Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Site of an aerodrome

2008 Newcastle and Teesside Gliding Club

If you look on the O.S. 1:25,000 map of Carlton Moor you will see a large area of ‘white’ moor, land that is not designated as Access Land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000). Unfortunately, you can not get to this scale using my normal embedded map but here is a link using Bing mapping.

The reason why that this bit of moorland is excluded is that it is classified as an aerodrome as the Carlton Moor Gliding Club once had their base there.

The club was established as the Newcastle and Teesside Gliding Club in the 1960s with help from the Royal Engineers to create the runway. The club had originally been based at RAF Usworth, where the Nissan factory is now, but was evicted when Sunderland Airport was developed.

2008 Working on the winch

The tow was from the back of an old truck. Some say a bus but it looks more like an old fire engine to me. From the map, the runway looks to have been about 700m long, launching straight over the escarpment at the highest point of the moor.

I did go up in a glider once from there. It must have been around 1979/80. It was definitely after ’76 as that was the year my daughter was born and she sat on my lap as we went up in a two-seater glider. A work colleague was the pilot. I recall it was an evening and we were quickly dipping in and out the clouds. A memorable experience.

2008 Working on the winch

I passed by in 2008 when there was still activity at the club however it seems to have disbanded soon afterward.

By 2011, the site was an eyesore but the following year a contribution of up to £15,000 was made by the NYM National Park towards tidying up the site.

2011 Hanger derelict

In 2020, sheep are now grazing where there was once the concrete base of the hanger, sheltered by the earth windbreak that surrounded the building on the north and west sides. The runways have reverted to a covering of heather. Only the tracks created for taxiing remain.






5 responses to “Site of an aerodrome”

  1. Ian s avatar

    Why a shame it doesn’t exist anymore.

  2. Roger Perry avatar
    Roger Perry

    Did my initial gliding here in the middle of the 80’s using a K13 glider and a flight or two in the Falke motor glider.
    I remember a day when we were
    plagued by hoards of insects,also a sea fog bank(couldn’t see 5 foot in front of you)enveloped the site as I was towing out the cables from the winch,we all had to just stop where we were for 15 minutes or so until it cleared.
    Great times there,the tractors were pigs to start usually and the social life was a drink in Carlton village pub at the end of the flying day

    1. Fhithich avatar

      Thanks, interesting to hear your recollections.

  3. Paul Evans avatar
    Paul Evans

    I used to be a member from 1993-1995, and I could be found there most flyable weekends and Wednesday evenings in summer.

    That looks like Pete in the blue boiler suit who, with a few others, managed to keep our very basic equipment working.

    The winch was an old fire appliance. The drive shaft that would have driven the pump, now turning a spool of single core steel wire. Controlling the power to the winch was a bit of a skill. In fact moving the winch around the field sometimes took some skill with no weight over the back wheels. Over time, the wire tended to wear on some of the sand stone, and snap occasionally.

    This was a challenging and fun place to fly from. I flew in the K13, and did a few solos.

    I lost touch when my work took me to London, but I have very fond memories of the other members and flying there.

    I have a few photos from that time, though they are on film and a bit blurry. I’ll add another reply here once I get them online somewhere.

    1. Fhithich avatar

      Thanks for your recollections. I look forward to seeing your old photos.

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