RNAS Stretton, better known as Stretton Airfield and traditionally named HMS Blackcap lies just 3 miles from my house in Warrington, Cheshire and can clearly be seen on any aerial photograph, standing out amid the vast array of industrial estates, farmland and housing developments that have grown around it since it was commissioned in 1942 during the second world war. At the time, situated south-east from the adjacent Burtonwood American Air Base a mere ten miles away, its purpose as an RAF airfield was to protect the cities of Liverpool and Manchester from the Luftwaffe, with a total of three runways and numerous hangars the airfield was a station for 41 Fleet Air Arm squadrons as well as aircraft being flown to and from carriers in the Irish Sea. The German air force however soon relinquished its threat and the airfield henceforth became an aircraft maintenance yard that housed a sizeable amount of civilians and remained a largely busy complex until the end of the war when it assisted Burtonwood in the extraction and disposal of American naval aircraft. At its peak, the airfield handled one third of all Fleet Air Arm Aircraft and all of its spare engines, and it continued to supply and serve the Royal Naval Air Service until its closure in 1958. In the mid 70’s the construction of the M56 cut the site in half, and since then the only permanent use of the track was as a motor oil testing circuit for Shell Motorsport Technology, who built their station on the south east side whilst renovating the airfield into a vehicle circuit, and more recently as a police dog training ground. Its tarmac runways now lie derelict amongst the farmland as a subtle reminder of what great purpose it once had.