Battle of Britain Officers’ Mess at Kenley destroyed by fire

The scene at Kenley airfield this morning. Firefighters had difficulty getting water to fight the blaze at the Officers' Mess

The scene at Kenley airfield this morning. Firefighters had difficulty getting water to fight the blaze at the Officers’ Mess

The Grade II-listed Officers’ Mess at Kenley airfield was all-but destroyed by fire last night.

Coincidentally, the two-storey building was subject to a planning application with Tandridge District Council for conversion into flats, as Inside Croydon reported last week.

Located on the on the opposite side of the airfield from where the local Friends group and historians are putting together a Battle of Britain visitor centre, the Kenley Officers’ Mess was one of the last examples of pre-Second World War military architecture still surviving. It had been home to RAF fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain in 1940.

The building was spotted ablaze around 11pm, by a passing dog walker.

Firefighters were still on the scene at 10am today, with a spokesman from Surrey Fire and Rescue reported as saying that the building’s interior are “completely destroyed”. Which should make it all the more convenient for any development plans, someone is bound to suggest.

Smoke was still coming out of the Officers' Mess this morning

Smoke was still coming out of the Officers’ Mess this morning

Fire engines from Reigate, Godstone, Banstead, Oxted, Warlingham and Addlestone had attended the blaze, but they were hampered by high winds and the absence of a ready supply of water near the derelict building.

No one was injured and the cause of the fire is “under investigation”.

Good luck with that.


About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in History, Housing, Kenley, Outside Croydon, Surrey and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Battle of Britain Officers’ Mess at Kenley destroyed by fire

  1. Radar readings room gone too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. peterleni says:

    What a stunning coincidence! A building of historic interest that someone wants to develop is destroyed by fire! There is of course no suggestion that the two events are related in any way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Surrey Flyer says:

    Could it be that the ghost of a WW2 Wing Co is responsible for this unfortunate conflagration, as he snoozes, while sitting with a G&T in a comfy leather armchair, inadvertently letting his copy of The Telegraph fall on to his pipe, set aside in a NAAFI ashtray, as he catches a catnap, awaiting the call to Action Stations, as the Hun approaches over East Kent?

    Parquet flooring and officer-grade chintz curtains must have gone up quickly, aided no doubt by a bar well-stocked with a range of best Highland Malts, and French brandies picked up by “Ginger” on a daring raid to an aerodrome somewhere in occupied France.

    Can’t say more… walls have ears, TTFN

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s