News


Knightstone Tearooms under new management

From the 1st August 2017

Knightstone  Tearooms is now under new management and is to be known as

" Abigail's  at  Knightstone "

the new owners are

Andy  and  Becky  Nankivell

Tel :- 07447744427

see the page titled ' about us ' for more information

 

Michael and Lucy Hayes still live there and own the premises which is home to the 

" R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives "

including the small museum and garden exhibits which are viewable upon request

Tel :- 01822 853679

 

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" Knightstone Tearooms " is under new management from 4th March 2017.

Lucy and Michael Hayes have retired from running  " Knightstone Tearooms " after almost twenty years.

Our time was a wonderful experience and we met a huge amount of people, many who have become close friends. The time has come when we have hung up our aprons and after careful consideration are renting the business to a very nice couple who will continue to run the Tearooms as a family affair. They have incorporated a dog friendly area within the Tearooms. 

A small amount of the " R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archive " display will remain within the Tearooms under the ownership of Lucy and Michael Hayes.

There is a door in the bottom lefthand corner that will lead into an " R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives Research Room " which will be available to the general public to view the Operation Record Books, photographs, etc. A sign on the door will indicate when open and the Archivist ( Michael Hayes ) is available.

The R.A.F. Harrowbeer Museum remains on site and can be opened upon request.

The Archives and Research work will continue to increase as time goes by.

R.A.F. Harrowbeer Week-ends will still continue into the long and distant future.

 

Many thanks for your support both past and for the future :-  Archivist     Michael Hayes

 


75 years ago from the Archives

Each month from August 1941 until July 1945 a summary of what happened at R.A.F. Harrowbeer involving the Station and the Squadrons that operated from there is detailed on the page titled ' 75 Years Ago from the Archives '.

Only four months at a time will be viewable at any time. When a new month begins the oldest month will be deleted.

Full copies of the Station and Squadron ' Operation Record Books ' can be viewed at ' Knightstone Tearooms ' during opening times or by appointment.

 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY R.A.F. HARROWBEER

On the 15th August 1941 at 1430 hours

seventy five years ago

R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer opened.

 

On the page titled " 75 Years Ago from the Archives " can be found a summary of what happened each month on the Aerodrome.

This will be regularly updated monthly.

 


Event dates for 2016

The  R.A.F. Harrowbeer  Archive  event  dates  have  now  been  fixed  for  2016.

 

The  first  is  over  the  first  May  Bank  Holiday

April  30th,  May  1st  and  May  2nd

from 11.00 am until 4.30 pm each day.

 

The  second  weekend  will  be  held  over  the  last  weekend  of  July

July 30th  and  July 31st

from 11.00 am until 5.00 pm each day.

 

 


Revamp of the Tearooms and R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives

As from the 4th January 2016 the Tearooms ( Knightstone ) has downsized due to the current economic climate and changes in legislation, etc.

( see the ' about us ' page ).

 

This has created space in the Tearooms for a large portion of the R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives to be put out on display and can be viewed from Monday to Friday between 10.00am and 3.00pm.

Other times can be arranged on request.

 


The ' Sitfire Society ' replica Spitfire at ' Knightstone Tearooms ' for August

Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control the ' Spitfire Society ' replica Spitfire MKV will not be at ' Knightstone Tearooms ' during the month of August as intended.

 

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The August Bank Holiday event will  be going ahead as usual.

 

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On Monday 6th July sixty school children from Prince Rock Primary School, Plymouth were booked in at ' Knightstone ' ( the old Watch Office for R.A.F. Harrowbeer ) for a day visit relating to World War II and the old airfield.

 

The day commenced at 10.00 hours with a brief history talk on the airfield. This was followed by the children being split into small groups and going round several bases ( table displays, museum and Anderson Shelter ) relating to World War II. After they had eaten their lunch the children were walked around a section of the airfield highlighting key points of interest arriving back at ' Knightstone ' ready to board their coach back to school at 14.30 hours.

 

The day was very educational for the children and most enjoyable for the adults hosting the visit.

If you would like to know more about arranging a visit and what it involves please contact Michael Hayes ( R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archivist )

Tel:- 01822 853679.

 

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HARROWBEER ARCHIVE WEEKEND DATES FOR 2015

Harrowbeer Archives are planning two 'Archive Week-ends ' for 2015.

The first week-end is the first May Bank Holiday - May 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

The second week-end is the August Bank Holiday - August 29th, 30th and 31st.

These week-ends are being held in the car park of ' Knightstone Tearooms ' and are open daily from 1030 hours until 1630 hours for May and 1030 hours until 1730 for August. There is plenty of car parking on the moorland outside the Tearooms and there is no entry charge.

On display at all week-ends will be sample copies of the R.A.F. Station Operation Record Book ( diary ) and also copies of some of the Squadron's Operation Record Books for the time that they were operating from there. The Archives contain Squadron photographs and a personnel list of known serving airmen, W.A.A.F.'s and civilians.

The ' Archive Museum ' will be open which contains artefacts relating to the R.A.F. and World War Two. The Austin Ten Utility which is in it's closing stages of restoration and now road-legal can be seen in the car park over the week-ends. Two of our latest editions are an Anderson Shelter and an Allan Williams Gun-Turret erected close to the outside seating area. There will also be a Bric-a brac stall, bottle stall, second-hand books and a cake stall plus various other items of entertainment.

If you were connected with the airfield during the war or had a relative that served there we would love to hear from you and add their names, photographs and stories to the Archives.

For more information contact :-  Michael Hayes  01822 853679 or through the web site.

 


R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archive August Event

After the success of the R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archive June event that was held at ' Knightstone Tearooms ' Yelverton another one is planned for the August Bank Holiday ( 23rd, 24th and 25th ).

This week-end event will be very similar in terms of attractions etc. but with the added addition of a full size replica Spitfire MKV which will be positioned in the Tearoom's Car Park. 

For further information please contact Michael Hayes on 01822 853679

 


Event update

I would like to take this oportunity to thank all the helpers who helped to set up the event and dress up in uniforms or period costumes, this certainly sets the scene and is a great talking point for visitors. The number of visitors was slightly down on that expected but i think the weather played a great part in that, something beyond our control. Those that did attend thoroughly enjoyed themselves and for me there were several people relaying interesting stories with information regarding Plymouth during the war and of their relatives involvement with Harrowbeer. Altogether a very successful week-end.

Don't forget the next R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archive week-end is :- June 21st and 22nd at ' Knightstone Tearooms ', open each day from 1030 hrs until 1700 hrs, if you need more information call me on  01822 853679.

 


May Bank Holiday update

May Bank Holiday is upon us already so don't forget if you want an enjoyable day out with very little cost and plenty of free parking then R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives is the place to head for.

The Archives are situated at ' Knightstone Tearooms ' Yelverton , Devon and holds records and photographs of the Second World War Airfield and personnel which will be available for viewing.

In addition there are a few things aimed at the children for entertainment while mum and dad look around. The ' Anderson Shelter ' now has some of it's bunk beds fitted.

Please spare the time and come and see what we are all about, Michael would be glad to talk to you and perhaps you may have a story of yourself or a relative that may be applicable to the area.     Many thanks  Michael.

 


A Blast from the Past

On Monday 10th March 2014 an "  Allan Williams Gun Turret " was delivered to R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives situated at ' Knightstone Tearooms, Yelverton, Devon ' with the help of Cuddy, Dartmoor National Park Authority and Rob Burbage Haulage.

The " Allan Williams Gun Turret " was a domed, steel metal construction above ground with a lower section set in the ground which included the entrance to the Turret. The Allan Williams Gun Turret was used as an anti-aircraft and ground defence position. Approximately 199 of these Turrets were made and were to be used for Coastal Defence. The Army found these to be unsuitable so many found there way onto R.A.F. Airfields for defence purposes. There were three known Allan Williams Gun Turret positions on R.A.F. Harrowbeer ( possibly a fourth close to the roundabout at Yelverton )  which were removed after the closure of the airfield. After a ' google search ' for Allan Williams Gun Turrets it was found that a Plymstock quarry and ' Blue Cirle Cement Works ' ( which is now under re-development by ' Persimmons Homes ' ) were using one as a blasting shelter. For approximately two and a half years enquiries have been going on to try and obtain this Turret once the quarry had finished their blasting operations. R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives along with Dartmoor National Park were notified that it had to be off-site by the beginning of April 2014, so preparations were put in place to rescue it and bring it to Harrowbeer where it can hopefully be restored as an exhibition piece.

 


70 years ago from the Archives

A summary for March 1944 from the Station and Squadron Operation Record Books is now entered onto the ' 70 years ago from the Archives ' page.     Still available for viewing are December 1943, January and February 1944.

 


70 years ago from the Archives

I am in the process of  putting on the website the details from the Operation Record Books for March 1944. Still viewable are November, December 1943, January and February 1944.

 


70 years ago in November 1943

The latest addition to " 70 years ago from the Archives " has now been added to the page.     See what was going on in November 1943.     The weather back then was quite bad making operational flying very difficult, but No.193 and No.266 Squadrons still managed to do their bit on the French mainland and in the English Channel, read all about it.     If you have any information that might be able to fill in any of the gaps i would love to hear from you.

 


Harrowbeer Archive Events and Museum

An event is being planned by the ' Harrowbeer Interest Group ' and ' The 1940's Roadshow ' to be called " RAF Harrowbeer 1940's Weekend " over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of August 2013. For more information visit - www.rafharrowbeer1940s.co.uk   The event will be on the moorland between Knightstone Tearooms and the Dispersal Bay ( which has the air-raid shelter that has been opened up ).

 

At present R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives has no events planned for 2013 due to various on-going projects. It is hoped that from the second May Bank Holiday the museum in the double garage and various pieces of research work will be open and available to the general public on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The museum and R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives are also available at most other times upon request.

 

R.A.F. Harrowbeer on-going projects include:- ( a ) the completion of the Austin Ten Utility vehicle that is now roadworthy - it has it's MOT, road tax and insurance.   ( b ) the rebuilding of an Anderson Air-raid Shelter ( to be located in the grounds of Knightstone for the public to view).   ( c ) the restoration of the 1947 Austin Cambridge which will be displayed as a requisitioned R.A.F. staff car.   Plus other small projects.  

 


AUGUST BANKHOLIDAY UPDATE

The ' R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archive Week-end '  over the August Bank Holiday went ahead despite the dreadful weather on the Saturday and Monday.

Unfortunately the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire did not put in an appearance which i know disappointed a lot of onlookers ( including myself ). We did however have a telephone call from the pilot at around 11.15 hrs. to say that he was about to take off and would be arriving at ' Knightstone ' at around 13.45 hrs. instead of 14.10 hrs. As he would be early for his next appointment he would carry out three flypasts instead of the usual one. Sadly, after waiting for forty five minutes there was no sign of any Spitfire! A few telephone calls to find out what was happening were met with " the office is closed until Tuesday 28th. "              The weather was very cloudy and over cast with wind and showers throughout the day so we can only assume that after the Spitfire had taken off and was on his way he was recalled due to the weather conditions.

Sunday 26th was a particularly good day with the sun shining for most of the day. The attendance at the event was tremendous, especially in the afternoon. The Dispersal Air-raid shelter was of great interest to a lot of visitors and in great demand.

Monday 27th, the weather again turned to wind, rain and more rain which affected the number of visitors to the event. During the latter part of the day it was decided to start taking some of the tentage down due to the gusting winds. Unfotunately we were not quick enough with one of the 6m X 3m marquees and the wind rolled it over twisting and distorting some of the roof members.

The week-end was, despite the set backs enjoyed by all those who took the time and effort to attend the event. It is greatly appreciated and my thanks go out to all those brave people who helped set up the stalls, manned them and then cleared up afterwards.

I enjoyed the event myself and for me it was a great success.       One of the reasons for putting on the ' Archive Week-ends ' is in the hope that members of the public who served at R.A.F. Harrowbeer, had relatives who were there, people that lived in the area at the time or had a connection in some other way to come forward and talk to me about their experiences. This was achieved several times by :- a lady who's husband was at Harrowbeer as a member of No.276 A.S.R. Squadron, a gentleman who donated his shrapnel collection, a lady who was a W.A.A.F. at Harrowbeer ( and looked at photographs of people she knew who served there ), a gentleman who's mother was on the airfield and worked as a teleprinter operator and a gentle man who as a small boy went to the JU88 crash site at Gawton Wood to collect a souvenir. Their stories and memories are now included in the ' Archives ' of R.A.F. Harrowbeer never to be forgotten.                   Thank You  Michael Hayes - Archivist       

 


SPITFIRE FLYPAST AT R.A.F.HARROWBEER

It has been confirmed that on  Saturday 25th August at 1410 hours  ( weather permitting ) a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will carry out a flypast for the R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archive Week-end. This should take place in the air between ' Knightstone Tearooms ' and the Yelverton roundabout.

 


Spitfire Flypast at R.A.F. Harrowbeer

A  ' Spitfire Flypast ' will take place ( weather permitting ) on Saturday 25th August 2012 over the airfield outside  ' Knightstone Tearooms ' by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Time to be confirmed.

 


R.A.F. HARROWBEER ARCHIVE WEEKEND - AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY 2012

August 25th, 26th and 27th ( the August Bank Holiday )

A three day ' Archive ' event at Knightstone Tearooms, starting each day at 1100 hours until 1700 hours,

Come and browse the Station Operation Record Book ( diary ) and some of the Airfield Squadron Operation Record Books, photographs of some of the Squadrons that operated from R.A.F. Harrowbeer and documentation. There will be photgraphs of some of the buildings of Yelverton before the airfield was built and views of the areas surrounding the village. A very interesting folder titled ' Harrowbeer Hearsays ' will be available detailing some of the many stories from veterans, relatives of airmen that served at Harrowbeer and local people will be available for you to read.

There will be living history displays, military vehicles, memorabilia and a small museum of World War Two related artefacts.

Have you ever been inside a Second World War Airfield air-raid shelter? Now's the chance, there is one that will be open throughout the week-end in the Aircraft Dispersal Bay close to Knightston Tearooms each day.

Local charities are manning a second-hand book stall, bottle stall, cake stall and plant stall.

Test your football skills with the Army Lazer Football stand.

There is hopefully something for every one, so please come and visit - there is ample parking and  NO  entrance fee. 

In addition there is always the Tearooms where a cup of tea, coffee and hot or cold food can be purchased. 

 


June Harrowbeer Archive Week-end

Over the week-end of 23rd and 24th of June R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives is Supporting ' Plymouth Armed Forces Week ' by having one of it's R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archive week-ends.

The event commences each day at 1100 hours until 1700 hours at ' Knightstone Tearooms ', Yelverton. There is plenty of free moorland parking and entrance to the event is  FREE.

On site besides the Tearooms ( good food - hot and cold but it is advisable to book for lunchtime ) will be tentage containing a living history display, some of R.A.F. Harrowbeer's Operation Record Books ( diaries ), photographs and documentation, the Army ' laser football ', military vehicles, the R.A.F. Harrowbeer display boards, a bottle stall, cake stall, secondhand book stall, and much more.

As well as the small ' Harrowbeer Museum ' being open both days so will the ' airfield dispersal bay air-raid shelter '. On the Sunday the Air Training Cadet Corps will be parading and displaying throughout the day.

Something for everyone - a good week-end to be had by all. Hope to see you there.     Michael

 


Archive Dates for 2012

Harrowbeer Archive Dates for 2012

 

May Bank Holiday:- 5th, 6th and 7th

                    Open from 1100 - 1630 hours each day

 

June 23rd and 24th:- the start of Plymouth Armed Forces Week

                    Open from 1100 - 1700 hours each day

 

August Bank Holiday:- 25th, 26th and 27th

                    Open from 1100 - 1700 hours each day

 


Harrowbeer - a resounding success...

The RAF Harrowbeer 70th Anniversary Event has been a resounding success - with an estimated 10,000 people attending on Sunday! Both ITV and Spotlight captured the spirit of the event today and have screened snippets in the news tonight - with more being shown tomorrow!

We have many, many thanks to make and will be doing that over the coming days... in the meantime, we would like to say a huge thank you to all the visitors to the event, to the many helpers and volunteers who have made the last couple of days run so smoothly, and to the stallholders/exhibitors - without whom there would have been nothing to see!  Thank you all!

In addition, we would like to thank everyone who contributed either financially or in kind - without you there wouldn't have been an event. Thank you! 

Lastly, thank you to the Chairman of the Planning Group, Michael Hayes, whose vision for a special event to mark the 70th Anniversary led to the weekend we have just enjoyed - thank you, Michael.

When the dust has settled... we'll write some more! 

 


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