1947 - New buildings and reorganisation

As was recounted in the 1939 page, Bickertons Aerodromes Ltd (BAL) had purchased an adjoining field to the north-east of the aerodrome from Mrs Burness in February that year. In early 1947 BAL purchased another field from Mr W. G. Boyer, so now the aerodrome was "L" shaped. This increased the manoeuvring area and improved safety. On 6 June the extra land was granted planning permission to be used for flying as part of the aerodrome. In the same year, Hangar Road was built, to enable direct access for Marish Farm to Tilehouse Lane along the north side of the aerodrome. In February, planning permission was granted for a cloakroom and lavatory making use of an existing former RAF Nissen hut. This was a much needed facilty on of the aerodrome and was completed in May.

The acquisition of the field from Mr Boyer made the aerodrome the shape of an inverted L.
The acquisition of the field from Mr Boyer made the aerodrome the shape of an inverted L.

Myles consulted with the engineering firm Wimpeys with a view to moving the hangars back onto aerodrome land. The foreman who came to view the hangars was a keen cricketer and asked if it would be possible to set up a cricket pitch on one corner of the airfield. Myles agreed and the Wimpey cricket team began to make regular appearances in the north east corner of the airfield, almost every weekend. Two more applications were made to the council during 1947, the first being a request for a signpost on the A412 to give directions to the aerodrome. The request was made on 22 July and was refused later in the year for reasons that are not known. Interestingly, he sign was approved in the early 1960's after the Duchess of Kent's chauffeur had to stop at the local shops in order to ask the way! On 8 August the council did permit Bidston House to be used as a club. This was granted for normal users of the airfield for five years.

Hangar Lane was built along the north edge of the airfield and the hangars repositioned along it. Tilehouse Lane runs across the top of the image.
Hangar Lane was built along the north edge of the airfield and the hangars repositioned along it. Tilehouse Lane runs across the top of the image.

The two hangars that came to be called J and M had been on the pre-war airfield before they were moved onto Mr Hewlett's field at the top of Denham Green Lane by the RAF in 1941. The field had been requisitioned by the RAF but was now no longer part of the aerodrome. These hangars had been permanent fixtures on the pre-war airfield, but now planning permission had to be obtained in order for them to be moved and rebuilt.

The original J and M hangars were moved twice in their history, finally being repositioned along Hangar Lane.
The original J and M hangars were moved twice in their history, finally being repositioned along Hangar Lane.

The last major change to the aerodrome in 1947 was in October, when, at the tenant's request, the Denham Aero Club moved out of Hawksridge as Bidston House was now called. The hall was not big enough to find room for all the pilots coats and bags. Their new accommodation was a purpose built shed across the drive from Hawksridge. Every flight to and from the aerodrome had to be recorded by the staff there in a log giving details of the aircraft, the pilot, and any place of landing. This record was an official customs and excise requirement to keep track of aircraft movements.

Two unusual amphibian visitors to Denham in 1947 were G-AIWU, a Supermarine Walrus that made a forced landing with engine trouble, and an unknown Supermarine Sea Otter.
Two unusual amphibian visitors to Denham in 1947 were G-AIWU, a Supermarine Walrus that made a forced landing with engine trouble, and an unknown Supermarine Sea Otter.

In August, the Air Training Corps' No 125 Gliding School moved to Langley but private flying and flight instruction continued to increase throughout the year. There were also a number of unusual visiting aircraft and steadily a sense of normality returned to the aerodrome after the uncertainty of the war years.

 

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