Monday, March 15, 2010

More on the Thor nuclear missiles at Harrington airfield

Last month I wrote about my discovery that Thor nuclear missiles had been stationed at Harrington Airfield, only five miles from Market Harborough.

Yesterday I bought a booklet on the airfield. It deals mainly with its career during World War II, when it was the home of "carpetbagger" operations. These dropped men and supplies behind enemy lines in occupied Europe.

But it also gives more information on the Thor missiles:

In 1958, work began on building the Missile site at Harrington ... In late 1959 there was a demonstration by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). The protesters met in Rothwell and walked to Harrington to voice their concerns over the building of the site. A truck driver, employed by St Ives Sand & Gravel, delivering building materials to the site told me that one time a CND protester lay in front of his vehicle and had to be forcibly removed by civilian police before he could enter.

In spite of the protesting, the construction of the site went ahead as planned. This included erecting a security fence, together with the necessary floodlights, which came on at dusk and stayed on until dawn every night the base was open. The lights were so effective, they were visible from the A6 at Finedon some 10 miles from Harrington airfield.

The booklet also contains the photograph above, which shows a missile being driven through the streets of Rothwell. The recent past is a very strange place.

1 comment:

Edis said...

Older readers will remember when THOR had a very specific meaning for those trying to hammer out administration for local Liberal campaingning in pre-ALC days... anyone else still have a memory of THORPACKS?