

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2006

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RAF Calshot
77 'F' Shed & Offices St&Ci Schneider Hangar

Details

The Z brassing along the front to strengthen the front face as there are no uprights allowing a full width opening. I have superimposed a Curtiss H.12 which has a span of 92 ft 8 1/2 inches. The hangar is 200ft wide.
1961 the RAF left and by 1964 Hampshire CC bought the lease on the land to turn it into an activity centre.

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Supermarine S5 flight testing at Calshot one month prior to 1927 Schneider Trophy race at Venice.

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1929 Schneider Trophy Race scoreboard.

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2006

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50 Technical Store T&Ci 31611/13

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This is a lovely 1913/14 Belfast Truss ARS hangar.
ARS - Aircraft Repair Shed
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This hangar was built for the Sopwith Bat Boat plane.

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2006

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50 Technical Store T&Ci 31611/13

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I feel its dimensions are a bit lower than the 20ft height given for most ARS sheds.

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How the roof works.

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This is a standard ARS shed and it does look a lot higher.

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2006

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50 Technical Store T&Ci 31611/13

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Looking up into the skylights.

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2006

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50 Technical Store T&Ci 31611/13

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They do look half doors?? also if I remember the floor is a timber floor and not earth or concrete. Originally they could have been made with just a hard earth floor, but later most had concreted ones.

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This is a full height door at RAF Old Sarum.

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2006

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50 Technical Store T&Ci 31611/13

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Post 1945 and ASWDU arrive. Anti-Submarine Development Unit. Also 235 OCU. Operational Conversion Unit.

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2006

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I cannot find any details of this building yet.
16 September 1946 to 16 February 1949 No.230 Sqn arrived with Sunderland Mk. V.

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2006

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But it does have a nice emblem on the wall.

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It may even out date the camp.

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Along here were a row of houses/coastguard cottages.

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2006

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This is Short Sunderland GRV RAF 230Sqn 4XZ VZ577 during engine tests. You can see the Coastguard cottages behind the Sunderlands right wing.
Also not the refuelling barge alongside the pier.

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2006

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The Princess Flying Boats

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Post war and these were to be the last thing in air transport comfort, huge seaplanes with a passenger capacity of 105. Only one Princess ever flew, for just under 98 hours of testing. The other two were completed but quickly mothballed, since BOAC had already abandoned flying boats nearly two years earlier. Saunders-Roe promoted the SR.45 as a long-range troop carrier, but the British had no need, since they were giving up their east-of-Suez empire. NASA briefly thought of buying a Princess to carry Saturn V rockets from Huntsville, Alabama, to Cape Canaveral, Florida, and the U.S. Navy entertained the idea of having Convair re-power the boats with experimental nuclear reactors. Neither notion panned out. The three Princesses, their airframes having corroded while in storage, were scrapped by 1967.

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2006

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looking back at the Spit.
After flying stopped No.238 M.U. maintenance of marine craft stayed here until closure 1st April 1961.

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2006

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