Note: This map only shows my estimation of where this Landing Ground might have been located. Any advice will be much appreciated.
SAVERNAKE: Civil Landing Ground and temporary aerodrome? (Aka SAVERNAKE AERODROME)
Operated by: Rt. Hon. Earl of Cardigan, High Trees, Savernake Forest, Marlborough (Some sources say this gentleman was Lord Cardigan: does this amount to the same?)
Location: Burbage Road, Marlborough. The Savernake Forest is roughly 3nm SE of Marlborough north of the A346 which leads to Burbage so I expect the aerodrome was probably a bit closer to Marlborough. This certainly appears correct from later information; “1m S of Marlborough, W of A346, actually on old railway tunnel”
Period of operation: 1930s only?
Runway(s): Max landing run: 549 grass (In 1933 reported as; 457 grass)
NOTES: In the 1930s this was one of seventy-four AA (Automobile Association) approved Landing Grounds. In 1933 it is reported that fuel and transport (typically a taxi service) was available from B J Richards Garage, presumably in or near to Marlborough?
The hotels listed are still in business and situated in the High Street in Marlborough; The Castle & Ball Hotel dating from circa 1745 and the Grade II listed Ailsbury Arms. Perhaps oddly the nearest telephone was at the GWR railway station in Marlborough. In 1933 at least it seems one hangar was on this site but it isn’t known if this was available for use by visitors?
If you enjoy being covered in confusion, Google up the info regarding the two railway stations once serving Marlborough. Looking deeper into my rather cryptic note of many years ago, “Im S of Marlborough, W of A346, actually on old railway tunnel”, revealed a very precise location, if correct, for this Landing Ground. It appears that amongst railway buffs this tunnel is well known and reported, used from 1898 to 1964, and dug through Posterne Hill.
It also appears that this Landing Ground was used by Avro Tutors etc of the CFS (Central Flying School) from May 1939 to September 1941? Surely this must have been aircraft operating from UPAVON? I will admit to being a bit confused about this because I thought the CFS had been transferred to CRANWELL (LINCOLNSHIRE) at some point after WW1? So, did the CFS retain a presence at UPAVON in the later inter-war years?
It also seems reasonable that this site was used by US Army liaison aircraft listed as MARLBOROUGH in WW2.
Almost certainly the venue (28th September) for Alan Cobham’s 1935 Tour of the UK?
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