Whats this I hear you say? Stow Maries? Aerodrome?
A long long time ago during the WW1 the southeast of England was under attack from the air. The Germans were attacking us with Zeppelin airships and Gotha bombers. We had to defend ourselves and so a number of airfields were built. Stow Maries Aerodrome was built in 1916 as a home for 37 Squadron (RFC – Royal Flying Corps). Some of these airfields still exist today but obviously in a more advanced and modern form – Rochford Aerodrome became RAF Rochford which in turn became London Southend International Airport.
On 1 April 1918 37 Squadron went from being part of the Royal Flying Corps to the Royal Air Force and it remained at Stow Maries until 1919 when it transferred to RAF Biggin Hill.
After this the aerodrome reverted to agricultural use, leaving behind a unique collection of historic buildings still in their original form, surrounded by abundant wildlife. The farmland is part of Flambards Farm.
During the 1970s local historians and military aviation types recognised the importance of the site and so the Royal Commission for Historic Monuments (England) carried out a survey of the site and published its report in 1997.
In 2007, the site was purchased for building and maintaining high performance sports cars, run by Russell Savory, a former motor racing engineer.
In December 2010, a memorial to those killed whilst based at Stow Maries was installed. The site was designated a Conservation Area in 2010 and in August 2012 the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport approved the listing of all 24 buildings to Grade II*.
Now a major conservation project is under way. Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome Ltd has charitable status with the objectives of preserving Stow Maries World War One Aerodrome.
So, how are we involved?
A while ago I was introduced to the aerodrome by a friend (Fiona Clegg). I have an extremely keen interest in WW1, WW2 & aviation so I jumped at the chance.
I’ve done a fair bit for the organisation now. I’ve implemented a nice Office 365 solution which works rather well and I am in the process of installing a WiFi infrastructure (Internal & guest use) using Ubiquiti UniFi Access Points. The team are lovely and I thoroughly enjoy the work I do there. I do virtually all of the support work free of charge – I get great job satisfaction.
More information can be found at www.stowmaries.org.uk