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Broxbourne


Note: I had a devil of a job trying to pinpoint this aerodrome, and in September 2016 David Nichols (see comments below) came to the rescue. This said, the Google Map co-ordinates are not I believe quite accurate and the marker should be just a tad E to SE.


BROXBOURNE: Civil aerodrome


Aerial view, c.1930s
Aerial view, c.1930s
DH60 Moth G-AALX
DH60 Moth G-AALX

Note: These pictures from postcards were kindly sent by Mike Charlton who has an amazing collection. See,  www.aviationpostcard.co.uk
The Moth G-AALX, first registered in 1929 is recorded as being both a DH60G Gipsy Moth and a DH60M Moth. It may well have been modified along the way of course. Seen here in Brooklands Flying Club colours, (red with black trim), it was based at BROOKLANDS from 09.05.31 until being WFU (Withdrawn From Use) and de-registered on 25.09.37.



Essex Aero Club line-up
Essex Aero Club line-up

I took this picture in the Science Museum but couldn't place it. In March 2019 John Ryan came to the rescue pointing out it was a line-up of Essex Aero Club aircraft at BROXBOURNE and that at the end was the Stinson Junior S G-ABTZ. Quite a rarity I think?
 
 

Operated by: Herts & Essex Aero Club




 

Aero club: Pre 1940 & post 1945: The Herts & Essex Aero Club, London Transport Flying club

Manufacturing: 1930s: Deekay Aircraft Corporation

WW2: Herts and Essex Aviation*

 

Location: Midway between Broxbourne and Lower Nazeing

Period of operation: 1929 to 1954
 

Landing area: SW/NE   512  grass          NW/SE   457   grass

 

NOTES: It appears it was on the 17th September 1931 that the opening flying meeting of the Herts and Essex Flying Club, together with the London General Omnibus Co Flying Club - LGOC, (later the London Transport Flying Club) was formed here. The LGOC had a subsidised subscription of 6/s a week for about a thousand employees. After WW2 the club was re-instated at FAIROAKS in SURREY and they have been there ever since.


FLYING CIRCUS VENUE
Venue, (17th September), for the North British Aviation Co ‘Tour of Britain’ 1931


THE DEEKAY KNIGHT
In November 1937 the two-seat side-by-side Deekay Knight G-AFBA first flew here and was also manufactured here. It was designed by Mr S C Hart-Still and was really a quite advanced design achieving a 105mph cruise from a 90hp Blackburn Cirrus Minor engine, although some say it had a Cirrus Major engine. But WW2 got in the way, as did a lack of money, and this very promising light aircraft type disappeared forever. It appears the prototype was destroyed during WW2 but I don’t know the circumstances.



HERTS and ESSEX AVIATION
*In his excellent book British Built Aircraft Vol.5 Ron Smith states how during WW2 the Herts and Essex Aviation ran a modification and repair operation run within the Civilian Repair Organisation. Although not strictly a manufacturing company it was obviously much more than a maintenance facility with Proctors being rebuilt at a rate of two per week. Of special interest I think, Ron Smith says they modified twenty Caudron Simoun types for the Free French Air Force and these were taken to LUTON (BEDFORDSHIRE) for assembly and flight testing in 1940/41. The company also prepared Canadian-built Harvards for the RAF.

 

 


 
 

David Nichols

This comment was written on: 2016-09-30 15:03:54
 
Hello, Dick. I see you do not know exactly where Broxbourne airfield was situated. It was in Nazeing(!) to the north of Nazeing Road, near its junction with Nazeing Old Road, in the area where lakes (gravel pits) now exist.

 
Reply from Dick Flute:
Dear David, Many thanks indeed. I have long suspected it may have been in this area, but have failed to find conclusive proof. Thanks once again for clearing this up. My best regards, Dick
 

 
 

John Pickard

This comment was written on: 2016-12-13 23:51:32
 
I used to cycle there in 1946 to watch the landings and take-offs I think I remember tiger moths and magisters I can remember the smell of dope from a hangar and I recall that someone told me that a Hampden bomber once made a forced landing there during the war

 
Reply from Dick Flute:
Hi John, Many thanks for the memories, I shall keep these posted. Best regards, Dick
 

 
 

Jeremy Greenaway

This comment was written on: 2017-02-22 23:43:53
 
Like John Pickard, I used to cycle out there from Muswell Hill in the very early '50s and watch the comings and goings - while on the way to a disused chalk quarry somewhere near South Mimms. Dick Flute explains why I can't find it on Google - didn't know it had gone! I'm having the same problem finding the chalk pit. I made several bike trips out there (I was about eight or nine at the time!) and found several possible dinosaur eggs among other interesting fossils, which I handed to the Natural History Museum. Never got a word of thanks!! Loved the Austers at Broxb...

 
Reply from Dick Flute:
Hi Jeremy, Many thanks for the memories, which I shall keep posted. Best regards, Dick
 

 
 

Myles

This comment was written on: 2017-04-09 11:37:11
 
As a child I went on a number of flights from this airfield 1950 - 1954. There were "air experience" flights in a De Haviland Rapide, costing I think 5 shillings, might have been 10s. Also, my parents were friendly with an RAF pilot, who took me on a number of flights in an Auster (Reg G-AJEI) and also aerobatics in a Tiger Moth - loops, spins, stall turns. My memory of exact location is a bit vague, though I remember that coming from London we had to cross a bridge then turn right. There were lots of greenhouses I saw from the air.

 
Reply from Dick Flute:
Hi Myles, Many thanks for sending such lovely memories. Best regards, Dick
 

 
 

Dr. Brian L Potter

This comment was written on: 2017-08-12 11:48:57
 
Does anybody remember the registrations of the two A.S. Consuls based at Broxbourne ca.1953 ?. One was owned by V.A. Ercolani - of Ercol Furniture fame.

 
Reply from Dick Flute:
Hi Brian, I shall leave this request posted and hopefully somebody can help. Best regards, Dick
 

 
 

Mark

This comment was written on: 2020-01-07 10:24:53
 
I have recently found a photo taken I think by my grandfather of a presentation at Broxbourne , given by Jim Mollison and presented to Vic Ercolani. My mother is pictured to the RHS of the photo.I have a few more photos all taken around the mid 30's of Broxbourne..

 
 

Dick Flute

This comment was written on: 2020-01-07 18:59:22
 
Hi Mark, I you can kindly e-mail me scans of these pictures, (preferably j-pegs), I will be very happy to include them. Best regards, Dick

 
 

David Thomas

This comment was written on: 2020-01-27 12:59:10
 
You may be interested in 2 books on the Isabel Hospice site regarding aviation. One iks shown as Broxbourne Aerodrome the other East Herts flying club

 
 

Penny Gillman

This comment was written on: 2020-06-20 19:29:47
 
My mum worked for six months here from October 1942 until beginning of May 1943 as part of a maintenance and repair team during WW2. She mentions, Bert Winn and 'Bridge Works; which she says 'I thought was too good to last' and I would love to know what that actually refers to. She was also moved to the Big Hanger after Bridge Works and that she wouldn't like leaving Joyce at Bridge Works so any info on that during her time there would be appreciated. She mentions the three girls she mainly worked with, as D Godfrey, J Morley, although also mentions, M Braemar and G Breeze, and also someone called Minnie. Mum was Doris Bowden, from Provost Street, Dalston in London who did her five weeks training at the Edmonton GTC course before coming to Herts and Essex Aviation. She recalls a 'delightful, chubby faced smiley bespectacled gentleman who she thinks might have been Dougie, who had a car and drove the girls, and who they called 'our little man' or 'our car man' I believe Buster Frogley was the test pilot throughout the time she was there. She also worked with at least two men, named as 'Sid-the great lover (tongue in cheek here) and Ron G (Green?) a recognised flirt. The local Home guard would fire watch there and this created a great social life, which Mums fiancé at the time called the 'Hets and Essex Monday night Social Club. I believe Mum may have worked worked shifts and certainly did one overnight stay there, two girls to a bed, and had a thoroughly fun time throughout her stay. I would love to know more details on top of those I have given you as I am writing a book about her life and vey much want to know the type of thing she did with the maintenance of the planes at this time. Any help or information would be much appreciated. Thank you in hopeful anticipation. Penny Gillman

 
 

John Blewitt

This comment was written on: 2020-12-06 16:32:34
 
I have a copy of The Complete Flying Course by N. Roy Harben D.F.C. In the front it is written in hand writing., issued by the Essex and Herts Aero Club Broxbourne Herts May 1936. Chief Instryctor Charles Spinks.Instructor number 4 Edward R Martin. Machine Puss Moth.Also written is the following adressed to the trainee pilot. Lionel Gordon. It saysAfter learning the fundamentals of flying from me. this book should pove its worth for the final polish, Signed Edward r Martin.At the back of the book there is another hand written entry by E R Martin dated July 36.It says After acheivement of your certificate may I say that the use of an aeroplane has far better application than that of aerobatics. You have been a good but obstinate pupil. Obstinate deliberately I beleive. Therefore I shall derive great pleasure when the day comes. When I shall read in the Daily Press that you have broken your neck from fooling about, Anyway the best of luck. E R Martin

 
 

Tony Wood

This comment was written on: 2021-06-11 14:58:56
 
Hello, after being demob'd in 1947 my father (RIP) ventured to Broxbourne in July 1948 to get into the air again. His service flying log book records only 4 take off and landing over two days ..one with Mr. Ayles and one with Mr Evans he did 30min solos after the initial checkouts..but I often wonder what that might have cost him.NB He did his elementary flying training at Desford then sent to South Africa to complete training and OCU in 1944 (Harvards and Hurricanes)
 

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