When I was a boy I often took long walks with my grandad across the fields of Laversdale where he lived with my gran. Being a good friend of the farmers in the area we freely wandered around what were old buildings from the former RAF Crosby on Eden near Carlisle and Brampton. Not much remains of the old airfield so research is tricky and the World Wide Web bears little fruit. I recently emailed the RAF museum to see if the have any plans for Crosby and to my surprise they did. Indeed, the museum holds the plans for all if the RAF stations in the UK. For a small fee I was able to order a copy of these and they soon landed through my letter box. Having got these, I will in the near future take a wander round each site to document what is left. If anyone knows of any more artefacts regarding RAF Crosby on Eden then please feel free to let me know.
I came across this RAF handbell in an auction recently. The cast brass bell is topped with a brass collar with AM and kings crown symbol and contract number dating it to 1939. A lovely turned ebony handle finishes it off. With its original ball and chain clapper boy oh boy does it make an amazing sound. In all honesty I have no idea what situation this would be used for, perhaps roll calls, lessons etc. a lovely piece that looks great.
Here is a pair of medals awarded to 96653 2 airman A J Adcock RAF during the First World War. Researching an airmans service history used to be quite tricky. Records for Army and Navy servicemen are widely available through the national archives having been released after 75 years. However for the RAF, most records are still retained by the RAF at Cranwell and to get records for example of WW2 servicemen, one needs to send in death certificates of the deceased if they have passed away, and signed permission of the next of kin along with a £30 fee. I only know this as I am having to go through this to get my grandfathers records. Anyway. Officer records for WW1 are also easily available on line but enlisted men’s hadn’t been released or so I thought until I checked today. A link from the RAF museum sent me to findmypast.co.uk which has RAF WW1 records now accessible for a small fee. Finally I could see the records for a chaps medals I have had since I was 15. Mr Adcock was a Fitter in the RAF. His records can be seen below along with the roll call for the time. The medals are the British War medal (blue and orange ribbon) and the Victory medal. Awarded to pretty much everyone who fought I. The conflict. To finally research them put a smile on my face. Makes the whole collecting thing worth while.
Languishing in a scrap yard I came across these two old, and slightly sorry looking wardrobes. Noting the minimalist, basic shape of them I did a little digging and found they both have beautiful embossed Air Ministry motifs on the rear panel. (Due to them being in my grandparents garage now I couldn’t access the back at ease to take a pic sorry sorry) . They both need a little attention and some repairs etc etc and I have already painted on some wood worm treatment, I am sure these will look beautiful again one day. I haven’t seen an example like this before. A lovely find and one to treasure. Sorry for the poor pics.
Voila! Here is another RAF pint mug. Around 1940 the production of mugs marked with the blue RAF logo to the front (see earlier post) ceased and was replaced with plain white pint mugs with manufacturers name stamped to the underside. This mug was produced by New Hall in 1942 for the RAF. New Hall was a company with it’s origins dating back to 1780 when it set up shop in Shelton Hall in Staffordshire. During WW2 it temporarily closed it decorating wing to exclusively produce crockery and pottery for the armed forces and government departments.
Somewhere at some time there must have been a poor chap or chapess stamping away like mad with AMs and GRVIs. Here we have a paper tray stamped GVIR and with a crown on the underside. Also stamped S & D.M ltd and dated 1940. Beautifully made even for such a mundane item with lovely corner joints and a lovely grain. Now taking pride of place (at least in my mind – the fiancé is not so sure ) on our wall unit.
Here is a 1942 wooden folding chair with a lovely Air Ministry and crown stenciled logo. The staple of seating on many an airfield, military base, church hall and public building thoughout the war years. Due to disapproval by my lovely Fiancé this and much of my collection have found a new home in my grandparents garage. One day I will buy an old Nissen hut I am sure!
Here is a George the Fifth pedestal desk. The desk came in pieces consisting if the two pedestals and the top. The previous owner had painted the pedestals white for some reason. Underneath the paint is the GRV and crown motif. I stripped this back to reveal the monogram and also an inverted crescent logo. Possibly a makers mark. The wood looks in good condition under the paint so I am going to strip all the paint off and hopefully bring it back to its former glory. Two of the drawer locks also have the GRV monogram stamped on them. A lovely desk waiting to be restored.
Here is a 1927 dated GRV marked washbasin and stand. The basin itself has a winged RAF crest, two scalloped soap recesses and the original plug. Underneath is a shelf and waste pipe. Possibly use day some point in the field and as a piece of ‘campaign furniture’. When I purchased it the unit had been lime waxed and looked slightly worse for wear. I used Colron wax remover to dissolve the old wax then re polished the stand with clear finishing wax. The rear panel i suspect is a later addition as it doesn’t match the other sides and appears to have been overlaid on too of the original which can be seen on the inside with three small holes drilled in, possibly for once present waste pipes. The exterior panel now covers these up. A lovely item that one day I will plumb in to use. Some exposed copper pipes and overhanging taps would look beautiful.
I purchased this piece from David Farnsworth at http://www.historicflyingclothing.com
Here is a ‘captains’ style chair with the AM stamp and 1939 date. The chair appears to have been stripped back to bare wood as this would not be the finish normally associated with a government issue piece. Dark stain usually the colour of the day. The joints are a little wobbly and some damage to the back rest is present and has been poorly repaired. However it is still sturdy and solid. A very rare piece to find. The legs are a particular style/pattern and are very unlike most other captains chairs you see around. I have only seen one other example in the last year. I am going to get this chair professionally restored/repaired to return it to its once former glory.
Just a couple of hours ago I acquired this architects desk and tall chair. Made out of lovely wood and angled by a huge metal bracket at either side it certainly fills my living room. After some effort and a lot of struggling up 6 flights of stairs all on my lonesome I managed to shoe horn the chair into the flat. The chair interestingly has the GVIR monogram and crown symbol underneath. It also has a date stamp of 1940 and makers initials although in the fading light of Brussels I am struggling to make that out. It’s the better halts Birthday today. Waiting for her to come home from work and see the monster in the corner is somewhat nerve racking. Anyway, the pair are a lovely addition and keeping to the theme of government furniture, the tall and unusual chair tops it off.
Tomorrow I’m popping back to Blighty, and as a treat and all going well I’m picking up a captains chair with the air ministry symbol underneath! I’ll pop some pics up shortly of that. I’ve also just invested in an Elliot small mantel clock from 1939 so really looking forward to seeing that.