RPM: Timeline

Follow key events in the history of the US Military base, Camp Griffiss, and the Decca Records plant.


A portable gramophone company uses the Decca trade name for the first time.


Edward Lewis founds Decca Records, taking over the Decca Gramophone Company and Lewis purchases the Duophone Record Company factory in New Malden, creating the Decca Record pressing plant.


Lewis forms American branch of Decca with Jack Knapp.


Lewis sells off American Decca in 1937, wary of increasing Nazi aggression in Europe.


Construction Begins On Camp Griffiss. Bushy Park becomes home to the US Eighth Air Force (8AF). On October 11, American and British soldiers at Bushy Park attend the first joint church service held in England. Later in the year USAF troops hold a Thanksgiving party for local school children.


Professional boxer Joe Lewis visits Camp Griffiss, and takes part in an exhibition bout with Corporal Tommy Thompson. 8AF hosts a Christmas party for local school children.

Decca develops Decca Radar as part of British war effort.


8AF Moves To High Wycombe – Camp Griffiss now serves as base for USSTAF (US Strategic Air Forces in Europe) and SHAEF (Supreme HQ Allied Expeditionary Force). The Major Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band plays at Camp Griffiss. At Bushy Park, General Eisenhower leads planning for Operation Overlord (the codename for the D-Day landings in Normandy). USSTAF and SHAEF troops move to Portsmouth on June 2.


Following successful liberation of Europe, Camp Griffiss is used as a base by the RAF.
Decca subsequently use their radar technology to create full frequency range recordings (FFRR), which gives them superior sound quality to competitors.


The buildings at Camp Griffiss act as temporary social housing for those left homeless by war.


USAF returns to Bushy Park for the Berlin Airlift.


USAF holds a farewell dance before transferring from Bushey Park to Ruislip. They leave behind a small group of troops, including USAF police and a weather squadron, for ongoing operations.

Decca plant begins manufacturing long-playing records, otherwise known as LPs.


The Camp Griffiss site becomes home to junior and high schools for US military dependents, most notably the London Central High School (LCHS).


Roy Wallace, Arthur Haddy and Kenneth Wilkinson develop the Decca Tree – a pioneering means of recording audio – for commercial use.


Prince Philip visits the New Malden Decca factory.


Decca launch the stereo LP.


Decca stop selling 78s.


LCHS leaves Bushy Park and demolition of the camp buildings begins.

Decca reject the Beatles after an audition.


All Camp Griffiss buildings are pulled down. US flag lowered for the last time on October 1.

Decca sign the Rolling Stones.


Decca is sold to Polygram.


The New Malden Decca plant closes.


Plaques celebrating Camp Griffiss are erected to commemorate 50th anniversary of D-Day.