Everyday Encounters: Panshanger Airfield


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Praesentia are developing new work for their group project ‘Encounters’ to be exhibited at Parndon Mill Gallery in May/June 2015.

As part of this project I will be producing work that responds to this theme and also relates to my practice of recording my everyday experiences in the landscape. This short video is my first ‘encounter’.

 On a walk near to where I live is a now defunct airfield. Once used during WWII as a decoy airfield, more recently a leisure industry, flying small planes. The short video attempts to evoke the history of the airfield.

Panshanger Airfield During The Second World War

Originally known as Holwell Hyde the airfield was used during 1940-41 as a decoy site for the De Havilland factory at Hatfield. A large dummy factory was constructed on the site using mainly tarpaulins. From September 1942 to May 1947 it was occupied by No1 EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School). During this time 4,800 pupils passed through the flying school and 175 instructors and pupils were decorated for their efforts. The planes used by the school were mainly de Havilland Tiger Moths.

A number of the original buildings are still present and form part of the East Herts Flying Club which currently operates from the site. Aircraft repair and maintenance were carried out on site but there is nothing in the EFTS Operations Book to suggest that these operations were undertaken anywhere but in the buildings provided. ……more :http://ourwelwyngardencity.org.uk/page_id__416_path__0p53p86p29p60p4p81p171p.aspx

The Airfield is now under threat to redevelopment there are various organisations petitioning to oppose this scheme.

see: http://www.savepanshanger.co.uk/The_Airfield.html

http://ukga.com/forum/viewthread?forumThreadId=9166

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