RAF West Raynham is in Norfolk, near a town called Swaffham. It is seriously in the middle of nowhere, and was quite hard to find. It closed in 1994, and at the end of 2005 was put up for auction. There are loads of houses there and the local MP wants them to be used as residential housing again. This will be quite a task – 11 years of non-use have taken their toll.
I didn’t really look round the housing areas, instead concentrating my trip on the cool military stuff. That said, I didn’t manage to explore everything in the time I was there. There is a Bloodhound Missile launch site here (it was over the other side of the airfield) but I decided to leave when a scary dog started following me…
Two control towers are at RAF West Raynham. One is small…
The other one is a “Very Heavy Bomber Station Control Tower” (that means it’s quite big). It was one of only four built in the UK. One has been demolished, and the other two are at active RAF bases.
The windows in the observation area all had (place) names printed on them – presumably to identify directions. Or maybe the glazier was bored.
This control tower also has a fire station.
And some other bits in the building..
There were four huge C-type hangars here. I didn’t go into any of them..
… but I did climb onto one though I must admit that it wasn’t the brightest thing I’ve ever done. Heights I can tolerate, but it’s the getting to the heights which is the problem – I’m not particularly good with ladders. Also, the walkways on the roof were stupidly rotten. Oh well, I’ve now been on the roof of a hanger. And the views were fantastic…
Missile Training Simulator
This a Rapier Missile Training Simulator. Thanks everyone who has told me this
This was a treat. I’ve never really seen one of these before, let alone been inside one. I thought it would just be a big round room inside. It was. But the thing that struck me was how echo-ey it was – a tiny crack of my knee joint reverberated around the room many times. Turn on my camera – click click click click click….. Awesome.
There are three water towers here, along with boiler rooms and stuff. It would’ve been possible to climb at least one, but I didn’t fancy it as the ladder was covered in pigeon crap.
I mentioned that I didn’t look at the housing areas – that is true. But there were a few accomodation/mess blocks – I had a quick look at these (not in them though).
Other buildings & bits
I had a look at a few other buildings, but couldn’t really get into many.