EGCC Manchester Part 2


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a selection of photos from Steve Balfour including the existing tower under construction

Next is a series of shots via Steve Balfour taken from the then new EGCC VCR in 1960, by  Bill Woodruff, courtesy of Greater Manchester Archive. It shows the airfield and the buildings to the south of the new tower that were demolished to make way for the apron and Piers A+B. The sequence goes 2CC1 -7, forming a kind of panorama from NE around to due west.

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small 1960 3


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small 1960 7

2CC6   shows the original VCR as seen from the new one, itself now disused

small 1960 W


small 1960 NE



 The house in 2CC8  housed the airport director, and still stands today.
Steve  has added his own pictures taken in 2009, showing similar views for shots 3 and 6 above.
SB CC 1960 update (3)
SB CC 1960 update (2)
SB CC 1960 update (1)
Also from Steve, some photos of the new 1960s tower that he thinks predate the opening of PATCRU.

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and some interior photos of the tower about which Steve says ” Some external shots showing the completed tower block in the early 1960s, plus some internal shots of the VCR. I don’t have dates for the internal pictures I’m afraid John, or know the names of the people featured. The picture of the lady ATCAs and the lighting panel look to have been taken at the same time. The pictures the  VCR ATCOS and VCR ATCAs were definitely taken one after the other, as the telephone handsets are in the same positions.
SB CC 17_3_17 (4)
2CC12SB CC 17_3_17 (5)
2CC13SB CC 17_3_17 (6)
SB CC 17_3_17 (7)
2CC15SB CC 17_3_17 (8)
SB CC 17_3_17 (9)
Also from Steve

” Below are a few more external shots, all of which are from the late 1960s, with some contemporary a/c thrown in. They show the tower during the operation of PATCRU (Preston Air Traffic Control Radar Unit), which was located on the first floor. If you look at the VC9 picture, it was behind the cream-coloured wall, visible above the ground-equipment parked behind the Vanguard.

The external shots show the 2 microwave dishes that were located on the east side of the control tower roof. As far as I’m aware, they were there for the lifetime of PATCRU and brought radar data from Clee Hill and The St. Annes 264A to the unit. The northerly dish was aimed at the right hand mast on the Winter Hill picture below, and the southern one pointed towards the repeater station on Sutton Common, SE of Macclesfield. I think the data came in via microwave link?  I know the National Archives at Kew have info’ on this, but it isn’t available on-line.
By the time I arrived at ‘CC both dishes had been removed, but part of the support structure for the southerly one was still there. I’m surprised there are no better pictures of them around as they were unique to Manch’……….I’ll keep looking though.
From what I gather, PATCRU and EGCC ATC were 2 separate units. At the time EGCC had a COSSOR ACR6 and a Marconi S264H, but I don’t know whether each unit had access to the other’s radar data?”

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St.Annes Marconi 264A

2CC18 St Annes Marconi 264A radar

Sutton Common

2CC19 Sutton Common relay/repeater station

small Winter Hill

2CC20 Winter Hill

now from Steve four pictures of the equipment rooms. How about our ATE readers telling what this kit is and even better  a few names for the “Tels” staff in the pictures.

small EGCC tels SB (1)


small EGCC tels SB (2)


small EGCC tels SB (3)

2CC23small EGCC tels SB (4)


also from Steve a view of the PABX (telephone exchange)

small CC SB lampson and pbx (3)


and two of Lamson tube heaven. Steve says

“Also, 3 more shots of EGCC from the, airport archive, showing the PABX and teleprinter section, in the 1960s I don’t know where these facilities were located. The number of Lamson tubes is impressive, but I don’t know if this was taken when PATCRU was operational? Maybe someone will have the answers.” 

small CC SB lampson and pbx (2)


small CC SB lampson and pbx (1)

2CC27 for more on  Lamson tubes see pneumatic tube delivery systems . They were used to deliver flight progress strips, weather observations, flight plan information etc.

We’ve just discovered some more large format colour slides. To avoid using a professional processor we’ve experimented with a new bright white light LED light box, some black framing and a digital camera to reproduce them.


Steve Balfour tells us that the old style VOR is Barton, which was located on Chat Moss.  The DVOR is the MCT, which replaced BTN, and is located on EGCC. The S264H is EGCC. I think the MCT DVOR occupies the site where the 264 was. In the VCR, the chap with the bins’ is the CDP ATSA…….Could be Bob Woolnough or Graham Innes? The GMC ATCO looking to the right is Malcolm Ross. The other shot shows John Dale as Air Controller, with Barry Wynter to his right as Air ATSA.  

Dave Smith has sent in the chart of the Manchester Control Zone in 1954

MANCH CTZ and assoc airways 15.7.54

Now three more from Steve Balfour

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small CC ZA plus

2CC29  Here are a couple of pictures of Manch’ approach taken during the 1960s. The controller in the centre is believed to be Maurice Hotchkin.

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2CC29a  Blowing up one of the B+W shots, it shows the Burtonwood hold still in use, This was still there in 1967, and was later replaced by a hold at Barton. The inbound strips show G-AMPY, DC3 inbound from EGGP, BA560, a BR31 from EGPK, and EI-AKL.


2CC30  Photo with arrow showing the location of approach control, down a short flight of stairs from the VCR. It remained there until the opening of the sub-centre in 1975. The windows below the arrow were behind the consoles, and are visible in the later pictures (in EGCC Pt 1), which show Don Banks and Doug Handley.

2 thoughts on “EGCC Manchester Part 2”

  1. 2cc21
    Left to right -Radar data racks, 3A display, ACR6 terminal equipment, PAR terminal equipment.

    ACR6 terminal equipment

    Line Termination Equipment

    Work benches. All the above photos appear to be taken in the late50’s early 60’s as the view from the equipment room window shows the old barrack blocks which were obscured when the terminal building was completed.

    The radar services from St Anne’s and Clee Hill came via microwave link. The repeater site for the St Anne’s leg was at Winter Hill and the Clee Hill repeater was on our own site at Camp Hill near Market Drayton.


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