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Kingstown (Carlisle)

Major
Also known as: Carlisle Municipal / Kingmoor Park / Kingstown Industrial Estate / RAF Kingstown
County: Cumbria
Current Status: Industry
Date: 1920s - 1957
Current Use: Disused
Used By: RAF / Civil
Landing Surface Types: Unpaved

Carlisle had seen flying as early as July 1911 when its old racecourse was used as a landing place for a newspaper-sponsored air race. However, a site on the north side, which became the town’s municipal airport during the 1930s, had witnessed aviation activity by civil light aircraft since the previous decade, certainly by 1927.

The purchase of Kingstown for more extensive development was approved by the local authority in July 1929. The first commercial flight occurred on 23 March 1933, with the airport officially opening a year later: passenger routes – especially to the Isle of Man, Northern & Scottish Airways mounting a Newcastle-Carlisle-Isle of Man service from 1 August 1934 – thereafter mingled with flying club activity until the outbreak of World War Two.
 
Limited military flying training had also taken place at Kingstown in peacetime but instructional duties became Kingstown’s primary duty once the military took over control of the airfield. No 3 Air Observer Navigation School arrived from Desford in Leicestershire in November 1939, going to Weston-super-Mare in early June 1940, but being immediately succeeded by No 15 Elementary Flying Training School as its previous base at Redhill in Surrey looked too vulnerable for training aircraft. Kingstown proved a perfect (and safer) replacement, and quickly became extremely busy, necessitating Relief Landing Grounds to soon be opened at Burnfoot and Kirkpatrick. Intensive activity continued for the rest of World War Two, de Havilland Tiger Moth biplanes replacing the original Miles Magister monoplanes on strength during 1942.
 
Although No 15 EFTS disbanded on 31 December 1947, Kingstown had also reopened in a civil capacity on 5 August 1946, once again welcoming various smaller airline and charter operators, though a combination of being unable to extend its landing area any further due to surrounding elements and a grass surface eventually forced this airfield to close in 1957. Carlisle was left without a place to regard as an airport for a few years until Crosby-on-Eden emerged.
 
Since then Kingstown has effectively disappeared but, was it not for this now largely forgotten place, Carlisle would not have its main industrial estate – and 2,000 people would not have a job.

The following organisations are either based at, use and/or have at least potentially significant connections with the airfield (as at 01/09/2011):

  • Arco Ltd
  • Aurora Motorsport
  • Auto Smart
  • Bendalls Engineering Ltd
  • Blast Clean North West Ltd
  • Border Cars (Mazda) Carlisle Ltd
  • Border Food Machinery Ltd
  • Border Toyota
  • Border Trucks Ltd
  • Broadway Auto Repairs
  • Bunzl Coffee Point
  • Business Post Ltd
  • Calor Gas (Carlisle)
  • Carlisle Audi
  • Carlisle City Council
  • Carlisle GVTS
  • Carlisle Refrigeration Ltd
  • Carlisle Van Centre
  • Carlisle Wheel & Tyre Ltd
  • Cemex Ready Mixed Concrete Northern Ltd
  • Chandlers IDL
  • Ciceley Commercials (Carlisle)
  • City Taxi
  • Clydesdale Bank plc
  • Colophon Press Printers Ltd
  • County Motors Carlisle Ltd
  • Crossling co Ltd
  • Cubby's Signs Ltd
  • Cumbria Auto Electrical Services Ltd.
  • Cumbria Confectionary (Spencer Armstrong)
  • Cumbria Kitchen & Bedroom Furniture
  • DCS Auto Electrics
  • DD Fabrications Ltd
  • Department For Transport VOSA
  • DHL Ltd
  • DMS Cumbria Ltd
  • DPD
  • Dynamic IT Business Services
  • Easy Cut
  • Eddie Milburn
  • Eddie Stobart Ltd.
  • Eddie Stobart Promotions Ltd.
  • Enesco Ltd
  • Eriks
  • Fleet Factors Ltd
  • FP & S Parts
  • Furmanite International Ltd.
  • G & M Tools and Equipment Ltd
  • G K Group Ltd
  • Gap Group Ltd
  • Gates Tyres
  • GK Group
  • Grafix Sign makers Ltd.
  • Graham (Commercials) Ltd
  • Hadrian Farm Services Ltd
  • Home Delivery Network Ltd
  • Homebase Ltd
  • HSBC Bank Ltd
  • Hunter Engineering & Welding Distributor Ltd
  • Ian Lawson Kitchens & Bathrooms
  • IBS-STL UK
  • J & J Electrical Cumbria Ltd.
  • K & S McKenzie Ltd.
  • Kerry Foods Direct To Store
  • Kings Road Tyres Ltd.
  • Kingstown Auto Repairs
  • Kingstown Chef
  • lambert-gill ltd
  • Lloyd BMW Ltd
  • Lloyd Honda
  • Lloyd Honda Motorcycles
  • Lloyd Jaguar
  • Lloyd Lawn & Leisure
  • Lloyd Ltd
  • Lloyd MINI Carlisle
  • Loomas Transport Ltd
  • Lyreco Office Products
  • McDonalds Restaurants Ltd
  • NETS Truck & Trailer
  • Newey & Eyre
  • Nightowl Ltd
  • Nixon Engineering Ltd
  • Norbrook Research, Chemical Synthesis Division
  • Nortech Radio Telephones Ltd.
  • North East Truck and Van Ltd
  • Novellini UK
  • Online Systems Northern Ltd
  • Origin Direct
  • P Harris & Son
  • Parcel Force Worldwide
  • Park Gate & Company Ltd
  • Pipe Center (Wolseley UK Ltd)
  • Plumb Center
  • Robert Wiseman Dairies Ltd
  • RTU Optical Ltd
  • Sally Salon Services
  • Scot JCB Ltd.
  • Signart
  • SLD Pumps and Power Ltd
  • Solway DAF
  • Sparx Racewear
  • Stolle Europe
  • Telfords Citroen
  • TNT Transport Services Ltd
  • Travis Perkins Trading Company Ltd
  • Unipart Automotive Ltd
  • Volvo Truck & Bus Centre North
  • WCF Fuels - Cumbria
  • West Scottish Lamb Ltd
  • William Moses Fuel Injection Specialists

Main unit(s) present:

  • No 3 AONS
  • No 6 AACU
  • No 15 EFTS
  • No 38 E&RFTS
  • No 189 EGS
  • No 189 GS
  • Air Navigation and Trading Co Ltd
  • Air Taxi (Cumberland) Ltd
  • Border Flying Club
  • Isle of Man Air Services
  • Manx Airlines
  • Merchant Airways
  • Northern and Scottish Airways

Photographs from the unveiling of the ABCT memorial marker on 26 November 2011:

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Relief Landing Ground(s):

BurnfootKirkpatrick

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