Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Lympne Airport

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Lympne Airport, also known as Ashford Airport, was a military and later civil airfield, which operated from 1916 to 1984.

WWI Acceptance point for aircraft being delivered to, and returning from, France

Later designated as a First Class Landing Ground, RAF Lympne.

1919 became a civil airfield; air mail services started after the 1918 armistice. It was one of the first four airfields in the United Kingdom with customs facilities.

1920s Venue for the Lympne light aircraft trials from which a number of aircraft types entered production. Air racing was also held at Lympne.

WWII Lympne was requisitioned by the Fleet Air Arm as HMS Buzzard and later renamed HMS Daedalus II, before being transferred to the Royal Air Force in May 1940.

1946 Returned to civilian use

1948 The first air car ferry service was inaugurated by Silver City Airways with Bristol Freighters across the English Channel to Le Touquet Airport.

1954 Problems with waterlogging of the grass runway and the refusal of the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation to upgrade the airfield led Silver City to transfer operations to Lydd Ferryfield.

By 1956, the airport's ownership had passed to Eric Rylands Ltd, the Skyways holding company. Skyways operated a coach-air service between London and Paris (Beauvais).

1974 Following the cessation of commercial operations Lympne continued to be used as a General Aviation airfield until about 1984. The site is now an industrial estate.

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