R.A.F. HARROWBEER OPEN DAYS FOR 2019
06 March 2019
R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives is opening the Museum and Archive material for the general public to view in 2019.
The dates will coincide with the week-ends that ' Abigail's at Knightstone ' ( the Tearooms ) will be doing it's 1940's week-end food :- spam fritters, lobscouse, Woolton pie and several other dishes in addition to it's normal menu.
The first week-end will be :- March 23rd and 24th
Opening Times from :- 11.00 am until 04.00 pm
The following Archive week-ends are as follows :-
Easter Saturday April 20th
Easter Monday April 22nd
May 18th and 19th
June 22nd and 23rd
July 20th and 21st
The ' Harrowbeer 1940's ' Week-end
August 17th and 18th
September 21st and 22nd
October 19th and 20th
Other dates will be added when finalised
In addition to these dates the Archives can be opened upon request at almost any time.
For more information telephone :- Michael Hayes on 01822 853679
Winston Churchill arrives at ' Abigail's at Knightstone Tearooms '
02 February 2019
On Wednesday the 30th January an unexpected visitor arrived at ' Abigail's at Knightstone Tearooms '
Since his arrival he has met with several of the local people and has become a regular over the lunch-time period.
' R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives ' OPEN all over the August Bank Holiday Week -end
23 August 2018
The ' R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives ' will be open over the August Bank Holiday from 1030 am until 1630 pm each day.
This is NOT an event but is hopefully the first time that the Archives will be open on a monthly basis to allow the general public to view the Museum, Archives and various exhibits around the grounds.
On site will be the ' Archive Shop ' ( Christmas is only round the corner ), the ' Harrowbeer Cinema ' showing Luke Curno's film on Harrowbeer during the war until the present day and a second-hand aviation book-stall.
The Archivist ( Michael Hayes ) will be on hand with various helpers to answer any questions, etc.
There is plenty of parking, free entry and ' Knightstone Tearooms ' will be open from 1000 am until 1600 pm for cream teas, hot and cold food, drink and ice creams, etc.
The ' Royal Air Forces Association '
23 August 2018
The ' Royal Air Forces Association ' Wales, Midland and South Western Area " Royal Air Force Centenary Token Tour " Plymouth Branch are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force between the 9th September and the 15th September 2018.
In 2018 the Royal Air Force will be 100 years old having been formed on the 1st April 1918 by the amalgamation of the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps, the first Commander of the new organisation was Major General Hugh Trenchard. The Wales, Midland and South Western Area of the Royal Air Forces Association, the Charity that supports the RAF family, is marking this auspicious anniversary throughout 2018 and the Plymouth Branch will be participating.
Tokens representing the three founding components of the RAF are travelling from Branch to Branch throughout Wales, the Midlands and the South West and the token representing Major General Trenchard will be arriving at the RAF and Allied Air Forces Monument on Plymouth Hoe by motor vehicle. It will be met by the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, the Patron of the Monument, together with the President of the Plymouth Branch of the RAFA, Group Captain R. J. Colver OBE RAF ( Ret'd ) and officers of the Branch. The token is scheduled to arrive on the 9th September at 1100 hours and following the hand over ceremony will be taken to the Branch Headquarters for safe keeping. Members of the public are most welcome to view the ceremony.
The token will remain under the custodianship of the Plymouth Branch for a week before being handed over to the Bodmin Branch of the RAFA on the 15th September to continue its journey throughout the RAFA branches in Cornwall.
During its stay in Plymouth the token will be displayed at various locations and we cordially invite members of the public to join us at these venues to view the token and help us to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force. You will be able to meet our Branch Officers and members and learn about the important work which RAFA carries out in support of all members of the RAF family, from the newest recruit to the oldest veterans, their spouses and dependent children.
You can view the ' Trenchard Token ' at the following venues :-
Monday 10th September from 1100 - 1700 at the Raffles Club, 5 Ermington Terrace, Mutley, PL4 6QG.
Tuesday 11th September from 1030 - 1500 at the House of Fraser, PL1 1DY.
Wednesday 12th September from 1100 - 1430 at RAF Harrowbeer ( Knightstone Tearooms ), Yelverton, PL20 6BT.
Thursday 13th September 1100 - 1500 at Ford Park Cemetery, PL4 6NT.
Friday 14th September 1030 - 1500 at the House of Fraser, PL1 1DY.
Saturday 15th September token to be transported by WW11 military vehicle to Bodmin.
Yelverton District Tractor Rally 2018
09 May 2018
This year the Yelverton District Tractor rally is arranged for Sunday - May 20th - 2018 on the moorland outside of ' Knightstone Tearooms ' from 10.00 am until mid-afternoon. The tractors will start arriving from around 09 00 am with a road run taking place at 11 00 am. At mid-day a dog show will take place. Various stalls will be on site for local charities.
Parking and entry is free.
Please come and support this local event
Refreshments, meals, cream teas, etc. are also available in the ' Tearooms '.
R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archive Day 29th May 2018
09 May 2018
On Tuesday - May 29th - 2018 ( Half Term Week ) R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives are holding an open day in conjunction with the ' Dartmoor Amateur Radio Group ' and ' R.A.F.A.C ' to support the " Royal Air Force 100 " celebrations.
The event is at ' Knightstone Tearooms ' and on the moorland outside towards the first Dispersal Bay.
A transmitting and receiving station is being set up to link up to R.A.F. Stations around the world.
Come and watch the R.A.F.A.C. operate and ask questions on what, why and how they are able to do this.
The Museum and Archives will also be open from 10.00 am until 5.00 pm for you to view the many artefacts and paperwork connected with R.A.F. Harrowbeer.
Refreshments, meals, cakes, cream teas and drinks,etc. will be available in the ' Tearooms '.
Parking and entry is free - please come and support us.
Harrowbeer Event Dates for 2018
27 February 2018
May 20th 2018
The annual ' Tractor Event ' held by local farmers is to be held again this year on the moorland outside ' Knightstone Tearooms '.
This is a great opportunity to support the local community on a day when the farmer's let their hair down and relax before harvest time starts.
Approximately forty tractors of all ages and design ( some vintage ) will start assembling from 0900 hours on Sunday 20th May 2018 and prepare for a road run arriving back in the early afternoon. While they are away there are various stall and activities for those left behind. In addition there is always the ' Knightstone Tearooms ' where cream teas, cakes, sandwiches, a Sunday Roast ( book in advance ) plus many other tempting offers can be enjoyed.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
June 9th and 10th 2018
R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archive Week-end
R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives are holding an open weekend when you will have the opportunity to browse the Museum, Allan Williams Gun Turret, Anderson Shelter, Morrison Shelter, Airborne Lifeboat and the vast collection of archive memorabilia.
Open daily from 1100 hours until 1630 hours.
Ample parking on the adjoining moorland.
No entrance fees.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
August 11th and 12th 2018
Harrowbeer 1940's Week-end
The Harrowbeer Interest Group are holding their annual 1940's weekend on the moorland outside ' Knightstone Tearooms ' spreading round to the first Dispersal Bay where there will be various exhibits and stalls.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Knightstone Tearooms under new management
04 March 2017
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
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
" 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
07 October 2016
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
15 August 2016
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
25 February 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
09 January 2016
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
09 July 2015
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.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The August Bank Holiday event will be going ahead as usual.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
HARROWBEER ARCHIVE WEEKEND DATES FOR 2015
06 February 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
08 July 2014
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
06 May 2014
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
01 May 2014
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
05 April 2014
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
07 March 2014
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
24 February 2014
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
08 November 2013
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
05 March 2013
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
05 September 2012
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
17 August 2012
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
06 August 2012
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
03 July 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
18 May 2012
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
18 January 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...
14 August 2011
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!