The Bowerhill area of Melksham
was built on the site of RAF Melksham - built as an RAF training base in 1940, and remaining open until 1964. There days, there's a large area of light industry on one side of the site, with residential housing, a school, a community centre, a pub and a few shops to the East.
Link to RAF Melksham History
Map locator - Bowerhill
[imgl=bowerhillcalendar]Bowerhill Calendar for 2006[/img] I should add - all profits from the Calendar went towards the production and distribution costs for the Bowerhill Villager - a 6 to 8 page monthly newsletter delivered to around 1500 addresses on Bowerhill. Lisa produced the Calendar and we may still have a few in stock - email me!
[imgr=cmiller]Christie Miller, Bowerhill[/img] The Christie Miller Sports Centre is housed in one of the remaining hangars from the RAF days, and you'll find a stone in memory of RAF Melksham in front of the centre. Special events come there from time to time, including Trainwest
model railway show that moved from Chippenham
[imgl=cmillerbowl]Bowling at Christie Miller, Melksham[/img] There's 10 pin bowling available too!
[imgr=rafstone]Commemorating RAF Melksham[/img] A stone situated outside the Christie Miller
[imgr=ohangar]RAF Melksham - old Hangar[/img] Elsewhere, there are other reminders of the olden days too
[imgl=blades]Bowerhill, Air Cadets hall[/img] Although RAF Melksham was a big station, we can find very little information about it. Perhaps that's because it was a training base and newcomers to the RAF passed through there for just a few weeks early in their service. We do know that the Hawker Hunter aircraft that held the air speed record briefly in the 1950s was on display at the entrance for a while ... but she's now kept at Tangmere (see our Portsmouth
[imgr=waterturbine]Water Turbine at Bowerhill[/img] Hidden away towards the back of Bowerhill, you'll find an old steam turbine from a mill in Bradford
; I'm not entirely sure how it's come to rest in Melksham (If anyone knows, please tell!) but there's certainly copious notes on engraved plates at its foot.
[imgl=wsg]Wiltshire School of Gymnastics[/img] Other surprises at Bowerhill include the Gymnastics centre ...
[imgr=dens]Den's Diner[/img]... and who could resist a bacon butty before their Wellhouse
course from Den's Diner - less that half a mile from us. (Footnote - it's not Den's anymore - Den retired - but there's a darned good butty available again at the same site!)