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A bit of the history of the previous WMFC flying site (Ellough)
The Ellough Airfield was built on the high ground about two miles East of the town of Beccles late in World War 2 for the 8th U.S.A.A.F. as Station 132, being one of the last airfields to be completed, it became “surplus to requirements” and was acquired by 16 Group, Coastal Command. 618 Sqd, a sister squadron to the famous 617 “Dambusters” arrived during August 1944 with Mosquito B.1V aircraft. specially modified to carry “Highball“ ( a spinning bomb-of a similar type to those used against the dams) but for anti- shipping strikes. A number of practice drops were made off Wells–next-the–Sea and other targets, and a “deck” was laid out at Beccles Airfield for practice landings for planned carrier operations. Dr. (later Sir Barnes) Wallis gave a lecture on the Top- Secret weapon to the aircrew at Beccles during August. This unit remained until October 1944, eventually moving to the Far East, but was not employed operationally with this weapon
The airfield was then occupied by 280 Sqd. From 30" Oct. 1944 until 31st. Oct. 1945 using Warwick aircraft in a air-sea rescue role, and 54 O.T.U with Beaufighters (e.g. V 8906 LX-L, KW109 LX -B) and Mosquito T -3 (RR 281 LX-H) During this period the airfield received many “lame ducks) returning from Ops.- being the most Easterly! drome in the U.K. On 8" April 1945 810 Sqd. F.A.A. arrived with Barracudas’ for the North Sea patrols against midget – submarines, “Bibber and Seehund” and remained at Beccles until 3' June 1945 .other units at Ellough included a detachment of 612 Sqd. With Wellingtons GR- XIV’s from Langham in December 1944 827 Sqd. F.A.A. with 18 Barracuda’s employed in anti- shipping strikes off the Dutch coast from 15" Oct. to Dec. 1944 and No. 15 Aircraft Holding Unit which was formed here in mid 1945 to house some of the redundant aircrew of East Anglia- this was disbanded on Nov. 1945. Service flying ended on 16". Nov. 1945 and Ellough became non-operational at the end of that month when the airfield was reduced to care and maintenance and for a period just after the war the hangars were used for storage by the Ministry of Food.
In the post -war Period the airfield has been used by various light aircraft and although most of the runways have been broken up, a short strip is still used by visiting executive type light aircraft to the growing industrial estate at the Western end. The hangar and site at the Eastern end of the airfield has of recent years been used by the former B.E.A. helicopters using mainly Sikorsky S 61 helicopters for the offshore oil and gas rig support operations in the North sea area.
From a "Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum" Publication
These photos show the aerial views of the Ellough Airfield as it is now, the old runways and perimeter track can clearly still be seen and even some of the other sections of the airfield are visible. The centre picture shows the location of the model flying site.
History of the Waveney Model Flying Club, by Dick Wickham
The club was started mid 1960s and started as a Control Line Club. Flying models was being flown by a bunch of us model aircraft enthusiasts, flying on Beccles Common. I thought that we should form ourselves into a club and asked the other people if they were in agreement and I was delegated to do just that. Putting an ad. in the local paper I was surprised at the response that I got, about 20 people replied and we arranged to have a meeting in a local public house. We formed a committee and got affiliated to the S.M.A.E. as it was called at that time, now B. M.F.A. and held a monthly meeting with a growing membership, people joining from Norwich, Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Beccles. The common at Beccles was, and still is, a Golf course. After a lot of unpleasant forays with them, we decided to move onto the old airfield at Ellough. There was plenty of room there for us there with the runways still intact, a few of us even flew the models in one of the hangars, a bit noisy and quite dark as well, we had to remember not to fly too high in there as well, with the roof rafters, they were low enough to eat your model if you got too eager. As radio control got more reliable and available at a reasonable price, that part got bigger, I, for one went over to the R.C. Side, the Control Line members did not really want to mix C.L. and R.C. and went back to the Common and the R.C. side got bigger with a membership of over 80 members. At that time we had no restrictions on us at all, but as time has moved on, the airfield has had a lot of industry built on it and we are being hemmed in. Our flying field is rented off a farmer and a few years back we had to apply for Planning consent, we fought for 2 years to hold it, all because of a man that moved into the farm house and complained about the noise, he had complained before he had moved into the house, we now have restricted times and noise levels The house has changed hands 3 times since then and at the moment the people that live there now are very good and have no problems with us. We still have people joining the club and they are gaining their A certificates, being taught by members of the club, a few young members are progressing nicely, we have 2 examiners and are hoping for 3 more soon. I have been a member of the club ever since it was born and am the founder member. I have seen a lot of changes in that time. Model aircraft, members and the different methods of building the models. I am glad to say we still have real aeromodellers that make their models instead of buying them ready made in the club
In 2006, the Club moved to a new flying field just South-East of Aldeby village, overlooking the Waveney valley. It has taken a lot of hard work and the trials and tribulations have been many, but after roughly a year the field was finally ready to use and on the 1st of July 2006 the field saw the first day of flying by the club members.
The following pictures show a brief history of the new field from it's conception to completion and day one of flying from the site.
The first set of photos were taken when the club was first offered the field and as you can see you needed a lot of imagination to believe it could become a flying field..... but we are nothing if not imaginative. The photos were taken from a point 150yds into the field and facing different directions
The following photos of the field were taken just before Christmas and show the grass growing nicely. The seed used was stadium quality and should once established give a superb surface
The following photos were taken while the car parking area was being laid out and show the work in progress at the entrance (work being carried out by Waveney Asphalt), the run from the gate to the car parking area and the car park, the flying field and the work crew. The car parking area is stage 1 and will be increased in size (stage 2) in the new year, funds permitting, The grass surface has been covered in a re-enforcing mesh supplied by Tenax Ltd. which will allow light vehicle usage throughout the year without surface erosion, this product is widely used in car parks etc. but is very expensive
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