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TOPIC: Gloster Aircraft Company Production sites

Gloster Aircraft Company Production sites 25 Apr 2015 17:23 #1

  • IanDDavidson
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The manufacturing sites at Brockworth and Hucclecote are well documented. The airfield at Moreton Valence is equally well known.

I have seen reference to two dispersed sites.

The one at Stoke Orchard is nearby. SO 92497 28259 The buildings on the SE side of the airfield at SO 9325 2723 are the RAF station hangars and associated.

I found reference to a dispersed site at Newent, a full 12 miles away. I have been searching for details for ages and finally discovered the factory was a subcontractor to Gloster, Charlesworth Bodies of Coventry. They had a factory in Newent. But that is as much as I know. Charlesworth made car bodies, for Daimler and others.

Please add to this thread if you have any details.

Ian

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Gloster Aircraft Company Production sites 25 Apr 2015 19:03 #2

  • OneEighthBit
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The main assembly shop at Stoke Orchard was at SO 91860 28351 where I believe wing assembly took place. The two main assembly sheds were retained by the Coal Research Board until the whole site was demolished a few years ago.

The second smaller site you mentioned at SO 92497 28259 had gated gap in the hedge to allow aircraft to be towed through and then flown off from RAF Stoke Orchard. I spoke to the mother of the current farmer who says she recalls watching aircraft being taken across the road then flown "over the hump" to Brockworth for finishing.

There was also the workshops in Carlton Street (SO 95607 22177) which were used for initial assembly of the E28/39.

Gloster had a lot of sub-contractors probably one of the more well known being H H Martyn who had their factory at Sunningend (SO 93243 22527) who built cockpits for the Horsa glider there during the war.

Afraid I can't think of any other Gloster specific sites off the top of my head. There were a lot of firms making aero parts that ultimately went into Gloster aircraft but weren't part of the company. They had sites all over Gloucestershire.

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Gloster Aircraft Company Production sites 25 Apr 2015 19:46 #3

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OneEighthBit;159521 wrote: The main assembly shop at Stoke Orchard was at SO 91860 28351 where I believe wing assembly took place. The two main assembly sheds were retained by the Coal Research Board until the whole site was demolished a few years ago.

The second smaller site you mentioned at SO 92497 28259 had gated gap in the hedge to allow aircraft to be towed through and then flown off from RAF Stoke Orchard. I spoke to the mother of the current farmer who says she recalls watching aircraft being taken across the road then flown "over the hump" to Brockworth for finishing.

There was also the workshops in Carlton Street (SO 95607 22177) which were used for initial assembly of the E28/39.

Gloster had a lot of sub-contractors probably one of the more well known being H H Martyn who had their factory at Sunningend (SO 93243 22527) who built cockpits for the Horsa glider there during the war.

Afraid I can't think of any other Gloster specific sites off the top of my head. There were a lot of firms making aero parts that ultimately went into Gloster aircraft but weren't part of the company. They had sites all over Gloucestershire.


Thanks.

It seems Gloster had further sites at Bentham and Witcombe, near Birdlip Hill. Gloster built mainly Hurricanes up to 1942 and then Typhoons.

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Gloster Aircraft Company Production sites 26 Apr 2015 10:24 #4

  • Carnaby
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Derek N James' excellent Gloster Aircraft since 1917 lists the 33 premises (Nos 4-37) taken over during WWII as dispersal factories, then adds the 6 new factories (Nos 38-43)
38, Ledbury. Wing assembly
39, Stoke Orchard. Assembly
40, Stoke Orchard. Flight shed
41, Uckington. Tool room, fitting shop and presses
42, Bentham. Experimental design office and factory
43, Newent. Sheet metal
.
No mention of Witcombe. Outlying sites were:
4, Woodchester. Bentley Piano works - Assembly
21, Thrupp. T Bond Worth & Sons - Machine shop
26, Woodchester. Glos Incubator Co - Stores
27, Ebley. Cordwell's Central Garage - Rolling mills
32, Ledbury. Army Mechanisation Depot - Wing assembly
34, Bishop's Cleeve. Cleeve House and Manor House - Drawing office
Plan A is always more effective when the problem you are working on understands that Plan B will involve the use of dynamite :twisted:

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Gloster Aircraft Company Production sites 26 Apr 2015 10:46 #5

  • Peter Kirk
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There was a series of books on British Built Aircraft by Ron Smith that might help. It was regional based so may require access to a few volumes. I believe they listed sites by manufacturer.
01010000 01100101 01110100 01100101 01110010 00100000 01001011 01101001 01110010 01101011

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Gloster Aircraft Company Production sites 26 Apr 2015 13:11 #6

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A couple of 2010 views of the Bentham site from outside the fence

Attached files [IMG]/community/159548=22345-bentham 1.jpg [IMG]/community/159548=22346-bentham 2.jpg
You can tell a builder from an archaeologist by the size of his trowel. Mine is a small one!

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Gloster Aircraft Company Production sites 26 Apr 2015 13:51 #7

  • OneEighthBit
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Couple more pics.

1) Flight Shed on the Stoke Orchard site plan showing the path across the road onto the airfield.
2) Assembly Shed (left) and Flight Shed (Right)
3) Assembly Shed circa 2004 before it was demolished.

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Gloster Aircraft Company Production sites 26 Apr 2015 18:11 #8

  • bvs
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Fairly primitive conditions at Bentham for DG204 - fitted with 2 axial flow Metrovick F2 engines

The MetroVick powered Meteor F.Mk.1 DG204/G would be the fifth Meteor prototype to take to the air, on 13 November 1943, but it was destroyed in a crash on 4 January 1945, and would remain the only MetroVick powered Meteor.

The F.2 engine itself went on to be the basis of the Armstrong-Siddleley F2/4 Beryl and then the F.9 Sapphire, which was used to power a number of post-war aircraft, amongst them the Gloster Javelin and the Hawker Hunter
Crashed on approach.

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Last edit: by netcompsys. Reason: de photobucketed

Gloster Aircraft Company Production sites 15 May 2015 19:42 #9

  • IanDDavidson
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Carnaby;159536 wrote: Derek N James' excellent Gloster Aircraft since 1917 lists the 33 premises (Nos 4-37) taken over during WWII as dispersal factories, then adds the 6 new factories (Nos 38-43)

38, Ledbury. Wing assembly
39, Stoke Orchard. Assembly
40, Stoke Orchard. Flight shed
41, Uckington. Tool room, fitting shop and presses
42, Bentham. Experimental design office and factory
43, Newent. Sheet metal
.
No mention of Witcombe. Outlying sites were:
4, Woodchester. Bentley Piano works - Assembly
21, Thrupp. T Bond Worth & Sons - Machine shop
26, Woodchester. Glos Incubator Co - Stores
27, Ebley. Cordwell's Central Garage - Rolling mills
32, Ledbury. Army Mechanisation Depot - Wing assembly
34, Bishop's Cleeve. Cleeve House and Manor House - Drawing office


Well I've found two. They are to a similar design.

38 Ledbury grid ref: SO 70264 39215

43 Newent. grid ref: SO 72723 26645

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Gloster Aircraft Company Production sites 11 Feb 2019 16:00 #10

  • Mag-drop
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The establishment referred to as "Witcombe" was never part of the Gloster Aircraft Company organisation; and was, in fact, located at Little Witcombe (SO 90762 15595). It comprised numerous buildings including barrack accommodation, ablution blocks and mess halls; and three air raid shelters. The camp was known as RAF Great Witcombe and was home to a WAAF unit as well as other units probably associated with the nearby radio stations at Birdlip and Winstone; and the radar station on Leckhampton Hill.
Some buildings remain but the whole site is heavily wooded. The only GAC site other than the main airfield was an industrial workers' hostel providing housing for the industrial workforce for the nearby Gloster Aircraft Company (GAC) factory/airfield.
The hostel complex was located on the main A.46 Cheltenham road just to the north-east of the Cross Hands pub and the Ermin Street (old A.417) roundabout.The site consisted of 44 rectangular buildings of various dimensions, an emergency water supply and an internal road system. Accommodation buildings were laid out in a series of four capital ‘H’ shapes, with air raid shelters (with blast wall) at each end. A large building at the centre of the hostel complex was the canteen/dining hall and recreational facilities.
The hostel subsequently housed prisoners of war. In the late 1940s and 1950s the hostel accommodated Jamaican and West Indian immigrants arriving in the UK. The workers hostel had been demolished by 1977, replaced by Witcombe Lodge.
The site is now The Cheltenham Chase Hotel complex, and modern aerial photographs show that all the buildings from the former workers hostel have been demolished.

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