William Brodle & lan Ladley
for imparting the joy of airfield and of flying.
Thank you both for my enjoyment.
How this history came about: In 1974 my wife and I were passing through Northumberland on our way to Scotland for a weeks holiday. We stopped for me to look at the airfield. At that time, if not actually flying, my next claiming interests were the airfields from which others were flying or have flown from. When moving on, it now being lunch-time, we came to Milfield and the Red Lion and decided to stop for lunch. There were two people in the bar and when I asked them "What was the airfield used for during the war` one chap said "Training base for Coastal Command", the other said "No it wasn't it was Hurricanes". Well that was enough for me to have another look after lunch. Sure, the two T2 type hangars said it could have been for large aircraft such as used by Coastal Command but the machine gun butts, backed by the cannon test butts and the tie down points, eighteen feet behind the obvious undercarriage anchor blocks suggested fighter aircraft. Then I saw the two globes from the access road. Well I just had to ask permission to look further. William Brodle, when approached, was lovely. I spent the rest of the afternoon ferreting around satisfying my interest and, having arranged to stay at the Red Lion overnight, we were invited to visit Mr and Mrs Brodie at Woodbridge. We arrived at seven pm and left at midnight armed with notes and names of people to contact. I now wish that I had followed up on those names at that time and not left it nearly twenty Years. We, in fact, never made it to Scotland that year!
Over the intervening years many, so many, people have been interested in those early first pieces of information and have contributed to that interest. You would not believe the coincidences that over the years have added to the obvious and well-recorded history and turned it into such an experience. It was never intended to be a commercial venture but to be put together from the facts and impressions gained over that twenty year period as a personal record. But following an unplanned revisit to Milfield in 1993 and the interest shown by people I had never met before I began to change my mind.
For those of you who remember me scuttling around Milfield in July 1993,answered my questions and allowed me to peer into your property, and then again in the snows of February 1994 when people from all walks of life invited me into their homes and again answered my narrow questions and accepted my moving on to other subjects, when, I suspect, they would have preferred to enlarge on the original question, I apologise and would like to express my sincere gratitude. And to say that the views and opinions expressed or intimated are my own, on how I feel Milfield has influenced history, not just in its time of war but also that it is always a pleasure to return.
My thanks to: Public Records Office Kew, Royal Air Force Museum Hendon, County Archives Newcastle, Berwick on Tweed Records Office, Glendale Rural District Council, Berwick Advertiser, Mrs Olwen Brodie, Mr & Mrs Eric Reddihough, Mr Colin Golding, Mr George Wright, Mr & Mrs Les Levi, Wg Cdr. G.L. Sinclair, D.F.C., Wg Cdr. Geoffrey Page, D.S.O., D.F.C. and bar, Mr & Mrs Moffat, Mr & Mrs J. Clarke, Berwick on Tweed Library, The Reverend Adrian Hughes, Mr Pendleton, Church Warden Kirknewton, Mr E.L. McLintic, Mr Dave Phillips, Mr Les Hinder, Mr Guthrie, Phil Moppett and many others who pointed me in the right direction.
An especial thank you to David and Angela Hudson who put my ramblings together and advised on changes but still accepted my quirky style.
And, last but not least, my Wife, Jean, who has permitted me my whim and walked the windy airfield while I peered into buildings and disappeared down holes and also suffered the readings of the early draft. My Thanks.