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mattash
Rugby
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16 of 77  Mon 8th Jul 2013 10:02am  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:593

Hi Colin. The big bunker was at Lawford Heath (as far as I know, it still is). The one I worked on was underneath the building called The Lawns, just at the back of the town hall. All councils were instructed to have one, the beauty of this one was, it may have had a two ton blast door but, as it was the old cellar, the ceiling was only the thickness of the floor boards, lol, I think I would have rather taken my chances outside. Hell, four minutes does not give you much chance to enjoy yourself. Big grin It was around 1984 that I worked on it. Lawford Heath was decommissioned in 1991 and sold in 1994. Not sure what it is now but has got a lot of satellite dishes there. Thumbs up
Wartime defences
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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17 of 77  Fri 16th Jun 2017 12:54pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1022

Didn't know where to put this as I thought it did not deserve its own topic so move it Mods if you want. I am on a Facebook site "I worked at the East Midlands Electricity Board" and recently a lady has been posting lots of pictures and articles she has from over the years connected to the EMEB. The lady has kindly given me permission to put the article on here. This article was from the EMEB summer journal 1953 which I thought some of the members might be interested in. It is 10 years before I started there in 1963 aged 15! I wonder what happened to the map, Helen!
Wartime defences
bigdigger
Coventry
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18 of 77  Fri 16th Jun 2017 7:25pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2017  Total posts:2

Hi Radfordkid, I once visited the bunker at Lawford when it was operational, a few years before the ROC was disbanded. It was very impressive. I was based at a small location, in a field near Haseley Knob, that reported to Lawford.
Wartime defences
Wearethemods
Aberdeenshire
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19 of 77  Sat 17th Jun 2017 9:14am  
Off-topic / chat  

Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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20 of 77  Sun 18th Jun 2017 10:49am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1698

Wearethemods. You should have seen the bunker down here in Newhaven, deep under one of the Downs, it controlled all the wartime shipping in the Channel, planned and operated the Commando raid on Dieppe etc, had machine gun nests at either end of the tunnel, at ground level, well over a hundred steps down from the top, hidden under a trapdoor in a convalescence home, kitchens, sleeping quarters, heating ducts, everything needed for a war. It is now sealed off.
Wartime defences
Wearethemods
Aberdeenshire
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21 of 77  Sun 18th Jun 2017 11:35am  
Member: Joined Jun 2013  Total posts:315

Hi Kaga, during the 1980's I was on the Emergency Planning Committee of Warwick District Council. Underneath the public car park in the centre of Warwick is the 'Bunker' with sleeping quarters, and other facilities you describe above, including an old fashioned telephone exchange. Access was either through the basement of Shire Hall or a 'secret' door in the multi-storey car park behind. There used to be a silent weekly test of air raid sirens (presumably still are) which are situated on school roofs and other Local Authority buildings. On separate occasions in Coventry, and Warwick, someone accidentally pressed the wrong 'button' and the sirens went off! I Imagine some of our forumites will remember Thumbs up
Wartime defences
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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22 of 77  Sat 24th Jun 2017 8:21am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1698

Midland Red Posted the railings at the Butts was to be taken for 20 tons of scrap, June 1940 We had just lost more than a million tons of steel, we had just lost France, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway, all the airfields, planes, tanks, lorries etc. We stood on the brink of defeat, only the English Channel stopped Germany from rolling right over us. They did send a small advance party over to find out what we had left, but they were quickly caught. For the whole of that June we expected invasion, Coventry and its people had suffered nothing up till then directly and a little idea of what was yet to come, and went about their business as usual. But all of the month of June that year was one of dark forebodings.
Wartime defences
LesMac
Coventry
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23 of 77  Sat 24th Jun 2017 12:10pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:294

I see things slightly differently. In 1940 the Royal Navy was massive with over 700 fighting ships. 150 ships in home waters with 40 destroyers moored along south and east coast ready to repel any threat of invasion. Hitler himself described the German navy as a 'salop' a term for a small rowing boat. Yes, Germany had several pocket battleships but after the sinking of the Bismark, Tirpitz, Sharnhorst and the Admiral Graf Spee at Montevideo, Germany had few surface craft left to fight the Royal Navy. The Battle of Britain was a good boost to British moral but didn't stop a German invasion in 1940, the RAF never could. Only the Royal Navy could do that. Edited by member, 24th Jun 2017 12:42 pm
Wartime defences
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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24 of 77  Sun 25th Jun 2017 12:02pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1698

LesMac. Yes we do differ over 1940. You would think with all that armada you quoted we should not have lost the Channel Isles, we should not have lost so many merchant ships to the U-boats, and the German bombers came over the channel almost daily. And the Navy had no answer so they would not have stopped an airborne invasion. To me the Home Guard was formed for fighting in our own back yard, and the only way they were going to do that in Coventry was if the Germans dropped paras, and in June 1940 the HG (my Dad was one) was being trained for that. And we fully expected such. What we did not know, that Hitler had no faith in his airborne troops, and eventually relegated them to an elite infantry force. What he did do was to send his land forces east to Russia, left his U-boats to roam the oceans, and his air force to 'blitz' our cities. Some years later I met a few of that German 'elite force' and was glad that my father and his unit never had to undergo such a conflict. I was led to believe that the Navy was losing the battle against the U-boats, so they asked for help with the 'boffins'. They came up with a new depth charge that changed the course of the battle. I have no idea if that was the case or not. All this was before the end of June 1940. Questions anyone?
Wartime defences
LesMac
Coventry
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25 of 77  Sun 25th Jun 2017 5:29pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:294

Britain didn't 'lose' the Channel Islands, they were freely given to Germany. They were considered to be of no strategic value and were not defended. As for submarines they have always been difficult to detect, they still are. Witness Britain's Trident submarines that even now roam the seas undetected. In the 70s we did an exchange with the KSK for two weeks and to be honest we didn't rate them to highly.
Wartime defences
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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26 of 77  Tue 27th Jun 2017 2:44pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1698

LesMac, they were British people, they were bombed and some killed, we pulled out like we did at Dunkirk, we were beaten at that time, and the Channel Islands fell like all of France, a stepping stone away, we had every right to fear an invasion, in fact in the south of England, so was the fear that some of the home guard were trained as resistance fighters as if in an occupied country.
Wartime defences
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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27 of 77  Tue 27th Jun 2017 3:40pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1698

Wartime Defences I was around twelve years old, it was 7am and I was asleep in bed, when we were awoken by a sound out the front of the house, we kids ran into Mothers room that looked out over the street, on the other pavement across the street a soldier was blowing a bugle, Dad put his head round the foot of the stairs, told us to stay in the bedroom till the soldiers had gone. A few minutes later the two soldiers that had been billeted on us came out of our small box-room, dressed in uniform, tin helmets, rifles respirators, scrambled down our narrow twisting stairs and out the front door. Other doors were opening in the street and soldiers were trickling out, they formed up in ranks and marched off down the street. We learnt from them later they were here to build a camp and site for a large anti-aircraft gun, in the field opposite us. You could say we had a loud awakening in to the war that was to follow. I think it was probably before war was declared, (I no longer can remember dates and times) but I would think it would be in the local paper. After a few days the bugle ceased to be blown, I think the soldiers were with us a few weeks, but uncertain.
Wartime defences
Wearethemods
Aberdeenshire
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28 of 77  Tue 27th Jun 2017 3:44pm  
Off-topic / chat  

LesMac
Coventry
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29 of 77  Tue 27th Jun 2017 4:36pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:294

From Wikipedia.
Wartime defences
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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30 of 77  Tue 27th Jun 2017 6:29pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1698

LesMac. We are both right, we could not defend the Islands and officially they were not important, but it was a loss in a string of losses and dropped our morale. But neither government at that time realised that an inmate of Jersey's jail would become so important to both governments. He was England's notorious crook, later became top spy for both countries. He was "Zigzag". Mods note: Wikipedia link added for information
Wartime defences

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