Know your village a month by month series of facts about our village compiled by Paul Neary

The Parish of Tangmere
The parish has been in existence since Anglo-Saxon times, St Andrews Church in church Lane dates from the early 12 Century and is a grade 1 listed building. Beside the ‘very simple decent church’ is a large Yew tree, said to have been planted when the church was built and despite much natural decay and damage is held in place with steel chains and has a spread of more than 25 meters. The airfield was created as a base for the Royal Flying Corps in early 1917 and was later to become a base for American bomber planes. A full history is in the museum and worth a visit. Many of the roads in the village have names, which are named after RAF officers and men who were decorated with Victoria Cross medals in both WW1 and WW2. Other roads are named after aircraft models some of which flew from RAF Tangmere.

Road​ ​names​ ​based​ ​on​ ​holders​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Victoria​ ​Cross:
Bishops Road:           Captain William Avery “Billy” Bishop VC
Campbell Road:         Flying Officer Kenneth Campbell VC
Cheshire Crescent:    Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire VC
Edwards Avenue:      Wing Commander Hughie Idwal Edwards VC
Garland Square:        Flying Officer Donald Edward Garland VC
Gibson Road:             Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC
Jerrard Road:             Flight Lieutenant Alan Jerrard VC
Malcolm Road:          Wing Commander Hugh Gordon Malcolm VC
Middleton Gardens:  Pilot Officer Rawdon Hume Middleton VC
Nettleton Avenue:     Sqdr Leader John Dering Nettleton VC
Nicolson Close:          Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson VC

Road​ ​names​ ​based​ ​on​ ​military​ ​aeroplanes:
Blenheim Park:         Bristol Blenheim, light bomber aircraft
Canberra Place:         English Electric Canberra bomber
Fulmar Way:             Fairey Fulmar, fighter aircraft
Gamecock Terrace:   Gloster Gamecock
Hampden Place:       Handley Page Hampden
Hawker Close:          Hawker Hurricane
Lysander Way:         Westland Lysander
Merlin Close:           Rolls Royce Merlin, aircraft engine
Spitfire Court:         Supermarine Spitfire
Sunderland Close:   Short Sunderland, flying boat
Wellington Place:   Vickers Wellington, long-range bomber
Wyvern Close:        Westland Wyvern

Old​ ​road​ ​names​ ​and​ ​other​ ​miscellania
Caedwalla Drive:     King of Wessex in AD680, who gave 1200 acres of land at Tangmere to the church of St. Andrew at Pagham.
Neville Duke Way:   Squadron Leader Neville Frederick Duke DSO, OBE, DFC**, AFC, FRAeS
Bayley Road:            John Bayley was a farmer and landowner in Tangmere

Suggestions​ ​for​ ​new​ ​road​ ​names​:
Osborn Drive:           Tenant farmer on Duke of Richmond’s land
Filkins Close:            Gravel pit north of the parish adjacent to A27 road
Broom Hills:             Fields owned by Duke of Richmond
Richmond Close:      Land owner of Tangmere parish
Bader Lane:              Douglas Bader, airman
Dukes Meadows:      Old fields
Gordon Close:          Goodwood connection
March Close:            Goodwood connection
Gaisford Drive:        Rector of Tangmere
Travers Close:         Travers Johnson chair of TPC
Meyer Close:           Joyce Meyer chair TPC
Scrivener Drive:     Dr Scrivener 1st chair TPC

The village shop has been on the same site since 1935. Originally a wooden construction it was later rebuilt in brick and enlarged sometime after 1982. The October 1987 hurricane resulted in most of the large mature trees being blown down or damaged beyond redemption. Notable as Chestnut walk which lost many of its chestnut trees, and the centre of the village, which lost many beech, elm and oak trees. The combined parish of Tangmere and Boxgrove separated into two separate parishes when the RAF base closed and a new arrangement was made which combined Tangmere with Oving Parish. St Andrews Church has been extended with a modern kitchen and toilet in keeping with the existing structure. The graveyard contains graves of service personnel who worked at RAF Tangmere, as well as a few German airmen and soldiers killed in the WW2 conflicts. St Andrews Church spire was hit by a lightening strike in October 2003. Extensive external and internal damage was sustained
and a major rebuild programme was instigated. This gave us the opportunity to upgrade the seating and install under floor heating and create a small vestry area. The west window is a memorial to all service personnel from RAF Tangmere.

In 2009 Simon Payne and Joan Whibley carried out some investigative journalism and as a result they unearthed some interesting stories concerning the history of the village. A track across the old airfield links Oving parish to the south border of Tangmere. Here it joins a road passing through the village past a pond [where the road forks] and continues onward to Boxgrove by the Priory farm. The route leads to common grazing on Levin Down. This entire route was locally referred to as The Street. The name still pertains in Boxgrove Parish, but has been dropped in Tangmere Parish being subsequently renamed as Tangmere Road. [around 1966]

The village pond was once a large watering point used by animals that were moved from farmland to the south [Woodhorn Farm and others] to market in Chichester or the woodland grazing on Levin Down. Pigs [hoggets] were the main farm crop.

When pigs were destined for market they were herded to the village pond and moved along Hogg[ets] Lane [renamed Chestnut Walk around 1974] to a temporary holding area called Hill Farm, Mrs Hancock’s property, which was sold on her death. [The thatched Cottage at the end of the lane] . Since 1972 Seaward Properties has built over 1,600 new homes, many of which have been in the Chichester district. One of the earliest developments was land known as Hill Farm. This was developed into five houses all situated at the end of Chestnut Walk. The name change thought to be around 1974 was said to be a marketing ploy by the developer designed to improve sales prospects. The name Tangmere is said to be derived from the fork in  the highway at the village pond Tang being Fork and Mere being a small lake or pond. The maps produced by Yeakel and Gardner [very early date] held by Goodwood estates show the routes but do not identify the road or track names.

The track from Hoggets Lane follows a route through an area of fields known as Leap Mares onward to Strettington and then up to Levin Down; or turns left to go past St James and the St Pancras Churches to the market in Chichester. Anecdotal evidence claims the street names in Tangmere came about in three stages, the old village street names were formally
established shortly after the Tangmere Parish council was formed in 1966. The second stage was a massive house building programme including Meadow Way, Hayleybridge Road and the development of old barrack buildings along the Tangmere road after 1976 once again by Seawards. About this time the Tangmere Community Association was formed and took over the running of the Spitfire Club and the property/grounds of Spitfire Court. This village based association proposed all the new road name changes that were eventually adopted by the district council. [parish clerk was Douglas Hammond at the time his papers have been lost].
The third stage was the District Councils purchase of the old run down MOD houses for social housing. Most of the roads had no name so another plan was developed to name them using RAF pilots with a VC medal and some aircraft model names.

Places​ ​of​ ​interest​ ​and​ ​worthy​ ​of​ ​a​ ​visit.
St Andrews Church Church Lane, a very simple decent church with war grave cemetery
Chestnut Walk old cottages and a Thatched cottage timber framed dated to C14
Saxon Meadow original farm buildings now a house development
Duchess Cottages built 1880 Tangmere road
Tangmere House Church Lane
Tangmere Cottage SOE operations base in WW2 in Tangmere Road
Old Bakery Old Cottage in Tangmere road
Bader Arms now the Co-operative Store
H Block buildings on the airfield
Control Tower derelict on the airfield
Hunters Gate main entrance to RAF Tangmere Meadow Way / Tangmere Road.

Tangmere parish has been in existence since Anglo-Saxon times, St Andrews Church in Church Lane dates from the early 12 Century, is the only grade 1 listed building in the village, has three bells (Andrew,​ ​Simon​ ​&​ ​Peter​), and several interesting features both past and present.

Bishops​ ​Road​: named after Captain William Avery Bishop VC
Air Marshal William Avery “Billy” Bishop VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC, DFC, ED (8 February 1894 – 11 September 1956) was a Canadian flying ace and Victoria Cross recipient of the First World War. He was officially credited with 72 victories, making him the top Canadian ace of the war. During the Second World War, Bishop was instrumental in setting up and promoting the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

Blenheim​ ​Park: named after Bristol Blenheim aircraft
The Bristol Blenheim a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company was used extensively in the first two years of the Second World War. Developed as the civil aircraft to produce the fastest commercial aircraft in Europe. First flying in April 1935, it later went into service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a bomber as the newly named Blenheim.

Beside St Andrews Church a ‘very simple decent church’ is a large Yew tree, said to have been planted, when the church was built; despite much natural decay and damage it is held in place with steel chains with a spread of more than 25 meters.

Campbell​ ​Road: named after Flying Officer Kenneth Campbell VC
Was mobilised In September 1939 for RAF service. He joined No. 22 Squadron RAF in September 1940, piloting the Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber. He torpedoed a merchant vessel near Borkum [North sea island] in March 1941, avoiding two Me 110 fighters, despite extensive damage to his aircraft. The Germans buried Campbell and his three crew, [Sgts J. P. Scott DFM RCAF (navigator), R. W. Hillman (wireless operator) and W. C. Mulliss (air gunner)], with full military honours. His valour was recognised when the French Resistance sent news of his brave deeds to England.

Canberra​ ​Place​: named after English Electric Canberra bomber
Canberra is a British first-generation jet-powered medium bomber that was manufactured during the 1950s. Developed by English Electric during the mid-to-late 1940s as a successor to the wartime de Havilland Mosquito fast-bomber; the performance requirements were for an outstanding high altitude bombing capability whilst flying at high speeds. All made possible using newly developed jet propulsion technology.

Tangmere airfield, the large green open space at the South end of the village, was originally created as a base for the Royal Flying Corps in early 1917. A few years later it was used as a base for American bomber planes. In 1925 the station re-opened to serve the RAF’s Fleet Air Arm, and went operational in 1926 with No. 43 Squadron equipped with biplane Gloster Gamecocks (there is still a row of houses near​ ​the​ ​museum​ ​entrance​ ​called​ ​Gamecock​ ​Terrace​).

Cheshire​ ​Crescent​: named after Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire VC
As he was nearing the end of his fourth tour of duty in July 1944, having completed a total of 102 missions, he was awarded the Victoria Cross. In four years of fighting against the bitterest opposition he maintained a standard of outstanding personal achievement, his successful operations being the result of careful planning, brilliant execution and supreme contempt for danger. On one occasion he flew his Mustang in slow ‘figures of eight’ above a target obscured by low cloud, to act as a bomb-aiming mark for his squadron. In the summer months a Mustang P1 Shark is often seen flying over the village. It is flown by Boultbee Flight Academy from Goodwood Airfield.

Fulmar​ ​Way: named after Fairey Fulmar, fighter aircraft
The Fulmer, named after the long living gull like sea bird, is a naval carrier-based aircraft. It was in service with RAF No 273 squadron during Battle of Britain. This aircraft was not used in the fighting in which took place during July-October. Later on they were used on HMS Illustrious for Battles in Italy and on HMS Ark Royal & HMS Formidable. In 1942 Fulmer aircraft were sent to the far east to defend forces under threat from Japan.

After the RAF station closed the then newly formed parish council decided to commemorate the names taken from aircraft models some of which flew from RAF Tangmere. Later it was decided that many of the roads in the village should be named after RAF officers and men who were decorated with Victoria Cross medals in both WW1 and WW2. Some of these persons served at RAF Tangmere on operational sorties.

Edwards​ ​Avenue​: Wing Commander Hughie Idwal Edwards VC
On 4 July 1941 a group of twelve Blenheims led by Wing Commander Edwards made a daylight attack on the German city of Bremen. His bombers had to fly under high-tension wires, through a balloon barrage and into intense anti-aircraft fire. The surviving aircraft were riddled with holes. Four, of the attacking force, were shot down and Edwards’ own Blenheim aircraft returned with a wounded gunner, a smashed radio rack, and a large part of the port wing shot away. For this gallant action Edwards was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Gamecock​ ​Terrace​: Gloster Gamecock
No 43 (Fighter) Squadron was equipped with Gloster Gamecocks based at RAF Tangmere during the period 1926-28. These planes provided the inspiration for the Squadron’s badge and renowned nickname “The Fighting Cocks” (there is a row of houses near the museum entrance called Gamecock Terrace​). Do pay a visit the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum and enjoy their extensive displays.

Our village once had a small brewery, a hotel and a shop now has two general stores. The brewery became a hotel which was demolished at the start of WW2 to allow the airfield to be expanded. The ‘One Shop’ has been on the same site since 1935. Originally a wooden construction, it was rebuilt in brick after the WW2 and then enlarged sometime after 1982. A new village inn was built in the 70’s called The Bader Arms as a tribute to superhuman fighter ace Sir Douglas Bader who flew sorties from RAF Tangmere. It was closed in May 2012 and has now become the Co-op General Store.

Garland​ ​Square: Flying Officer Donald Edward Garland VC
On 12 May 1940, two river crossings in Belgium, were essential crossing points for German forces, the the invading army, which were heavily protected from allied fighter aircraft, by large anti-aircraft and machine-guns. The RAF was ordered to demolish one of these vital bridges, and five Fairey Battle bombers were despatched with Flying Officer Garland leading the attack. They met heavy anti-aircraft fire, and the bridge was damaged but not destroyed. FO Garland and his navigator, Sergeant Thomas Gray, returned to destroy the bridges. They died either after crashing in the village of Lanaken, later in the hospital in Maastricht, Netherlands

Hampden​ ​Place​: Handley Page Hampden
“I did my first flight and first tour on Hampdens. A beautiful aeroplane to fly, terrible to fly in! Cramped, no heat, no facilities where you could relieve yourself. You got in there and you were stuck there. The aeroplane was like a fighter. It was only 3 feet wide on the outside of the fuselage and the pilot was a very busy person. “— Wilfred John ‘Mike’ Lewis

There were more than 100 separate gauges and switches that enabled a pilot to look after to fly this original aircraft. Quite apart from looking after the flight instruments [no computers in those days] and checking to see if the readouts were OK the pilot had to listen to the engine sounds and then sort out the bomb release switches.

The weather has had major impact on Tangmere village over the years. In past years flooding was a regular feature on the Tangmere road by the village green. The October 1987 hurricane resulted in most of the large mature trees being blown down or damaged beyond redemption. Many of the large chestnut trees in Chestnut Walk were damaged and had to be cut down. The centre of the village was impassable for a time as several beech and elm trees fell. Oak trees round the pond were felled but the poplars survived and the pond was filled in. St Andrews Church spire was hit by a lightning strike in October 2003. Extensive external and internal damage was sustained and a major rebuild programmewas instigated. This gave us the opportunity to upgrade the seating and install under floor heating and
create a small vestry area. Many of the photographs taken at the time which show the extent of the damage have been loaded on the TLHG web site.

Gibson​ ​Road: Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC
Wing Commander Gibson led the Dambusters raid in 1943 from his base at RAF Scampton, near Lincoln, just hours after his black Labrador dog was run over and killed. Before taking off for the Ruhr Dams, Wing Commander Gibson left instructions for his faithful companion to be buried outside his office Gibson returned and was subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross but was later killed on a raid against Germany in September 1944, when his Mosquito plane crashed in Holland.

Hawker​ ​Close​: Hawker Hurricane
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft of the 1930s-1940s that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the RAF. Although overshadowed by the Spitfire, the aircraft became renowned during the Battle of Britain, accounting for 60% of the RAF’s air victories in the battle, and served in all the major theatres of the Second World War. The Hurricane with the highest number of kills during the Battle of Britain was P3308, a Mk1. The only Hurricane from the Battle of Britain still airborne today, and often seen flying over the village on Goodwood Festival days, is Hawker Hurricane Mk1 R4118. This plane is widely regarded as the most historic British aircraft to survive in flying condition from the Second World War. R4118 is now on public display at Old Warden, Bedfordshire.

St Andrews Church in Church Lane originally built in Norman times, has been extended over the years. Most recently it has been fitted with a modern kitchen and toilet carefully constructed to be in keeping with the existing structure. The graveyard contains graves of service personnel who died in the WW2 conflict and others who worked at RAF Tangmere. Of special note is the small section, which contains graves of German servicemen killed in the WW2 conflicts. These graves are maintained by the War Graves Commission as is the memorial stone around which the annual memorial sevice is held.

Jerrard Road: Flight Lieutenant Alan Jerrard VC
Flight Lieutenant Alan Jerrard VC (3 December 1897 – 14 May 1968) was
an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was 20 years old, and a lieutenant in No. 66 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War when he performed an act of bravery for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He was shot down by the ace Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg and became a prisoner of war. Although the RFC credited Jerrard with 3 claims on this date, he did not claim to destroy any planes in that skirmish. He was the only Camel pilot to be awarded a VC. He remained a prisoner until the end of 1918, when he managed to escape and reach Allied lines. He later served in Russia in 1919 and achieved the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

Lysander Way: Westland Lysander
Lysanders flew from secret airfields and used regular RAF stations to fuel-up for the actual crossing, particularly RAF Tangmere. Flying without any navigation equipment other than a map and compass, Lysanders would land on short strips of land, such as fields, marked out by four or five torches. Sometimes the agent, wearing a special padded suit, stepped off at very low altitude and rolled to a stop on the field. They were originally designed to carry one passenger in the rear cockpit, but for SOE use the rear cockpit was modified to carry two passengers in extreme discomfort in case of urgent necessity.

An extract from a research paper prepared by students from Chichester University and later published as a short pamphlet.

“A livestock track crossing the airfield links Oving parish to the south border of Tangmere Parish. Here it joins a road passing through the village past a pond where it forks; one limb runs to Hill Farm’s livestock holding pens, the other limb continues through Boxgrove alongside the Priory farm. Thereafter the route leads to common grazing on Levin Down. This livestock-track was locally referred to as ‘The Street​’. The name still pertains in Boxgrove Parish, but has been dropped in Tangmere Parish; it was subsequently renamed as Tangmere​ ​Road​ sometime in 1966.“

Malcolm Road: Wing Commander Hugh Gordon Malcolm VC
Malcolm was a 25-year-old Wing Commander commanding 18 Squadron, Royal Air Force when he was awarded the VC. On 4 December 1942, he led an attack on an enemy fighter airfield near Chougui, Tunisia. On reaching the target, an overwhelming force of enemy fighters intercepted the squadron. All his bombers were shot down, and he was shot down in flames the aircraft crashed west of the target. An infantry officer and two other men retrieved the body of navigator Pilot Officer James Robb. Malcolm, with Robb and gunner Pilot Officer James Grant DFC, were buried in the Beja War Cemetery in a collective grave. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross on 27 April 1943. His was the first Royal Air Force Victoria Cross to be won in North Africa.

Merlin Close: Rolls Royce Merlin
The most successful of the World War II era aircraft engines, the Merlin continues to be used in many restored World War II vintage aircraft all over the world. The Fairey Battle, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire were operational aircraft using the Merlin. Merlins were made for the Avro Lancaster heavy bomber; however, the engine is most closely associated with the Spitfire, starting with the Spitfire’s maiden flight in 1936. The Packard V-1650 was a version of the Merlin built in the United States, and was the principal engine used in the North American P-51 Mustang. This aircraft is often seen flying over Tangmere, and has a distinct engine sound. Merlin engines remain in Royal Air Force service today with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and power many restored aircraft in private ownership worldwide.

An extract from a research paper prepared by students from Chichester University and later published as a short pamphlet. Hogget [name for sheep, pig or small cattle] farming took place in most Sussex villages. Prior to use of artificial fertilisers this was economic form of agriculture. “The village pond was once a large watering point for animals that were moved from farmland south of the village of Tangmere; hoggets were driven from Woodhorn Farm and other hundreds, either to be sold at Chichester market, or driven for fattening at the woodland grazing on Levin Down. Hoggets were an economic farm crop. When hoggets were destined for market they were herded and gathered at the village pond then moved along Hogg[et] Lane to a hogget-sty at Hill Farm owned by Mrs Hancock. This track was renamed Chestnut Walk in 1974 by developers who bought the land for housing on Mrs Hancock’s death. Hill Farm is the thatched Cottage at the end of the Chestnut Walk.

Middleton Gardens: Pilot Officer Rawdon Hume Middleton VC
“Ron”​ ​Middleton​, VC (22 July 1916 – 29 November 1942) was a great-nephew of the colonial explorer, Hamilton Hume; an athletic young man, he excelled in cricket and Rugby football and worked as a jackaroo in Australia. “I’ll make the English Coast. I’ll get you home”. Seriously wounded after a bomb run in Italy, hours of agony, damaged by flak over France, Ron reached the coast of England with low fuel. He turned the aircraft parallel to the coast and ordered his crew to bail out. Five of his crew landed safely; his front gunner and flight engineer stayed to talk him into a forced landing on the coast.

Spitfire Court: Supermarine Spitfire
Alex Henshaw, chief test pilot, writes: ”After a thorough pre-flight check I would take of and, once at circuit height, I would trim the aircraft and try to get her to fly straight and level with hands of the stick … Once the trim was satisfactory I would take the Spitfire up in a full-throttle climb at 2,850 rpm to the rated altitude of one or both supercharger blowers. Then I would make a careful check of the power output from the engine, calibrated for height and temperature … If all appeared satisfactory I would then put her into a dive at full power and 3,000 rpm, and trim her to fly hands and feet of at 460 mph (740 km/h). Personally, I never cleared a Spitfire unless I had carried out a few aerobatic tests to determine how good or bad she was”.
Another pilot writes: “I loved the Spitfire in all of her many versions. But I have to admit that the later marks, although they were faster than the earlier ones, were also much heavier and so did not handle so well. You did not have such positive control over them. One test of manoeuvrability was to throw her into a flick-roll. With the Mark II or the Mark V you got two-and-a-half flick-rolls but the heavier Mark IX you got only one-and-a-half. All aircraft design is compromise, improvement in performance is rarely achieved without loss elsewhere”

Boultbee Flight Academy at ​Goodwood airfield is approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to fly passengers in vintage warbirds. Strap into the aircraft, experience the Rolls-Royce Merlin start, and then taxi out for pre-flight checks and take-off. This experience will see you flying one of the Academy’s Spitfire TR9’s around the local area and over the English Channel.

The Archbishop of Canterbury once owned the Manor of Tangmere. Eventually the manor became part of the Halnaker estate, which was later acquired by the 3rd Duke of Richmond. Goodwood Estates owned Tangmere until 1930. One of the earliest developments in Tangmere was land known as Hill Farm. This site developed as five houses all situated at the end of Hogg[et]​ ​Lane;​ when the name was changed to Chestnut​ ​Walk​ . Later developments include the Chichester Business Park, which include Carte Blanche Greetings Cards and Philips Respironics. The name Tangmere is derived from the fork in the road at the village pond [Tang​ an old name for a fork handle] and Mere​ [old Anglo-Saxon name for a shallow lake or pond].

Nettleton Avenue: John​ ​Dering​ ​Nettleton​ VC
John​ ​Dering​ ​Nettleton​ VC (28 June 1917 – 13 July 1943) was a South African recipient of the Victoria Cross. John died on 13 July 1943, returning from a raid on Turin Italy. He took off from a base near Lincoln and was shot down by a fighter off the Brest peninsula. His body and those of his crew were never recovered.

Sunderland Close: Short Sunderland – flying boat
The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) obtained six Sunderlands, for service as mail carriers to Nigeria and India, with accommodation for either 22 passengers with 2 tons of freight using very crude seats. BOAC obtained more planes with seating for 24 passengers and sleeping berths for 16. The first of these flew 35,313 miles from Poole to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo in 206 flying hours. BOAC became British Airways; the same journey now takes about 50 hours!

Old maps made by Yeakel and Gardner, are held by Goodwood Estates; they show several track or farm trails all without names. The trail from Hoggets Lane crosses fields known as Leap Mares [in Boxgrove] then onward to Strettington up to Levin Down. Another trail heads towards St James and the St Pancras Churches, to the market in Chichester. Anecdotal evidence claims the street names in Tangmere came about in stages. Most village street names were formally established shortly after the Tangmere Parish council was formed in 1966. Later on a house building programme created Meadow Way and Hayleybridge Walk. Tangmere Community Association ran the Spitfire club located in Spitfire Court and proposed all the new road names. When the District Council purchased MOD houses for social housing few roads had any name so they were named after RAF VC medals and old aircraft.

Nicolson Close: Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson VC
During an engagement with the enemy near Southampton on 16th August, 1940, F/L James Nicolson’s aircraft was hit by four cannon shells, two of which wounded him whilst another set fire to the gravity tank. When about to abandon his aircraft owing to flames in the cockpit he sighted an enemy fighter. This he attacked and shot down, although as a result of staying in his burning aircraft he sustained serious burns to his hands, face, neck and legs. Flight Lieutenant Nicolson has always displayed great enthusiasm for air fighting and this incident shows his courage and determination of a high order. By continuing to engage the enemy after he had been wounded and his aircraft set on fire, he displayed exceptional gallantry and disregard for the safety of his own life. He was the only Battle of Britain pilot and the only pilot of RAF Fighter Command to be awarded the Victoria Cross during the Second World War. An exhibit in the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum commemorates this airman.

Wellington Place: Vickers Wellington, long-range bomber
The Wellington was named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington; aside from its operational duties the Wellington also played its part in the testing for the Bouncing Bomb used by the Dambusters in May 1943. R for Robert is one two surviving Wellingtons to have seen active service first flown by Mutt Summers, Vickers’ chief test pilot who was the first to fly the Spitfire.

Enjoy​ ​modern​ ​rural​ ​living​ ​at​ ​Dukes​ ​Meadow​ ​and​ ​Bader​ ​Heights
These are fantastic new developments in a beautiful rural location and a choice of two, three, four and five bedroom homes. When you leave the car at home and explore the local area by foot or bicycle, you get to know it so much better. And by using local shops and services, you’ll help to keep the neighborhood vibrant and prosperous. Every place has its own personality, and once you move in you’ll soon find your favorite walks, and the shops you like best. The village is handily placed to take advantage of the nearby bustling cathedral city of Chichester and wider West Sussex with its areas of outstanding natural beauty, acres of green countryside, miles of fabulous coastline and some of the finest walking in the country.

Neville Duke Way: Squadron Leader Neville Frederick Duke DSO, OBE, DFC**, AFC, FRAeS
Known as the Flying​ ​Duke,​ Neville was acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost test pilots. In 1953, he became holder of the world air speed record when he flew a Hawker Hunter at 727.63 mph (1,171.01 km/h) over Littlehampton. He became a well-known celebrity in the Coronation year of Queen Elizabeth II, and became one of the vice presidents of the Eagle Club, formed by the Eagle magazine, in 1950. All schoolboys from that era came to know of Duke as “Dan​ ​Dare,​ ​Pilot​ ​of​ ​the Future”​. He was honorary president of Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, where his record-breaking Hunter is displayed

Wyvern Close: Westland Wyvern
The Westland Wyvern was a British single-seat carrier-based strike aircraft seeing active service in the 1956 Suez Crisis. A turboprop engine driving large and distinctive contra-rotating propellers powered Wyverns. This plane often suffered loss of power on launch by catapault; several were lost off HMS Albion’s bows. A total of 127 planes were built, 39 were lost, and 13 pilots killed during its 5 years’ service. A single survivor is on display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton.