Today I had a shoot at a fantastic location. I’ve travelled past this derelict aircraft since I was a little girl and always found it striking. Sat on a hump of earth at the entrance to Long Marston Airfield, it pays homage to the history of a place now destined for a life as a housing estate.
The airfield was built in 1941 and was home to the RAF, local WAAF, training corp and others, until it was decommissioned in 1954. It was intended to be a satellite station and training unit for a new bomber, but in the end the Air Ministry decided on another base (Honeybourne).
RAF flight training, missions to the Middle East and Gibraltar and Wellington Bombers all took off from Long Marston.
It eventually lay abandoned, full of WW2 building, decommissioned aircraft and parts until the original farming family took it over once more. Since then it has had a WW2 museum (unfortunately no longer there), festivals such as the Bulldog Bash and drag racing amongst others!
The Percival Prince T1 at its entrance was originally from the museum, brought over from Cosford. The training version of the Percival Sea Prince C1, it is an early post war British aircraft used predominantly by the Royal Navy.
The original paintwork would’ve been nothing like this American fighter plane look, but the I still think that the graffiti artist has done a fantastic job of giving this abandoned shell some life once more. The inside has been pretty much gutted, most likely by the adventure seeking teens and festival goers that have been here in the past.
I really hope that after the housing estate has been completed, this important relic will still be guarding the entrance; a testament to this incredibly important piece of local history.
All photos taken by and copyright Kitten von Mew.