RAF Harrowbeer Interest Group
About the RAF Harrowbeer Interest Group
The RAF Harrowbeer Interest Group (HIG) is made of people from all walks of life, both male and female, (and all ages) all with a common interest in the history of the former RAF Harrowbeer Airfield at Yelverton. The Group started with just a couple of people exchanging information, and from there it has expanded to about 20 'members', who meet approximately every three months on an informal basis, keeping in touch by email and phone in between. There is no membership fee, no age limit, and therefore anyone can join the Group.
Joining the HIG
Members are not expected to have an encyclopediac knowledge of the airfield but just a willingness to 'muck in' with exploring the airfield's history and helping with its preservation. So if you think you might like to join the Group, it doesn't matter whether you like pouring over books and photographs, digging around in the earth or doing a bit of 'gardening', you'll be made welcome!
What the HIG are doing
The HIG are actively searching out photographs, stories, news items, maps, etc., in fact anything to do with the life of the Airfield and they especially want to hear from any Airfield Ground or Admin Staff, or Aircrew who flew from Harrowbeer. Also, any local people who may have played on the airfield as youngsters and who may have snippets of information about the buildings that once stood there, or perhaps even the odd photograph or two that the HIG could take copies of?
What the HIG set out to do
The HIG's original aim was simply to collate and preserve the history of the Airfield, but as time went on, it was felt that they could do more.
The HIG therefore set themselves three aims which were (in no particular order):
1) to erect interpretation
boards at three sites around the Airfield
The last of these was achieved first and leading on from this, the HIG were asked if they would give guided walks around the airfield, which in turn lead to being asked to attend events with their displays, which in turn lead to being asked to give talks on the history of the airfield!!!. Little did we all know what we were starting!!
In 2011, we restored one of the airfield's dispersal bays and opened the internal air-raid shelter to visitors for the first time in approximately 50 years. We also uncovered the Pundit Base code, (this should read QB but actually reads HH [probably] or maybe HK [possibly]) We also helped celebrate the airfield's 70th birthday.
In 2012/2013, we restored a second dispersal bay, and began repairing a third. We have also started clearing/restoring various bases around the airfield. This work will continue into the future!
Getting in touch
Anyone wanting further information on the HIG, or who has information on the Airfield they wish to pass on to us, can email via the address on the 'Contacts' page.
The Harrowbeer Interest Group attends various events during the year, gives regular talks and film shows to groups & schools, and gives guided walks around the airfield. If you would like us to attend an event, give your group or society a talk or guided walk, please get in touch.
Talks: Our talk takes an hour, then following this, (and after a short break if required) we can show several pieces of wartime film pertaining to RAF Harrowbeer that we have. We bring our own projector and screen and just need a suitable nearby plug. Along with the talk, we can bring our Harrowbeer Display boards for everyone to see if there is space.
Please also bear in mind that most of us work so daytime talks are more difficult for us and may incur a charge. We don't generally charge for walks or evening talks but donations to the HIG are most welcome.
Dispersal Bay Air Raid Shelter: In 2011, the HIG undertook to restore one Harrowbeer's Dispersal Bays. This included re-opening the internal Air-Raid Shelter (in which ground crew could shelter in the event of an enemy attack). The HIG will open this bay and shelter to visitors at various times during the year but it can also be available for groups to visit by prior arrangement. There is no charge for visiting but we would kindly ask for a donation to HIG funds when you do.