Hooton Park

Unofficial Museum Guide
 

Key Facts

Location:
Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
SatNav: Region:
CH65 1BQ North West
Country:
United Kingdom
Admission:
Prior Permission Only
Category: Only Aviation:
General Yes
Aircraft Exhibits: Status:
circa. 13 Open

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What’s Here

Built in 1917 for the Royal Flying Corp, Hooton Park Aerodrome still survives and has managed to retain its three Grade II* listed Belfast Truss aircraft Hangars, as well as Grade II listed ancillary Huts and MT Sheds.

The Hooton Park Trust was formed in October 2000, to manage the restoration and refurbishment of the buildings at this historic location. In early 2005 the Trust was successful in gaining a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to continue progress on developing the site into a major Heritage Centre, focusing on the North West’s important role in the development of air, sea and motor Transport during the last two centuries.

Directions

Hooton Park Airfield. Access off the M53, junction 6, Eastham oil terminal/Vauxhall cars exit.

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Visiting

Opening Hours:

By appointment for individual or group visits. Guided tours are available on the last Sunday of each month (except December), starting at 1.00 pm.   The facility is usually also open during the annual Heritage Open Days weekend in early September. Check the official website for confirmation.

Admission:

By voluntary donation.

Amenities:

Cafe, Conference facilities, small events venue for hire, cherished vehicle storage, 26 acre events field for hire. 

Entrance to the site
(photo, The Hooton Park Trust)
Part of the display area
(photo, The Hooton Park Trust)

List of Aircraft Exhibits

Displayed I.D. Aircraft Type Real Identity Condition Status
G-AJEB Auster J/1N Alpha* G-AJEB Fuselage Displayed
G-AGPG Avro Anson C.XIX G-AGPG Restoration Displayed
XD624 de Havilland Vampire T.11 XD624 Complete Displayed
WL405 Gloster Meteor T.7 $ WL405 Nose Stored
‘WF714’ Gloster Meteor F.8 $ WK914 Complete Displayed
WV903 Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.6 $ WV903 Dismantled Stored
XE339 Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.6 $ XE339 Dismantled Stored
G-ORAL Hawker Siddeley HS.748-2A/334 $ G-ORAL Cockpit Displayed
‘G-AKHZ’ Miles Gemini 7* composite Complete Stored
‘G-AHUI’ Miles Messenger 2A* composite Complete Stored
G-AFIU Parker CA.4 Parasol* G-AFIU Restoration Displayed
VM684 Slingsby Cadet T.2 $ VM684 Complete Displayed
BMU Slingsby T21B Sedburgh $ BGA 1085 Fuselage Displayed

* Owned by The Aeroplane Collection.
$ Privately owned.
Note: Hunter FGA.9 nose XE584, Hurricane FSM ‘P2725’ and Spitfire FSM ‘R8159’ have moved away.

More Information

The Hooton Park Trust, The Hangars, South Road, Hooton Park Airfield, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 1BQ. Tel: 0151 327 3565. Website: Hooton Park Trust.

Anson G-AGPG under restoration
(photo, Graham Sparkes)
Spitfire & Hurricane Full-Scale Models
(photo, Graham Sparkes)

Any additional photographs illustrating this museum would be welcome.
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13 thoughts on “Hooton Park

  1. Greetings,
    Looking to complete a list of Chipmunks with codes carried by Liverpool & Manchester UAS plus 2 & 19 RFS as well as 663 AOP Sqdn.
    Do you have anyone with an interest in the RAF units in your area …if so I would welcome an exchange of information
    Best
    Rod

  2. I am writing the biography of my father, the late S.Ld. Albert Edward Rumble A.F.C.
    He was a Boy Recruit at Halton from 1924 to 1926 . In July of 1926 he was posted to RAF Henlow as an ‘Aircraftman’ 2nd Class. He made some impression at Henlow as he was posted to RAF Sealand in September 1930 for Pilot training, going Solo in a D.H. Moth on 23rd October 1930, after eleven hours of instruction. On the 22nd December 1930, whilst practicing aerobatic,s he had an engine failure in his Moth resuling in a ‘forced landing’ at Hooton Park.
    Do any records exist from Hooton Park from this period?
    My father joined No.32 Squadron at Kenly/Biggin Hill, breaking the RAF’s Gunnery record in 1938. A record never broken since. He was also the lead pilot in the Radar Trials / Biggin Hill Experiment. During WW2 he was initially an Instructor with the Central Flying School at RAF Upavon before becomming an RAF Test Pilot at the Air Fighting Development Unit at Duxford. In 1943 he was a Test Pilot at Napiers (Luton) and then Chief Test Pilot for de Havilland Propellers at Hatfield.

  3. Went to Hooton Park many times when my Dad was an air traffic controller with 611 Sqn. Remember vividly the Meteor that wne in from 610 Sqn (Robbie Robinson)during a Battle of Britain open day.

  4. I was born at hooton park in 1950, my father was corpral J.R.McLean (Later Sergeant)539506
    He was one of the few regular airman stationed there at the time.

  5. I was also at the Battle of Britain Open day in 1955 and rememeber well watching the Meteor tailchase in which the second aircraft hit the ground almost vertically following a half roll. I had an uncle named Bill Rosinson which re-inforced my recollection of the incident.
    Jimmy Edwards of “Take it from here” fame was doing the commentary at the time andcompletely dried up. There was no further PA announcement and people slowly drifted away when it became obvious this was not some kind of stunt. I was 15 at the time so the memory is quite vivid.

  6. I was stationed at Hooton Park in 1955, a Junior Tech. in Station Armoury. I believe the crash they mentioned was in 1954 as by 1955 I was on No 12 JSTU as a corporal I was posted in the July, Iremember because there was rail strike.
    The Armament officer was Flying Officer Wragge. 610 Sqn Armoury Sgt was Flight Sergeant Rocky Horrocks and 611 sqn sergeant was Tony Curle. I met him again in 1972 at Akrotiri, he was a Flt Sgt, I was a Chief Tech.

    Regards
    Brian Bamforth Flt Lt Ret’d

  7. The crash was in 1954 and I witnessed it. My farther, Squadron leader A. Brown (deceased), used to fly into Hooton park regularly in a chipmunk so was familiar with the airfield (he flew Sunderland flying-boats during the war). He took us to see the air display on that fateful day; I was twelve at the time.

    As I recall, the aircraft involved peeled-out of a low-level, follow-my-leader display, went upwards for some distance and then came back down almost vertically, impacting on the opposite side of the runway (the river side) to the watching crowds. The fire-ball was huge so I guess the aircraft was carrying a fair amount of fuel. My father visited the crash site and later told me that the crater was big enough to swallow a small house. Rumour has it that the pilot was in contact with the control tower and refused to bail out as the aircraft was almost uncontrollable and he (the pilot) was concerned that the aircraft might veer-off into the crowd – perhaps he flew it into the safest area he could manage – away from the crowd and also avoiding the many fuel and chemical storage tanks to be found in the area at that time – it would be interesting to read the accident investigation report.

    Cheer, Paul.

  8. I was stationed at Hooton Park during my National Service 1952 to 1954 as a Senior Aircraftsman mechanic in the MT {Motor Transport} Section.Because flying took place every weekend so that the RAF Reserve pilots could get their hours in,our weekend was from Monday night to Wednesday lunch time.Saw one Meteor pilot land with his undercarriage up and blew off his reserve fuel tank under the aircraft.Our C.O. who was in the Tower when happened and went ballistic as the plane came in to land.
    We lost two pilots and aircraft when they flew into a mountainside in North Wales. I was on Duty Driver at the time and had to go to RAF Harwarden to collect the bodies.Very sad occasion.

  9. I was born 1952 whilst my parents lived in married quarters at Hooton Park, my father was an electrical engineer but just knew my dad ‘ mended airplanes’ my father died when I was 20 and wished I had asked more about the past, my Mum has dementia so cant find info that way, do hope someone remembers my father. He was also a sergeant in WW2.

  10. I remember the crash at Horton, I was in the act 1066 squadron, we were going to the airshow at hooton.
    As we approached the airshow in a coach I saw a plane, I always thought it was a Canberra but it was probably a meteor, it was flying upside down and just flew inti the ground right in front of us.
    It was very disturbing and from what I believe the pilots wife saw it as she was at the airshow.
    The date was 1954, forgot to mention that

  11. My father, JohnTimpson, was in 610 squadron in the 1950s.
    He is 91 now and still loves telling his stories about Jas Storrer, Hamish Gas, and Jim Dougherty etc.
    (Have some fabulous photos of them all… happy to share via email if you message me on Facebook)

    (I’ve filmed him telling the stories too, because they will be lovely to have in the future.)

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