English Heritage and others are often called upon to record historic aviation sites, along with a range of other comparable (in scale and complexity) former military and industrial places. Recording typically takes place once the site is abandoned and prior to its redevelopment. RAF Coltishall (Norfolk, UK) presented a rare opportunity to record the site while it remained in use, and to continue to record it during the period of drawdown and closure; to watch as things were packed away and as families left. This seemed too good an opportunity to miss, and to take full advantage English Heritage decided to share the task, gathering together a team of artists and archaeologists whose interests were focused on the types of material culture and methodological issues which Coltishall presented in abundance. In this article we describe the background to this project, the methodology we developed, and ultimately our various (and at times very different) responses to the site.