Thursday, 29 November 2007

Castles in the Cabbages

It must have seemed as though England woke up one morning in 1940 to find the countryside suddenly littered with anti-tank barricades, vehicle traps and the ubiquitous pill box. The threat of German invasion in 1940 resulted in 28,000 of these little concrete fortresses being placed in strategic locations- hidden in spinneys on the crests of fields, on the bends of rivers and at road junctions. All for a war that never came. And so instead of heroic tales of rattling machine gun fire raking across canals and cabbage fields, there must be countless tales of rehearsal, all-to-real manoeuvres or simply just rotas of guard duty that involved enamelled coffee pots and poaching in surrounding woods. I can't be precise as to the exact location of this one (this is the fens after all) but it can't be far from my smoking railway carriage. Just one of less than 6,000 still extant in the countryside. Find out more at http://www.pillboxesuk.co.uk/

3 comments:

Toby Savage said...

We had an Anderson shelter in the garden of a flat I shared with the old Mk 1 Wife and young Matthew back in the seventies. Probably still there as it was build of reinforced concrete. I kept my Cyclemaster in it.

Diplomat said...

Do you know - (to paraphrase Ron) - I reckon every pill box, blast, bomb and ncb shelter I've ever visited (a lot) has a liberal distribution of scrumpled up paper and small composting piles of waste around the floor. What an inconvenience.

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