RAF Rollestone

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RAF Rollestone

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1916 RFC No.1 Balloon School.
1918 RAF No.1 Balloon School.
1936 RAF No.2 Balloon Training Centre.
1939 RAF Anti-Gas School.
1945 RAF No.657 (AOP) Sqn.
1946 RAF transferred to Army.
1967 used as an ammunition store (whilst Fargo was being re built).
1980 used as a civilian prison. POW/interned Argentinians.
1970 Shorts used it for target drones.
In between the camp is used as a concentration of units forming to exorcise on the Plain.

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RAF Rollestone

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RAF Rollestone

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RAF Rollestone

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1308/31/45

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RAF Rollestone
The plan was not easy to read.

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RAF Plan 1931 and still being used for 1945.
1a - Washing Platform.
  2 - Petrol Store.
  3 - M.T. Shed.
  4 - Map & Lecture Rm.
  5 - Church etc.
  6 - Gymnasium.
  7- Main Store.
  9 - Magazine & Water Tank over.
10 - Single Officers Qrs.
11 - Single Officers Qrs.
12 - Single Officers Qrs
13 - Latrines.
14 - Latrines.
15 - Officers Mess.
24 + 30 - Barrack Block.
44 - Institute, Dinning, Cook-house.
45 - Sergeants Mess.
47 - Tennis Courts Hard Officers.
48 - Contractors Shop.
49 Compressor House.
50 - Bottle Rack.
51 Soda & Silicol Store.
52 - Nissen Hangar.
53 - Kite Balloon Hangar Two Bay.
54 + 55 - Garage.
57 - Tennis Courts N.C.O.'s & Airmen.
58 - Tool Shed.

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RAF Rollestone

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25 September 2004

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RAF Rollestone

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Rollestone from the Devizes/Salisbury road looking north.

RAF Rollestone

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Google

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RAF Rollestone

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Camp.

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Plan

RAF Rollestone

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Fuller Amesbury 1960's

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RAF Rollestone

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Air photo looking west taken by Mr Fuller from a Scout helicopter of the Army Air Corps around 1960.

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1913

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1918

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OS today.

RAF Rollestone

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06 May 2019

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RAF Rollestone
Battle Head Quarters

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Battle Head Quarters.
in 1939 to about 1942, the RAF decided that their camps and airfields needed a defence against airborne attack, be that parachute or Gliderborne. So elaborate defences were added and also air-raid shelters were built and trenches dug. This is the BHQ where the camp Commandant would control the battle from by directing his defence units. A phone system would be used and runners employed.

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Home Guard.

RAF Rollestone

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Nick Mort

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RAF Rollestone
Battle Head Quarters

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The CO could look out from here and the view would have been a lot better than today. Note the roof has two wells in it. This would have been filled with earth and grassed over. Added camouflage and some protection. You can see the chicane entrance into the bunker.

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Plan.

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RAF Rollestone

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Nick Mort

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RAF Rollestone
Battle Head Quarters

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Steel struts to hold the concrete roof.

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AA defence.

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RAF Rollestone

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39 June 2017

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RAF Rollestone
Battle Head Quarters

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BHQ on the right and the first air-raid shelter and behind part of the original sewage system.

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Plan.

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Stanton air-raid shelter.

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Assembling.

RAF Rollestone

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16 July 2006

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RAF Rollestone
Officers Quarters

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Single Officers quarters 10, 11 & 12 on plan.

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Plan.

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RAF Rollestone

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29 June 2017

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RAF Rollestone
Officers Quarters

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Temporary Brick hutting.

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The design of the TB hut.

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Plan of an 8217/40 type hut.

RAF Rollestone

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29 June 2017

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RAF Rollestone
Officers Quarters

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RAF Rollestone

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Anti-Gas School                                                                                                                1943 Gas School at RAF Rollestone.

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RAF Rollestone

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Members of the No.1 Balloon School just after WW1 still in their rap around Putties.
Just look at the medals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second picture is a 1943 staff photo with also an American Officer in the front row.

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Officers Putties.

RAF Rollestone

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Staff and Families 1939   from John Weeks                                                                                  Staff from John Weeks

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RAF Rollestone
1939

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With the start of WW2 the staff and their families got together with a pile of sand and sand bags to fill and place around the camp. "All hands on deck".
The story of the two photos are that they were kindly sent to me by a Mr John Weeks from Lincolnshire. His father the camps Warrant Officer (black asterisk on the top photo) seen here filling sand bags in 1939. It looks like all ranks of the staff are involved and also wives and children. Even a 'wooden privy' in the back ground.

 

 

 

 

In the second picture it says "My Father and fellow Officers" (white asterisk). So this must be at a later date after WO Weeks became an Officer and I believe became CO of the camp.

RAF Rollestone

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16 July 2006

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RAF Rollestone
Latrine.

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There are two here on the plan.
13 - Officers Latrines & 14 - Batman's Latrines.

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Plan.

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Looks very like this 9026/41 wartime airfield latrine.

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9026/41 plan.

RAF Rollestone

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16 July 2006

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RAF Rollestone
Old wooden huts.

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They maybe RAF wooden huts

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Air vent and weather vane.

RAF Rollestone

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30 May 2015

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RAF Rollestone
Second or northern Gate

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The entrance into the camp, loads of CCTV and barbed wire.

RAF Rollestone

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Fuller Amesbury 1960's

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RAF Rollestone
Mr Fuller Amesbury's 1960's photos

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Red crosses have all been removed.
ARS - Air-Raid Shelters.
EWS - Emergency Water Supply.

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Fire pump for EWS.

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Air-Raid shelter being constructed.

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RAF Rollestone

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00-00-0029 June 2017

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RAF Rollestone
24ft Nissen huts

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Dining room & kitchen.

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RAF Rollestone

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30 May 2015

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RAF Rollestone
24ft Nissen huts

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Dining room.

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The kitchen looks to be the top hut.

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24ft Nissen Hut.

RAF Rollestone

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30 May 2015

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RAF Rollestone
Army wooden huts.

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I am sure in the past these were wooden huts, on the next picture they are shown as Hand Craft huts.

RAF Rollestone

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Fuller Amesbury 1960's

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RAF Rollestone
Hand Craft Huts

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These huts were made of asbestos/cement angled corrugated sheeting and bricked up ends.

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Hand Craft Hut.

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A photo of Mr Fuller from the Scout helicopter.

RAF Rollestone

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30 May 2015

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RAF Rollestone
Huts

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Army, Prison, POW, these huts have had a varied use.

RAF Rollestone

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27 December 2016

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RAF Rollestone
1932 coupled balloon sheds

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The two Bay Kite balloon hangar.
After conference held at the Air Ministry in 1932, approval was given for a low altitude balloon barrage section to be formed in 1934. Three new balloons in 1935 of (LZ) type were sent to Larkhill (Rollestone) to form a barrage flight. The (LZ) Balloon was 62ft long, 25ft diameter and filled with 19,000 cu. ft. of Hydrogen. (from Military Airfield Architecture by Paul Francis).

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(LZ) Balloon.

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Winch lorry.

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Gas bottles with Hydrogen.

RAF Rollestone

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22 February 2015

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RAF Rollestone
1932 coupled balloon sheds

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Two doors each side and all opening right up the allow large barrage balloons access.
Throughout the 1920's Rollestone had been associated with balloon training. In 1932 the balloon storage hangars of Bessonneau type, which were easily damaged in the wind, were replaced by a large double shed capable of holding two inflated balloons. The unit was named No.2 Balloon Training Unit, which was transferred from No.22 Group to No.24 Group, Training Command, in December 1936. The unit moved to Cardington on 1 February 1939. In the following June, with the building of additional accommodation, the camp was re opened as the RAF Anti-Gas School, providing training for specialist RAF personnel and all unit and flight commanders throughout the war. From "The Royal Air Force; Re-Armement 1939 to 1939"

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The large double doors open.

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Balloon training.

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RAF Rollestone

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Fuller Amesbury 1960's

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RAF Rollestone
Balloon area

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The two balloon hangars and to their right a (double bomb store?) The original reason that Rollestone was used by the Army as a balloon school was that the balloons could be pushed into gaps in the trees to protect them from prevailing westerly winds.

RAF Rollestone

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16 July 2006

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RAF Rollestone
1932 coupled balloon sheds

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I am not sure what they are used for now. The doors have been filled in and one has a roller shutter door fitted.

RAF Rollestone

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No.1 Balloon School 1918

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RAF Rollestone
Rollestone (Larkhill) 1918

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No.1 Balloon Training School (S.W. Area : No. 2 Balloon Training Wing). There are three oblong sections cut into the woodland called Balloon Beds, where balloons could be stored out of the wind.
Function: - Advance training of Officers as Balloon Observers.
     Subject taught: - Advanced map-reading, Artillery Co-operation.
     Length of Course - 1 Month.
     Pupil capacity - 24.
     Pupil output - Max. 24 per month.
Establishment: -
300 Staff.
24 Motor Transport.

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Kite balloon on the western front.

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German balloon shot down.

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A British balloonist jumping over the trenches.

RAF Rollestone

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Balloon School

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RAF Rollestone
Army Balloon School

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Part of the original Army Balloon School.

RAF Rollestone

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00-00-00

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RAF Rollestone
Salisbury Plain

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An early balloon out on Salisbury Plain where Army Officers could be trained as observers.
Ballooning for artillery support started before the American Civil War. British Army Officers, visited both sides of the American armies and took ballooning on board. The first time they were used in real anger was in the Boer war

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Boer war ballooning.

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Boer war ballooning.

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American Civil war, these often were powered by coal gas that was easy to get from electrical generating plants in large cities.

RAF Rollestone

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RAF Museum

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RAF Rollestone
WW1

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A WW1 balloon being readied to rise above the trenches on the Western Front..

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Vickers Kite Balloon

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Royal Field Artillery. My Grandfather was in the RFA in WW1 on Salisbury Plain and France.

RAF Rollestone

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00-00-00

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RAF Rollestone
The Men

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WW1 Soldiers at Rollestone Camp.

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Observation.

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Observation interrupted.

RAF Rollestone

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1936                                                                                                                 Doors open 1960's

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RAF Rollestone
1932 coupled balloon sheds

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A pre WW2 photo of the Balloon sheds in use with a winch lorry ready to take the balloon in tow.

 

 

 

 

A 1960's picture of the shed with its doors open before CIRCO took them over and replaced them.

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Plan.

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Collecting coal gas.

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Gas cylinders.

RAF Rollestone

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16 October 2011

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RAF Rollestone
52 Nissen Hangar

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Nissen Hangar. Not sure about the RAF description as I believe its Belfast Truss roof.

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Plan.

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Belfast truss design.

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RAF Rollestone

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30 May 2015

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RAF Rollestone
52 Nissen Hangar.

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A second floor gas been added and turned into offices.

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Plan.

RAF Rollestone

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30 May 2015

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RAF Rollestone
Bomb Storage

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These could be ammunition/small arms/aircraft bombs??

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Plan.

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RAF Rollestone

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Google

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RAF Rollestone
Bomb Storage

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Bomb Storage from the air.

RAF Rollestone

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30 May 2015

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RAF Rollestone

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