Last Updated on September 3, 2023
Spotted on a visit to Summer Isle Studios in Clopton Suffolk. It was designed by a popular coffee shop in Clopton called First Coffee, they are selling this design on a tee shirt in their online store here – https://welcometofirst.co.uk/products/straight-outta-clopton-tee-1
Clopton is one of those curious places in the south of England that probably wouldn’t exist in quite the same way as it does if it wasn’t for the fact that the First World War happened.
Because after the First World War came the Second World War and unlike the First World War there were a lot of planes in the Second World War.
If there are going to be a lot of planes in a war, you need somewhere to store them, work on them, and a long flat area of ground for them to take off into the sky and (God, willing) return from their mission and land safety, in the south of England is full of such large flat areas and Clopton is very much one of those areas.
If you visit Clopton in Suffolk, you’ll note that there are lots of very long wide roads, connecting various parts of it together. These long, wide roads were once part of a network of runways.
At the start of the Second World War a lot of the land was grabbed by the Ministry of Defence and aerodromes were built and used by all the Allied Air Force planes that were based in the United Kingdom.
The owners of this land (who were in many cases farmers) were left with two choices when the war ended. They could either dig up all the concrete and return the land to being fit for farming, or they could use the land to try and make a bit of cash.
I don’t know the exact history of Clopton, but I very much expect this is an example of a clever farmer, turning his airfield into a profitable business.
I worked at Clopton for a few summers (during harvest time) when I was a teen, so I know the site very well.
I have always been under the impression that some of the large grain stores at Clopton were in fact hangers. This might be fanciful, but if you visit Clopton and have a look around the parts that are open to the public, you’ll be able to see that it wasn’t a huge leap of the imagination to think that aeroplanes may have been stored, and in huge warehouses that are dotted liberally around the site.
In reality, the hangers that were built to store aeroplanes during World War II would have been built in the 1930s, meaning that by the time of writing this now in 2023, those hangers would be nearly 100 years old.
As I mentioned earlier, I have an intimate working history of being inside the large sheds at Clopton, and they are mainly modern breezeblock Construction. While I’m not an architectural expert, I don’t think breezeblocks featured much during World War II.
The other fact that makes me wonder if there were any hangers at Clopton at all is that the very large bombers were enormous planes and appear to have been stored, mostly in open air at rural airfields is like Clopton. There are larger fields with hangers locally like Duxford, but in the mad rush to win the war2 I don’t think a lot of time would’ve been spent building hangers
So there you have it. This page is the result of what happens if the author understands SEO and wants to get a page about a cool sticker he saw to rank well when people search for ‘Clopton’.
Hopefully, this page has been of some interest to you. If not, I apologise, and please don’t let it negatively colour your opinion of this wonderful Suffolk village. Love you!