Cullingworth Newsletter Aug 2017

Cullingworth or Leeds Bradford? Hard to believe but once upon a time there was an airfield at Cullingworth. Known as Manywell Heights or more correctly RAF Manywell Heights it was situated on the land behind what used to be the 5 Flags Hotel and Restaurant. It was used by aircraft from 1913 and commissioned by the RAF, then known as the RFC (Royal Flying Corps) in 1916. Before its eventual closure in 1919 the airfield was designated as a relief landing ground for the Home Defence, squadrons 33 and 76. In 13th October 1913 a Captain Maclean landed his Royal Aircraft Factory BE2A aircraft at Manywell Heights and was delayed take off due to foul weather before being able to get airborne again, departing on 15th October. This caused quite an interest from local residents who flocked to watch the event, and made the local farmer who owned the field a few pounds as well who charged the public for the priveledge of watching!!. Matters Cullingworth Village Council Issue 2 Aug/Sept 2017 Whilst facilities at Manywell Heights were somewhat basic, consisting of a single wooden and canvas hangar and an accompanying grass landing strip that was only 500m by 380m in size, it was nevertheless classified as an official site until being decommissioned in June of 1919. Considered a poor choice for a civilian airport due to its height above sea level this “honour” was given to Yeadon despite Yeadon being only some 66m lower than Manywells. It is hoped that a memorial plaque to Cullingworth’s “forgotten” airfield will be erected and displayed in the War Memorial gardens in the near future. Cullingworth Village Council are grateful to the Cullingworth Local History Group for the provision of photographs and images used in this newsletter.