Squires Gate
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The modified wartime tower 2001 (© Robert Truman)
Squires Gate airfield - Blackpool Airport
Airfield Today:
Blackpool Airport, industry, shopping centre
Tower Type:
1. Vickers factory Flight Office building, the 'Pilot House'
2. RAF watch office, airfield plan states this type as 943/41, anyone have more information on this?
Tower:
1. Demolished 1995
2. Extended in 1980's, still in use for air traffic control
Other Buildings:
Many, including Vickers Wellington shadow factory
History:
Blackpools first aerodrome was built on Squires Gate Fields south of the town. The first aviation meeting was held here in 1907, attracting 200,000 spectators. The site became Clifton Park horse racing course between 1911 and 1914 with a large grandstand being built. During WW1 it was the site of The King's Lancashire Military Convalescent Hospital.

Flying resumed in the 1920's and a large Air Pagent was staged here in 1928. In 1929 another aerodrome was opened across the road from the new
Stanley Park a few miles away. From 1933 Squires Gate flew regular services to Liverpool and Ronaldsway in the Isle of Man, transferring to Stanley Park in 1936.

From September 1939 to January 1940 63 Sqn Battles, 75 and 215 Sqn Wellingtons were based here. MAP built a Vickers Wellington shadow factory in 1940 and the first three aircraft built flew 30/9/1940. 2,584 Wellingtons were built before closure 10/1945. A secondary assembly line was also set up at Stanley Park. Blackpool became the RAF's largest training area with camps at Weeton and Kirkham.
RAF Squires Gate opened 1/12/1940, No 3 School of General Recconnaissance opened 16/12/1940 with four Bothas. 96 Sqn sent four Hurricanes from Cranage 21/12/1940.
RAF Squires Gate airfield - Blackpool Airport
Vickers factory Flight Office - 'Pilot House' 1994 (© Adrian Morris)
RAF Squires Gate airfield - Blackpool Airport
Airfield:
Operational nightfighter, training and Vickers aircraft production
Opened:
1909
Closed:
N/A
ID Code:
1944: ZG
1956: VQ
USAAF Station:
N/A
Runways:
3 sand and tarmac mix built 1940, 4th built 1951
Hangars:
2 Boulton Paul, 4 Bellman
County:
Lancashire
Location:
S of Blackpool
OS Ref:
SD317311
Links:
Blackpools other aerodrome: Stanley Park
©:
Photographs © copyright as stated
RAF Squires Gate airfield - Blackpool Airport
The King's Lancashire Military Convalescent Hospital 1918 (© via Steve Ward)
RAF Squires Gate airfield - Blackpool Airport
Inside the Westair hangar at Blackpool Airport 1970 (© via Steve Ward)
RAF Squires Gate airfield - Blackpool Airport
Bellman Hangars, control tower and airfield defence pillboxes at Blackpool
2001 (© Robert Truman)
RAF Squires Gate airfield - Blackpool Airport
The modified wartime tower 2001 (© Robert Truman)
RAF Squires Gate airfield - Blackpool Airport
Blackpool airport control tower & airfield = www.controltowers.co.uk © robert truman 2003