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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1384935

Hob Uid: 1384935
Location :
Oxfordshire
Cherwell
Launton
Grid Ref : SP5931024480
Summary : A parachute store at RAF Bicester technical site, built in 1926. The building is rectangular, constructed of brick with a gabled roof. It features an open louvered space for drying parachute fabric in order to combat shrinkage; this space is separated by an isolating lobby in order to reduce dust travelling in from outside, which could have impaired the effectiveness of the parachutes.
More information : An English Heritage report produced in May 2003 recommended that the parachute store ("Building 92") be considered for potential future Listed Building status at Grade II. In was constructed in 1926 and was "built with an open louvered space for drying fabric separated by an isolating lobby in order to reduce dust travelling in from outside". (1)

The location of the parachute store as shown on a photograph of the site from the relevant Buildings File matches a building located on plan SP 5824 and SP5924 at SP 5931 2448. (2)

Some useful explanatory remarks on the functionality of parachute stores: one of the main problems with parachutes was that condensation caused shrinkage and to prevent this the parachutes had to dried. Francis notes that "the object was to evaporate 6 pounds of moisture per parachute every 24 hours." Dust was also a problem: "a dry atmosphere with constant ventilation and a temperature of between 55 degrees F and 65 degrees F was required. The building had to be free of dust and built with a lobby so that the outer door could be closed defore the inner one was opened". The height of the building had to be such that parachutes could be suspended without any material touching the floor. (1)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : English Heritage field survey reports
Source details : English Heritage Thematic Listing Programme May 2003: "Survey of Military Aviation Sites and Structures Summary Report", unpaged.
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Source Number : 2
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1: 2500, 1968
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Source Number : 3
Source : British military airfield architecture : from airships to the jet age
Source details :
Page(s) : 32
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Built 1926
Monument End Date : 1926
Monument Start Date : 1926
Monument Type : Parachute Store
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 104631
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 52 SE 98
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, INVESTIGATION BY RCHME/EH ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-11-14
End Date : 1995-11-14