Historic Photos: RAF Alconbury
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Inside Packing Room of New Parachute Store c1960
Parachutes were inspected and re-packed every 60 days. Those which were used during a bailout were condemned and sent to a major repair depot. Each unused chute had a life span of about seven years, after which it was burned. Drag chutes were re-used until they became too worn for safety. The new parachute store opened in December 1959 and had six 40ft long packing tables. Each rigger could pack up to 20 drag chutes per day or 12 personnel chutes. Heating (for both shop and tower) was provided by a hot water boiler located in an annexe. Photo: Thomas Burns
Blgs 17a & 17b: (Old) Parachute Store c1959
Personnel parachutes were hung to dry from the top of the tower while the left hut functioned as the packing room (with two packing tables). The arched hut on the right was the supplies office (with stores such as thread, needles, timer releases for the parachutes, two sewing machines and other spare parts). It also served as a coffee break area, the room being warmed by a oil-burning pot-belly stove. The centre structure was used to dry breaking (drag) chutes which were dried out horizontally (three at a time). This room was heated by a Herman Nelson kerosene boiler located at the side of the building. The heater provided a continious supply of warm air to the drying room. The arched huts are thought to be post-war Quonsets constructed of a metal framework with a cladding of waterproof padded canvas. Photo: Thomas Burns
Abbots Ripton Site (Main Site): New Gymnasium c1960
Photo: Bob Green
Main Site: New Movie Theatre c1960
Photo: Bob Green
Main Site: NCO's Club c1960
Photo: Bob Green
Main Site: New Chapel c1960
The chapel was completed and opened in August 1960. Photo: Bob Green
Main Site: Air Force Europe Exchange (AFEX) Supermarket c1960
This store sold clothing, home appliances and gifts etc. It was operated by civilian employees under the supervision of of an exchange oficer. Sales were made only to officers and airmen and their dependents as most of the goods sold were exempt from the payment of Federal and other State taxes. Photo: Bob Green