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Past Meeting

Don Summers - Oxfordshire Secrets From World War Two

  • Date
    21st April 2009
  • Place
    Chemistry Research Laboratory (CRL), South Parks Rd, Oxford, OX1 3TA
  • Web 
An Oxfordshire airfield
Guess which airfield now looks like this?
During WWII, runway 03/21 was
the longest in Europe at over 2 km
Photograph courtesy of Graham Horn

Although apparently a long way from the fighting, Oxfordshire was a very busy place in World War Two.


Like other parts of the UK there was an active resistance movement, but did you know that there were more than 20 airfields locally;...


...and that by the end of the war one of them was "The Busiest Airfield In Europe"? (and not the one you think!)

An Oxfordshire airfield
Another clue?

And what about the secret Bofors Gun Factory only six miles from Oxford? And why did we need thousands of gallons of black & white paint? And what would modern health & safety people make of piles of bombs along the sides of the roads where children could play on them?

And of course there is also a story of what has happened since World War Two.

Bombs
Bombs by the roadside
George VI at RAF airfield
King George VI visits an RAF airfield

We learned about Glenn Miller, Glee Clubs & Life with the Lyons, Gas for Patton, Radiation, POWs; found out about a TAD and a Gooney Bird, and in particular heard a story of invasion!

Don Summers is Chairman of the Ridgeway Military & Aviation Research Group (RMARG) whose members have been actively compiling lots of local history. A fascinating evening!

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Date:14 April 2016

Place:Chemistry Research Laboratory (CRL), South Parks Rd, Oxford, OX1 3TA

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Place:OX18 4JP

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