EXETER
BERTRAM ARDEN'S AIRFIELDS
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First airfield(Hele school)Playing Fields in the vicinity of Southam Farm .Second Airfield/Exeter Bypass:Lat/Long N50:43:10 W3:28:48

RUNWAYS: Hele school : Unknown heading but grass surface....Exeter Bypass Airfield :Grass... NW/SE and E/W .

Exeter Bypass Airfield in 1958 ( Exeter Airfield visible at extreme top right) and the playing fields which were the original site immediately to the north of the line of trees bordering the N side of the airfield .
The image above shows all.... "1" is the Middlemoor Helipad."2" is Southam Farm. "3" is the site of the original 1938 Aerodrome. "4" is the later "Exeter Bypass Airfield" with "5" the approximate location of "Arden's Barn".

In 1938 Bertram Arden purchased his first aircraft and from 20th May 1938 started flying it from the Hele School's playing fields located in the vicinity of Southam Farm. In the same year on November 1st , the first School Squadron of the Air Cadet Defence Corps in Great Britain was founded at Hele's School as No.13 Squadron of the Air League .The squadron later evolved into the school’s combined cadet force. .
After the interval enforced by the Second World War, Arden moved his flying activities to a new airfield on a site at Topsham - in fact this just meant a move to the next field to the south of the original ( about 3 miles WSW of Exeter Airport) which became known as the Exeter Bypass Airfield.
This field had two grass runways and a proper hanger .
In the late 1940s the Devonshire Flying Club operated from this airfield.
The field was eventually closed sometime in the very late 1950s or early 60s.
Also somewhere in the area was the famed "Ardens Barn" possibly at Heavitree(which may be another name for the strip itself) , which at one time held Bertram Ardens varied collection of aircraft including G-AALP Surrey AL.1, G-AFGC Swallow II, G-AFHC Swallow II & G-AJHJ Auster 5.
The Arden Family Trust are believed to still hold the remaining contents of the Barn somewhere in the area.(Thanks to Chris Evans for clarifying the locations).

G-AALP....the unique Surrey AL.1 owned by Bertram Arden


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