after the wasted weekend of bad weather and booze i got out on Tuesday night,a warm evening but a bit overcast,riding pugsley i wasnt heading for the beach but a local ride down around the old ww2 airfield that was RAF DREM during the war,i wanted to just ride so took pics `from the saddle` mostly as we went,i pumped up the pugsleys tyres to a firm 15psi -still only a quarter of the 29er tyres road riding pressures!!!,ive been running them at 10psi and lately 7-8psi for the beach and had forgotten how faster it is when pumped up,it steers round corners better too!,so off we go,leave home and 2 miles into a gale force wind onto the first trail,typical old road- 14feet between hedges,rough tar grassed over
it then loses a hedge and at a crossroads we head straight on,onto a tarmac farm road,the farmers combining in the field,below,5 years ago he`d be out yelling "get off my land!!",now thanks to the open access laws we can cycle all paths and tracks,
the field looks over ripe now
over my right shoulder is a nice view over my house to north berwick law
the road turns downhill now and we freewheel down beside young lime trees that line one side,a bit like roads you see through french farmland
taking advantage i ride onto the wheat field stubble and bomb down hill,first stubble field ive ridden pugsley on and it laughs at it!
we come to the small railway station and village of Drem.over a gate and a backroad over a railway bridge of the GNER -great north eastern railway, follow the railway line east out of edinburgh on a map and where it takes a sharp 90 degree turn south thats drem!
the farm here is now renovated to houses and cutting through takes us onto a tarmac road to no-where...,drem airfield is ahead and the road must of had something to do with nissin huts or something which are now gone
see the long hedge going left from the road end ahead?,looks just like a big hedge...
until you go in through a gap and discover it actually another old road whose hedges (14foot statuary gap) have grown into meet each other..
old roads were often beech hedged then later with hawthorn aswell (the thorns are a curse to cyclists!) as both helped absorb water and keep the roads drier pre- tarmac days hence why many main roads nowadays have beech trees which would have growen from the hedging,many roads in east lothian have treestumps which mostly were beech,oh and it was a scotsman who invented tarmac too! (john macadam)
we emerge strangely in the middle of a field-another wartime mystery road! and across the field beside the old drome is a long air raid shelter-now flooded
we cut across the remainder of the field (theres a trampled horse track) and along the edge of the field and pass another airraid shelter..
then at the end of the field..
and we come to about 40yards of brand new trail!!,inbetween two fields...
notice the rabbit fence,it must have been built in the winter and the adjoing field boundry paths will be put in after the fields are harvested,the surface is blaze(windust)this is great in winter a is all weather ridable..
and the next gate is still bolted to prevent opening which ive seen before on unfinished trails..
after the gate the trail runs along above a ditch for about ten yards..
before turning right to,i presume will bridge the ditch..
and continue down a field boundry into the old airdrome..
browsing the council website today theres a report of a core path from gullane to drem being built...this is it!,perfect,an all weather route-as the crow flies for me too aberlady nature reserve and the beach-sweet!!
along the field boundry and were on the western side of the old airfield riding along an old airfield road section..
which underneath runs big pipes from here..
for about a quater mile to here..
once the vegitation dies back im going to film riding through here using HID lights for part of an `urban adventure tunnel biking` film im going to put together which will be fun,the road runs the perimeter of the airfield,riding down a field boundry theres a path through a small wood..
to the main road where see the small hut,this was one of several road blocks around here in the war and the hut housed a flamethrower!!,no messing back then!!
following the road east across a field in the drome is some buildings..
over a gate and a concrete road leads across to them so i went to take a closer look..
each build has several open rooms like this..
i dont know what these would have been as they seem bit low for veicles and have whats like a blast wall in front which would have prevented veicles anyway,
this other building had lots of smaller rooms...
note the old airvents and the lead drainage pipe!,amazing that hasnt been taken for scrap value...
riding on around the remaining ring road,the main grassed runway was ahead in the now fields...
supposidly the reason the airfield was decomoishend after WW2 was the hump in the middle of the site,it wasnt totally flat and had caused a few mishaps with landings,dont quote me on that though!,i know there was a narrow gauge railway to the airfield from gullane railway station which supplied the ordinance (ammo)
around the airfield road and along a breaking up section..
to the big hangers still here,one used by a haulage company the other seemingly unmaintained...
being only 3-4 miles home and with a gusty taiwind i headed home by road on backroads with old signs like this...
note the distance given to an 1/8th of a mile,
while i soaked up the view to the west across the east lothian plain..
some pics from my last trail 2 miles from home..
i felt a bit dissapointed about how little is left of RAF drem,famous for two things; the first german plane shot down over britan in WW2 was a fighter from drem and ground airfield lighting first developed and used at drem airfield,knowen as `the drem system` is still knowen as today (thanks trav for that info!)
its a shame the control tower and lots of the buildings are now gone,also sad that places like this have had no measures to preserve them and even a monument or plaque to all who served here and did there bit,i would of liked to have got some amazing pics of preserved stuff like there is at east fortune airdrome (3 miles from drem),home to the museum of flight,anyway i still ended up doing 18 miles over 2 1/4 hours,
ive beeen searching about online and if anyone found this intresting heres more info of RAF drem;
after seeing this theres alot ive missed!!,i know some is on private property so not easily accessabile
maybe theres alot more about here than meets the eye,i grew up 4 miles from here and went to school 3 miles from here yet we were told nothing about around here!