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Monday, 13 October 2014

North Lincolnshire Sunday - Continued - North Coates

There's an error in the title. For this and the previous post I should have changed it to North East Lincolnshire.
'North East Lincolnshire is a unitary authority area in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, bordering the unitary authority of North Lincolnshire and the administrative county of Lincolnshire. These three administrative units make up the ceremonial county of Lincolnshire'.

This post will not be of much interest to all readers. Light aircraft enthusiasts and ex RAF personnel might find some interest here. It's a nostalgic trip for me. 

After finishing my walk on the Humber Estuary, I drove a couple of miles south to the village of North Coates. From North Coates I took the road called Sea Lane which took me down to the former RAF station. My earliest memories are of RAF North Coates, one of the posting of my father who was in the RAF. 
I'd been here before, but never gained entrance as the station was then in private hands.
This is a very flat area of Lincolnshire and is criss crossed with many drains and dykes. 
Just before the camp entrance is a dyke where I remember as a 3 or 4 year old seeing fishermen catching crabs. 
There was also an electricity sub station close by. Here, we lost a younger toddler brother, Neil, who somehow managed to crawl under the bottom gate and who suffered burns that he never recovered from.

I turned into Fitties Lane and a short way along I saw this view.
After sixty plus years it was one of those flashback moments as I saw myself and my older brother turning in here going home. These houses were built around 1935 so must have been fairly new when we lived here.

I drove along to the end of the cul-de-sac where two wee lassies were wondering why I was taking photographs. I could here them telling their mother as they went in "A man lived here when he was a little boy".

I took more pictures as I drove around, I couldn't quite figure out the windows a small pal and I had smashed.

Quite a few cars were parked by this hangar.
A man I spoke to said it was now the domain of the North Coates Flying Club, and I was welcome to go in and purchase a tea or coffee at 60 pence a cup and take pictures.

A few of the planes were readying to fly so I took a few pictures.

Now I was ready for my coffee and entered the hangar to find a small museum dedicated to RAF North Coates.

There was quite a fascinating display of artefacts, photographs and documents, but I couldn't make out any reference to my dad's time here. It closed as an RAF station in 1990.
After looking at the displays I went in search of the canteen and got talking to Brian Stafford the secretary of the flying club. Brian was most helpful and allowed me to wander round and take pictures. 

The first thing that caught my attention was this intricate piece of equipment...............

....................I was to learn it was the 'gubbins' that directed this British made anti aircraft missile.

There were a number of quite different flying machines in the hangar.........

....................and still quite a number outside and flying.

I found the following on the internet.

North Coates Flying Club may be forced to close if wind farm compounds go ahead

By Grimsby Telegraph  |  Posted: September 29, 2014

CONCERNS: Members of North Coates Flying Club fear they may be forced to close the airfield. From left, Brian Bass, secretary Brian Stafford, chairman Steve Charters, John Greenfield, John Whitelam and Andy Sellars.

CAMPAIGNERS insist changes to plans to build works compounds for an offshore wind farm don't go far enough to lift the threat of closure hanging over their airfield.
As reported, North Coates Airfield could be forced to close if renewables firm Smart Wind goes ahead with its proposal, airfield representatives fear.
The company initially proposed locating three works compounds close to the runway at North Coates to enable it to lay cables for the Hornsea offshore wind farm.
Smart Wind is developing the 4,000MW (4GW) Hornsea offshore wind farm off the Yorkshire coast.

There's a petition against the construction, the least I can do for these fine people is to share the link.

When Neil died, he was buried with a small memorial stone marking his grave in North Coates churchyard.
My mother and sister tried once to find it with no avail, the times I've also looked have been without success. 
Brian kindly told me where I could contact the church warden, but unfortunately she was out.
I know he was only a blink in human history, but perhaps this mention will go some way to an acknowledgement of his short life. I know my sister continues to try to find out more information. 

After leaving North Coates I headed to Keadby for my tea,
I stopped for a moment at Covenham Reservoir, a popular sailing club nowadays.

The sun was going down in Keadby
I think they have more wind turbines here than we have in Galloway !

Wait till your dad knows you've been on the garage roof lad !

Monday was a washout. I spent it visiting family and friends.
Back to Newton Stewart tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.
It's been an enjoyable visit.


  1. Hi Jim, what a gorgeous view on Fifties Lane!!! I enjoyed the rest of this tour as well!

  2. Good to see you my Friend :-)

  3. I suppose Lincolnshire is perfect for wind farms with its flat aspect. Sorry to here about your young brother Jim. My own mum lost a little boy just before his birth and I sometimes wonder what life would have been like growing up with a similar aged sibling as my sister was already a teenager and too old to play with me much before she emigrated to Australia.

    1. Hi Bob, I barely remember Neil, I was so young myself. We remembered him on his birthday as I grew up. Sadly that has been long forgotten too. I'm hopeful of getting more information about him now. I often think that there are a lot of people who live and die and there's no account of them ever having existed. That's a sad thing but true. A poignant thing with me is seeing old family albums at car boot sales. I'm all for a website called 'Forgotten Folk Remembered'.

  4. What a poignant walk down memory lane Jim, and a small museum perhaps but comprehensive and proudly maintained. It would have been a thrill if a reference had have been there of your Dad.

    1. Hi Rose, some of the writing and photographs were very small and faded. Perhaps there was some mention that I didn't discover. It was just a great feeling to be there after such a long time.


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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