Gloucester HAA Battery, Blyth Northumberland

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jonney

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I will apologise in advance because this is going to be another one of "Jonney's concrete overloads" mind you there is still a lot of concrete left up here. I also have to thank Coal Cutter for his info on the site (he posted a report on here back in 2008) and the farmer who’s land it is on for granting me access to his land even though his horses and cattle were on it and for the information he was able to give me.
During WW2 Blyth harbour was used as a major submarine base and that combined with the heavy industry in the area it made a very good target for the Luftwaffe. Blyth also has a long stretch of beach that was suitable as a landing area for enemy troops and is backed by rural countryside ideal for an airborne invasion, which is why there were so many defences in the area. The farmer told me that a couple of years ago the local council wanted to demolish the site and redevelop it but there was a local outcry and now English Heritage are involved and are trying to get the site listed as buildings of historical value. He also told me that he has chased quite a few “visitors” away lately and he would have chased me if I hadn’t gone and asked him for permission first. Turns out he is a really nice guy.

Gloucester Battery (Blyth)

This is a gun position built during World War II It was one of three Heavy Batteries built to defend Blyth from attack by the German navy, though it also had anti-aircraft guns. The site consists of four 3.75inch gun emplacements, two static 40mm Bofors guns, Generator building, a radar site, control bunker and accommodation blocks. It is in extremely good conditions and un-chav’d probably due to the guard cattle and horses. Anyway are we sitting comfortably…then on with the photo’s hope you enjoy…

A map of the site (always a good start)
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The generator house (has now been stripped of any WW2 remains and has been converted into stables)
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The first of the 2 static 40mm Bofors gun emplacements
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The demolition rubble is not from the emplacement but from the accommodation block
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Ammo Lockers
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The second 40mm Bofors emplacement was clear of rubble
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Holdfast
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3.75inch gun emplacements
emplacement 1
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one of the gun mounting points
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each emplacement had a secure store and what looks like a communications building
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emplacement 2 and guard animals
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I shit myself whilst taking this shot the horse just came into shot
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Electrics
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Guard bull - he followed me around for a good 10 minutes
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emplacement 3
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It's hard to make out from this photo but there were a series of indentations right round the bed of the gun probably used to align the gun up with the plotters co-ordinates
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https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-WMk_F3ICBUU/Tft3TNTY57I/AAAAAAAAAFE/4ryK62GA8XQ/s640/DSCF5225.JPG

Emplacement 4
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you can just make out a ring of bolt holes that secured the gun down
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next up we have the aux generator beds once covered with a nissen hut
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well I'll leave it there for now but as you can see from the map there is still shed loads more to come
Thanks for looking and sorry for so many photos but the site is so great
Cheers Jon
 

tommo

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wow there is alot there and it wasnt a small site, great report though and yeah the map makes all the difference for sites like this

got a little over excited as i though this was the "Gloucester" site near me just off the M5 that i could never find, but still worth the read cheers for sharing :mrgreen:
 

jonney

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wow there is alot there and it wasnt a small site, great report though and yeah the map makes all the difference for sites like this

got a little over excited as i though this was the "Gloucester" site near me just off the M5 that i could never find, but still worth the read cheers for sharing :mrgreen:

Cheers Tommo, RichCooper asked me why it was called Gloucester earlier on and the simple answer is the land it's on is part of Gloucester farm. It is a large site and it's in such good condition as well
 

jonney

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Excellent site and great report, Jon. Had to chuckle about that bull...you could see his curiosity in several photos. Nice one. :)

Foxy the other cattle kept away but he was curious about what I was doing and kept getting in the way. It was a bit un-nerving at times when you turn around and he was standing behind you. The horses kept following me around as well ruining my shots but it's their home and I was invading their space lol
 

hamishsfriend

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Thanks for this detailed report and pics, an interesting site and in very good condition. Not to worry about horses, they are usually only curious but harmless, I'd be more wary of cattle.
 

PaulPowers

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Nice report and the site looks very interesting.

Dince moving to the country I have been chased from a few sites by bulls, Evil beasts :icon_evil
 

krela

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wow there is alot there and it wasnt a small site, great report though and yeah the map makes all the difference for sites like this

got a little over excited as i though this was the "Gloucester" site near me just off the M5 that i could never find, but still worth the read cheers for sharing :mrgreen:

Would you get excited if I told you there's one in as good condition just outside of Bristol then? :p
 

Black Shuck

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WOW, nice work Jonney boy!!,,.. Loving the H.A.A site, I shot one of these at Mautby near Caister a couple of years back. The main bunker was used by a local Gun Club!!:eek::eek::goofy:, needless to say I am now sitting in a pool of Shuck drool!!!:mrgreen::mrgreen:
 
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Winch It In

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Fabulous Jonney, the H.A.A. looks pretty well intact. Reminds me when I visited Kenilworth Battery last summer, the farmer was a bit suprised that I wanted to take a few pics, then went on to tell me about it's history.
 

jonney

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Right I think I better post the rest or the photo's up

Moving on we have the radar site. This consisted of a main radar set house, a ramp and platform for the wheeled GL radar unit and 4 storage buildings. The radar unit used to sit above a wire mesh mat 85 yards in diameter that was used to give an artificial horizon

the ramp
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The storage buildings (there were 2 sets of these both the same)
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The radar set house
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Exit pipes for control cables to the gun emplacements
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internal shot
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The ops bunker
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Has about 2 to 3 foot of water and mud in it but plenty of internals
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top of the boiler
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and some nice features
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original doors
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Rangefinder / height finder mount
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shelter
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these would have been the toilets
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still has it's water tank
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There was nothing to be seen of the ammo stores just a pile of rubbish waiting to be burnt
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and finally the bases for the accommodation block
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well that's all folks hope you enjoyed
Cheers Jon
 

Black Shuck

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Right I think I better post the rest or the photo's up

Moving on we have the radar site. This consisted of a main radar set house, a ramp and platform for the wheeled GL radar unit and 4 storage buildings. The radar unit used to sit above a wire mesh mat 85 yards in diameter that was used to give an artificial horizon

Oooh blimey Jonney, bring it on fella. I'm nigh on swimming here now!!:lol::goofy:
 
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jonney

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Oooh blimey Jonney, bring it on fella. I'm nigh on swimming here now!!:lol::goofy:

matey I though you would be lol. This was not the only place I did yesterday but I'll post the pillbox pics later when I sort them out
 

jonney

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Ah cheers for that lot Jonney, a grand site indeed and you say there are still pill boxes to come.......

yeah mate I did the WW1 coastal battery across the road from here (now a tourist attraction open on a sunday but as it was friday no internals doh!!!) and bagged a couple of pillboxes as well
 

RichCooper

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That is one awesome site mate thx for the efforts there,I really hope it gets listed be a real shame to lose this one
 

night crawler

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Awsome stuff awsome, I need to borrow your rubber suit jonney or at least tell me where you got it. That boiler was either very short of the water deep. Glad to know the famer is looking after our heritage and keeping the council at bay.:)
 
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