Saturday, 27 December 2014

Festive Greetings. My Top Ten posts.

I hope you had a reasonable Christmas... this crapaud wishes you all the best for 2015.

Might as well copy VFC a bit and list my Top Ten posts - but for "all time" as they say, in this case since May 2010 according to my stats page.

At #10, the specialist topic of bunkers drew in the "crowds", around 350 views since I posted in April this year :

At #9, another specialist subject where viewers almost certainly came direct from a Google search :

I think the same applies to the rest of them too, rather than there being any huge bunch of regular viewers. At #8 :

At #7, people looking up the story about Operation Hardtack 28 and Captain Ayton at Egypte:

#6 : searches about Battle:

An oddity at #5, it was only a short message with no pictures: - but it mentioned technical issues with YouTube and British frame rates, so I guess I'm not the only one to have noticed the problem and searched for info!

#4 : a definite Specialist Subject:

#3 : even more specialist and one of my more geeky excursions into nerdiness:

The Top Two reveals what the internet is really for, apart from cat videos and smut - nostalgia.


My most read page has been viewed 4422 times since appearing a year and a half ago (would you be happy with those stats? I'd be interested to hear).


Have a Happy New Year!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

A circular walk around Millbrook and Mt Felard, with bunkers

For this walk we parked in the second layby after First Tower, then after playing with the traffic, took a footpath between two houses...
.. a neat and tidy 5ft-wide path which takes you into Seafield Avenue. Keep left and you'll arrive at the inner road... 
.. here. If you manage to cross you can take a look at...
.. a good water feature.To the right here, you can see daylight coming through from the other side of the wall. To the left, a long dark pipe to the beach.
Looking back.
A bit farther along the road, and there's an unnamed steep footpath up on the right.
 Not a lot to see, and no turnings off either side, but near the top...
.. a bit of concrete looms into view...
.. ooh, that looks occupation-y. Under all those leaves are probably steps down into a small shelter, I imagine.
It doesn't look like an observation post, or a gun position, or a telephone cable bunker, so I'm guessing it's an Action Point like the one near Rozel Manor or the one at Le Catillon, Grouville.At the Rozel one there are holes in a similar position to these metal fixings. 
Not a lot to see on the other side. Good view, but there's just a hint of concrete bunker roof amongst a weed patch.
From the hill, you'd be able to spot this if you weren't too busy concentrating on driving around the bend without any collisions.
Up the hill a bit, and hiding in the bank are some steps that led to the bunkers in the field above. More of that in a moment or two, but first we head up the track farther down the hill from here...
.. (a private track but hey).. a memorial bench sits by the track to the nearby houses, and by a rusting relic and some stones.
Interesting, the woodwork here appears to be blocking access to something suspiciously like some German Concrete.Maybe a knowledgeable reader can let us know...?  And those stones? Well, if you prefer your history a little older than WWII, you may already know... 

.. the official list of prehistoric sites says ...
.. it's a megalithic structure moved here from a field nearby (when the Hotel Cristina extended their carpark?) in the 1970s...
field 819 being here next to the hotel on an old map.
So, back to the bunkers once reached from those old steps. Looking over the field north-west from the stones, and there's the observation post for Battery Fritsch in the hedge. The battery was a little distance away, 4 field guns in fields between Rue de la Blanch Pierre and Mt Felard.The guns were moved later in the war to Maufant, becoming Battery Dietl.

We took our chances with angry farmers and twitching net curtains and made our way around the field (no crops were present to be damaged in the process) and in the north facing hedge there's this...
..farther along heading east, another...
.. and finally the Obs Post itself. This is taken when I was facing the sea direction...
.. and clambering into the hedge, this time I'm facing the airport.
Facing back towards the bay, this is the view south-ish, with the bench and stones ahead.This is all private land, so it's up to you to decide whether you want to cause an incident or not :)
From there it was all downhill, literally. There's a German construction here (converted into a garage) if you venture in off the road, and then to complete the walk you may as well enjoy Coronation Park, cross the avenue and wander past the casemate bunker and old station cafe before arriving back at the carpark. Not a bad bit of a stroll with some historical relics thrown in :)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Goodbye to the Type 646 bunker at Wn Lewis Tower

October 2014 and we hear that a bunker is due to be demolished along with the old Chateau Plaisir in St.Ouen.
 .. closer. It's a Type 646 bunker, used for pumping and storing water for the Lewis Tower resistance nest group of bunkers.
It was hidden within the Chateau building since the 1950s. This shot gives you some idea where...
 .. along with this shot from the bunker at the sea wall, looking inland.
A week or two later, and the site is cleared enough that we get a good view from the main road...

 .. closer. At this point, it wouldn't be too late to save it. But alas it wasn't to be. To make way for some wealthy people to enjoy luxury houses here, Planning decided not to take any action to save it.
First, the indignity of a toilet resting on the roof, then it became half a pile of rubble (I didn't take a shot last week)...

.. and now.. bye bye.At least the CIOS salvaged some metalwork for use in other bunkers that they open to the public.
There are other Type 646 bunkers along the Five Mile Road...
.. here's another. So maybe it's not too bad a loss. But please, Planning, can we have a bit more care and attention paid to historic buildings so we don't see any more disappear without due consideration?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Hello Again

It's been a while since I last posted (April) so it's time to catch up. Thanks for all the comments I received (all one of them!), asking when I'd be back. I'm glad to report that Google have sorted out the image upload bug that was making posting here far more tedious than it should be.

Before I post collections of pics on specific topics, let's cover the usual Misc first...

The most recent and newsworthy first - the old Jeffery's Leap tearooms have been demolished...
 .. won't be long before picturesque old Anne Port is defiled by a modern monstrosity.

The Chateau has been torn down too.
 I did enjoy the dual Lancaster spectacle...
 .. two of these did look rather good, even on the ground.

 The Red Arrows were wonderful as always...
 .. pictured here a day or two after the display.

Norman's had a temporary improvement of their hideous attention seeking yellow buildings, but this has been removed since.

On St. Martin's Village Green, a cafe is going up, to replace the one on the main road that has closed...
.. always good to find a new footpath, there's a way through from that green to the little carpark by the St.John's Ambo building.

A road was named this year after an airman who crashed nearby back in the war...
 .. closer.
 .. and another at the other end of the short lane, off 'hydrangea avenue'.
 A 'percentage for art' piece at the new development opposite Grainville playing fields, St.Saviour.
That's certainly one way to make a point! :)

The Normandie 3 power cable came ashore this summer...

 .. heading ashore along the footpath at Longbeach.

Nearby at Gorey Village, during that pleasant walk.

 The tower at Corbiere was open for a look around this year, so we couldn't resist another peek. Here's the view over the 5 Mile Beach.
 .. and the interior up top.

The roads at the Elizabeth harbour have been slightly rerouted, and the carpark near the shore has been removed. There's now just a narrow path with an unsightly view of a trailer park through the hideous fence for our visitors to enjoy if they walk between the ferry terminals. 

Still, the harbour area is still a great place for a walk. If you head down along the wall to the south of the marina here...

.. you reach a wide open area with benches, an artwork that is supposed to rise and fall with the tide, and good views of the castle and the marina entrance. Worth a visit if you've never ventured down here before.

Before you set off, there's an artwork to enjoy between the two Castle Quay blocks - The Wing...

 .. closer.
 On a Sunny evening, it's really rather nice down here, despite the general grotty nature of the area just inland.
 I've seen worse!

Some coastal views to finish off, starting with the 5 Mile Beach from the other end. Taken from Les Landes, just a little walk away from the bunkers up there.
Talking of bunkers, there's a sprinkling of German structures to visit at Le Pulec, near La Voƻte ("vault") Guardhouse (which has a sign saying "La Votte" - is there discussion to be had about that?).

The bunker at Les Havres, L'Etacq, at high tide.

Another coastal defensive position, La Crete fort between Bonne Nuit and Giffard Bays...
.. closer.

A ruin at Flicquet caught my eye from St.Catherine's Breakwater (no, you can't wander in, it's fenced off).
And finally, a little spot of remembrance.