Lee-on-Solent

Lee-on-Solent

One of those shore bases either loved or hated by people drafted there, Lee-on-Solent was initially a male only draft but by the mid 1960’s had become a draft for wrens as well. Until the Met School opened at RNAD Kete in October 1946, Lee had operated for a few years as a met school, but more of that later on another part of this site. Lee closed to the RN in 1996 and is now looking a very sad shadow of its former self. This is just a brief introduction to the piece featured below, and moved from the welcome page, on the visit made to the tower in August 2010. From time to time we will add further text and pictures to remind you of what it used to be like at the shore base you loved to hate.

Like the rest of us you may be interested in what goes on, and is going on at Lee. Follow the link below to EGHF.co.uk, the Lee Flying Association Flight website where the current who,where and what of Lee can be found.

EGHF lee

Main Gate

Margaret Johnson nee Taylor and Cathy Wiggins launch a Pilot Balloon with the control Tower in the Background.

Visit to Lee-On-Solent

Featured below is a report on a visit very ably organised by John Evans, an ex National Serviceman from the very early 1950’s. To accompany this report are a couple of photographs taken on the day. For those of you that served at Lee,
The Wyvern Pub – Jean Evans, Jim (Ernie) Bell and John Evans
On Wednesday, 4th August 2010 an intrepid band of Cloud Observers met at a hostelry near the now almost unrecognisable air station of Lee-on-Solent and after a pleasant meal proceeded to the airfield and thence to the tower.

Although most of the former airfield has been taken over by industrial concerns and housing estates, the tower is still operating as such, but is used by Hampshire Constabulary Air Support Unit to control their aircraft which are the only ones now using the airfield apart from the RN Gliding club which is based on the Northern side.

We were made most welcome by the Air Support Manager and his team, one of whom gave us a guided tour of the establishment and talked about the service which they provide. In fact as we arrived their Islander aircraft took off to join a search for a missing person near Winchester.

It was quite interesting to see the old place under new management although the MOD, who still own the building, have not allowed any actual structural changes since the RN left so we were able to find our way around subject to some memory stimulation. The current residents were quite interested in what we could tell of the history previous to their period and we actually left them a copy of a detailed plan of the building circa 1950 and history to that date.

Due to the current round of cutbacks it appears that this present use may be terminated and then the future of the building will be uncertain so any other visits could not be guaranteed at this time

JDE

Outside Lee Tower L-R Clem Olliver, Jim Bell, Derek Tilley, Arthur Charles, Peter Squibb, Our Guide Chris, Peter Claridge, John Evans, Norman Bell