We went to a great talk at Grendon Underwood village hall about Westcott and its role in the manufacture of rocket motors. Inspired, Rosemary and I (mainly Rosemary) organised a Buckinghamshire Cambridge Society day out to Westcott. This took place on 29th August 2009. Lovely day to look around the site. Westcott is an airfield which was used during WW II, and after the war was used for the repatriation of POWs. It then became the manufacturer of rockets, including Blue Streak and Polaris motors for the nuclear missiles. Rockets were not particularly successful with successive British Governments failing to invest in this new technology.
Surprising us all, w were told rocket motors are still manufactured at Westcott. Typically very small motors which are used to keep the geostationary communications satellites in their correct position in orbit. We saw the old rocket testing sites, and the testing sites which are still used today. Several rocket motors were on display including the new satellite motors, and the Polaris engine. Quite a few Cambridge people came on the trip.
Afterwards we had a meal down at the local Indian restaurant in Waddesdon.
A postscript, many years ago you could often hear the rocket motors firing from Kingswood. Generally it has been silent, until in 2013 we have heard them fire up again with a tremendous roar.