TF9941 : Airfield Dome Trainer at Langham

taken 11 years ago, near to Langham, Norfolk, Great Britain

Airfield Dome Trainer at Langham
Airfield Dome Trainer at Langham
This black domed building is Langham Airfield Dome Trainer, one of around 40 structures of this kind which were built during WWII. Only a few of these buildings have survived and this particular one now is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It is located beside the road connecting Langham with the village of Cockthorpe, further to the northwest, on the site of the former airfield near the village of Langham, and it was used by the Royal Air Force to train their squadrons in the operation of an anti-aircraft gun by using film projection techniques. The original colour of these structures used to be off-white but during the war they were painted black for better camouflage. The first squadrons stationed there were 455 Royal Australian Air Force and 489 Royal New Zealand Air Force. It fell into disrepair after the war and none of the interior remains. In 1961, turkey-giant Bernard Matthews purchased the land including the dome but is planning to donate the building and half-an-acre of surrounding land to the North Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust who plan to conserve the structure and restore the interior to demonstrate its original use. LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link )

Update: The dome is now fully restored and converted to a museum which was officially opened on 19 July 2014.
RAF Langham
Langham Airfield opened during 1940 as a satellite airfield for Bircham Newton. The airfield has a complex and somewhat confused history, as aircraft from RAF Bircham Newton initially dispersed at Langham, while the No. 1 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit was also based on the field until towards the end of 1942, providing target-towing facilities for the Army firing camps at Stiffkey. In July 1942 became an independent RAF station but was put into Care & Maintenance in November, when it received three concrete runways and a number of other facilities.

When the airfield reopened in February 1944, the 455th and 489th squadrons formed a strike wing to mount anti-shipping operations over the North Sea, flying Bristol Beaufighters. 524th and 612th squadrons were also based on the field, flying Vickers Wellingtons.

The airfield closed in May 1946 but continued to be used by a Technical Training School for the Royal Netherlands Air Force, before being put into Care & Maintenance again in September 1947. From March 1953 until November 1958 the airfield was used by the No. 2 Civilian Anti-Aircraft Cooperation Unit, assisting Army firing camps by towing drogues for gunners to aim at.

In October 1961, after serving as a very basic Emergency Landing Ground for Sculthorpe, the airfield was eventually sold. It was Bernard Matthews Farms Ltd for use as a turkey farm.

See also: LinkExternal link

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TF9941, 49 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Monday, 27 October, 2008   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 28 October, 2008
Category
Airfield (disused)   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TF 995 418 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:56.2013N 0:58.0321E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TF 994 417
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph (Second Visitor for TF9941)
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