Memories of Farnborough - Rafborough - potted history


Rafborough takes its name from the Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF), and which was constructed to house its workers. During World War I extra workers were needed for increased aircraft production and the estate was built to house them and their families. When the war ended, it was only partially completed. That is why Keith Lucas Road begins at number 68.
Rafborough in the 1920s
Rafborough aerial view from the 1920s.
Tower Hill School and Fowler Road are in the foreground.

The origins of Rafborough street names


Busk Crescent is named after Edward T. Busk, a young Cambridge scientist who joined the Royal Aircraft Factory in 1912. He worked on the principles of stability and developed the BE2, designed by Geoffrey de Havilland, into a stable aeroplane. He died in November 1914 when the engine of his BE2C caught fire, causing it to dive into the ground.

Cody Road is named after Colonel Samuel F. Cody, whose Biplane No. 1 made the first official British flight of 496 yards at a height of 50 to 60 feet on 16th October 1908. He died when one of his later planes crashed at Ball Hill in 1913.

Fowler Road is named after Sir Henry W. Fowler, Superintendent of the Royal Aircraft Factory, 1916-1918. He was also Deputy Director-General of Aircraft Production in 1918, equipping the Royal Flying Corps with new fighters.

Goodden Crescent is named after Major Frank W. Goodden, chief test pilot of the Royal Aircraft Factory for a time and co-designer and test pilot of the SE5. He died flying a prototype SE5.
Rafborough in the 1920s
Factory Pilots, 1915: Lt. A.J. Elliot, T. Busk, and Lt. Keith Lucas

Keith Lucas Road is named after Dr Keith Lucas, a scientist who made important compass developments and who was killed in a collision over Salisbury Plain.

Return to the Rafborough virtual tour.


Information and images courtesy of Allan Macfadyen, with additional sources from the works of Arthur Lunn, Reginald Turnill and Arthur Reed, and J.E. Chacksfield.



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