The RAF has had a long and strong influence in Quedgeley through out its history. The many bases have helped to shape Quedgeley to be what it is today. The following pages show an insight into this, from the beginning, through both world wars up to the present time.
A History of RAF Quedgeley and its Links with the Local Area
On land to the East of the village of Quedgeley, just outside the city of Gloucester was a large site known to many as RAF Quedgeley or to give it its official name, Number. 7 Maintenance Unit, RAF Quedgeley whose Motto was ‘Omnibus Ubique Servimus’ – ‘We Serve All, Everywhere’. The No 7 Maintenance Unit, Royal Air Force Quedgeley, originally consisted of 8 different sites, occupying some 574 hectare’s of land, from the McDonalds on the roundabout at the bottom of the A38 bypass, to the Cole Avenue lights complex at its start. With several large sites on both sides of the road it had some two million square feet of covered storage and workshop area.
It has had a long and distinguished history here in the locality since 1914. It finally closed as an independent RAF unit on 13 February 1995. The closure of the site brought to an end an 80 year bond between Quedgeley and the Defence of the Nation. Part of the site was formerly, in 1915, the No 5 National Filling Factory which provided a huge amount of gun ammunition to the British Army from 1915 to the end of the First World War.
History of the Land
The area known as Manor farm, can be dated from at least 1066 when it was given to Durrent the Sheriff of Gloucester by William the Conqueror, and possibly even as far back as 982ad. Later the farm and lands passed to ‘Miles of Gloucester’ who was associated with Empress Matilda, who became known as the ‘six month queen’ following her crowning as Queen in Worcester in 1141.History of the farms and land is a little vague after that date but its known that in the reign of George III in 1820, one John Beach, owned Manor Farm and other land in the Quedgeley and Hardwicke areas.
During 2004 a lady from New Zealand turned up at the St James Church,and said that her family used to own Manor Farm and she had come to Quedgeley to trace her family history and look at the older parts of Quedgeley. She was Eileen Beach Kelly, a direct descendant of John Beach.