RAF Upwood

Great explore this and has been on the list for quite some time now, only being an hour or so away. Unfortunately we did not manage to enter the hospital section as it is now half demolished and appeared to have a somewhat eagle eyed secca watching over it and the rumers I had heard of the aircraft hangars recently being vacated are not confirmed as we could not find an access point.

While exploring it became a little film set explore venture after watching The Devils Chair the night before which was recorded at RAF Upwood under the fictional name of Blackwater Asylum. Never making a big screen film, its well worth a watch.. the trailer is below if you are interested.

Onto the history of the place anyway, as always pinched from wikipedia…

RAF Upwood is a former Royal Air Force station adjacent to the village of Upwood, Cambridgeshire, England in the United Kingdom.

It was a non-flying station which was under the control of the United States Air Force from 1981, and one of three RAF stations in Cambridgeshire used by the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE). Upwood, along with RAF Molesworth and RAF Alconbury are considered the “Tri-Base Area” due to their close geographic proximity, and interdependency. Since 1982, the Nene Valley Gliding Club has conducted its glider operations from a field that occupies the site of the old runways. Initially these operations were under an agreement with the Ministry of Defence. However, in 1995 the club was told they would need to find a new home as the land was going to be sold off. The club was unable to locate a suitable new home and was preparing for the possibility of having to close when the purchaser of the land, Marshal Papworth, agreed to lease the land to the club for 10 years. This has allowed the club to continue flying from Marshals Paddock (so named by the club after their benefactor’s death in 2000).

Much of the RAF Upwood is unused, closed by the Ministry of Defence in 1994. Most of the station was vacated and the land and buildings sold off to civil ownership.

Upwood is also the home of No. 511 (Ramsey) Squadron Air Training Corps who have been on the site since the early 80s. Originally housed in the old fire station the squadron moved to a number of buildings before settling in the old nissen hut church building. When the station was closed by the MOD in 1995, the squadron moved to the Upwood school. The squadron finally settled into the present building inside the fence in 1997.

In 2004 Turbine Motor Works purchased a large amount of property on the former base including the four C-type hangars. Their plan is to convert the property into a state-of-the-art jet engine overhaul facility. Together with the Nene Valley Gliding Club and the Air Cadet Squadron, this facility will ensure that the former RAF base will continue its aviation legacy well into the 21st century.

Part of the facility is now used by Urban Assault to play Airsoft every other Saturday.

Every year in August the site is home to the Ramsey 1940s Weekend, an event dedicated to recreating the sights and sounds of the 1940s. The event is held in aid of several local charities and has been rewarded with a tourism award. The weekend features living history re-enactors, period dancing, food, exhibitions and trade stands.