Why did we decide to give the buildings the names of Stirling and Blenheim?…
Waterbeach Barracks was built in 1940 on farmland and orchards between Denny Abbey and Waterbeach village. It was officially opened on the 1st January 1941. The site was operated by the RAF throughout the Second World War and post-war period, handing over to the Royal Engineers in 1966.
There were three concrete runways, a perimeter taxiway and hardstanding plus two hangers. Later the runways were extended so the longest was 1850 meters.
On the 3rd February 1941, just 1 month after its official opening, a German Dornier Do17Z dropped 9 bombs on one of the hangers and damaged the runway. Despite this, 99 Squadron arrived at Waterbeach in March 1941 and started bomber operations over Germany.
Operational losses from RAF Waterbeach during WW2 were 122 bombers, consisting of 8 Stirlings, 81 Lancasters and 33 Wellingtons.
The Short Stirling, pictured below, entered service in early 1941, but had a relatively brief operational career as a bomber, being relegated to second line duties from late 1943, when other more capable four-engined RAF bombers took over the strategic bombing of Germany. The Stirling then went on to fulfil a major role as a glider tug and supply aircraft during the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944–1945.
The picture below left has the outskirts of Waterbeach in the foreground and Cambridge in the distance.
The Bristol Blenheim, pictured below, is a British light bomber aircraft that was used extensively in the first two years of the Second World War. It first took flight in April 1935 to serve in the Royal Air Force as a bomber. On 10 March 1937, deliveries of the Blenheim commenced to RAF squadrons.
Waterbeach Barracks closed on the 30th March 2013, following the move of all the remaining Army units to RAF Kinloss in Scotland and RAF Wittering.
It is planned to develop the Airfield into housing for around 6500 new homes.
So, it seemed highly appropriate to name our buildings after the famous Stirling and Blenheim bombers which played a vital role in World War 2.
Stirling House was opened on the 5th April 1995 by Lord Henley.