WWII Defensive Pillboxes

tiv

War Hero
There was a group of three Bofors Towers built along the Lea Navigation beside the Royal Gunpowder Factory of which one survives. I was told that they were to discourage the bombers using the canal as a navigation aid. These three towers differ from all the other I've seen photos of by being constructed of concrete with loopholes in the walls of all chambers rather than the usual stilts, with or without brick infill. This shows one of the towers manned and ready.

Bofors Tower.jpg


11_4729a9a5977b204dda95a611b7837aa7.jpg


11_27456dc00f4d381a41ed101c14d6b419.jpg


11_64da6f5909e1a9b164933c7d25c601b3.jpg


Opposite the tower was a conveniently located pub called The Jolly Bargeman.
 
Last edited:

Londo

LE
There was a group of three Bofors Towers built along the Lea Navigation beside the Royal Gunpowder Factory of which one survives. I was told that they were to discourage the bombers using the canal as a navigation aid. These three towers differ from all the other I've seen photos of by being constructed of concrete with loopholes in the walls of all chambers rather than the usual stilts, with or without brick infill. This shows one of the towers manned and ready.

View attachment 451184

View attachment 451192

View attachment 451193

View attachment 451194

Opposite the tower was a conveniently located pub called The Jolly Bargeman.
Great pics . Iv'e seen the top pic. before in the distant past , but had no idea where it was located .
The pillbox on stilts I was on about I have had a search for online with no luck . However I did find a photo which gives a very similar view to the one I had from the passing train although you can't see what is supporting this one .

pillbox on stilts.jpg
 

Londo

LE
Further to my post above a picture search lead me to this information ......

There are also AT block on the embankment on the over bridge.
Next as you pass through South Tottenham station still heading east along side the railway embankment is
a pillbox raised up on support legs, so the embrasures are in line with the railway . Access to the pillbox is via an iron ladder.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Great pics . Iv'e seen the top pic. before in the distant past , but had no idea where it was located .
The pillbox on stilts I was on about I have had a search for online with no luck . However I did find a photo which gives a very similar view to the one I had from the passing train although you can't see what is supporting this one .

View attachment 451199
Here it is and further along are the cubes to block the line

Tottenham Hale pill box.JPG
TH Road Blocks.JPG
 

tiv

War Hero
There is an impressive row of blocks on the east side of the Fairlop Loop between Newberry Park and Barkingside Stations. Viewed from the East:

Blocks.jpg
 

Londo

LE
Here it is and further along are the cubes to block the line

View attachment 451211View attachment 451212
Thank you and now on reflection this may well be the very one I was thinking about . 40+ years and my memory was playing tricks on me as I was miss remembering it as being in S. London . I would have traveled along this line once in a while .
 

Londo

LE
There is an impressive row of blocks on the east side of the Fairlop Loop between Newberry Park and Barkingside Stations. Viewed from the East:

View attachment 451214
And how could I have forgotten those ? I lived in Barkingside for a couple of years . Saw them many times .
 

Londo

LE
Another interesting one from all those years ago . At the time for work reasons I occasionally visited Abbey Mills Pumping station (interesting place , worth a google or even a visit). Unlike now where it seems to be set in a park, at the time it was in a big yard with the sewer it pumped into at the back .
On the left hand side of the yard was a brick tower . The bottom of which was an electrical substation but it had a set of rungs set into the bricks by the door leading to a small hatch near the top .
Interested I once left the yard and walked up the road at the side to have a recce . The road slopped steeply up to the sewer barrel and the tower at this level was another substation on top of the first with the door facing the road rather than the yard .
On top of this was a small square pillbox with 2 weapon slits covering the track along the top of the sewer barrel and one w/slit on each side wall .
Often wondered which came first ? the substations using the tower or the pillbox being built on the substations .
One of the buildings on the other side of the pumping station was loop holed as well covering the opposite direction .
Wish I had taken photos now as it is long gone and would have been unique .
 
Another interesting one from all those years ago . At the time for work reasons I occasionally visited Abbey Mills Pumping station (interesting place , worth a google or even a visit). Unlike now where it seems to be set in a park, at the time it was in a big yard with the sewer it pumped into at the back .
On the left hand side of the yard was a brick tower . The bottom of which was an electrical substation but it had a set of rungs set into the bricks by the door leading to a small hatch near the top .
Interested I once left the yard and walked up the road at the side to have a recce . The road slopped steeply up to the sewer barrel and the tower at this level was another substation on top of the first with the door facing the road rather than the yard .
On top of this was a small square pillbox with 2 weapon slits covering the track along the top of the sewer barrel and one w/slit on each side wall .
Often wondered which came first ? the substations using the tower or the pillbox being built on the substations .
One of the buildings on the other side of the pumping station was loop holed as well covering the opposite direction .
Wish I had taken photos now as it is long gone and would have been unique .
Might it have been a fire-watch post?
 

Londo

LE
Might it have been a fire-watch post?
Could have been used as that but I personally think that it was a defense post of the pumping station . The loop holes did seem to cover a length of the sewer barrel leading to the pumping station .
 

Londo

LE
Might it have been a fire-watch post?
Thinking about it further . None of the loopholes (2 to the front and 1 each side) overlooked the pumping station . The only thing that faced that way was the entrance hatch at the top of the rungs . So I do think my three story tower was a defense post/small pillbox . Also apart from the pumping station there was a large workshops belonging to the Metropolitan public health with quite a few staff and these may have formed their own Home Guard unit on site .
 
Thinking about it further . None of the loopholes (2 to the front and 1 each side) overlooked the pumping station . The only thing that faced that way was the entrance hatch at the top of the rungs . So I do think my three story tower was a defense post/small pillbox . Also apart from the pumping station there was a large workshops belonging to the Metropolitan public health with quite a few staff and these may have formed their own Home Guard unit on site .
And fire watch/ARP posts
 

Londo

LE
And fire watch/ARP posts
Correct but this structure would have no view of the pumping station and associated buildings . So my money's on a defense post .
 
Correct but this structure would have no view of the pumping station and associated buildings . So my money's on a defense post .
Did it have a good view of the railway sidings on the opposite side of the Abbey Road?
 
Just a thought, if any of you know of ones near railway lines I can get reasonable quality aerial shots using the work computer.
There's this one overlooking the railway bridge north of Pitmedden Road and the new A90 near Aberdeen (Grid NJ 87445 14605). It was (I think) part of the defences of RAF Dyce which is now Aberdeen Airport. When I was up there about ten years ago it still had a lot of it's interior fittings including metal shutters for the loopholes. There's also a building associated with a wartime signals mast near the farm about 150m to the south-west.

Dyce_Pillbox.JPG
 
I mentioned this one earlier as being used as a toilet by every railway worker since 1945, managed to find a picture of it today, with the new buildings I couldn't quite place it


Just a thought, if any of you know of ones near railway lines I can get reasonable quality aerial shots using the work computer.

Try around the bridge at Grid SU747542
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
There's this one overlooking the railway bridge north of Pitmedden Road and the new A90 near Aberdeen (Grid NJ 87445 14605). It was (I think) part of the defences of RAF Dyce which is now Aberdeen Airport. When I was up there about ten years ago it still had a lot of it's interior fittings including metal shutters for the loopholes. There's also a building associated with a wartime signals mast near the farm about 150m to the south-west.

View attachment 451343
Looks like its gone, I cant seem to find it despite finding the A90 and Pittmeden road easily enough but the only road over rail bridge between the A90 and the wilds by the River Don seem to be free off defences.
 

Londo

LE
Did it have a good view of the railway sidings on the opposite side of the Abbey Road?
Might have had a view of the sidings through one of the side loopholes , the two front loopholes looked down a fair length of the sewer barrel . Now known as 'Greenway'
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Actually its still there, I was looking from directly above so I couldn't see it until I clocked the house roof and changed the view slightly;
Pitmedden-Dyce.JPG


Eta its a fair old way from the airport so may have been the railway defence incorporated/integrated into Dyce
 
Looks like its gone, I cant seem to find it despite finding the A90 and Pittmeden road easily enough but the only road over rail bridge between the A90 and the wilds by the River Don seem to be free off defences.
Were you looking about 150m SSW of the Breedon Dyce concrete plant (about 1km south of Cothal)? It's on Streetview.
 

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