EX RAF HUTTON IN THE FORREST FLY IN TOMORROW!!!! CUMBRIA!

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EX RAF HUTTON IN THE FORREST FLY IN TOMORROW!!!! CUMBRIA!

Postby Bob Potts » Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:47 pm

On Saturday 30th October there is a unique opportunity to Fly In to Hutton in the Forest (nr Penrith) by kind permission of Lord and Lady Inglewood and Mr John Sissons of Kellbarrow Farm. This is to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the important role the estate played during the war. Proceeds from landing fees (£10.00) will go to support the local Church of St James. Refreshments will be available. If all goes well it may be possible to do it again when the house, gardens and restaurant are open.

We will be set up by 10am and will have toilet, outside caterers and shelter, if its showery. The farmer is rolling the field today and it is very smooth. Join overhead. Radio 123.450. John Plaskett and John Lynwood will be on the radio on approach call up RAF Hutton.
Bring you...r log book for signing and we look forward to seeing you. Please be advised:
• PPR is required Contact Andrew Lysser on 07771608767.
• Fuel may be available (motor unleaded only) by arrangement.
• Insurance is the responsibility of the aircraft owner and is mandatory.
• No responsibility will be taken by the Hutton in the Forest estate.
• Arrival and departure is at the discretion of the PIC.
• Circuits to the east of the field @ 1200ft
• Radio will be 123.450
• Lat 54°42'24.13"N Long 2°49'31.36"W
• The field is orientated approx 160°/340° 450yds elevation 600ft asl


Life at Hutton-in-the-Forest
The Hutton estate had an interesting history during the Second World War. William Vane, who later became the first Lord Inglewood, inherited the Estate in 1931 and served in France and the Middle East during the Second World War. While he was away his younger sister Margaret Vane ran the Estate. She wrote weekly letters to her brother and so there is a good record of events on the Estate.
At the beginning of the war two mothers and children from Newcastle were evacuated to the house, but the housekeeper found the idea of more evacuees too difficult to cope with, and as she was not well, they were moved to farms near Skelton. The house was also used for storage for people who had homes bombed in London.
The mansion was considered for a number of uses such as to house Czech refugees to work on the Forestry Commission land, or as an Admiralty training school, or for a girls’ school. The BBC were also interested in it, but while everyone was negotiating HM Forces decided that they needed the house and they requisitioned it. The Vane family still had a flat there, which they continued to use.
The RAF arrived, but only stayed a short time as it was felt to be too far from Carlisle. The men slept in huts in the grounds and the officers slept in the house. The hall and the peel tower were used as offices. The RAF wanted electricity in the house and the Estate agreed to pay a proportion of the cost. They bought a second hand generator which on the RAF’s departure was left in a loose box for the army who followed. A Tank Company, stationed at Lowther, used Hutton for additional accommodation. 300 men were expected to use the house but in reality this was probably about 150. The gardens were used to grow vegetables for the troops.
In November 1940 the Air Ministry requisitioned the land on the estate for hiding and storing aeroplanes. The woods made it an ideal spot and an airstrip was built using thousands of tons of limestone from Flusco and Blencow quarries to fill in the hollows to make a flat landing strip. At one point there were 100 men working on the ground. There was a standing in the woods for about 100 planes and some of the first Hurricane fighters were stored there. The cattle and sheep grazed the landing area, which was good camouflage, and the local farmer was given 30 minutes notice of planes landing or taking off to move the stock. Guards and dogs manned the area. The pilots were all stationed at Silloth and the airstrip was used for maintenance with offices and a canteen in the woods. As the war progressed the runway had to be enlarged, but with as few trees as possible cut down because they were needed for camouflage. The Estate’s head forester applied for help from the Italian and German prisoners from the Merrythought Camp at Calthwaite as the other Estate workers had been called up to fight.
The BBC took over two farms on the Estate to build the Skelton transmission station in 1942, and it was said that the BBC station was probably the most up to date and largest short wave station in the world at the time with entirely British equipment. 65% of the transmissions went to Europe and 35% were World transmissions.
When the war came to an end the house was returned to its owners but the Navy required the woods for storing ammunition until 1946.

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Bob Potts
 
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