A brief history of Broken Bank – John Lee.
Heswall MAC was formed in 1950 and initially flew at Whitfield Common, Heswall, followed by Gayton Playing Fields for control line and Storton Common Farm for free flight and early radio control.
A short lived dedicated radio field at Heath Lane Willaston was followed by a move to the Sealand MOD Ranges in the late 1970’s.
Expansion of the firing Ranges in the early 90’s encroached into our area and we moved once more onto Broken Bank in May 1993. Initially the strip was situated nearer the gate but with the completion of the new Dee crossing a decision was taken to move further from the road and this was achieved in March 1995. A 30meter diameter strip was constructed which forms the basis of our existing runway.
Initial accommodation was in a mobile home which was destroyed by travellers who trespassed and occupied the site in 1997. This was replaced by a portakabin which was destroyed just a few months later in the Boxing Day storms of December 1997. Early the following year the existing container was purchased and has remained on site ever since.
In 1998 Planning permission was granted for the use of the site as a model flying field, initially for a 3 year period. This has subsequently been renewed and extended.
At the time the area reflected the previous use as a waste tip with the surroundings resembling the surface of the Moon. Work continued in the late 90’s to improve and extend the strip whilst the outlying area was covered with hundreds of tons of paper waste and hydro seeded to form the present environment.
As we celebrated the Club’s 50th anniversary in 2000 2.2km of the boundary fence was repaired or replaced and the present infrastructure was essentially in place.
The Club’s use of the site was put in jeopardy in 2003 when plans were announced for a waste processing plant to be built on the site. During the course of the negotiations with the Welsh authorities around our continuing use of the site the Club changed its name in May 2003 to Deeside MAC to better reflect its emerging profile. Plans for the processing plant were subsequently abandoned and we remain as sole users of the site, excepting authorised access to the nearby power facilities.