A grand building in its day! The site was originally conceived as the National Machine Gun Factory but by the time construction was completed in November 1918 the First World War was over and no machine guns were ever manufactured there. Crosse & Blackwell briefly used the factory for producing pickle (Branston Pickle) between 1920 and 1925 and the Branston Artificial Silk Company produced Rayon there between 1927 and 1930. During the Second World War a major ordnance facility known as the Branston Depot was established on the site: the depot closed in 1961 when operations moved to Bicester. Parts of the site were used for the storage of components for Royal Ordnance between 1964 and 1975 and more recently parts of the site have been developed for housing.
The Birmingham Blitz was the heavy bombing by the Nazi German Luftwaffe of the city of Birmingham and surrounding towns in the United Kingdom, beginning on 9 August 1940 and ending on 23 April 1943. It is considered a part of the greater Blitz, which was part of the Battle of Britain. Situated in the Midlands, Birmingham, England’s most populous British city outside London, is an important industrial and manufacturing location. Around 1,852 tons of bombs were dropped on Birmingham, making it the third most heavily bombed city in the United Kingdom in the Second World War, behind only London and Liverpool.
This was a nice opportunity. I’m not going to disclose where this is in Wales as I don’t want to encourage too many trespassers to such an important site when natural visiting should be enough. But for those who want to see this from a different perspective, I did manage to locate a few unhidden tunnels and get inside. These Bastions date from the 16th Century so please enjoy!
The station was first used by the Royal Flying Corps in 1916 but was not brought into use for flying until July 1918 by the Royal Air Force. During the inter-war years and continuing through the Second World War until 1950 Upper Heyford was used mainly as a training facility. During the Cold War, Upper Heyford initially served as a base for United States Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) strategic bombers and later United States Air Forces In Europe (USAFE) tactical reconnaissance, fighter and fighter-bomber aircraft in the UK. Upper Heyford was unique among bases in the United Kingdom as only the flight-line area required military identification to access. The rest of the base, save the commercial facilities, was accessible to military and non-military alike. Upper Heyford was also unique in that the airspace around the base (from the surface to 3500′) was protected by a mandatory radio area (UHMRA) in which private pilots were required to be in contact with the base controllers on frequency 128.55 when flying past or overhead.
Chilmark was a small limestone quarry worked to provide stone for Salisbury Cathedral. The quarry closed in 1935 when demand for limestone fell due to the increased use of concrete for building purposes. The quarry and surrounding land were bought by the Air Ministry in 1936. In contrast to the other RAF ammunition depots, Chilmark was stable. The limestone was of good quality, so fewer pillars were needed to support the roof, and the floor was level. The entrances were in poor condition, but these were strengthened with a concrete lining which gave the tunnels the appearance of the London tube! The first consignment of war stores arrived in May 1937. Chilmark’s claim to fame is the fact that it was on the only RAF ammunition depot to survive the war. In the early years of the war Chilmark took over a number of remote satellite depots including two of the War Office underground sites at Corsham (Eastlays Quarry and Ridge Quarry) and also developed immense surface storage sites in woodland at Dinton and Grovelley Wood.
The Royal Observer Corps were in existence from 1925 to 1995 and their first significant operation was to act as aircraft spotters in WW2 where their task was to radio in any sightings of enemy aircraft or flying bombs. After the war ended they were briefly stood down after being in continuous operation from September 1939 to May 1945 then as the peace transitioned into the Cold War their role changed. The new role was to report nuclear explosions and monitor the nuclear fallout, to do this the crew of three would have to be prepared to spend up to 21 days underground in a 16ft x 7ft x 7ft bunker, between 1958 and 1968 over 1,500 of these bunkers were built across the country.
These Runway Tunnels were used to build the engines for aircraft that was used in WWII. They were then used for the car trade afterwards until it shut.
Nowadays, the Longbridge site bears little resemblance to the thriving car plant that once proudly dominated the landscape. Lickey Road where the cars of MG Rover workers used to be double-parked outside the factory, is now a smart housing estate, just up from the retail park. All that remains are the tunnels beneath. See the original post here
This is underground
The hospital closed in 2012 upon completion of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Relocation of the first services from Selly Oak began during the summer of 2010 when its A&E department moved to the new Q.E.Hospital on 16 June and over the next 7 days Critical Care and other departments moved step-by-step the 1.5 miles to the new hospital. On average one inpatient was moved every 5 minutes between 7 am and early evening On the morning of 23 May 2010 a ‘Service of Thanks’ was held at Selly Oak Hospital to celebrate a century of caring and this was followed by a fun fair at which staff and patients were invited to “Take a Trip Down Memory Lane”, sign a memory wall  and contribute to an on-line memories website. The reorganisation was first planned in 1998 though it was not until October 2004 that planning approval was given by Birmingham City Council, with construction beginning during 2006. Selly Oak Hospital was well renowned for the trauma care it provided and had one of the best burns units in the country. It was also home to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, which cared for injured service men and women from conflict zones, as well as training service medical staff in preparation for working in such areas. In March 2007, the Hospital was alleged to be not properly treating Iraq war veterans. The hospital has also appeared in national newspapers with stories of servicemen being verbally abused in the […]
World War Two military airfield with post war civilian use of the site. Construction of the airfield began in 1938, it was partly complete by 1940, though work on the airfield buildings continued into 1941. From 1940 the airfield was operated by Maintenance Command, particularly by 29 Maintenance Unit. Civilians from the Ministry of Aircraft Production were also worked at the base. From 1941-1942 the airfield was taken over by Fighter Command, and it was used by 68, 255 and 257 Squadrons, also 1456 Flight. These were mainly night fighter units. From 1942 the base was also used by the United States Army 8th Air Force’s 309 Fighter Squadron. The role of the site changed in 1943 to training: it was used mainly by 60 Operational Training Unit for this purpose. By the end of the war High Ercall had a variety of hangars including the initial J and K types, with added L, T2, Robin and Blister type aircaft hangars: none of the last three types have survived. Most of these were grouped around the south and western edge of the flying fields, with two additional sites further to the west and dispersals to the east side. Living quarters were to the south of the flying field. There were a range of permanent technical buildings at the main unit site and the technical site. The site was used post-war by the Royal Air Force for storage and scrapping of aircraft and from 1968 by the Road Transport Industry Training […]
This battery dates to 1778, when it was built by the French Navy to protect Dunkirk from attacks by the British fleet. Recognizing its strategic position, the French modernized the fort in 1939. One year later, in the spring of 1940, the fort was captured by the Germans after a series of attacks by JU-87 Stuka dive bombers. The Germans further updated the fort, and incorporated it into the Atlantic wall. It boasted a battery of four gun casements along with one fire control bunker. Several crew bunkers and ammunition bunkers were also located at the site. The battery’s guns dated from 1902 and had a caliber of 194 mm. Following the D-Day landings, the heavily fortified Dunkirk area was bypassed and isolated. The Canadians laid siege to the city, and the fortress itself area did not surrender until May 9th, 1945 – the day after the German surrender was signed. Canadian forces promptly occupied the fort and engineers destroyed the guns.