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Infrastructure - Defence
 
Addlethorpe, Homer Structure
Addlethorpe, Homer Structure
Addlethorpe, Homer Structure

Until recently there was an octagonal blockwork structure in Addlethorpe which was almost certainly the remains of a direction-finding (D/F) homer.

This World War 2 device housed a radio transmitter to help bombers track their return journeys from the continent to RAF bases in the UK.

The solid blockwork base (about 5m across and 2m high) supported a tall octagonal wooden tower.

SLHA would welcome more information about this particular structure.

Mike Osborne 

Addlethorpe, homer, direction-finder,
Barkston, RAF Barkston Heath, Lincoln Ramblers
Barkston, RAF Barkston Heath, Lincoln Ramblers
Barkston, RAF Barkston Heath, Lincoln Ramblers

Lincoln Group Ramblers' Association outside RAF Barkson Heath.

Base was home to No.25 Squadron operating Bloodhound surface-to-air guided missiles. Left Barkston in July 1989. 

DB 1989 

Barkston, RAF Barkston Heath, Bloodhound surface-to-air guided missiles, Ramblers' Association
Belton House, Army Camp
Belton House, Army Camp
Belton House, Army Camp

Over 170,000 men of the Machine Gun Corps trained in the grounds of Belton House during the First World War, an area which had been used by local volunteer forces since the 1880s.

Accommodation for the troops was initially in bell tents but they were replaced in 1915 by prefabricated wooden huts (shown here).

Supplies to the camp were carried on a standard gauge branch line from the main line at Peascliffe north of Grantham.

Belton Kesteven, Belton House, army machine gun corps, railway
Belton House, Army Camp
Belton House, Army Camp
Belton House, Army Camp

Over 170,000 men of the Machine Gun Corps trained in the grounds of Belton House during the First World War, an area which had been used by local volunteer forces since the 1880s.

Accommodation for the troops was initially in bell tents but they were replaced in 1915 by prefabricated wooden huts (shown here).

Supplies to the camp were carried on a standard gauge branch line from the main line at Peascliffe north of Grantham.

Belton Kesteven, Belton House, Machine Gun Corps, World War I, railway
Bracebridge Heath, Aircraft Hangars
Bracebridge Heath, Aircraft Hangars
Bracebridge Heath, Aircraft Hangars

The Belfast Truss roof was a novel form of construction that used laminated wooden lattice-braced roof trusses to provide a large clear span which was (27 m here) to accommodate aircraft.

This site was originally the aerodrome of Robey & Co Ltd but it became No 4 Aircraft Acceptance Park.

In WWII AV Roe repaired damaged Lancaster bombers here and latterly it was used as a road haulage depot.

The hangars, which dated to 1916, were demolished in 2001.
 

Chris Lester, 2000

 

Bracebridge Heath, Belfast, Robey, aircraft, hangar, Roe,
Branston, Mere, Y Station Guardhouse
Branston, Mere, Y Station Guardhouse
Branston, Mere, Y Station Guardhouse

The guardhouse at the entrance to the Mere Y Station site was built in the 1950s at the time of the Cold War.

The site ceased to operate in about 1954.

October 2009

Branston, Mere, Y Station guardhouse, Cold War
Branston, Mere, Y Station mast supports
Branston, Mere, Y Station mast supports
Branston, Mere, Y Station mast supports

One of the very first stations for listening to wireless traffic was set up in 1927 at the hamlet of Mere, about two miles south of Branston village centre.

The station continued in operation – playing an important and secretive role – until the 1950s.

The base of one of the 4 or 5 receiver masts from the 1930s can be seen in the small area of woodland alongside the site.

October 2009

Branston, Mere Y Station, mast supports
Branston, Mere, Y Station Operations Room
Branston, Mere, Y Station Operations Room
Branston, Mere, Y Station Operations Room

The operations room or signal receiver building was built in the 1950s and is now used as an agricultural building.

It replaced WW2 wooden huts where Morse signals were received, often giving early warnings of Luftwaffe activity.

Transmissions were taken daily by RAF despatch rider to Cheadle and later to Bletchley for decoding.

October 2009

Branston, Y Station, Mere, Operations Room, Bletchley, Cheadle
Carlton Scroop, Repeater Station
Carlton Scroop, Repeater Station
Carlton Scroop, Repeater Station

"BT Archives has a reference to the foundations being excavated in October 1965"

http://www.dgsys.co.uk/btmicrowave/sites/150.php 

"part of a cold war emergency microwave communications system, 'Backbone'"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlton_Scroop 

Tower is still in active use.

DB 16 April 2018

Carlton Scroop, Repeater Station, microwave, Backbone, Cold War, BT, Tower
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Dakota ZA947
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Dakota ZA947
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Dakota ZA947

Douglas C-47 Dakota.

"As there are now no other multi-engine tail wheel aircraft in RAF service outside the BBMF, the Dakota is an important training asset used for initial training of aircrew for the BBMF multi-engine aircraft and for renewing the currency of the Flight’s Lancaster pilots each year"

https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircraft/dakota/ 

DB 29 September 2017

RAF, Coningsby, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Visitor Centre, BBMF, Dakota, ZA947, Douglas C-47
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Hurricane LF363 (MK&nbspIIC)
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Hurricane LF363 (MK IIC)
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Hurricane LF363 (MK IIC)

Hurricane being serviced outside the BBMF Hanger.

"LF363 was built at the Hawker factory at Langley near Slough. It first flew in January 1944 and is believed to be the last Hurricane to enter service with the RAF"

https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircraft/hurricane/ 

DB 18 April 2018

RAF, Coningsby, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Visitor Centre, BBMF, Hurricane, LF363, Fighter
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Lancaster PA474
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Lancaster PA474
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Lancaster PA474

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

"Lancaster PA474 is one of only two Lancaster aircraft remaining in airworthy condition out of the 7,377 that were built"

"The Avro Lancaster is the most famous and successful RAF heavy bomber of World War Two"

"The prototype Lancaster took to the air for its first flight from Ringway, Manchester, on 9th January 1941; the first production Lancaster flew later that year on 31stOctober"

https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircraft/lancaster/  

DB 23 September 2016

Coningsby, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre, BBMF, Lancaster, PA474, RAF, Bomber
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Spitfire
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Spitfire
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Spitfire

"Produced in greater numbers than any other British combat aircraft before or since the War, 20,341 Spitfires were built in 22 different variants (excluding the navalised Seafire) and the aircraft remained in production for 12 years"

DB 29 September 2017

RAF, Coningsby, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Visitor Centre, BBMF, Spitfire, Fighter
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Visitor Centre
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Visitor Centre
Coningsby, RAF Coningsby, BBMF, Visitor Centre

Grandslam and Tallboy Bombs displayed outside the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre.

"The visitor centre and the RAF hangar are located within the boundaries of RAF Coningsby"

https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/heritage-and-tourism/battle-of-britain-memorial-flight/ 

DB 18 April 2018 

Coningsby, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Visitor Centre, BBMF, RAF, grandslam, tallboy, bomb
Cranwell, RAF East Camp
Cranwell, RAF East Camp
Cranwell, RAF East Camp
The main entrance to the East Camp at RAF Cranwell.
Cranwell, RAF Station, East Camp
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Gun Emplacement
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Gun Emplacement
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Gun Emplacement

Rear defensive wall behind the gun emplacement to protect from blast.

Loopholes were provided in case of attack from inland by paratroopers. 

Steps lead down to munition stores etc. 

DB 9 June 2018

Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Gun Emplacement, blast wall
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Gun Emplacement
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Gun Emplacement
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Gun Emplacement

"The battery was operational by mid-June 1940, the two 6in. Mk.VII guns being manned by the 321st Coast Battery RA.

The gun emplacements were disguised as bungalows, and air photographs taken in 1953 show that the camouflage pitched roofs were still in place at that date"

http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/catalogue//adsdata/arch-455-1/dissemination/pdf/Text_Reports/DA35_TEXT_-_FREISTON_SHORE.pdf 

DB 9 June 2018

Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Gun Emplacement
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Gun Emplacement
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Gun Emplacement
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Gun Emplacement

View out from southernmost of the two gun emplacements.

Gun was sited directly on the coast in 1940 but land reclamation means that it is now about half a mile inland.

Mounting ring for 6 inch Mk.VII ex naval gun clearly visible. 

DB 9 June 2018

Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Gun Emplacement
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Pill Box
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Pill Box
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Pill Box

"Between the gun emplacements of the coastal battery is a rectangular three-bayed 'Lincolnshire-type' pillbox ... with the antiaircraft gun mount still present in its central open chamber"

http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/catalogue//adsdata/arch-455-1/dissemination/pdf/Text_Reports/DA35_TEXT_-_FREISTON_SHORE.pdf  

DB 9 June 2018

Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, pill box
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Searchlight House
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Searchlight House
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Searchlight House

Two searchlight houses were provided one at either and of the battery.

If the naval target could be illuminated simultaneously by both searchlights then its range could be determined very accurately by triangulation. 

This is the northern searchlight house which has been converted for domestic purposes.

DB 9 June 2018

Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Searchlight House
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Searchlight House
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Searchlight House
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Searchlight House

Two searchlight houses were provided one at either and of the battery.

If the naval target could be illuminated simultaneously by both searchlights then its range could be determined very accurately by triangulation. 

This is the southernmost searchlight house. 

DB 9 June 2018

Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Searchlight House
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Viewed From Inland
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Viewed From Inland
Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery, Viewed From Inland

The two gun emplacements are visible with their associated rear blast walls.

Other buildings include munition stores, generator house and accommodation for the on duty gun crews. 

Searchlight houses off to either side. 

DB 9 June 2018

Freiston Shore, Emergency Coast Defence Battery
Holbeach, RAF Holbeach, Observation Tower
Holbeach, RAF Holbeach, Observation Tower
Holbeach, RAF Holbeach, Observation Tower

The RAF Holbeach bombing range opened in 1926. It includes this observation tower for recording performance.

RAF and NATO aircraft use the range for dropping bombs and firing cannon.

Targets include old trawlers beached on the mudflats of the Wash.

Ken Redmore, 2010

Holbeach, RAF Holbeach, Observation Tower, bombing range,
Holbeach, Royal Observer Corps Bunker
Holbeach, Royal Observer Corps Bunker
Holbeach, Royal Observer Corps Bunker

During the Cold War period a network of Royal Observer Corps bunkers was created covering the country.

Most, like this one near Holbeach, were in isolated locations with telephone links to regional bases. (The HQ for Lincolnshire was at Fiskerton).

They were manned at all times by ROC volunteers and were equipped to detect attacks by nuclear weapons.

Ken Redmore, 2010

Holbeach, Royal Observer Corps bunker, cold war, Fiskerton,
Lincoln, Drury Lane
Lincoln, Drury Lane
Lincoln, Drury Lane

The view is from the former hospital, later Chad Varah House, in Wordsworth Street looking down on Drury Lane, which sweeps from side to side.

Lincoln Castle's Observatory Tower is in the centre background; the East Gate to the extreme right; Lucy Tower to the left.

For centuries both houses and businesses were situated close to the Castle walls.  The building with the tall chimney houses the Drury Lane Brewery.

1930s photograph

Lincoln Streets, Drury Lane, Castle, Drury Lane Brewery, Observatory Tower
Metheringham, RAF Metheringham, Water Tower
Metheringham, RAF Metheringham, Water Tower
Metheringham, RAF Metheringham, Water Tower

The water tower at RAF Metheringham (TF 102598).

The airfield was the home to 106 Bomber Squadron from 1943 to the end of the war.

Over 200 operations flew from here and 57 Lancaster bombers were lost.

There is a small visitor centre on the site.

Peter Stevenson

Metheringham, RAF, water tower,
North Cotes, RAF North Cotes, Radar Building
North Cotes, RAF North Cotes, Radar Building
North Cotes, RAF North Cotes, Radar Building

Twelve-sided structure housing the radar head of the Type 82 "Orange Yeoman” tactical control radar for use in conjunction with the Bloodhound guided-missile system.

RAF North Coates opened in 1918 and, after an illustrious career as a flying station, became a Bloodhound base in 1958.

This photograph was taken during a visit by SLHA members to record its demolition in 2002.

Chris Lester, 2002

North Coates, RAF North Coates, radar, bloodhound,
North Cotes, RAF North Cotes, Radar Building
North Cotes, RAF North Cotes, Radar Building
North Cotes, RAF North Cotes, Radar Building

This interior shot of a Type 82 Building shows the mounting plates for the radar turning gear.

This radar was the operational prototype and it was the RAF's first 3-D radar to go into service.

It could track 18 targets simultaneously at a range of up to 140 miles.


Chris Lester, 2002

North Coates, RAF North Coates, Radar,
Skendleby, Nuclear Bunker
Skendleby, Nuclear Bunker
Skendleby, Nuclear Bunker

This nuclear bunker (TF 442708), set in the beauty of the Lincolnshire Wolds, is a grim reminder of Cold War days.

Above ground here are four ventilation shafts, and this 'bungalow' (whose 'windows' are actually painted on concrete).

Below ground the nuclear bunker, last developed in the 1980s, could house a regional seat of government, and accommodate over 100 people.

Frank Robinson, 2010

Skendleby, nuclear bunker, cold war,
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Chain Home Radar Station
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Chain Home Radar Station
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Chain Home Radar Station

This 360ft (110m) high steel lattice tower at Stenigot (TF 257825) is the only survivor of four transmitting towers forming part of RAF Stenigot Chain Home Radar Station.

The Chain Home system, developed during the Second World War, was the world's first air defence radar system.

Although the site is known as RAF Stenigot it is actually in the parish of Donington.


Chris Lester, 1997

Stenigot, Chain Holme Radar, RAF Stenigot, lattice tower,
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Radar Station
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Radar Station
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Radar Station

A view of RAF Stenigot from the top of the surviving transmitter tower, looking north, taken in 1995.

The building in the left foreground housed a 1950s GEE-H Master Station used for aircraft navigation.

To its right can be seen the bases of another of the four Chain Home transmitter masts.

The building in the right foreground is the Slave Receiver hut of the original wartime GEE installation. Beyond that is the water tower and beyond that is the Standby Set House which housed a diesel generator to provide emergency power.

The 1960s NATO ACE HIGH tropospheric scatter station is located in the fenced compound beyond it.

It is obstructing sight of the Chain Home Receiver building although the four concrete bases of one of the receiver masts can be seen beyond the fence and to the right of the dishes.

Approximately 120 RAF personnel manned the Chain Home site, including police and anti-aircraft gunners to protect it.

Chris Lester, 1995

Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Home Chain Radar Station, tropospheric scatter,
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Receiver Building
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Receiver Building
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Receiver Building

This building housed the radar receivers, a calculator room which converted the raw radar data into grid references and altitudes, and a plotting area which was manned largely by WAAFs.

It was situated between four 73 m (240 ft) high wooden receiver masts arranged in a rhomboid pattern.

This Grade II listed building was recently demolished.

Chris Lester, 1995

Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, radar, receiver building,
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Site View
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Site View
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Site View

An extended view of the former RAF Stenigot site which includes, to the left, the huge dismantled dishes - each 60ft (18m) across - of the ACE-HIGH microwave NATO communication system, in use from about 1960 to the 1980s.

Frank Robinson, 2010

Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, radar,
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Standby Set House
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Standby Set House
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Standby Set House

This fully-protected installation comprised a Mirlees Blackstone diesel engine driving a 60 KVA electrical generator to provide emergency power in the event of a failure of the mains supply.

It was demolished in 1996.

Chris Lester, 1995

Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, radar, standby set house,
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Transmitter Building
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Transmitter Building
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Transmitter Building

Two radar transmitters operating in what today would be called the Short Wave Bands were housed in this building.

The building, which is Listed Grade II is protected by blast walls and a layer of gravel on the roof contained within the brick walls, which are visible above the blast walls.

Chris Lester, 1995

Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Radar, transmitter building,
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Water Tower
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Water Tower
Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, Water Tower

The radar site is located on top of a hill at 151 m above Ordnance Datum and a good supply of water would have been required for fire-fighting.

It was demolished in 1996. The "domestic” site located half a mile away to the NE had its own water tower which survives today.


Chris Lester, 1995

Stenigot, RAF Stenigot, radar, water tower,
Tattershall Thorpe, Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre
Tattershall Thorpe, Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre
Tattershall Thorpe, Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre

"The Thorpe Camp Preservation Group established the Visitor Centre in 1988 to commemorate those Airmen who flew from the airfield in World War II"

http://thorpecamp.wixsite.com/visitorscentre 

"The centre was formerly part of No.1 Communal Site, RAF Woodhall Spa"

Buildings have been restored and a large collection of artifacts are displayed. 

DB 11 July 2015

Tattershall Thorpe, Thorpe Camp Preservation Group, RAF Woodhall Spa
Theddlethorpe St Helen, Pillbox
Theddlethorpe St Helen, Pillbox
Theddlethorpe St Helen, Pillbox

This standard type 23 pillbox is close to the coast at Theddlethorpe St Helen (TF 483 892).

It was one of many defended observation posts along the Lincolnshire coast and elsewhere in the county.

Construction in concrete between wooden shuttering was quick and economical.

Ken Redmore, 2006

Theddlethorpe St Helen, pillbox, observation post,
Waddington, RAF Waddington, Air Show, Avro Vulcan
Waddington, RAF Waddington, Air Show, Avro Vulcan
Waddington, RAF Waddington, Air Show, Avro Vulcan

Royal Air Force Waddington - Air Show pictured in 1981. 

"In the Cold War, RAF Waddington became an Avro Vulcan V-bomber base, with 83 Sqn being the first in the RAF to receive the Vulcan in May 1957. It continued in this role until 1984 when the last Vulcan squadron, No. 50, disbanded"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Waddington 

DB May 1981

Waddington, Royal Air Force Waddington, Air Show, RAF, Avro Vulcan, V-bomber
Willoughby, Pill Box
Willoughby, Pill Box
Willoughby, Pill Box

This World War 2 defensive structure, though common throughout the county, is not usually located as close to the centre of a village as this one.

It is adjacent to the Bonthorpe Road, about 200 metres north of St Helen’s church at TF 473721.

August 2013

Willoughby, pill box, world war 2