Saturday, 14 July 2012

Castle Bromwich Aerodrome

Castle Bromwich Aerodrome was an early airfield, situated to the north of Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands of England. The site now falls within the City of Birmingham. A large piece of Warwickshire grassland (Castle Bromwich playing fields) became the privately-owned Castle Bromwich aerodrome, when  The Midland Aero Club established itself, and a hangar was built for the aeroplanes. It became a stopping place during early air races. At the start of World War I the War Office requisitioned the airfield for use by the Royal Flying Corps and flying schools in 1914, when proper roads and buildings were established. In 1915 No. 5 Reserve Aeroplane Squadron was formed, later becoming the No 5 Training Squadron. Nine other Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force squadrons resided at the airfield during and just after World War I. After the war, Imperial Airways started a service from London. In the inter war years, the aerodrome had a dual military and civilian function.

On 28th September 1933, Lowry and Jan Gabrial landed at the aerodrome with Tom Forman, a friend of Lowry's from Cambridge, who had hired a plane to fly to RAF Hooton Park on the Wirral en route to North Wales. They flew from Heston Aerodrome with the intention of landing at RAF Hooton Park but had to land at Castle Bromwich Aerodrome because of poor weather.(Jan Gabrial Inside The Volcano Pg. 26). In an earlier account Jan Gabrial told Gordon Bowker that they stayed overnight in Birmingham before continuing the flight the next day. (Gordon Bowker Malcolm Lowry Remembered Pg. 94)

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