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Latitude: 51.9152 / 51°54'54"N
Longitude: -1.1445 / 1°8'40"W
OS Eastings: 458936
OS Northings: 224417
OS Grid: SP589244
Mapcode National: GBR 8X4.ZBZ
Mapcode Global: VHCX4.34S5
Entry Name: Building No 47 (Ration and Adjutant Stores)
Listing Date: 1 December 2005
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1393028
English Heritage Legacy ID: 497521
Location: Caversfield, Cherwell, Oxfordshire, OX27
Civil Parish: Caversfield
Built-Up Area: Bicester
Traditional County: Oxfordshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire
Church of England Parish: Bicester with Caversfield
Church of England Diocese: Oxford
SP5824 SKIMMINGDISH LANE (SOUTH-WEST)
1714/0/10043 RAF Bicester: Domestic Site
01-DEC-05 Building No 47 (Ration and Adjutant St
Ration and Adjutant stores. 1926. By the Air Ministry's Directorate of Works and Buildings, to drawing number 2151/25. Dark red brick in stretcher bond, slate roof.
PLAN: a simple rectangular gabled block, with open verandah at E end having a hipped slate roof. A series of rooms, separately accessed by external doors, for bakery and meat, hairdresser, grocery, shoemaker and tailor's shop.
EXTERIOR: the verandah roof with exposed rafters carried on 3 slender wood posts to concrete base-pads on a slightly raised concrete apron, over 2 plank doors. The opposite end has a door with over-light, and a large 7-light steel casement. The long S flank has 3 doors, 2 with over-lights, and 3 casements, and the opposite 2 square lights flanked by 2 deeper casements with transom each side. Small ridge stack near W end.
INTERIOR: Plain, with original doors and joinery.
HISTORY: This building, which is both a unique and unusually well-preserved example of an RAF barracks building of the inter-war period, retains the architectural style of the first phase of buildings - representative of the first permanent designs for Britain's independent air force - on this uniquely well-preserved and historically important site. A small free-standing building which closes the S end of the broad Parade Ground between the barracks blocks; it lies between the Station Sick Quarters (qv) and the airmen's Dining Room and Cookhouse (qv).
Bicester is the best-preserved of the bomber bases constructed as the principal arm of Sir Hugh Trenchard's expansion of the RAF from 1923, which was based on the philosophy of offensive deterrence. It retains, better than any other military airbase in Britain, the layout and fabric relating to both pre-1930s military aviation and the development of Britain's strategic bomber force - and the manner in which its expansion reflected domestic political pressures as well as events on the world stage - in the period up to 1939. It was this policy of offensive deterrence that essentially dominated British air power and the RAF's existence as an independent arm of the military in the inter-war period, and continued to determine its shape and direction in the Second World War and afterwards during the Cold War. The grass flying field still survives with its 1939 boundaries largely intact, bounded by a group of bomb stores built in 1938/9 and airfield defences built in the early stages of the Second World War. For much of the Second World War RAF Bicester functioned as an Operational Training Unit, training Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders as well as British air crews for service in Bomber Command. These OTUs, of which Bicester now forms the premier surviving example, fulfilled the critical requirement of enabling bomber crews - once individual members had trained in flying, bombing, gunnery and navigation - to form and train as units.
For further historical details see Building 16 (Officers' Quarters and Mess).
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