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The Young Leader team were asked by Legasee, who are a charity dedicated to the capture of interviews with those involved with Britain’s wartime past, to take part in an expedition to airfields in East Anglia involved with the Berlin Airlift which is generally acknowledged as one of the first events of the cold war. They visited the old RAF Oakington near Cambridge to film and be filmed investigating both the history of the site and its future. During the Airlift Oakington was responsible for the maintenance of three squadrons of Dakota aircraft. Due to the heavy tempo of the operations this took place every two weeks. The Young Leaders also learned that Oakington was one of the airfields that Prince Charles undertook Flying Training at, and that its future is as a new town (Northstowe). Sadly this means that most of the airfield buildings have been demolished to make way for 10,000 new homes, leaving the Officer’s Mess, Station HQ and Guard room buildings intact, plus the water towers.

 

 

 

The HCA (Homes and Communities Agency) were our hosts for the visit, and Mark White provided a great deal of information about the history of the site, as well as details of the new town. More on the history of the site can be found at:  http://scambs.jdi-consult.net/majordevelopments/readdoc.php?docid=163&chapter=2 – go to Chapter 6 Environmental Statement then Appendix 9 and Page 328 to 529 of this Appendix is the operational history of RAF Oakington. More on the future of the site can be found at: http://www.northstowe.uk.com/latest.html and on the HCA at: http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/ 

 

Our thanks to Mark and the team from Legasee for a great visit.