1939 Burslem JTS 236 Squadron ATC

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ATC Large Group

This picture comes from the same archive as others in this set discovered by John Whitmore. Several of the adults seem to correlate with the parade picture in Moorland Road hall.

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John Watts (1939-40) says
"The photograph must have been taken in 1939 and it is indeed The Burslem JTS, 236 Squadron ATC. Looking at the Photo., I am on the left of the Cadet who is sat in front of Mr.Collinson. The Hanley High School Squadron was 235 and they later moved to their new school at Chell. The other Squadrons in the City were Stoke (237) and Longton (238). I don't know all the Senior Gents in the Photograph but one looks like Mr.Potts and another like Mr.Mills. The Photograph, if my memory serves me rightly, was taken in the playground of Moorland Road School, which is where we used to do our "square bashing"."

[Ed. the background appears to be an aircraft hangar door - so the school playground would not be correct. The most likely candidate would be Meir Aerodrome. However - research suggests they had Bellman type hangars which apparently have visible crossbraces on the panels. This might be an "L" type. It has been suggested RAF Cosford is a possibility - and Ternhill was also not far away.

Apparently the ATC was not officially formed until 1941. Prior to that it was the CCDN - which did not have such close links to the RAF.

Meir Aerodrome was a major air training centre for the civilian "Volunteer Reserve" from 1938 until the outbreak of war. The School Roll of Honour has 22 names of old boys killed on active service between1939-45. Of these18 were aircrew - with several being noted as "RAF Volunteer Reserve".]

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Moorland Road Hall Group

NB This picture does not yet have interactive naming JTS ATC Moorland Road Hall RAF visitor Air Chf Mshl Leigh-Mallory
The visitor appears to be Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory.
He died in an air crash on 14 November 1944. His last official visit to Stoke on Trent was an overnight stay before taking the salute at the big "Wings For Victory" parade outside the King's Hall on 19th April 1943. (see: "Wings over Meir" by William Cooke)
If anyone can decode his rank insignia that might set a close date.
The other officer might be Flight Lieutenant A. E. Hewitt, Commander of the Stoke on Trent Wing of the ATC.
This is the only picture in the archives showing the Moorland Road hall.
There is a tantalising glimpse of the front door that was never used in later years.
It does not appear to have obvious wartime blackout precautions - but it is possible the window panes are painted black.

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ATC Sports Day

NB This picture does not yet have interactive naming
ATC Sports Day
The ATC Sports Day - probably at Port Vale FC

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