I suppose that rural, regional, countryside airports are in my blood although in my case they are military ( Royal Air Force ) airfields.

I was born on R.A.F. Wattisham ( an R.A.F. and  U.S.A.A.F. –  479th Fighter Group – airfield ) near Stowmarket in Suffolk, England because my father was an aircraft technician in the R.A.F. and then moved with him and my mother to various R.A.F. stations in the U.K. and Germany – e.g. Colerne, Hullavington, Gaydon, Oldenberg, Geilenkirchen, Gütersloh , Church Lawford.

These were just a few of the many R.A.F. stations that existed in the U.K. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_former_RAF_stations ) and Germany ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Air_Force_Germany ) in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Many of these airfields became private when the Ministry of Defence disposed of them. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airports_in_the_United_Kingdom )

My reintroduction to the world of the private, countryside airfield came when building my I.T. company, Voyager, and we had our first office in Wellesbourne House , Warwickshire near which was Wellesbourne Airfield (   http://www.wellesbourneairfield.com/ ).

Wellesbourne House became the centre of operations and Head Office for our growing I.T. company.

and we gradually took over a large portion of the business park with our main offices in Wellesbourne House itself. Wellesbourne House had a very appropriate U.K. and U.S. connection as we expanded our operations to London and New York. ( Wellesbourne House had belonged to  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juliette_Gordon_Low – the founder of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. ).

One of our salespeople was also a private pilot and had a share in a Cessna single engine plane. We had decided that we would entertain some of our customers from London City Banks J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch by taking them to the iconic sailing event,Cowes Week, based from the Isle of Wight ( 2 of the Directors of Voyager were keen yachtsmen ).

Whilst most of our customers would make their own way to Cowes we would fly down to Elstree ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elstree_Airfield ) pick up one of our customers and then fly on down to Sandown ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Wight/Sandown_Airport ).

Elstree Airport

Sandown Airport

Sandown Airport is right by the sea.

Elstree Aerodrome originates from the 1930’s and 40’s when there was a Country Club and polo ground on the Aldenham House Estate and many of the polo players had their own aircraft (  http://www.firecrestaviation.co.uk/documents/History%20of%20Elstree%20Aerodrome.pdf ) like the Puss and Leapord Moth.

Leopard Moth

The flight from Wellesbourne to Elstree and then on to Sandown and back is a story in it’s own right and part of the folklore of Voyager.

As we drove from Wellesbourne House to Wellesbourne Airfield you could imagine Juliette and her husband doing the same thing ( in a slightly older vehicle ! ). They often travelled from Wellesbourne to London.

Certainly they loved horses and polo. Maybe they also like yachting

so a trip to the Isle of Wight was not out of the question either. Elstree is of course famous for it’s film studios ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elstree_Studios ) and in the 50’s were owned by Douglas Fairbanks Jnr ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Fairbanks_Jr ) so it is likely that famous film actors and actresses flew into Elstree Airodrome.

The use of regional private airports is being boosted by new initiatives like those of




who are encouraging people to try private flights from regional airports instead of the present norm of travelling to huge airports and packing like cattle into ever bigger jets.

Bring the romance, beauty and mystery back into your flight plans !!!