To mark the opening of the new Sky Force ride at Blackpool Pleasure beach the Red Arrows put on a display at South shore by the promenade. Myself, the better half and the better halfs mother took a few hours out from the decorating to pop and see them. Wife to be took this awesome picture worthy of any pro photographer. The essence of Blackpool and the Red Arrows in one shot.
Having moved back to Gods country from lovely old Brussels and having some time on my hands after incurring a slight injury at work I thought I would go for a small wander to escape my bed and the house for a while.
Down the road on the Southern edge of Blackpool is what was Blackpool airport and in a former life, RAF Squires gate.
The aerodrome was requisitioned by the Air Ministry in 1938.Three bituminous runways were laid to support operations, with squadrons stationed at RAF Squires Gate during the Second World War including:
- 63 Squadron September 1939 to January 1940
- 75 Squadron, September 1939 to January 1940
- 215 Squadron, September 1939 to January 1940
- No. 96 Squadron
- No. 256 Squadron
RAF Coastal Command also established an operational base on site, and expanded RAF Warton to act as a satellite airfield.
The RAF also selected Blackpool as one of its training wings due to the availability of accommodation. With training based between Squires Gate and RAF stations at Weeton and Kirkham, by utilising: the large number of guest houses; plus the beaches, pier and the Winter Gardens for exercising; 769,673 recruits received their basic training at Blackpool. The RAF also established two specialist training schools:
- No. 3 School of General Reconnaissance
- No. 5 School of Technical Training, for air mechanics
My Grandfather was trained at Blackpool during the war during his stint as an airframe fitter.
Below are some pictures of an Accommadation block and pill boxes that still remain standing and Squires gate.
Well, after two glorious years in Belgium and the metropolis that is Brussels, myself and the better half have finally repacked our bags – 2 huge van loads this time – and moved back over to Weeton near Blackpool and in with the inlaw. Exciting, stressful, scary and interesting times ahead await us for sure but one thing is for sure – the collecting will go on. Near to my lock up now all the time and with a freshly cleared out out house to repair any damaged pieces of furniture I’m so looking forward to getting started. Air Ministry here I come.