Scheduled flights began in 1953 and included a service from
Derby to Jersey which called at the airport and one from
Wolverhampton to Ronaldsway in the Isle of Man. Everall also
provided facilities for other operators.
The company also took over the hutted camp, raising rents
from £670 to £18,000 per year by the time the Council regained
control in 1965.
feature film The Man in
starring Jack Hawkins, was made at Pendeford in April, 1956 and
in 1967 the cameras returned to film scenes for the ATV
the same year Wolverhampton Council's Public Works and Estates
Committee recommended that the airport should be closed when Don
Everall's agreement expired in 1971.
This was in spite of an increase in use from 640 flights
to over 2000 between 1959 and 1966. The main reason for closure was that the airport was losing
money and taking up land which could be used for building but
safety considerations also played a part.
In April 1970 an incoming plane struck a house in
Redhurst Drive, Fordhouses, killing both pilots and an occupant
of the house.
Airport was closed on 31st December, 1970.
units of the former hutted camp continued in light industrial
use until the development of Pendeford Business Park began in
the late 1980's.
of Wolverhampton's many small car manufacturing firms had
premises at the airfield from 1952.
John H. Turner had founded Turner Sports Cars three years
earlier to build racing and sports cars as well as racing
engines. In 1954
the first production Turner was built at Pendeford.
It had a reinforced glass fibre body and used an 803cc
Austin A30 engine or a Coventry Climax in competition.
About 75 were built over two years.
950cc A35 engined version was introduced and another 75 were
built up till 1959 with most being exported to the United
open two seater Turner Sports became one of the most successful
production racing cars in Britain for several years.
About 600 Turner Sports Cars were sold until 1966, when the firm
went into liquidation, with most of the ones for the home market
being produced in kit form.
couple of links with Pendeford's aeronautical past remain, apart
from the continued presence of Smith's Aerospace.
The airport sign was rescued by local historian and
author Alec Brew in 1974 and is now preserved by the Boulton
Paul Association in their visitor centre and workshops situated
in part of the former works. Much work has been done since the
Association was set up in 1991 and a fine collection of Boulton
Paul related material and artefacts are under restoration and on
centrepiece is a full scale replica Defiant.
Three further Defiants, albeit in the form of a brick
relief sculpture along the Droveway, together with historical
notes remind the passer by of Pendeford's links with the past
and is dedicated to those who built and flew them.
The entrance to the Business Park echoes that of the
airport though it has been rebuilt and an avenue of birch trees
which led to the airport buildings still flourish at the time of
writing. There are
also remains of air raid shelters or gun emplacements to be
discovered on the hillside behind the old airfield.
The new Balliol Business Park,
developed behind Dowty's, has been named for obvious