SHERBURN IN ELMET

Sherburns' days as a flying town date back to the First World War, where a field to the east of the town was used by the RFC as an aircraft acceptance park.

The airfield was run down and vacated after the war but later in 1926 the Yorkshire Aeroplane Club brought flying back to the area on the original site. In 1931 the club moved to Yeadon, just outside Leeds.

With the start of the Second World War, Sherburn was taken over by RAF Fighter Command and was used by Church Fenton as a satellite airfield. The fighters eventually left the airfield in 1941, and because of ideal transportation facilities and access, the site was developed for aircraft production.

Blackburn Aircraft had been approached in 1941 by the Ministry of Aircraft Production to undertake construction of Fairey Swordfish torpedo aircraft. By the end of production, in 1944, some 1700 complete Swordfish had been built.

With the end of the war, the airfield returned to its civilian roots and today, only a small part of the site is used for flying by the Sherburn Aero Club. One of the original Blackburn factories has recently been demolished for development (it was a storage facility for Kwik Save), and the main factory site is now an industrial area. The original hard runway is used by Mintex for brake pad testing. With all the developments happening at this site, we are sure it will not be long before any of the original parts of the airfield remain. The photos we got appear to be the taxiway on the north of the site, just behind the new Summerfield site. Surely this airfields days are numbered. The perimeter track has now gone, after further development.

You can find Sherburn airfield on Ordnance Survey Map 105 location SE520330.

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