Interest Group & Royal Air Force Amateur Radio Society
The RAF Harrowbeer Interest Group (HIG) are linking up with the Royal Air Force Amateur Radio Society (RAFARS) for a world-wide attempt to put as many 'Airfields on the Air' as possible on Saturday, 11th April. The amateur radio station will be set up alongside the HIG's restored Dispersal Bay near Knightstone Tea Rooms and will be attempting to contact as many other amateur radio stations as they can during the day. The call sign for the station will be 'GB0QB' (QB being RAF Harrowbeer's wartime identification code) and there will be information on display about the radio station and amateur radio generally, which visitors will be welcome to look around although licensing rules stops them actually transmitting. The HIG will have their Dispersal Bay Air-Raid Shelter museum open (from 10am to 5pm) and they are offering a guided walk around the airfield during the afternoon, so that visitors can hear about the history of the airfield and some of the tales of those who served there. The walk starts promptly at 1pm from the Dispersal Bay.
Further information on the RAFARS event can be found on http://www.rafars.org/content/RAFAOTA.html
The 1940s Weekend was very popular! Full details on the event, plus film of the 'Spitfire Experience' are on the relevant pages on the 1940s website: www.rafharrowbeer1940s.co.uk
We quite often need to set up our gazebos alongside the Dispersal Bay and for some while, the earth bank built to stop cars driving on the grass has irritated us because it means half of the gazebos are on grass (and can be pegged down) but the front half sticks out onto the tarmac (and can't).
So. Decision made. Move the bank! Lots of digging shovelling and tamping down later, it's 99% moved.
Allan Willams Turret
The remains of an Allan Williams turret were discovered in a quarry in Plymstock. With the assistance of the Dartmoor National Park, it has been recovered and taken to Knightstone Tea Rooms, home of the Harrowbeer Archive (owned by Michael Hayes).
The turret seems to be complete (top and base) although it appears to have been 'cut 'n shut'(!) in that the cupola has been welded to the base. The ring and wheels which allowed the top to revolve are missing.
Only about 200 of these turrets were made, and after the war, many of them were scrapped. RAF Harrowbeer has the bases of three of the turrets buried in the ground. It is likely that one of them will have some exploratory digging done around it to establish if the base at Knightstone is actually the right one.
Michael Hayes intends to restore the top, in as much as the doors on the cupola will be restored/replaced.
On the 'Photographs' page, you will find one of our 'anfy fade' pictures of an Allan Williams Turret if you want to see what it should look like.
More information on the history of the turrets can be found here on Wikipedia.
Following the wash-up meeting for the 1940s Event, we found our loss on the event was around £1,500.00 which is disappointing to say the least.
We will hold the event next year (16th & 17th August 2014) but if we make another loss, will not be able to hold any further events.
We have had a busy Summer! The 1940s Event was a partial success. Sadly, the Saturday was ruined by a very British Summer gale which swept through during the day. Sunday was lovely though but the money raised at the event wasn't enough to clear our costs. We will persevere with next year's event.
Earlier in July, we had some geo-phys done in the area of the demolished property Udal Torre. It showed up quite a lot of things which we hope to investigate further in due course.
March 2013 ~ updated 27th March
In conjunction with the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), we are giving a guided walk around the airfield on Tuesday, 2nd of April, starting promptly at 1pm. The walk will start and finish at Knightstone Tea Rooms.
Please note that Knightstone Tea Rooms is closed on a Tuesday and refreshments will not be available at the end of the walk.
General details about our guided walks can be found by clicking on 'Airfield Walk' above.
The HIG have joined up with the RAF Harrowbeer Archives and the 1940s Roadshow, to put on a 1940s themed event at Knightstone on the 17th & 18th August. Michael Hayes of the Harrowbeer Archives has decided not to put on any 'Harrowbeer Archive Weekends' this year, so the August event will be the only one at Harrowbeer this year.
There is a separate website www.rafharrowbeer1940s.co.uk which will have all the relevant details on it.
To see the work done to clear the Dispersal Bay in 2011, click here: Dispersal Bay clearance work
Our RAF Harrowbeer 70th Anniversary celebrations in 2011 were a huge success. Anniversary page