HALDON
Teignmouth Aerodrome
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Haldon Aerodrome Lat/Long N50.34.38/W03.31.54 ... 770ft AMSL

Landing area 2,700 ft x 1,140ft...RUNWAYS:Grass/heather.

Runways in 1946: 00/18 900 x 145 yds. 05/23 695 x 150yds. 14/32 500 x 150 yds.

Haldon occupied the land to the west of the B3192 road and north of the Golf course - although parts of the golf course were also used during WW2.
"+" marks the position of the memorial.
The south-western tip of the aerodrome in 1930. The hangar is believed to have been at the position marked in red on the upper picture.
Another view of the aerodrome around 1930 looking South.The road on the left of the lighter area is the B3192 to Teignmouth.

LEFT:The aerodrome from the southwest - the occasion in June 1930 was The Haldon Air Rally...RIGHT:contemporary map showing airfield location .

Haldon Aerodrome was the brainchild of W R (Bill) Parkhouse, an ex RNAS pilot weho who decided to open his own local aerodrome.In 1928 he obtained the lease of 80 acres of land at a nominal rent, adjoining the Teignmouth Golf Club situated on open moorland at Little Haldon, overlooking the town at 770ft ASL.

According to Flight 4th Oct 1928..."A landing circle was marked out and also the name " Haldon " in 16-ft. letters. The good landing area was also being marked out by means of a broken line of white flints—sections 3 ft. wide by 7 ft. long with a space of 10 ft. between each section." A corrugated iron shed capable of housing two aircraft was built.

The first arrival was his own Avian III aircraft ,G-EBXO which arrived in May 1928. In June the new airfield opened for business and by the end of 1928 was thriving , with many pupils learning to fly , including Whitney Straight- later to become founder of the Straight corporation which ran a number of aerodromes and small airlines in the pre-World war 2 period.

The aerodrome was officially opened on 21 Sept 1929 with a Flying Meeting that was to become an annual event.The festivities were not without drama .

Mr A Rowson , flying his Cierva C.17-III autogiro,G-AAGL was caught by a gust of wind and made a "heavy landing" . The aircraft was written off although Mr Rowson survived intact.

.

Commercial services commenced on 12th April 1933 with The Great Western Railway service between Cardiff, Haldon (for Torbay) and Plymouth using Westland Wessex of Imperial Airways.

In November 1933 Provincial Airways commenced services , followed by Railway Air services in May 1934, however a poor weather record (being high on the moors)meant that services eventually left for the new Exeter airport in 1937.

Air days continued and a fair amount of general aviation business kept the field busy throughout the prewar years. In the summer of 1937 the Devon Gliding Club arrived which added to the activities.In 1938 the Straight Corporation(Whitney Straight) took over the running of Haldon and this remained the situation until WW2 commenced.

With the start of WWII the aerodrome was requisitioned by the Air Ministry and enlarged to take in some of the Golf Club property adjoining to the south .The Research Development Flight, engaged in developing balloon cable cutters and airfield rocket defences,arrived to make use of the facilities. . In August 1941, it became HMS Heron II,as a satellite station of RNAS Yeovilton, and was used as a base for target towing for air-to-air and surface firing practice over Lyme Bay.In addition an ATC Gliding School moved in.

After the end of the war the Navy left , followed in June 1946 by the Gliding School .

The map below shows the airfield as it was prior to the departure on the Navy.

Although some attempts were made to revive civil flying at the aerodrome they were unsuccessful and the site eventually reverted to open heath-land and the links of the Teignmouth Golf Club.Today little remains except for a few scraps of concrete amongst the bushes.

Below is a photo of a monument erected in 1998 at Haldon by the Teignmouth Museum and Historical Society.The position of the monument is marked by a red"+" on the picture at the top of this page.

Beneath the monument picture is a view across part of the airfield in November 2008.

Military Units
Arrived Unit Departed Aircraft type
1940 Det 2,Research Dev Flt. 1941 . .
Aug 44(?) 84 Gliding School ,ATC. June 1946(?) Dagling Primary(PD658),Cadet Mk1(TS305),Cadet Mk2(VM648) Moved to Exeter.
1943(?) 794Sq.Dets.FAA. (?) Skua .
1943(?) 761Sq.Dets.FAA. (?) Master .
William R Parkhouse.

Haldon Timeline
1928              Lease on 80 acres of heathlland at Haldon Moor obtained by Bill Parkhouse.
6th May 1928      First aircraft arrives...G-EBXO  AVian III owned by Parkhouse.
June 1928         Airfield   useable,  small hangar erected and a petrol pump installed 
21 Sep 29         Official opening  and Flying Meeting
21 Sep 1929       First  Haldon Air Rallye(sic).Attended by Sir Sefton Brancker piloted
                  by Mr. T. D. Bruce, in G-ADCA,
21 Jun 1930       Haldon Meeting(Rally)
5 Sept 1931       Haldon Meeting(Rally
27 June 1932      The Prince of Wales arrived at Haldon from Sunningdale from where he went by road to
                  Brixham to christen the Torbay motor lifeboat "George Shee".
15 Aug 1932       Sir Alan Cobham's National Aviation Day display(annually thereafter)
1933              Services commenced by Air Despatch routing  from Croydon and 
                  Portsmouth to Haldon and Plymouth
1933              Westcountry Air Services used a DH Dragon and Fox Moths until 1934 
                  linking with Croydon, Southampton and Haldon
12 Apr 33         Commercial services commenced on 12th April 1933 with The Great Western 
                  Railway service between Cardiff,
                  Haldon (for Torbay) and Plymouth using Westland Wessex of Imperial Airways.
Nov 1933          Provincial Airways commence services
7 May 1934        Railway Air Services commence operations Roborough Aerodrome Plymouth, 
                  Haldon Aerodrome, Cardiff Airport, 
                  Castle Bromwich Aerodrome and Speke Aerodrome. Aircraft used was G-ACPX  DH Dragon.
1937              Airlines depart to Exeter Airport.
24 July 1937      Devon Air Race  Plymouth-Haldon -Exeter- Plymouth, Air displays at all three airports.
1937(summer)      Devon Gliding club take up residence.
1938              Control of the  Airport  passes to the Straight Corporation.
Sept 1939         WW2 conmmences - Civilain flying ceases.
WW2               Aerodrome passes to RAF control
18 Aug 1941       Aerodrome passes to FAA as RNAS  HMS Heron II.
1941              First landing by a Seafire  piloted by Gordon Taylor.
May 1943          Reduced to Care & Maintenance
17 Feb 1946       Aerodrome abandoned by FAA.
June 1946         Last user (84 Gliding School) departs to Exeter.
1998              Memorial placed adjacent to Aerodrome by Teignmouth Museum and Historical Society

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