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Glebe Farm get recognition for help to keep flying at RAF Wyton

RAF Wyton marks a century of flying with the opening of a grass runway


By CambridgeNews  |  Posted: May 14, 2016   By Julian Makey

Wing Commander Andy March
CHOCKS AWAY: Wing Commander Andy March, Pathfinder Flying Club’s officer in charge, makes the first flight from RAF Wyton’s new grass runway

Pilots at RAF Wyton have turned the clock back a century to the dawn of flying at the station – by building a new grass runway.

The inaugural flight from the new runway was made to mark the 100th anniversary of aviation which began at the then Wyton Aerodrome in the middle of the First World War.

Wing Commander Andy March, who made the last flight from the station’s paved runway in March this year, carried out the first take-off on the grass strip.

“I had a lump in my throat as I took off,” he said. “To think that 100 years ago those early aviation pioneers who joined the Royal Flying Corps were taking off from a grass strip that is just a stone’s throw from where I was. Amazing.”

Wing Commander March, an RAF aerosystems engineering officer, said: “In March this year I had the proud honour to be the last pilot to take off from RAF Wyton’s paved runway, one that has witnessed some of the most impressive and iconic aircraft ever to have worn the RAF roundel.

“It is now up to the Pathfinder Flying Club to uphold the station’s proud flying tradition and our new grass runway will ensure the club can continue to operate from RAF Wyton.”

Wyton’s paved runways were formally decommissioned in March meaning they could not be used for flying.

But the Pathfinder Flying Club, which had been using them, already had plans in hand to build a grass runway and the bulk of the ground work was carried out last year.

Pathfinder Flying Club's Roy Twigg and Wind Commander Andy March
CHOCKS AWAY: Pathfinder Flying Club’s Roy Twigg and Wind Commander Andy March

Roy Twigg, a retired RAF engineering officer who is now the club’s chief engineer, said the runway was self-funded but that they had been given a great deal of support by the Wyton-based 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic) which surveyed the site and Rebecca Rayner, from Glebe Farm, who provided machinery hire, soil and grass seed.

Mr Twigg said: “The ground work needed to properly prepare the new runway required a great deal of support from club members and it was a real team effort making this project work.”

He said that in addition to levelling the site, a further 60 tonnes of top soil was added, along with 40 kilos of grass seed.

RAF Wyton's new grass runway turns the clock back
CHOCKS AWAY: RAF Wyton’s new grass runway turns the clock back

The club also had to draw up new procedures before the grass strip became operational.

Pathfinder Flying Club provides flying training for regular and reserve service personnel and civil service staff employed by the RAF, together with a small number of civilian members.

It is named after the Pathfinder Force which operated from RAF Wyton during the Second World War.

The first flight at Wyton Aerodrome was by a Royal Flying Corps Nieuport 12 on April 19 1916 and the site became RAF Wyton in 1918 on the formation of the Royal Air Force. Military flying ended just short of the centenary.

The first RAF operations of the Second World War were flown from RAF Wyton and Canberras operated from the station for many years.

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Going Egg Free as well as Gluten and Wheat Free?

Gluten & Egg Free Chocolate Cake
Gluten & Egg Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

When Glebe Farm does the London, Liverpool and Glasgow Allergy and Free From shows we meet a number of people with multiple allergies in their diet, including egg free as well as wheat and gluten free. We would usually make a special cake with the Glebe Farm Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix and add Vitalite margarine and 2 bananas.

Customers are delighted that they have something to eat as often manufacturers do not consider excluding eggs in their recipes.

It is estimated that around 2% of children are allergic to eggs. Fortunately, studies show that about 70 percent of children with an egg allergy will outgrow the condition by 16 years old.­­­­­­­­­­­­

Eggs are one of the most common food allergens. Sometimes it is a reaction to the proteins in egg whites or and sometimes it is the yolks. People with an allergy to chicken eggs may also be allergic to other types of eggs, such as goose, duck, turkey or quail.

For people with a mild allergic reactions to eggs, symptoms can be skin rashes, wheezing or difficulties in breathing, runny nose, sneezing, red or watery eyes, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and or inflammation. More serious allergic reaction are anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition that impairs breathing and can send the body into shock.

Eggs are used a lot in gluten free cookery as eggs lighten cakes, colour pastries, and add protein to bread. At first glance, it may look to be a challenge to cook gluten and egg free. However there are plenty of ways to replace eggs when you are baking. Check out the Glebe Farm Recipe Section for Egg Free recipes.

Other suggestions are:

  • Gluten & Egg Free Muffins
    Gluten & Egg Free Muffins Recipe

    Gluten & Egg Free Muffins RecipeCertain food manufacturers produce egg substitutes powdered mixes, which when added to liquid, try and replicate the same cooking properties as egg. Organ No Egg is recommended and a good second best is Allergycare Whole Egg Replacer. The disadvantage is that they can leave the food dry particularly when it is gluten and wheat free too.

  • Natural alternatives are replacing egg with mashed ripe banana (one banana replaces one egg) or apple sauce (as in pork and apple sauce) found in jars in supermarkets.
  • One can use chia seeds; add one tablespoon of chia seeds into 3 tablespoons of water, then soak and leave to create a gooey gel.
  • Alternatively use one tablespoon of ground flax seed (linseed) to 3 tablespoons of water.

Another tried and tested idea vegans use is to use one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to one tablespoon of vinegar to re-create and beaten egg look.

The newest breakthrough is to obtain egg free egg whites for meringues and macaroons is to drain the juice of a tin of chickpeas and whisk to resemble peaky egg white. Use 3 tablespoons of chickpea juice to substitute one egg white.

So there are lots of ways to replace eggs when you are baking. So don’t just say ‘I can’t’… go on and try one of the above alternatives!

~ Rebecca Rayner

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Crash Landings


BBC Radio Cambridge Logo

Glebe Farm’s Wellington Bomber and Mosquito WWII planes.

There has been a lot of publicity recently about WWII aircraft being dug up in the local area.

A few years ago part of a Mosquito under-carriage was pulled up by a tractor pulling a farm implement. Nobody really new what it was but it was suggested that it should be taken to the Pathfinder Museum at RAF Wyton. Then all went quiet…..

Marc Marshall, from Glebe Farm, was keen to try his new metal detector.

Glebe Farm's Marc and Mosquito Site

The crops were still standing in July so he started digging at gaps within the crops. Without realising it, these sparsely cropped areas, no bigger than a size of a small car, were dotted with sand patches within the soil. This was evidence that oil seepage had been found as the RAF usually would have filled the area with sand after a crash.

An elderly gentleman, Ralph Dodson in Kings Ripton village, was asked to recall his old memories. He remembered, as a boy, hearing a loud explosion and ran towards the enormous fire coming from the fields at Glebe Farm. He said he heard a sheep bleeting, but Cambridgeshire is not a county for sheep to graze! Instead what he heard was an airman who had been catapulted out of his aircraft into a hedge and was asking for help. The story of the Wellington MK III BJ716 continues…


Glebe-Farm-Foods-WellingtonBomber_79x300This aircraft only had one successful mission and took off from Warboys airfield on the 27th August 1942 with that nights target being Kassel. The aircraft was attacked by a night fighter while over Hamm/Munster but after retaliating with machine gun fire, the fighter retreated and the Wellington returned with minor flak damage.

The Wellington’s second fateful mission was to target Saarbrucken on the night of 1st September 1942, unfortunately just after takeoff the aircraft crashed into land at Glebe Farm, bursting into flames and killing three of the crew who are buried locally at Houghton / Wyton churchyard.

Although the majority of the wreckage was removed at the time of the crash many parts have been found in the area with a metal detector such as the geodetic construction tubing (air frame), parts of a bomb sight, oxygen regulator, radio parts, engine parts, electrical connections, remains of .303 cartridges and many fragments of aluminium, some of which formed into ingots from the heat of the fire.


The second crash site on Glebe Farm is believed to be a De Havilland Mosquito as many parts have been found that relate to this type of aircraft but the investigation is still ongoing and currently being researched. Parts found include parachute buckles, cockpit gauge, fragments of wood, Perspex and many fragments of engine casing.

Marc’s other hobby, other than metal detecting, is brewing beer. Night Mission and Wellington Bomber Porter have been developed and brewed in Memory of Heroes.

Read more about our gluten free beers…

It started as a micro brewery on the farm, however the amount of beer sold was too much to cope with, so a contract brewer was asked to help out. Now the beer is sold nationwide in outlets such as Dobbies Garden Centres, Ocado and independents – see stockists for details

Marc, the Mayor and Beer!

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Pathfinder Weekend at RAF Wyton 2015

pathfinder itinary

The Pathfinder Memorial Weekend was held on 15-16th August. It is an annual event whereby Pathfinders war veterans, who fought in World War II are invited to RAF Wyton.  We were lucky enough to have 13 Pathfinders join us this year.

pathfinder walking passed

The day entailed a reception at the Sergeant’s Mess to reunite families, then a church service, dinner and a fly past.

Chris Thurling at the RAF Wyton invited us to set up a stand to show our Wellington and Mosquito findings that had crashed into the fields at Glebe Farm.


findings in the Mess

I was lucky enough meet to the St Ives Deputy Mayor.

st ives deputy mayor

We were invited to the St George’s chapel service where the RAF Wyton Brass Band lead a moving service.

RAF wyton band

After the dinner we were lucky enough to have a Blenheim plane flypass and then it was time for a few beers!


A fine day and the weather was on our side too!

Rebecca Rayner