The Station Commander at RAF Brize Norton, Town Mayor – Cllr Norman MacRae and I recently joined children from Carterton to enjoy some of the sessions on offer as part of the Get Stuck In programme.
Between 16th and 27th August a wide range of activities were on offer for young people between the ages of 8 and 16. These included climbing, street dance, drumming, sport, cookery, archery, bowling, swimming, drama and table tennis. Over the two week period dozens of youngsters have attended sessions most of which took place at Carterton Community College.
This has been a real team effort with help from RAF Brize Norton, the Oxfordshire Association for Young People, the Allandale Youth Centre and Oxford Playhouse. Other organisations including the Town Council, the West Oxfordshire Strategic Partnership, Carterton Extended Services, Oxfordshire County Council and Cottsway Housing have all provided funding.
It was fantastic to see all these youngsters getting together to try out new things and make new friends. I sincerely hope that the success of this project will mean that it can be repeated during the summer holidays of 2011 and perhaps during other school holidays.
Date: 25th August 1940
- Weather: Early morning fair but remainder of day cloudy.
- Day: Slight activity in the morning, main raids by Luftflotte 3 in the south-west during the afternoon.
- Night: Continued widespread attacks with the main concentration in the Midlands.
Enemy action by day
Enemy activity up to 1700 hours was on a restricted scale but later, mass raids assembled in the Cherbourg and crossed to Weymouth and Warmwell. A large assembly was plotted near Calais resulting in an attack on East Kent, the Isle of Sheppey and Thames Estuary.
North and East Coast
Two reconnaissance flights were plotted off the Scottish Coast and several off East Anglia.
South East Coast
There was little activity in this area until 1815 hours when raids of 50 and 30+ circled over Calais and proceeded to Dover and Hawkinge. Of these aircraft, 30 crossed to the Isle of Sheppey and after passing Eastchurch split – one raid being plotted along the north side of the Estuary and the other the south. These raids were followed by a further 12+ approaching Dover, but by 1940 hours the activity in this area had ceased. Enemy casualties were estimated at five.
South West Coast
In the morning, two raids were plotted over Portsmouth, Portland Bill and Start Point. In the afternoon, isolated reconnaissance flights were made east of Selsey and in the west inland of Yeovil and over Lyme Bay. Other raids were plotted between the Lizard and Land’s End and off the West Cornish Coast.
A number of reconnaissance flights were made toward Milford Haven and four further raids were plotted in this area.
It is reported that merchant ships were attacked off St David’s Head.
Enemy activity was on a large scale until 0200 hours, after which time the number of attackers was gradually reduced.
The whole of England and Wales south of a line from the Humber to Cardigan Bay was under either red or purple warning for a great part of the night. Large numbers of enemy aircraft coming from Holland and Best, crossed the British Coast at numerous points between Land’s End and Skegness.
The most visited districts were South Wales, Bristol, Birmingham, Coventry and other Midland districts, Middlesborough, Newcastle and East Anglia.
A few raids were plotted off Wick and Aberdeen.
London Central was twice under read and five times under purple warning.
Minelaying was suspected from the Isle of Wight along the entire coast to Flamborough Head and near Montrose.
Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 25th August 1940
- Blenheim – 54
- Spitfire – 233
- Hurricane – 416
- Defiant – 18
- Gladiator – 6
- Total – 727
- 16 aircraft with 10 pilots killed or missing.
- 150 patrols involving 506 aircraft.
- Estimated during the night of 24th/25th August, 300 aircraft. Estimated during the day of the 25th August, 250 aircraft.
- Flying 1506, casualties 45 (30 repairable, 3 written off, 12 by enemy action).
- Manston unserviceable, expected to be serviceable some time on the 26th August. Has not yet been evacuated as reported in an earlier paragraph.
Air Intelligence Reports
Home Security Reports
- Date:24th/25th/26th August 1940
- General Summary
- During the day, there has not been a great deal of enemy activity. Bombs have been dropped on the Scilly Isles and South Wales. During the night, enemy aircraft have attacked the Midlands and southern areas.
- Detailed Summary
- 24th August
- London. It is reported that all fires have been extinguished now and the city is free of unexploded bombs. Casualties are reported as 9 killed, 58 injured and over 100 persons in Bethnal Green were rendered homeless.
- Ramsgate. It has now been ascertained that seventy-eight houses have been completely wrecked, three hundred are not fit for habitation and seven hundred are damaged. The gas works were destroyed, but all fires are out.
- Portsmouth. The general position is now satisfactory, but a great deal of damage has been done. There are approximately seven hundred person homeless, and casualties are 83 killed and 191 injured.
- 25th August
- Catterick, Acklington and White Waltham RAF Stations were attacked but there are no details of results.
- Warmwell RAF Station was bombed at 1725 hours, and some damage was done to the roof and wall of one hangar. The sick quarters were burnt out and the telephone exchange temporarily put out of order. No casualties have been reported and the aerodrome is serviceable. One Battle and one Wellington were slightly damaged.
- Scilly Isles. Large numbers of IB and HE bombs were dropped causing fires which are, however, under control. A direct hit was obtained on the RAF wireless station, but damage was only slight.
- Billingham (Durham) was attacked at 0200 hours and the ICI Factory hit. A small fire resulted which, however, did not interfere with production.
- Pembroke Dock was attacked at 1345 hours and bombs were dropped near the oil tanks which resulted in very slight damage.
- Plymouth. Six bombs were dropped on the dockyard at 2125 hours. Minor damage and five casualties in the naval barracks.
- Coventry was bombed at 2205 hours and a large theatre and other property damaged. A fire was reported at Rootes Securities Ltd, No 2 Engine Factory, Ryton-on-Dunsmore. Extent of damage not known.
- Newcastle-on-Tyne. An explosion occurred of an unsuspected bomb which caused damage to Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Hepturn Works. Effect on production not yet known.
- 26th August
- Croydon was bombed at 0150 hours and minor damage caused. Roads were blocked and the Whaddon Estate Factory site was hit. It is also reported that the north-west corner of the airport was bombed.
- Birmingham was bombed early in the morning and it has been reported that City Market Hall was damaged together with other property in the city centre. At 0538 hours, the Birmingham Electric Furnace Co Ltd (Parent Company Mond Nickel), Birdlee Works, Erdington was hit. No information received yet re extent of damage. It is also reported that the British Timken Ltd of Chesten Road was hit by HE bombs and suffered extensive damage. Effect on production not yet known.
- Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
- To RAF Personnel – none killed, 4 injured.
- To others – 84 killed, 233 injured.
Earlier this month (5th Aug to be precise) I posted here about the derelict Osprey pub on Upavon Way in Carterton. At that time the demolition contractors had fenced off the area and begun the soft demolition including the removal of the roof.
During the past week the entire building has been torn down and reduced to rubble which is good news with regard to the eyesore that it was, but in a way sad to see that we have lost what was once a well used public house. Witney TV featured the Osprey on their Internet based TV channel (http://www.witneytv.co.uk/) this week, it certainly seems that many people have fond memories of the Osprey in years gone by.
That leaves us with the Bee Hive and the Aviator, just two pubs in a town of over 15,000 people. I have been saying for a long time now that Carterton needs a family pub/restaurant and with the future of the Osprey site being ear marked for housing development – we need a new pub more than ever.
Advance tickets for Party in the park 2010 are available again this year at a discount from the on the day price representing excellent value for money for over 7 hours of non stop entertainment. The centre stage will host bands covering a range of musical styles and there will be a selection of games and activities for children.
In the air we hope to be entertained by a series of flypast from station based aircraft and the Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight who’s iconic presence was one of the highlights of last years show. There will also be a few surprise appearances to entertain us if the ever present operational tempo allows.
Advance tickets holders will also have the opportunity to ‘stake their claim’ and pitch a gazebo early, why not take the opportunity to make your very own ‘home from home’ keeping your picnic cool in ‘The Park’!
More information can be found on the official Party in the park website www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton/events/partyinthepark.cfm
Information relating to ticker prices and such can be found on this pdf document – Party in the park tickets
A good friend of mine, Phil Gorse, is planning to run the BUPA Great South Run in Oct with a group of work colleagues. They decided to run for the RNLI for several reasons. One of the entrants has close ties with the RNLI and Phil comes from a seaside town and therefore is acutely aware of the importance of this charity.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. The RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews rescue an average of 21 people every day around the coasts and waterways of Britain and Ireland. From 235 lifeboat stations, they are well trained and equipped to put to sea in the most fearsome conditions when the call comes. RNLI lifeguards patrol more than 140 beaches in England and Wales.
As well as rescuing people from the water, they are also on hand for first aid and safety advice, making sure everyone can make the most of their day at the beach.
More information about the invaluable work undertaken by the RNLI can be found on their website – http://www.rnli.org.uk/
Phil’s fundraising page can be found at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/teambrize -
Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor Phil, safe in the knowledge that donations will be quickly processed and passed directly to the RNLI. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity’s behalf where the donor is eligible for this. Many thanks in advance for all donations, additionally please consider sharing Phil’s fundraising page on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace, Digg, Delicious, Stumble Upon, Google etc.