High Risby Anti-Aircraft Battery, Lincolnshire, March 2020

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People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
1. The History
Heavy anti-aircraft battery (HAA) sites were permanent sites consisting of four guns mounted in the centre of their own circular earthen embankment, each of which had concrete lockers for storing ammunition. These four emplacements were evenly positioned in a semi-circular ‘C’ shape around a central battery command post with the bulge of the ‘C’ pointing roughly in the opposite direction to the area being defended so as to cover the approach to the target.

The command post housed a spotter’s telescope, rangefinder and predictor computer. This equipment was used to calculate the distance, speed and height of approaching hostile aircraft. This information was then passed to the guns where it would be used to set the fuses on the projectiles and tell the gunner where to aim.

The 4.5 inch and later 3.7 inch guns that HAA batteries were equipped with were used to engage high altitude bombers and fired high explosive projectiles designed to explode underneath or above a bomber, causing damage as hundreds of hot metal fragments flew through the air around it.

In terms of this battery code-named Scunthorpe H2, there is little information about it, and it doesn’t appear to have listed status.

2. The Explore
A very relaxed explore. Easy access and just a few minutes’ walk from the road. What struck me about this AA battery (and I’ve done a few over the years) is just how ‘flat-pack’ and relatively flimsy this one was. One of the four emplacements has gone completely (it was demolished apparently), the command centre is flooded and the whole site is really overgrown. So, not the most spectacular site of this ilk I’ve explored but well worth twenty minutes in the March afternoon sun.

3. The Pictures

The first thing you come across is the munitions store. Definitely the sturdiest building of the site:

49659903177_674f179668_b.jpgimg6020 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49659083003_f19bc1c8f1_b.jpgimg6021 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49659070303_8be7d7c198_b.jpgimg6038 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Loving this bit of graff:

49659622801_3fd9db8a7d_b.jpgimg6024 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49659899087_f1a1fd6e75_b.jpgimg6025 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49659078438_807b225613_b.jpgimg6027 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to the three remaining gun emplacements:

49659618451_f2597b89cc_b.jpgimg6029 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49659893022_5431d63b4e_b.jpgimg6032 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49659614571_fef5a0eea7_b.jpgimg6036 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49659071938_074759761b_b.jpgimg6037 by HughieDW, on Flickr
49659068653_6de1e08e36_b.jpgimg6039 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49659885987_8920a2975b_b.jpgimg6040 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And looking over towards the command centre:

49659075608_7305e6c63d_b.jpgimg6030 by HughieDW, on Flickr


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Rawdon Leeds
Part of the well scattered HAA defences for the Scunthorpe Steel Works. The first constructions were the outer line, done during the 'phoney war' period and always, seemingly, in brick. In the late '50's one would find swaths of barbed wire all over the place and signs of slit trenches for air raid protection. The buildings were there purely to protect ammunition and equipment.