Kings Cliffe Station

With the track lifted, the site of Kings Cliffe Station probably captured in the 1970s with the station building distant left and the footings for the elevated platform on the right. The station closed to passengers in 1966 and to goods workings in 1968.

Class 24 Diesel at Kings Cliffe (1965)

Longsight, Manchester based Class 24 #D5146 approaching Kings Cliffe station with a westbound passenger train in June 1965.

The same loco was lucky to survive this long having been at the head of a freight train derailment in 1963 at Weedon in Northants that saw a passenger train plough into the derailed wagons.

D5146 was eventually withdrawn along with most of the class in early 1976.

Kings Cliffe Airfield – Jacks Green

This month (October 2015) saw the announcement from East Northants Council that the bottom corner of the old airfield at Kings Cliffe would be redeveloped to host 55 holiday lodges.

The site, known locally as Jacks Green, was the wartime maintenance area for the USAAF base and was home to a huge Callendar Hamilton hangar that not only supported the resident fighter aircraft but played host to the last ever airfield concert from the legendary Glenn Miller.

To commemorate the significance of the site to Glenn Miller aficionados, a memorial was erected on the surviving foundations of the hangar in 1987. It is not clear what the future holds for the memorial but the likelihood is that it will be repositioned with the old hangar base being broken up.

The image below shows the maintenance site during wartime with the main airfield off to the top right. The Glenn Miller memorial is currently sited fairly central to where the hangar was.

The concrete floor of the old hangar survives today and the metal rail along which the huge hangar doors were moved can still be found intact …… see below.

The old hangar base with the Glenn Miller memorial in the distance
The surviving metal rail on which the hangar doors ran
The Glenn Miller memorial

The outline of the track along which planes used to taxi between the maintenance site and the main airfield is still visible today and you can also just about identify the hard standing dispersal sites alongside the track where planes would be stored. Owing to the shape of these areas, they were known as “frying pan” dispersal sites and each would have its own simplistic “blister hangar” to provide shelter and to hide the presence of the plane when viewed from above.

You can see two of these small sites with hangars in the top right of the old image up above.

Today the best of these sites still holds evidence of the old blister hangar via lengths of robust steel strapping (see below).

The site of an old “frying pan” aircraft dispersal site
Surviving metal strapping from the old blister hangar


Postcard from Peterborough POW

A fascinating 1944 postcard sent back home from a German prisoner of war based at Camp 702 which was somewhere in Kings Cliffe although nobody seems too sure exactly where it was !

Update from Andrew Martin: “I have been researching POW camps in this area for many years –  the location of the camp is given as “in the village of Kings Cliffe” but the camp was actually on the site of the airfield. It was opened for German POWs in March 1946 and was a holding camp for POWs waiting for repatriation. It was run by the RAF and not the Army”.