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Thread: World War II air raid shelters and defenses in the Liverpool area

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    Gnomie
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    This one is in Malta




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    Smile Inland Pillboxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    Thanks Marky, any idea why this was built so far inland rather than down by the river? Or was that quite common?
    Hi Kev,

    There were many pillboxes built inand, I know of two in on the moors west of Burnley, thats almost as inland as you can get before you start going towards the see again, They would stick them anywhere they thought would be a weak point, to strengthen up a natural barrier like a gap in a mountain ridge or defending a steep cutting, they would put them along railwaylines because tracked vehicles, tanks and armoured gun carriers could travel along the rail network about as easily as the roads. Also around fortified towns and Cities, the Springwood Gardens box in Allerton was part of Liverpool's perimeter defences. Part of a range of measures such as anti tank blocks road blocks, mined bridges and ditches. They were also stationed around military compounds Airfields and stores as well as Royal Ordinance Factories.

    I love the pillbox pictures!

    Derek

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    When younger I worked for British Gas. Many basements had square corrugated steel cladding on the ceilings propped up by what looked by Acrow jacks. The idea was to support the collapsed building above. A direct hit would smash most air raid shelters.

    The shelters were around until the 1960s. They blocked them up. They stayed as they were too expensive to demolish - or expecting another world war. "Large" brick and concrete structures behind tenements and blocks of flats. As a kid we would run across the flat roofs and jump from one to the other.
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    When I was at Rudston school 1979-82 there was an old brick shelter there,which was used as a store. Not sure if its still there now.

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    excellent pics and info all

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    Location Kensington drone_pilot's Avatar
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    snappel, thinking about it logicaly, The Royal Insurance Building on North John Street, escape hatches may have lead under dale street to this in Eberle St just over the road, i asked the manager of the shop if there was anything in the celler and he said there was nothing.


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    I read this on the Echo forums, please excuse the fact that I've cut and pasted both parts of the conversation.
    Makes for interesting reading.

    'I remember as a kid visiting a cousin in Kirkby. There was some sort of camp, huts and asbestos pipes overhead, I recall next to some park with a bowling green, anyone know what this was?
    He used to take me to Kirkby industrial estate were there was still old war pill boxes, is that the word? made of thick concrete with slits I presume for guns? Also, an old rail track running between the old factories, I remember a wood next to it all, I heard that there where munitions factories in Kirkby during the war, anyone know about that?'

    '......Yes......one sixth of all the munitions used in the war were made in kirkby and the Bunkers can still be seen in Draw Well road where they used to separate the trains into smaller groups in case of an explosion....it was referred to as Port Kirkby to confuse the germans who were looking for it.....the Royal Ordnance factories were built from 1936 onwards(They knew it was coming didn't they)....I bought 'Mysons' office block and most of the buildings had extremely tough walls and light roofs so they would blow off in an explosion....The 'Echo' have photographs of RAF bomber pilots visiting the girls who made the bombs on the estate....I don't know if there are any books written about Kirkby's part in the war(Might be an idea eh!) but I met a man who'd worked on the estate all his working life and he told me that on the right hand side of the 'Admin' building was where they made detonators....when they had a tray full a man would walk out and down the path at the side preceded by a man with a whistle and a red flag....anyone near would get down into the slit trenches at the side until he'd passed and he would be holding these things like a tray of eggs (true).......My mother told me that the girls who filled the bombs went yellow with the chemicals....an old black man asked could he look in my factory one day and told me he'd worked there during the war and he'd come back here for a visit from Barbados...he said that torpedoes had been made in that very building. I've got lots of snippets of information but would love someone to enlighten me further on this subject....Kirkby Industrial estate was very important in the war effort and people should know about it....along with the camp in Huyton and 'Fort Crosby'....just past the coastguard station at Blundellsands (Now demolished).....local history and so so interesting.....there is a well used film clip of a Lancaster bomber dropping a 10 ton 'Grand Slam' bomb and it always flicks through my mind whenever I see it.....Made in Kirkby.'

    (From Tonycrosby and chancery3)

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Kolchak, great post. Kirkby is not just an overspill Liverpool housing estate and its history and importance is largely forgotten.

    Did the Germans ever bomb Kirkby?
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    Thumbs up Importance of Kirkby

    Kolchak

    Could the place you're thinking about be Knowsley Park? It was used by american troops and the reference I have is that they were under canvas (an Army Camp). The area was also prepared to be a Satellite landing ground, an area they could land Aircraft if their home airfield was too damaged to return to. The Old hall was used as a back up to the Western Approaches nerve centre under Derby house.

    I've been to check out the munitions warehouses Simonswood which is associated with the Royal Ordinance Factory Kirkby, storing Small arms and ammunition. There are more bunkers towards Rainford I think it housed ammuntion for anti aircraft guns no doubt prepared at the Kirkby factory. I think they used the Rainford depot to prepare tanks for the D Day landings and all this was linked by the Liverpool to Wigan Railway line.

    I've heard too that the workers at the factory turned yellow with the chemicals. My friend's Grandma worked at the factory. I'm going to try and get out and photograph the Rainford Depot and Kirkby factory this week (hopefully) I will of course post the results on my website and if i can figure out how to do it, on the forum too!

    I'd like to quote the story of the Red flag bearers and the detonators on my site? Would that be ok? I will of course quote you as the source.

    It's fair to say Kirkby played a very important role in the war. If you have any snippets you would like to contribute to my website i would hugely appreciate it?

    Derek

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    Sorry guys there seems to be a bit of confusion here, I'd been reading the Echo forums and came across the story there, I thought it'd be an excellent piece of info which would be of interest to fellows like yourselves.
    So, I can't give anymore information or permission to use the stories, sorry.

    The two participants in the thread used the screen names 'TonyCrosby' and 'chancery3'

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    I've heard too that the workers at the factory turned yellow with the chemicals.
    It was because of the nitro in the explosive, and it earned the girls the nick name of Canary's.
    multi multa; nemo omnia novit

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    [IMG][/IMG]
    Hi Ged, anti tank pyramids used to keep paddling pools on the beach when the tide had gone out. This is the missus with our first born taken from an old colour slide in 1959.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Derek

    Thanks for pointing us to your very interesting site. I had a look at the interactive map. I seem to remember dragon's teeth in the fields to the south of the railway bridge on Speke Hall Road. They would have been across the road from the Retail Park but south of the bridge. Am I remembering correctly? This would have been in the Fifties or early Sixties.

    Chris
    Quote Originally Posted by Degsy_b View Post
    Hi Chris if they are the ones by Hilfoot road Bridge. I went to look for them a few months ago and couldn't find them. I never give up until I've been back in the Winter. You can see much more when the vegetation dies back. So I will be going back, perhaps with a few more pillboxes to look for with the kind help of people from this forum!

    Better go look busy

    Derek
    Thanks for your answer, Derek.

    Chris
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  14. #44
    Gnomie
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    Kew Street off Scotland road had a shelter.


    Anyone any info on this ?


    My dad said his Nan would make sure everyone in the family(men included) where in the shelter when the alarm went off. Then she would go and sit under her kitchen table. she never went in a shelter ever.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Those anti-tank pyramids I thought were silly - as if the Germans would land tanks around Liverpool. Probably a propaganda ploy. The Anderson shelters were to boost moral nothing else. They could not stop an adjacent bomb hit, never mind a direct one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    Those anti-tank pyramids I thought were silly - as if the Germans would land tanks around Liverpool. Probably a propaganda ploy. The Anderson shelters were to boost moral nothing else. They could not stop an adjacent bomb hit, never mind a direct one.
    We had to knock down an Anderson shelter years back, might not have took a bomb but it bloomin took 7 workies strength away over 2 days

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnomie View Post
    We had to knock down an Anderson shelter years back, might not have took a bomb but it bloomin took 7 workies strength away over 2 days
    where was that Gnomie?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Derek

    Thanks for pointing us to your very interesting site. I had a look at the interactive map. I seem to remember dragon's teeth in the fields to the south of the railway bridge on Speke Hall Road. They would have been across the road from the Retail Park but south of the bridge. Am I remembering correctly? This would have been in the Fifties or early Sixties.

    I am sure you can answer DaisyChains query about whether there are any other air raid shelters still about in Liverpool. Of course, the Western Approaches Command Centre at Derby House would be one, but I wonder if there might be other air raid shelters in Liverpool still in existence but derelict or put to other uses? In the postwar years, my grandfather used my family's old Anderson shelter as a toolshed and I am sure other Liverpudlians did likewise, so there may be a few of those around as well.

    Chris
    Re Dragons Teeth. Chris your memory certainly serves you correctly and more dragons teeth around the Dunlops end off Speke Hall Avenue plus around the railway bridge ,also the railway bridge on HuntsCross avenue, and Hillfoot Avenue, I guess they would have been around all railway bridges

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaisyChains View Post
    where was that Gnomie?
    It was in Widnes back in the late 80`s. i wish i would have took a camera then.

    I know a house in Old Swan that had one in the garden, it went undergound. when the new owners decided to get rid of it( only in the 90`s ) they tried to dig/Knock it out. they gave up after 2 days and filled it all in, then placed soil and turfed over it. so it is still there now, though full of rubble and under a garden.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnomie View Post
    It was in Widnes back in the late 80`s. i wish i would have took a camera then.

    I know a house in Old Swan that had one in the garden, it went undergound. when the new owners decided to get rid of it( only in the 90`s ) they tried to dig/Knock it out. they gave up after 2 days and filled it all in, then placed soil and turfed over it. so it is still there now, though full of rubble and under a garden.
    Brilliant info Gnomie! Thanks

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
    Re Dragons Teeth. Chris your memory certainly serves you correctly and more dragons teeth around the Dunlops end off Speke Hall Avenue plus around the railway bridge ,also the railway bridge on HuntsCross avenue, and Hillfoot Avenue, I guess they would have been around all railway bridges
    I'm at a loss why. Maybe they thought the Germans may take Ireland, who were sympathetic to Germany in WW2 and mount an invasion attempt from there.
    Last edited by Waterways; 01-05-2008 at 01:52 PM.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
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    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
    Re Dragons Teeth. Chris your memory certainly serves you correctly and more dragons teeth around the Dunlops end off Speke Hall Avenue plus around the railway bridge ,also the railway bridge on HuntsCross avenue, and Hillfoot Avenue, I guess they would have been around all railway bridges
    There were some on the 'GreenHill' bridge spanning between Chelwood Ave and Bentham Drive in Childwall, but you can also see a good amount of them in undergrowth while on the loop line in the Halewood area.

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    Default Risk to Liverpool

    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    Those anti-tank pyramids I thought were silly - as if the Germans would land tanks around Liverpool. Probably a propaganda ploy. The Anderson shelters were to boost moral nothing else. They could not stop an adjacent bomb hit, never mind a direct one.
    The main worry about an invasion of Liverpool or the Lancashire coast, was in the event of Southern Ireland falling to the Nazis. The Sinn Fein leadership in Eire were very supportive of Hitler, indeed they took a wreath to the German Embassy in Dublin on hearing the of the suicide of Adolf! It should be mentioned at this point that the Government of Eire remained neutral throughout the war. But suspicions remained and it wouldn't have been the first time the Germans had gone through a 3rd country to meet their military objective. So there was some risk if a bit remote. Strangely enough one of the first places to be fortified with anti invasion defences was Orkney, and not in the south east England as you might imagine. I suppose with the early presence of German forces in Norway and its Ideal fjords for disembarking an invasion force made it seem like a good bet. On top of which the British fleet had its base in Scapa Flow in itself making it a good candidate for attack.

    I love the pictures of the Dragons teeth on the beach, is it Waterloo?

    PS, Can anyone tell me how to post pictures here I have a few I'd like to share.
    Derek

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    If you've saved them on your p/c, just attach them when you do your post, ( it shows on the post form)
    Steve.

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    Thumbs up Dragons Teeth Halewood

    Hi,
    OK I have a mixed motive for this post, I want to see if I can successfully upload a picture and it is in-keeping with the beach photo above.

    These are the Dragons teeth behind the motorworks Speke/Halewood where the Transpenine trail crosses the railway. As of September 2007 they were still there but I got word Network Rail are going to remove them. I did write to the local MP to protest but as you'd expect got no reply!!!

    Derek
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnomie View Post
    We had to knock down an Anderson shelter years back, might not have took a bomb but it bloomin took 7 workies strength away over 2 days

    Should have used one of these Gnomie


    http://www.mersey-gateway.org/server...ediaFile.18262

    or

    http://www.mersey-gateway.org/server...ediaFile.18173


    .
    Last edited by Ged; 01-10-2008 at 12:51 PM.
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    Some more here:

    Happy browsing......


    http://www.mersey-gateway.org/server...&currentPage=2



    .
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
    Re Dragons Teeth. Chris your memory certainly serves you correctly and more dragons teeth around the Dunlops end off Speke Hall Avenue plus around the railway bridge ,also the railway bridge on HuntsCross avenue, and Hillfoot Avenue, I guess they would have been around all railway bridges
    Thanks, Jimmy.

    Chris
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    Quote Originally Posted by Degsy_b View Post
    Hi,
    OK I have a mixed motive for this post, I want to see if I can successfully upload a picture and it is in-keeping with the beach photo above.

    These are the Dragons teeth behind the motorworks Speke/Halewood where the Transpenine trail crosses the railway. As of September 2007 they were still there but I got word Network Rail are going to remove them. I did write to the local MP to protest but as you'd expect got no reply!!!

    Derek
    Hi Derek

    I don't mind adding my voice to having them saved if the Dragon's teeth are still there as depicted in your photograph. This bit of history should not be lost. Let me know to whom I would need to write. Also maybe somebody here could get an updated photograph of these Halewood Dragon's teeth that might be used in a renewed attempt to have them saved?

    Thanks

    Chris
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  30. #60
    chippie
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    did someone shay they,ve found my teeff?
    Last edited by chippie; 03-03-2008 at 02:37 PM.

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