Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bygone days

Mid September: In my last post I mentioned that one of the places I took my Mum was to the Bottisham Airfield Museum Open Day. The Museum lies along the NCN51 Sustrans Route (in Bottisham) and I have cycle past it a few times now so rather than pass it I thought I’d take my Mum along for a Sunday outing. It must be a little strange though seeing events in your lifetime in a “Museum”. Of course I mean my Mum’s lifetime – I’m younger than that!

The airfield was to the south of the village with various buildings a mile or so away in the village. The airfield opened in March 1940 and was first used by Tiger Moths according to Wikipedia. The runway started as grass but steel matting was laid down later on. Here is a picture of the Control Tower with Lancaster flying overhead.

The Museum is located in Crystal Structures which seems to be the site of the last few remaining buildings associated with the airfield. The business seems to make the sorts of crystallographic models I used when I was at school.

It was a lovely day for a look around, and brought back memories for my Mum, she remembers being on fire duty.

One of the exhibits was this rather nice bike – a search of the name brings up this website –run by Geoffrey Woollard – whose father was the L.W.J. Woollard as painted on the bike. A search for Chalk Farm shows it just of the A1303, but Where’s The Path shows it up the hill a little bit, not far from a new bridleway between the A1303 and Swaffham Heath Road.

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I assume that the farm gets its name from the chalk it lies upon.  (The link also has a mention of the airfield at the bottom.) There were also vineyards in 1790.

I rather like the old advertising panels, you seem them around and about affixed to houses still. You can get this picture as a porcelain fridge magnet. “One of the best Laundry Soaps manufactured!”

There are a few WWII buildings on the sight that have seen better days. Mind you some of the problems arose from a Tornado wreaking havoc in the village. The link shows one of the buildings with a tree down on the roof.

Whilst my Mum was visiting I took my bike along to Ben Hayward Cycles for a bit of fettling I let them have it for the week as with my Mum visiting we tend to walk rather than cycle. I would guess it is also a busy time of year for cycle shops as new students come to Cambridge. I am looking forward to the return of the old girl though. (The bike not my Mum!).

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