Test Data

The History of 631 Volunteer Gliding Squadron
The Unit was formed in April 1944 as 186 Elementary Gliding School at Speke. It was moved to Hooton Park in 1946 where it stayed for only a short time before being moved to Woodvale in December 1947.

In 1952 yet another move took the School to Hawarden and in 1955 whilst still located at Hawarden the name was changed to 631 Gliding School. We moved to RAF Sealand in June 1963 and in 1979 all Gliding Schools were prefixed with the word "Volunteer" and we finally became 631 VGS.

Our most recent move occurred in March 2006 when we relocated to our present home at RAF Woodvale.
When 631 VGS started life at Speke, it operated one Dagling and two Kirby Cadet Mkl gliders using a surplus barrage balloon winch. MT consisting of one Morris 16 and one Austin 14 saloon car and a large horse box.

Equipment updates were slow but over the years we progressed to Kirby Cadet Mk 2s and Mk3s and the Slingsby T21 or "Sedbergh" as it was known in the Air Cadet Organisation.
The Sedbergh was the main glider used for training at 631 VGS and this wooden aircraft remained in service until 1984 when we were re-equipped with the Grob Acro which is designated the Viking.

Vikings were initially launched by our ageing winches which were unreliable and struggled to even get the aircraft off the ground on hot days. In 1988 we were re-equipped with the powerful Van-Gelder 6 drum winch which enabled us to reliably launch gliders in quick succession.
631 VGS was the only flying unit operating from RAF Sealand, which was the home of 30 Maintenance Unit when we first arrived. Accommodation in the form of a large brick built hangar and its annexe was provided adjacent to the all grass airfield on South Camp.

With RAF Sealand closing in 2006, 631 VGS moved once again, bringing an end to another era. It was sad leaving our home, as Sealand had proved an excellent airfield for the last 42 years. We are now located back to RAF Woodvale after 54 years! As part of the move we have changed aircraft and now fly the Vigilant motor glider.
Commanding Officers   Trophies
1944 - 1946 Lt Cdr T Coates 1967 Sir Arthur Marshall Trophy
1946 - 1946 Flt Lt R Burton 1977 Hack Trophy
1946 - 1955 Flt Lt H Tickle 1981 Sir Arthur Marshall Trophy
1955 - 1970 Flt Lt W L Grey 1983 Sir Arthur Marshall Trophy
1970 - 1988 Sqn Ldr P J D Walton-Smith MBE 1991/92 Sir Arthur Marshall Trophy
1988 - 2003 Sqn Ldr D Percival 1992/93 Sir Arthur Marshall Trophy
2003 - Present Sqn Ldr G T Delaney 1994/95 BAe Trophy
    Sir Arthur Marshall Trophy
  1999/00 Sir Arthur Marshall Trophy