History of Stubton
A letter from Karen Fisher (nee Smalley) August 2016
Take a Look at Some Stubton Archive Photographs
Stubton Village, Home Farm, 1962......"a tragic day"
The Stubton Air disaster, Friday lunchtime, 23rd March 1962
On 23rd March 1962 a Handley Page Victor B2 bomber, flying from Radlett aerodrome, home of the A & AEE (Aircraft & Armament Experimental Establishment) stalled at approx 16,000 feet, on approach to RAF Cranwell. It entered into a flat-spin as the plane rapidly lost height. Two of the 5-man crew ejected, one bailed-out, but the two remaining were killed on impact, along with two occupants of Home Farm, Stubton. The bomber had hit the 17th Century farmstead with resulting devastation. Below is an article from the Derbyshire Times, which reported on the accident, as the Burtt / Wilson family have strong ties to Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
(click on article to download pdf image)
Below: the devastation, from the Home Farm driveway on Fenton Road.
Right: Library picture of a Victor B1 Bomber, similar to the B2 XL159 that crashed onto Home Farm.
It was on secret development trials at the time of the accident.
Below: Aerial view (looking east) of Home Farm before the disaster, shows the 17th Century farmstead, the yard, and the outbuildings.
Fenton Road skirts the bottom of the photo, and what is now a Barn conversion can be seen at the bottom of the photo too.
Tragically, two people died in the farmhouse, Annie and Cecilia Gibson.
(Right:- as it was then reported)
Mr Burtt was trapped in the wreckage, until being pulled to safety.
Mrs Burtt was blown out of the front window, and suffered serious injuries.
Both were rushed to hospital.
Left: Luckily, the Burtt's 3 children; Philip, Heather and Joanna had only just returned to the school, on Brandon Road, after having their lunch at their home.
Farm Foreman Mr John Scrimshire, together with the farm mechanic Mr Les Streets, who worked in the farm workshop, but was down the yard at the time, rushed to the aid of Dennis Burtt, dragging him clear of the wreckage, and to safety, before the site was engulfed in flames.
Les received a Letter of Commendation from the Minister of Aviation, together with a letter of gratitude from Dennis Burtt,
and John was later awarded the 'British Empire Medal' for gallantry.
The Minister of Aviation, Mr Julian Amery (below left) is shown presenting John with the BEM
Home Farm was later rebuilt.