This is the low level bombing practise target for the "060" OTU (Operational Training Unit) which was based at High Ercall, Shropshire.
There is not a great deal left (not a lot there to start with !), but it has been an interesting year piecing it all together, which is difficult when you don't know what you are looking at, or looking for.
They were wooden targets, used to train RAF bombing crews, they dropped the small practise bombs at the targets, and were "scored" by observers who were in observation towers. The bombs contained something (phospherous ?) which generated smoke, to help the observers. The main aircraft were Mosquitos.
The original observation Quadrant Towers were wooden (plans below), the site was certified clear.
It is then believed that the site was re-opened sometime around the start of the Cold War (Suez / Hungarian crisis), and the towers were rebuilt of brick. One was near Burton Point (now a pile of bricks), and the other buried under the 1950's land fill. During this period, it was used by Meteors, and Vampires from Hooton (I have local verbal accounts of this, although specifing "the American twin tailed Lightning", presumed to be the Vampire / Venom aircraft).
Curiously, the site has never been taken off the books, and is still a "live" site, it is not used but comes under the control of the Altcar Ranges near Formby.
The area is literally covered in the small inert practise bombs. The area was also a Luftwaffe bombing decoy, and was laid out with overhead electric lights that reflected on water filled ponds, that were laid out in the shape of Garston Docks on the Mersey, to act as a decoy. It was very succesful, and there are local reports of "hundreds" of bombs being dropped overnight, over a period of a month.
The "normal" run in was picked up at the junction of the 1890's sea wall at the end of the Dee Estuary, and the river training wall that runs out to around Flint. There were some marker indicators on the run up, and a smoke generator for wind direction indication.
The remains of the main target:
And the previous target, which was probably destroyed by the nearby Luftwaffe stick of bombs:
And the stick of Luftwaffe bomb craters (they are much deeper than any other ponds on the marsh:
Both targets (excuse the horizon):
From a RAF Bombing Target Design Manual of the era (if anyone wants a copy, please PM), this was the "marshy ground" variation of the target:
Practise bombs, with small camera case for size:
I've included this, to show why it can be dangerous exploring out here, the targets are the posts sticking up in the middle of the water, shown at a high spring tide:
This the first run-in marker (1/4 distance, 2 railway sleepers on each side of the gap). I spotted this when looking for something else. It is under an electricty pylon near the new Dee Crossing Bridge:
The second (half way) marker will be buried under a load of late 1950 landfill.
The third run-in marker (3/4 distance, 4 railway sleepers on each side of the gap):
The burning barrel of tar, concreted in place, which would have been lit to show wind direction:
And a few new items from Airfield Exchange
Note confirming explosive clearance:
1941 Transfer from Coastal Command to RAF 15 Group
Location Amendment (nothing changes does it)
Original Quadrant Towers (wooden)
And the last, arty-farty sunset picture: