The last flying unit left Burscough in 1946 and the Royal Navy gave up the Station in 1957. The area reverted to agricultural use until 2014 when work began on a new retail park which is called Ringtail Retail Park to commemorate the WW2 use.
Booths, a supermarket chain which is family-run and situated in the north west of the UK, had their flagship in Burscough store specially designed and built to resemble a WW2 Hangar. The delightful café in the store has an HMS Ringtail theme with large photographs on the walls of the RN personnel at work during WW2. A monument placed on the site in 2004 has been moved to a new location in a specially commissioned memorial garden outside the café. This has been enhanced by the addition of a full-sized bronze sculpture of a Second World War Royal Naval Fleet Air Arm pilot and this was re-dedicated in a ceremony in October 2015.
Lawrence Critchley, a local historian who we were fortunate to meet on our last visit to the store, has produced information leaflets about the venture which are available in the café. Lawrence has also set up a website www.hms-ringtail.org.uk and organised a Facebook Group – HMS Ringtail, RNAS Bursough https://www.facebook.com/groups/163580260324697/
Booths’ Burscough store also has collection boxes for the Navy Wings Supporters Club initiative, set up to keep the memory of Britain’s historic naval aircraft – see www.navywings.org.uk
For more information about the Booths Store in Burscough – well worth going out of your way to visit – see http://www.booths.co.uk/store/burscough/
Booths Supermarkets Ltd.Unit 1
Ringtail Retail Park
L40 8AD (for Sat Nav Please Use L40 7SS)
Photo: Paul Breeze