Find Spot record 0660603001 - Westcott airfield: Blue-Streak model silo

Summary

Cold War missile launch silo scale model identified during survey of Royal Ordnance site at Westcott.

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Map

Type and Period (1)

  • FINDSPOT (Undated)

Description

Segments of the 1/6th scale Blue Streak IRBM silo survive scattered around at former Royal Ordnance Westcott site. Built in early 1958 to evaluate the design of silos for Britain's IRBM Blue Streak. It is one of the few tangible traces of this innovative project to design a silo, which would allow a large rocket to be 'hot' launched. Recent research suggests that this programme was of international significance (B5).
Never built in Britain, the design was adopted for the United States Titan II missile silo (B6).
A collection of 'octagons' is stored at Area 12, one of the WWII dispersal areas on the north edge of the site, at NGR; others seen at K2 and P2 test stands (B7).
Both 1/60th and 1/6th scale models were built and tested at Westcott. The 1/60th scale model was tested with high pressure nitrogen to simulate the exhaust. The 1/6th scale model was tested horizontally with HTP/kerosene rockets fired with the tube. The concrete of the silo tube eroded during testing but acoustic liners were later added. Initially high temperature cement was used between the segments but was found to dintegrate during testing and was replaced by low temperature cement which merely fused at its surface (B10).
Considered for designation (listing) by EH in 2012 but considered not to be currently listable due to the component parts being dismantled and dispersed at a number of locations within the Westcott site. Should be reassessed for designation once the silo parts are re-united. See report for detail (B21).

Sources (7)

  • <5>SBC19422 Bibliographic reference: English Heritage. 2001. Cold War Monuments: an assessment by the Monuments Protection Programme.
  • <6>SBC22398 Bibliographic reference: Wayne D Cocroft and Roger J C Thomas (edited by P S Barnwell). 2004. Cold War: Building for Nuclear Confrontation 1946-1989. pp46-7, Fig 3.37.
  • <7>SBC23214 Unpublished document: David Radford (BCC). 2007. Map extracts annotated with brief notes and photographs taken during site visit in August 2007..
  • <8>SBC23215 Unpublished document: RPS Consultants. 2008. A Desk-Based Archaeological Assessment in connection with a Proposed In-Vessel Composting Facility at Westcott Venture Park, High Street, Westcott. 5.7; Plate 6.
  • <9>SBC23308 Article in serial: Wayne D Cocroft. 2006. 'The Spadeadam Blue Streak Underground Launcher Facility U1', in Prospero (The Journal of British Rocketry and Nuclear History) Number 3 pp7-14. No 3. pp8,9,13.
  • <10>SBC23309 Bibliographic reference: C N Hill. 2001. A Vertical Empire: The History of the UK Rocket and Space Programme, 1950-1971. pp84-5;figs pp83,87;plate p84.
  • <21>SBC24347 Unpublished document: English Heritage. 2013. Correspondence re decision not to list the Blue Streak model silo.

Location

Grid reference Centred SP 70724 17126 (495m by 611m) (Exact)
Civil Parish WESTCOTT, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire

Finds (1)

  • MODEL (Modern - 1958 AD to 1958 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Oct 4 2013 3:56PM

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