Tyne and Wear HER(5676): Woolsington, Newcastle Airport (RAF Woolsington) - Details
Woolsington, Newcastle Airport (RAF Woolsington)
Air Transport Site
Proposals for an aerodrome at Newcastle first started in 1929, an idea prompted by the Air Ministry (who also recommended that Sunderland should have an aerodrome at White Mare Pool, Boldon). In 1929 Newcastle City Council agreed to look into the possibility of building an airport, although the first suggested site, the Town Moor, was not to be considered. Eighteen possible sites were looked at, and after an aerial survey, land at High House Farm, Woolsington, was chosen as the best candidate. Work started in 1934 to level, harrow and sow the land with special grass seed from Russia. The new aerodrome opened in July 1935. The official programme for the opening day describes a grand club house (HER 4927) with residential accomodation for the steward, a hangar, workshops, office, ambulance room, petrol and oil store, garage and sewage disposal plant. In reality the aerodrome consisted of the clubhouse building, a hangar and a "grassy strip". The aerodrome had a wireless operations room. In the centre of the airfield the name 'Newcastle' was painted onto concrete blocks. There was no electrical flare-path as night flying was limited. The aerodrome was said to have cost circa £35,000. The Aero Club managed the airport on behalf of the Corporation and ran a flying training school. During World War Two Woolsington was an RAF Station (a WW2 hangar still survives HER 4928). It operated No. 83 Maintenance Unit, supported the fighter base at Ouston and ran the RAF Salvage Unit for crashed aircraft. The airport was handed back to Newcastle Corporation in 1946.
<< HER 5676 >> J. Sleight, Small Enough to Conquer the Sky - Jim Denyer, 'Mr Newcastle Airport' A. Brownhill, 1981, The Resource Workbook of Newcastle Airport S. Middlebrook, Newcastle upon Tyne - Its Growth and Acheivements, The Journal Newcastle Airport, 1985, Fifty Years 1935-1985 The Archaeological Practice, 1997, Newcastle International Airport, Cultural Heritage Assessment; D.J. Smith, 1983, Action Stations, No. 7, Military Airfields of Scotland, the North-East and Northern Ireland, pp 228-229; Tyne and Wear Musuems, 2008, Newcastle International Airport, Southside Development - Archaeological Evaluation