Tag: Privately Owned

By Joe Mander

Red Sands Seaforts

At the outbreak of World War II, the Port of London was the busiest port in the world. As such, a large proportion of supplies to the UK entered by ships navigating the Thames. The German Navy quickly sought to put a stranglehold on this route, and to this end, utilised a new secret weapon…

View More
By Joe Mander

Bata Shoe Factory & Estate

The Bata shoe factory and estate was built in East Tilbury the 1930s by Czecheslovakian entrepeneur Thomas Bata. It was modelled on the original factory in Zlín, now in the Czech Republic, and hence survives as an unusual piece of Czech industrial Modernism here in Essex. The factory was converted into the Thames Industrial Park…

View More
By Liam Heatherson

Chipping Ongar ROC Post

This Royal Observer Corps observation post bunker was constructed in 1959 and closed at the end of the Cold War in 1991. Its relatively good condition is likely owing to its late shutdown date compared to ROC posts which shut much earlier. Inside can be found various furniture as well as non-original agricultural manuals.

View More
By Joe Mander

Norfolk’s Nazi Barns

As war intensified in 1940, the Royal Air Force were looking to rapidly expand their airfields across the country. In Norfolk, officials from the Air Force were tasked with finding sites where it would suitable to quickly and cheaply build new airfields – usually by converting farmland. As the search across the county continued, suspicions…

View More
By Joe Mander

Garrison Point Fort

Garrison Point Fort is a rare two-tiered fort in Sheerness, built in the 1860’s over concerns of a French invasion. The fort was constructed in a prime location, providing the first line of defence for both the River Thames and the Medway, less than a mile away from Grain Tower Fort. In 1860 a report…

View More
By Liam Heatherson

SE London Suburb Lost River

Joined by explorer Sam, we ventured into a culvert running through a suburban town on the border of south-east London and Kent. This drain, covered likely in the post-war period along much of its length, was created from a historic river which ran to the River Thames. Originally it was a ditch running through fields,…

View More
By Joe Mander

London Deep Shelter

As bombings intensified during the Second World War the Government embarked on a programme of constructing deep level air raid shelters beneath the streets of London, usually near underground stations. This one has some 210 steps before you reach the bomb-proof tunnels where up to 8,000 people would have sheltered. Due to the challenges of…

View More
By Liam Heatherson

RAF Bradwell Bay Remains

RAF Bradwell Bay was rebuilt in 1940 over the site of an interwar 1936 aerodrome. The surviving concrete runway was built in 1941. The airfield served as a night fighter base and saw the regular arrival of damaged or low fuelled aircraft which it had to tend to. It was notably equipped with FIDO (Fog…

View More
By Joe Mander

Rawreth HAA & POW Camp

Driving through Rawreth Industrial Estate you wouldn’t have a clue that you were driving past some old Prisoner of War buildings; but they were once known locally as “Rawreth Camp” or “The Gunsite”. According to the Rochford District Community Archive, the site was constructed at the start of the Second World War, in 1940, originally…

View More