It’s always great to hear from old friend of the blog Ian Broad – many of you will remember that Ian lived in the now derelict quarry bungalow at Sandhills, Shire Oak and his family owned the shop Tom’s Cabin in Brownhills for many years.
Ian also sent in a wonderful photo of 1982 Shire Oak School leavers outside the Royal Oak pub in Shire Oak. Well, this time he’s turned his hand to something different: RAF Hednesford.
The long-gone RAF Base up on the Chase existed from 1939 until 1956 and was finally mostly demolished by 1970. For most of its life it was a training camp for aero mechanics, but later became a more basic induction and squarebashing camp.
You can read more about RAF Hednesford here: There is also a great discovery trail you can follow here and exploring the area is a historical voyage of discovery – few today visiting the quiet wooded areas would imagine the noise and extent of the camp 60 years hence.
Ian’s friend Steve Blower has overlaid a wartime aerial image of RAF Hednesford over modern imagery. It’s really quite astounding, and excellent work – you can explore the image below.
Well, not strictly Brownhills but I know you like Cannock Chase.
I like comparing photos from past with the same location in the present. I asked my old school mate Steve Blower to do this pic for me. He’s much better in photoshop than me.
Here’s a pic of the Marquis Drive / Brindley Heath (top pic) area from google maps and the same pic with RAF Hednesford overlaid on the same.
Thought you might like to see the comparison.
Thanks to Ian and Steve for a wonderful, thought-provoking contribution. This really is most fascinating.
Thanks to Ian for another great post, and if you have any memories of RAF Hednesford, or anything else concerning the military history of the Chase and wider area, please do comment here, shout me on social media or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.