The Malling Society Constitution

Posted on Mar 29, 2018

The Malling Society Constitution has been updated and agreed by the Executive Committee and adopted by the General Membership on the 15th May 2018. The Malling Society Constitution is available for all members to download here The Malling Society Constitution

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Royal Air Force West Malling

Posted on Mar 26, 2018

PORTAM CUSTODIMUS (We Guard the Gate) Airport type Military           Owner Ministry of Defence           Operator Royal Air Force       Location West Malling Kent          Built 1917           In use 1917–1918 and 1930-1969 Elevation AMSL 308 ft / 94 m           Coordinates 51°16′16″N 000°24′09″E Royal Air Force West Malling or RAF West Malling was a former Royal Air Force station located 1.6 miles (2.6 km) south of West Malling, Kent and 5.2 miles (8.4 km) west of Maidstone, Kent, England. Originally used as a landing area during the First World War, the site opened as a private landing ground and in 1930, then known as Kinghill, home to the Maidstone School of Flying, before being renamed West Malling Airfield, and, in 1932, Maidstone Airport. During the 1930s many airshows and displays were held by aviators such as Amy Johnson and Alan Cobham, flying from a grass runway. As war approached, the airfield was taken over by the military, to become RAF West Malling in 1940, serving in the front line against the Luftwaffe. The station saw further service after the war, first with some of the RAFs first jet squadrons, and later as a US Naval Air Station. After closure as an operational air station in 1969, West Malling acquired a more civilian guise, hosting several major Great Warbirds Air Displays during the 70s and 80s, until eventually closing completely as an airfield. The site is now developing into a new village community of mixed residential, commercial, and civic amenities, but still retains several features of its military aviation heritage. First World War The airfield was as a landing area during the First World War. Second World War RAF West Malling was not fully operational during the Battle of Britain, suffering from several damaging bombing raids, but did play an active part in the later stages of the air campaign, becoming a premier night-fighter base. Maidstone Airport was taken over in the prelude to the Second World War, and the RAF station was formed in June 1940, now with a concrete runway. Designated as one of two RAF Fighter Command stations assigned to C Sector, and designated as an advanced aerodrome for RAF Kenley and RAF Biggin Hill. The first aircraft arrived on 8 June 1940. These were Lysanders of No. 26 (Army Cooperation) Squadron, used for photo-reconnaissance sorties over occupied Europe. No. 51 Wing arrived at the same time, and the airfield was provided with anti-aircraft and searchlight batteries for airfield defence. Twitch Inn  Douces Manor was the Headquarters and Mess for officers flying from RAF West Malling (now Kings Hill). The cellar bar was frequented by many brave young fighter pilots and, typical of the dry sense of humour of the time, became colloquially known as the ‘Twitch Inn’, due to the nervous affliction that affected many pilots. This noticeable twitch that many displayed was a result of the immense stress, strain and...

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