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#186283 - 25th Nov 2007 10:26pm Hooton Park ***
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Anyone else remember when this was Hooton Park airfield? I went to a couple of air displays there after the war. At one of them, probably early 1950's an aircraft crashed, but I can't remember the details. Later, up until my retirement in 2004, I used to service equipment in the Vauxhall labs there.

Cheers, Chris.
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#186344 - 26th Nov 2007 9:34am Re: Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port [Re: chriskay]
Pinzgauer
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In my last year at school, I went with a few mates to have a look at the remains of Hooton Airfield. Remember going in to an unlocked hanger and having a poke around in the cockpit of a partly stripped plane. Small fighter of some sort - I'm not a plane buff !

The site was a year or two away from being grabbed by Vauxhall I think.

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#186347 - 26th Nov 2007 9:57am Re: Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port [Re: ]
vw_kyle Offline
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Registered: 27th Dec 2006
Posts: 1959
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interesting

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#186359 - 26th Nov 2007 10:34am Re: Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port [Re: vw_kyle]
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
A couple of years ago the Hooton Hangers was cruise wirrals private meeting place wink

They used to open the visitor center up for drinks etc - there was a lot of its old History inside smile
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#186503 - 26th Nov 2007 10:57pm Re: Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port [Re: ]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: Pinzgauer
In my last year at school, I went with a few mates to have a look at the remains of Hooton Airfield. Remember going in to an unlocked hanger and having a poke around


Fairly typical, Mike; don't suppose it would have made any difference if it had been locked grin

Cheers, Chris.
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#186529 - 27th Nov 2007 11:57am Re: Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port [Re: chriskay]
AR_One Offline
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Registered: 14th Nov 2007
Posts: 435
Loc: Wirral
I don't personally remeber it as an airfield (I was only born in 1974!) but I do remember my Grandad telling me that he was based at the airbase during WW2.

He was there for quite a while getting his signals and radar training, I only worked out recently where it was though cos he thought that the airbase had been buried under the landfill near Eastham Rake. Sadly he's no longer with us so I can't take him for a nostalgic "reminici-package"!

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#186600 - 27th Nov 2007 6:18pm Re: Hooton Park [Re: AR_One]
Mark Online   Reading


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
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There are alot of firsts attached to Hooton Air Feild.

They have hundreds of storeys up there, and History as stuy says
watch out for any open days as they tell all its History.

Good bunch of volunteers up there.
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#279359 - 1st Jan 2009 5:49pm Re: Hooton Park [Re: Mark]
Pete_Robbo Offline

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Registered: 11th Aug 2008
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Originally Posted By: Mark
There are alot of firsts attached to Hooton Air Feild.

They have hundreds of storeys up there, and History as stuy says
watch out for any open days as they tell all its History.

Good bunch of volunteers up there.


yer is the bunkers there ?
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#279398 - 1st Jan 2009 11:09pm Re: Hooton Park [Re: Pete_Robbo]
uptoncx Offline
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Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral
I'm sure most people here know the background of Hooton Park and Hooton Hall, but for anyone who doesn't, here is a very brief summary:

There have been two Hooton Halls, the first was built in 1488 and lasted until 1778 when the then owner, Sir William Stanley, had it demolished and a new mansion built from Storeton Stone. The house stood in 1,000 acres of Parkland.

In order to clear family debts, the estate was sold in the 19th century to Richard Naylor, a wealthy Liverpool banker. He enlarged and remodelled the house, and established a race course and polo ground on the estate.


Hooton Hall in 1914

In 1914, the hall and the estate were requisitioned by the Government for use as a military training ground. The 18th Battalion of the Kings Liverpool Regiment were stationed there. After their departure, the site was used as an aerodrome by the Royal Flying Corps. Many hundreds of pilots were trained at Hooton Park up until its closure in 1919. They left behind three 'Belfast Truss' hangars.

In 1927 the site was bought by Mr George Dawson, who tried to persuade Liverpool Corporation to use the site as a new Liverpool Airport. In fact, Hooton Park was the official Liverpool Airport from 1930 until Speke was opened in 1933.

Mr Dawson also helped to finance the Comper Aircraft and Pobjoy Airmotors factories in the old hangars. Comper Aircraft built the Swift light aircraft, these were powered by the radial piston engines built by Pobjoy in the hangar next door.


Comper C.L.A.7 Swift 1930

During this period the aerodrome was visited by many well known aviation names, including Amy Johnson, Sir Alan Cobham and Sir Sefton Brackner. During 1934 Midland and Scottish Air Ferries operated daily services to Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. On 1st August 1929, the Prince of Wales flew into Hooton on his way to the World Scout Jamboree at Arrowe Park.


Midland & Scottish Air Ferries plane at Hooton

From 1936 Hooton was home to No 610 (County of Chester) Squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force. The squadron flew biplane bombers, but just before the second world war they were equipped with Spitfires.

In the second world war Hooton played a role in the Battle of the Atlantic, with aircraft protecting convoys and shipping between South Wales and Scotland. Hooton was later used as an aircraft store and dismantling site. Over 500 aircraft, including Halifax heavy bombers made their final flights into Hooton, there to be scrapped.

After the war Hooton remained an RAF Station and was home to the Meteors of 610 and 611 squadrons and the Austers off 663 Squadron (all of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force). There was an annual air show which drew vast crowds. The 1954 show was marred by the crash of a Meteor of 610 which killed the pilot.


Gloster Meteor

During the war and in the post war period the aerodrome also housed Martin Hearn Ltd, who, at their peak, employed 5000 people repairing and servicing RAF aircraft.

In 1956 government cuts led to the disbanding of the squadrons and the closure of the RAF station. This ended Hooton Park's days as an aerodrome.

Following the closure, part of the site was used for the Cheshire Show for a few years, then Vauxhall Motors bought the site and, at a cost of 66 million, built their new factory.

In 1999 Vauxhall applied to extend car parking facilities at the plant, this would involve the demolition of the three grade 2 listed first world war hangars. As a result of the campaign launched by the Griffin Trust and the North West Aviation Heritage Museum, Vauxhall revised their plans, leaving the hangars untouched.






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#279414 - 1st Jan 2009 11:40pm Re: Hooton Park [Re: uptoncx]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9552
Loc: Birkenhead
Thanks for that uptoncx, just to fill in with some pictures ...
first is original Hooton Manor
second (I believe) is the original part of the Second Hooton Hall
third is Hooton Park in 1950s


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HootonManor1488to1778.jpg

Description: Hooton Manor 1488-1778

HootonHall1812-c03766.jpg

Description: Hooton Hall 1812ish

HootonPark1950s-c03210.jpg

Description: Hooton Park 1950s


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#279582 - 2nd Jan 2009 7:57pm Re: Hooton Park [Re: diggingdeeper]
Doctor_Frick Offline
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Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
Hooton park was known as Liverpool Airport if im not mistaken ?
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#279584 - 2nd Jan 2009 7:58pm Re: Hooton Park [Re: diggingdeeper]
Mark Online   Reading


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 20959
Loc: Wirral
Hooton Park - The History of a Thousand Years.

Click Me To view a scanned PDF Document.
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#279600 - 2nd Jan 2009 8:35pm Re: Hooton Park [Re: Doctor_Frick]
uptoncx Offline
Veteran

Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: DoctorFrick
Hooton park was known as Liverpool Airport if im not mistaken ?


Officially for three years from 1930 to 1933, when Speke opened but it had served unofficially before that.

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#287725 - 29th Jan 2009 7:07pm Re: Hooton Park [Re: uptoncx]
greasby_lad Offline
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Registered: 17th Jan 2009
Posts: 146
Loc: Wirral
Hooton airfield - photos of the collapsed roof of one of the hangars - January 2009


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Hangar roof 397r.JPG

Hangar roof 399 r.jpg



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#288373 - 1st Feb 2009 12:43pm Re: Hooton Park [Re: greasby_lad]
Dava2479 Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 10th Feb 2008
Posts: 1924
Loc: Wirral
Shame,I`m sure these buildings are assessed from time to time,so why was`nt there steps taken to avoid and prevent this from happening.

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