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#325843 - 4th Jun 2009 7:22pm Bidston HAA Gunsite *****
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9559
Loc: Birkenhead
I spotted that this supposedly destroyed gunsite still exists so went along to photograph it today.

The site is heavily overgrown at the moment with nettles, brambles, thistles, gorse, hawthorn and even some grass. The nettles are 4 feet deep in places, there are rushes indicating boggy areas and loads of mole hills hidden beneath the grass - not a very friendly place at the moment, took me a number of attempts to find a route to the gunsite, despite being able to see it from Fender Lane.

I'll do a few posts
First (this one) - maps and building bases
Second - western Gunsite
Third - building between gunsites
Fourth - Eastern gunsite.

The gunsite was numbered "mersey J/H31" and was recorded as disused in 1942, I suspect that it got partly destroyed by a bomb! The Defence of Britain database thinks the site is "Destroyed", however, as you will see, although not perfect, there is a lot of the structure still there.

The perimeter walls of both gunsites are pretty intact, though not visible (see the Puddington HAA site thread for a picture of what they look like)

This is an unusual gundite because it only has two guns, there is no record what size guns where here, but I guess 3.5 inch (mixing decimal and inches is purely to get a response from Pinz!)

The first aerial is 1972 before Fender Lane is built, most of the additional buildings are visible on it. The path starts from School Lane, and is now cut in half by Fender Lane. The southern half of the gunsite path is exactly where the footpath leads from School Lane to Fender Lane today. The two gunsites are at the top left of the site, the building between the two gun placements is almost invisible but is connected to one of the small white blobs.

Second aerial show 1997, after Fender Lane is built, the building between gunsites is visble, but the gunsites look almost gone, this is because they were very overgrown.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
BidstonHAA1972.jpg

Description: Bidston HAA Gunsite 1972

BidstonHAA1997.jpg

Description: Bidston HAA Gunsite 1997

IMG_1088s.JPG

Description: Western Gun Placement viewed from Fender Lane - with a bit of zoom

IMG_1087s.JPG

Description: Eastern Gun Placement viewed from Fender Lane

IMG_1086s.JPG

Description: The building bases just by Fender Lane




Edited by diggingdeeper (17th Jun 2009 12:21am)
Edit Reason: Stamped

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#325847 - 4th Jun 2009 7:30pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: diggingdeeper]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9559
Loc: Birkenhead
The western gun placement, this is very overgrown and most of the shell lockers are missing, I think this had a bit of a hit from a bomb, draw your own conclusions by comparing it to the other eastern gunsite. I notice the big hinges on the opening to the placement, I didn't notice those at Puddington.

Most of this placement was so overgrown photographs were useless.



Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
IMG_1091s.JPG

Description: Near one of the entrances looking from the outside

IMG_1092s.JPG

Description: Brickwork

IMG_1093s.JPG

Description: First shell locker, the only fully intact one at this placement - no sign of racking

IMG_1094s.JPG

Description: Hinged entrance

IMG_1095s.JPG

Description: Looking from inside the gunplacement

IMG_1096s.JPG

Description: Another locker, fairly intact but overgrown

IMG_1097s.JPG

Description: There was a locker here at one time!




Edited by diggingdeeper (17th Jun 2009 12:26am)
Edit Reason: Stamped

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#325851 - 4th Jun 2009 7:40pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: diggingdeeper]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9559
Loc: Birkenhead
The building between the gun placements, it took me a long time to find a way to get to this, very overgrown so I didn't go inside in case there is still something there (hole in ground, shells - whatever - I did have a nail penetrate my shoe and foot getting to this one), it looked like it was very secure at one time. Took me a long time to find a route there but sorted it after a while.

Beside this building is a funny structure, don't know what it is, this site needs a winter visit, bit dodgy going round with an 18 inch machette in summer!


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
IMG_1098s.JPG

Description: First view of building

IMG_1099s.JPG

Description: First view of funny thing beside it.

IMG_1100s.JPG

Description: Funny thing beside building

IMG_1101s.JPG

Description: Building, getting nearer

IMG_1102s.JPG

Description: And nearer, that grass is also nettles and brambles!

IMG_1123s.JPG

Description: Funny thing from other side

IMG_1125s.JPG

Description: On top of building at last - praying I don't fall in the nettles.

IMG_1126s.JPG

Description: Can't see anything through undergrowth




Edited by diggingdeeper (17th Jun 2009 12:43am)
Edit Reason: Stamped

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#325854 - 4th Jun 2009 7:47pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: diggingdeeper]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9559
Loc: Birkenhead
The eastern gun placement, although very worn, much of this is still in place - no gun though.

This is last post. ta!


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
IMG_1103s.JPG

Description: While getting to the building, I suddenly found I was beside the eastern gun placement

IMG_1105s.JPG

Description: Looking inside to NE side

IMG_1106s.JPG

Description: SW side isn't so good, but mostly there, overgrowth doesn't help

IMG_1108s.JPG

Description: The middle of gun placement

IMG_1111s.JPG

Description: With this

IMG_1110s.JPG

Description: Hinged entrance

IMG_1117s.JPG

Description: Looking through from NW corner showing how close to Fender Lane

IMG_1115s.JPG

Description: Shell Lockers

IMG_1119s.JPG

Description: Shell Lockers

IMG_1127s.JPG

Description: Looking at Eastern Gun Placement from top of building




Edited by diggingdeeper (17th Jun 2009 12:36am)
Edit Reason: Stamped

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#325859 - 4th Jun 2009 8:30pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: diggingdeeper]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7827
Loc: tranmere
Excellent work again DD.
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Don't send Jesus,
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#325869 - 4th Jun 2009 8:59pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: bert1]
buddy Online   content
Forum Veteran

Registered: 18th Sep 2008
Posts: 5001
Loc: South Wirral
Excellent DD - very interesting - thanks

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#325874 - 4th Jun 2009 9:51pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: buddy]
scoops Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 27th Oct 2008
Posts: 531
Loc: Lurking
Fascinating work DD.
A quick look on windows live maps found this interesting view.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
lookingsouth.jpg

Description: Looking south




Edited by diggingdeeper (17th Jun 2009 12:38am)
Edit Reason: Stamped

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#325875 - 4th Jun 2009 9:59pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: scoops]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9559
Loc: Birkenhead
Yeah, good one scoops, it is far too overgrown at the moment to get in most of the areas, but you've tempted me now. Might get my protective gear on and give it a go at the weekend, too hot to wear at the moment. There are bramble walls in that place, about 8 feet high, after battling through the nettles you reach a dead end and have to blaze another path - if only I could use a machette, or even a baseball bat would do - but can't risk either these days, kung foo gets a bit tiring.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#325877 - 4th Jun 2009 10:01pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: diggingdeeper]
scoops Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 27th Oct 2008
Posts: 531
Loc: Lurking
Sounds like my back garden wink
Give it a few weeks and I'm sure some lowlife scrote will set a brush fire.
_________________________
If it's stupid and it works, it ain't stupid.

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#325878 - 4th Jun 2009 10:12pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: diggingdeeper]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9559
Loc: Birkenhead
Seeming as I made a trail today and it goes pretty near those, anyone fancy having a go tommorow night at about 6:30?
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#325917 - 4th Jun 2009 11:27pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: diggingdeeper]
Mark Online   Reading


Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 20965
Loc: Wirral
Excellent happy

Thanks for the time and effort into this one wink
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#325964 - 5th Jun 2009 9:54am Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: Mark]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Well done, DD; there's much more here than at Storeton, for instance. With regard to the funny structure, is it possibly some sort of gun-laying radar?
_________________________
Carpe diem.

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#326051 - 5th Jun 2009 4:15pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: chriskay]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9559
Loc: Birkenhead
Funny thing looks more like part of a hoist or winch to me because of the heavy duty eyelets (what is the proper name - U cla mps or summit), I couldn't see much when I was by it, partly because my eyes were still watering from having a nail through my foot - that saves another tetanus trip.

Had a quick detour to Ince gunsite today, that is equally overgrown, very similar weeds etc. There isn't much left there but I was just curious.

I keep on forgetting to look for the motor shed on these sites, looked on 1970 aerial for any sign of the radar ramps, but nothing, this site might not of still been operational when the radar came in.

Errata - I meant 3.7" gun above not the tidely metric 3.5"

I will blow up the hi-res pictures after and see what it looks like. Can't go back to Bidston tonight, just had rain, would need a wet suit to get through that stuff.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#326275 - 6th Jun 2009 3:38pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: diggingdeeper]
w10694 Offline
Addict

Registered: 31st Dec 2008
Posts: 239
Loc: cheshire
excellent work, I'd never spotted this one myself, never fancied the undergrowth - buy some secateurs !

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#326280 - 6th Jun 2009 3:51pm Re: Bidston HAA Gunsite [Re: w10694]
Pete_Robbo Offline

Keep It Real !!
Wiki Guide

Registered: 11th Aug 2008
Posts: 6640
Loc: Wirral
smile brill work thanks for sharing smile
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