RAF Upwood opened in 1917 as a satellite field for RAF Elmswell. Shortly after opening, a few hangars and buildings were built. It closed in 1919. During the RAF expansion period in the mid 1930s the airfield was expanded drastically. Five hangars were built, and around 100 other buildings of varying sizes. The base finally closed in 1995. Wikipedia has a lot more info about the base.
The last twelve years haven’t been kind to the base. It has suffered badly at the hands of vandals. The hangars are in use by a turbine company and are inaccessible. The rest of the buildings are totally gutted, and used occassionally by “airsofters” (people with guns and small balls).
This is the first thing you see when entering RAF Upwood. The Guard House. Inside is a little cell to detain people, a small shower block and some other rooms.
Opposite the Guard House is the main base HQ. Compared to the rest of the site, this is in quite good condition – there are even curtains in some rooms! In one of the back rooms was a huge black-board type thing for aircraft assignments.
Next stop was the community centre. This is where the people stationed on the base would’ve come to relax sometimes. There was a bar inside and a sports court.
The water tower looks the same as West Raynham’s. I would’ve climbed it but the ladders were covered in pigeon mess.
Gas Decontamination Buildings
This is one (two) of the most impressive things at Upwood – two “underground” (under-mound?) gas decontamination buildings. They were built as a precaution – the use of gas weapons had been outlawed in 1925.
Contaminated troops would’ve entered at one end, deposited their clothes in some chutes for washing/destroying; have a shower in the large line of cubicles; get new clothes from the store; and wait until the gas had gone outside. One of the bunkers was attatched to the hospital/sick quarters by a short passage.
Used for storing stuff.
Couldn’t climb this one – the door was blocked with bricks and debris.
This is where the officers would have lived and relaxed. There is a huge ballroom and a small cinema room.
The Sergeants Mess is joined to the Officers Mess via a corridor. It’s smaller and not as interesting. It is an E-shape.
No explanation is really needed for this – it’s where the airmen would have eaten. In the back was an impressively-huge oven. And a mortuary tray.
The chefs and staff would have accessed the upstairs level by this crazy little staircase. It was *really* narrow – I could barely fit up it! Upstairs was totally gutted (not a surprise) and the windows sort-of boarded up – again presumably for the gun people.
Out the back was this little room – the back of the ovens.
This seemed to be some sort of entertainment area. I am not sure exactly what it was.
Random Barrack Blocks
They all look the same, and it got a bit boring looking through them all.
There are two tanks at Upwood, used as elaborate props for the airsofters. They’re seriously cool…