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Llandow

Major
Also known as: Dyffryn Business Park / Llandow Circuit / Llandow Trading Estate / RAF Llandow / Vale Business Park
County: Vale of Glamorgan
Current Status: Leisure activity / Industry
Date: 1 April 1940 - 1960
Current Use: Disused
Used By: RAF

Along with nearby St. Athan, Llandow was originally devised as one of the massive new Aircraft Storage Unit (ASU) airfields anticipated before World War Two to hold and prepare the increasing numbers of aircraft entering RAF service. It opened on 1 April 1940 for No 38 Maintenance Unit and the MU remained at this place for the rest of its career, processing many aircraft types such as Avro Lancasters, at one point particularly prominent.

As with quite a number of ASUs, other units came to stay at Llandow for periods of time. Fighters proved particularly notable as Supermarine Spitfires mainly equipped No 53 Operational Training Unit between the summer of 1941 and May 1943. Later on in peacetime more Spitfires of a frontline nature arrived when No 614 Squadron reformed in May 1946. Jet-engined de Havilland Vampires subsequently replaced them during 1950 and lasted until the squadron disbanded, along with all similar Royal Auxiliary Air Force units, on 10 March 1957.

Shortly before the Vampires first came to Llandow what became for a short while the world’s worst air accident in terms of fatalities took place near the airfield. A total of 80 people died when a chartered civil Avro Tudor transport carrying Welsh rugby supporters stalled and crashed nearby on 12 March 1950.

Just five days after No 614 Squadron ceased, No 38 MU did likewise. Their former home then entered an unusual period whereby it was in some quarters technically viewed as closed but in fact kept open as a supportive airfield to St. Athan, with which it had been connected to for many years by way of a meandering access track. By the beginning of 1960 plans were however already in place to have parts of its runways become public roads, which still survive, and this definitely marked the end of its flying life.

Nevertheless, since then Llandow has primarily turned into a major industrial estate, with most of the storage hangars and associated buildings such as the control tower continuing to give excellent service to the community. Llandow Circuit has kept going as well since 1963 and remains a popular motor racing venue.

 

The following organisations are either based at, use and/or have at least potentially significant connections with the airfield (as at 01/07/2013):

  • A & G Auto Repairs
  • A Littlejohn Ltd
  • A P Engineering
  • A S Lloyd & Son Ltd
  • Albion Box Company Ltd
  • Alex Plant Ltd
  • An Oriental Path to Health
  • Aquity
  • Ashdown Stables & Shed
  • Autec Driver Training
  • Autec M C
  • Aztec Joinery
  • Baler World Ltd
  • Bart Motors
  • Boston Designs Ltd
  • BP LPG UK
  • Bridgework Ltd
  • Bristol Motor Club
  • Bristol Pegasus Motor Club
  • Burridge Surfacing Contractors Ltd
  • Bus Shelters Limited
  • C B Autos
  • C J Autos
  • C S Boxall Ltd 
  • Carrie Elspeth Ltd
  • Carston Chartered Accountants
  • Cartel Travel Ltd
  • CDMC (South Wales & West) Ltd
  • Celectron Printing
  • Celtic Soul VW Ltd 
  • Cembrit Blum Ltd
  • Cherish Cymru Ltd
  • Civil Engineering & Ground Work Contract 
  • Clems
  • Colhugh Collection
  • Connected 
  • Contar Ltd
  • County Automobile Auto Services Panel Beater
  • Crown Resources Ltd
  • D C Accident Repair Centre
  • D Griffiths Services Ltd
  • DCFS & Upholstery
  • DG Weaver
  • Digica Ltd
  • Dimension Upholstery
  • Electronic Assembly Services
  • Elizabeth-Anne Children's Wear Ltd
  • Enzo Cleaning Prodicts Ltd
  • Fast Fibre Roofing Supplies Ltd
  • First Cymru Buses Ltd
  • Force, Strength & Conditioning
  • G P A Advertising & Marketing Ltd
  • Gemstone Games Ltd
  • Georgia-Pacific CB Ltd
  • Glamorgan Welding Services
  • GotBoost Performance Tuning Ltd 
  • Groovy Ltd
  • Hafan Digital Colour
  • Hafren Contracts Ltd
  • Heat Exchanger Services Wales Ltd
  • Hills Electrical & Mechanical Plc
  • Holdtrade
  • Hoyle's Chartered Accountants
  • Infographics Ltd
  • Interlink Express Parcels Ltd
  • International Aerospace Asia (UK) Ltd
  • J S Scaffolding Ltd
  • JA Woodwork
  • Jamie Marie
  • Justin Time Management Ltd
  • JWB Recycling Ltd 
  • Keddy Poujoulat (UK) Ltd
  • Keyline Builders Merchants
  • L.E.L. (Properties) Ltd 
  • Lafarge Readymix Ltd
  • Ledley Engineering Co Ltd
  • Llandow Caravan Park 
  • Llandow Classics
  • Llandow Commercial Motors
  • Llandow Community Council 
  • Llandow Kart Club
  • Llandow Van Centre
  • Magnet & Steel Ltd
  • Mail Parts
  • Major Autos
  • Major Print & Embroidery
  • Metal Polishing Services Ltd
  • Microcare International Ltd
  • Millbrook Furnishing Industries Ltd 
  • Motion Furniture Direct Ltd
  • Mowerman 2000
  • Nomad Electronics Ltd
  • OBI Camping & Leisure Ltd
  • Office Interior
  • Oil Facilities Ltd
  • Ourown Interior Design Company Co
  • Owen Fuels & Boiler Care
  • Owens
  • P & H Mechanical Services Ltd
  • P R Tyrecare
  • Pam Owen
  • Peak Performance
  • Pear Media
  • Penllyne Properties Ltd 
  • Petsitters
  • Pinpoint R2r
  • Preferred Packaging Services
  • Print Direction Ltd
  • Q E Paving Ltd
  • R & T Fabrications Ltd
  • Rakgard International Ltd
  • Rathkeys Cabinet Makers Of Distinction
  • Relax & Recline Chairs UK Ltd
  • Remail Ltd
  • Richard Couzens Machinery
  • Riverlea Ltd
  • Robeez (UK) Ltd
  • Rollalong Hire Ltd
  • Sarah Renwick
  • Sensor Techniques Ltd
  • Shor-Line Ltd 
  • Silmix Ltd
  • Siteserv Recycling Ltd
  • Skids R Us
  • Snaffles Saddlery
  • Solideal UK Ltd
  • South Wales Karting Centre Ltd
  • South Wales Radio Control Society
  • Specbody Products
  • Stunning Ventures Ltd
  • Symposium Design & Print Ltd
  • The Cafe at Llandow Circuit
  • The Complete Present
  • The Control Tower
  • The Journey Seminars Ltd 
  • The Place for Homes
  • Thw Wolf Furniture Company Ltd
  • Thomas Croft Mining Ltd
  • Topstak Chimney Specialists Ltd 
  • Tower Cafe
  • Vale Contractors Wales Ltd
  • Vale of Glamorgan Caravan Sales Ltd
  • Vale Moto Training
  • Van Spares
  • Walton Davies International Ltd
  • Walcare Wales Ltd
  • Window Opening Systems
  • Winter Management Services
  • Woodspec Joinery Specialists Ltd
  • Woodspec Joinery Specialists Ltd 

Notable Past Associated Organisations:

  • Port Talbot Motorcycle Racing Club
  • South Wales Automobile Club
  • Swansea Motor Club

 

ABCT would like to thank the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales for the use of their images. Find out more here: www.rcahmw.gov.uk and search their database here: www.coflein.gov.uk.

Main unit(s) present:

  • No 3 Aircraft Prepartion Unit
  • No 3 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit
  • No 4 CAACU
  • No 38 MU
  • No 53 OTU
  • No 91 (Forward) Staging Post
  • No 93 (Forward) Staging Post
  • No 93 Staging Post
  • No 614 Sqn
  • No 1310 Transport Flight
  • No 1311 Transport Flight
  • No 1312 Transport Flight
  • No 1577 Flight
  • No 1952 Reserve AOP Flight
  • Transport Command Night Vision Instructors Training School
  • Transport Command Night Vision Training School
C722935.jpeg

Aerial view of Llandow airfield, 25 September 1945. From the collections of the National Monuments Record of Wales: © Crown copyright: MoD.

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Aerial view of Llandow, 1946. From the collections of the National Monuments Record of Wales: © Crown copyright: MoD.

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Aerial view of Llandow, 1947. From the collections of the National Monuments Record of Wales: © Crown copyright: MoD.

HERP2555.1__1.JPG

The Warden's Office at Llandow, 2012. © Copyright GGAT HER Charitable Trust/Cadw

HERP2555.7.JPG

An L Type hangar at Llandow, 2012. © Copyright GGAT HER Charitable Trust/Cadw

HERP2555.8__1.JPG

An L Type hangar at Llandow, 2012. © Copyright GGAT HER Charitable Trust/Cadw

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Interior of a K Type hangar at Llandow, 2012. © Copyright GGAT HER Charitable Trust/Cadw

HERP2555.9.JPG

An L Type hangar at Llandow, 2012. © Copyright GGAT HER Charitable Trust/Cadw

HERP2555.30.JPG

A K Type hangar at Llandow, 2012. © Copyright GGAT HER Charitable Trust/Cadw

HERP2555.97.JPG

The Watch Office with Met section at Llandow, 2012. © Copyright GGAT HER Charitable Trust/Cadw

HERP2555.24.JPG

A K Type hangar at Llandow, 2012. © Copyright GGAT HER Charitable Trust/Cadw

HERP2555.43.jpg

An L Type hangar at Llandow, 2012. © Copyright GGAT HER Charitable Trust/Cadw

HERP2555.98.JPG

The Watch Office with Met section at Llandow, 2012. © Copyright GGAT HER Charitable Trust/Cadw

geograph-1430532-by-Mick-Lobb.jpg

A K Type hangar at Llandow, 5 August 2009. © Mick Lobb and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

geograph-914004-by-Mick-Lobb.jpg

The Warden's Office at Llandow, 16 July 2008. © Mick Lobb and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

A Stanton Shelter at Llandow. Courtesy of Dean Smith

Satellite(s):

Rhoose

Satellite Landing Ground(s):

Berrow / Chepstow II / Rudbaxton

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