Carlisle's 14MU is remembered nearly 20 years on from when it closed


It was a huge part of Carlisle and at its peak 14MU employed 4,000 people across several sites in the Kingstown area.

Employees also worked and lived together in a purpose-built estate in what is St Ann's Hill.

Now the 20th anniversary of it finally closing on March 31 1997 is only weeks away.

Established on September 26, 1938, generations of families worked at the site, giving it huge significance in thousands of people's lives.

Joe Taylor worked at 14MU three different times throughout his life, ending his career as civilian head of establishment when the unit closed.

Mr Taylor's dad, brother, sister and daughter all worked at 14MU too, which he said was very common.

He said: "It was a major, not just employer, but entity in the city.

"It was just a tremendous community - everybody knew everybody."

14 MU was a storage and distribution depot for RAF supplies and its job was to keep the RAF flying: 'In Caelo Sustineo' - 'Support in the sky' was the unit's motto.

Carlisle was chosen as the site for 14MU because it was out of the reach of the German bombers.

It opened in great haste in 1938 when war with Germany seemed to be inevitable.

During the six years of war, it stored equipment that was essential to maintain the RAF.

After the war, it gave logistic support in some way to every RAF operation or exercise, providing spares and materials.

Engineers and people of all trades worked at 14MU, where the civilian staff and RAF worked alongside each other.

The great community that supported the unit enjoyed concerts, trips and sports days together.

There was a dedicated magazine, Hadrian, to the site full of information and news.

Mr Taylor said: "Everybody worked at the unit and there was an ethos of people living there who all worked at the same place, albeit at different sites doing different jobs."

The bulk of the land was redeveloped as Kingmoor Park.

There are not currently any plans to mark the date of the final closure in March.

However, the Solway Aviation Museum reopens on that date, where there is a dedicated exhibition to 14MU with lots of memorabilia.

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