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Renfrew Airport

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:16 pm
by Socceroo
Had a wee search first in other threads, a couple of mentions of Renfrew Airport, but i don't see any threads.

Time to get back to a little bit of good old HG history :wink:



It is recorded that as early as 1910 flying in the Moorpark area of Renfrew was conducted by JG Weir, this area was later to become the
site of Renfrew Airport.

Moorpark Aerodrome was formed in 1914 by the RFC - Royal Flying Corps who were the forerunners of the RAF. Moorpark Aerodrome was primarily used as a proving ground for the many Glasgow manufactured aircraft including those by Weir's.

In 1934 the Scottish Flying Club established a new clubhouse within which was Renfrew Airport Terminal. This was taken over by the Air Ministry and RAF prior to the beginning of WWII and was suitably extended for their wartime purposes.

At the conclusion of WWII, the RAF still had from time to time a Squadron based there, but essentially the buildings and infrastructure which were extended during the war were taken over for peace time passenger air travel.

The Airport was largely rebuilt in 1954 in a different site from the RAF and Flying Club buidings which had served as the Airport Terminal since the end of WWII.

The Architect of the very contemporary 1954 buildings was William Kininmonth.


Main Entrance of the new 1954 Terminal Building (1956)


Inside the new 1954 Terminal Building (1954)


Inside the new 1954 Terminal Dining Room (1956)


The 1954 Air Traffic Control Tower (1960)

Renfrew Airport, although rebuilt in 1954 was closed in 1966, upon Abbotsinch (Glasgow) Airport opening.

Anyone familiar with the Moorpark Area, are there any remnants of this Airport? A bit of Asphalt?

Anyone old enough to remember visiting this Airport or even being lucky enough to fly from it or into it? Ah, the golden
days of travel.......

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:26 pm
by Roxburgh
My dad used to take us there on a Sunday to see the planes. Most exciting was when Icelandair came in because that was international. They had a viewing area right in front of the terminal so you were very close to the planes.

I flew out of Renfrew several times but mostly as a baby. the only time I remember was when I went to visit my Gran in Manchester. We flew in a Vickers Vanguard.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:10 am
by Socceroo

Thanks for your recollections Roxburgh, here is a photo of Vickers Vanguard coming into land at Renfrew Airport with Shipyard cranes on the Clydeside in the background.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:34 am
by radar
I flew from Renfrew twice, once to the Isle of Man in 1961 on a Silver City Airways Douglas DC3 (Dakota) and in 1963 to Guernsey on a BEA Viscount. I never flew again until the mid 70s but by that time it was all 737s and similar and missed the chance to fly in a Vanguard. The chance of another Viscount flight seemed to be receeding when I missed the chance to fly over the Victoria Falls in one in 1980. However much to my surprise on a winters evening in 1987 whilst I was travelling back to Belfast from Birminghm, the BA 737 failed to arrive and Viscount was substituted courtesy of (iirc) British Air Ferries! Now that was flying :D

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:28 am
by Socceroo
Thanks for the recollections radar, here's a few photo's of the Aircraft types that you flew in.


Dakota DC3 in for service in Hangar at Renfrew Airport in 1956. This one's in BEA colours


Vickers Vicounts on tarmac at Renfrew Airport in 1958, again these belong to BEA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:36 am
by Vladimir
Perhaps the new terminal planned at Glasgow Airport could be modeled on this one. It was a very nice building indeed!

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:42 am
by Socceroo

It certainly was Vlad, the Architect William Moninmouth was a sidekick of Basil Spence for years.

The above photo is of the BAA commissioned model of Renfrew Airport. Amazing design for 1954 eh.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:46 am
by Vladimir
That arch reminds me a lot of the new bridge going up over the Clyde, im not a fan of that as its a copycat, but if it was applied to a different use... :D

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:49 am
by Mori
link to GA site for the Renfrew Airport images

I actualy remember my father taking me to this airport when i was very young :)

some imges of this cosy wee airport.









PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:03 am
by Socceroo
Certainly seemed to be some building. Given our track record of destroying our heritage it is surprising that
we have any old buildings left!

It is a wonder we did not flatten the Beresford or Kelvin Court.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:16 am
by Apollo
Pictures of the old airport still take me by surprise today, as it's so different from today's offering.

Designers of the time seemed to be able to combine sweeping curves with straight lines in way that prevented them from clashing, and looking as if they belonged together.

Many of today's buildings all seem to look as if they came out of the same computer-aided design and manufacturing package, no matter how innovatively the designer tries to screw the pieces together.

Back in those days, when they custom manufactured something, they really did. Now, custom manufacture seems to mean little more than tweaking the edges of existing mass-produced building blocks, and pretending they're vastly different from the last batch. :(

renfrew airport

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:28 am
by the hairy brain
im sure the old runway for this now forms part of (or is beneath) the M8 as it runs from junction 26 to 27 - the really straight flat part....
so my dad used to tell me

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:06 am
by Bex Bissell
More old pics can be found here

Want to know about incidents or accidents at the airport click here.
Theres a lot more than you'd imagine.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:07 pm
by tommytank
:( That builting looked fantastic. Has anyone got the story of what happened regarding its closure? and is there anything still left?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:51 pm
by Socceroo
Bex Bissell wrote:More old pics can be found here

Want to know about incidents or accidents at the airport click here.
Theres a lot more than you'd imagine.

I had a wee look at the link Bex, i did not get as far as any old Renfrew Pics i was too busy looking at the accident / incident stats at Glasgow Airport. That's a lot of nearly's for 18 months or so. 8O

The link is excellent folks, well worth having a wee look at. You might not want to fly ever again, but it is well worth having a look at.