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World War 2 local defences


Latchford Locks
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I am trying to compile a brief history of Warrington (particularly Latchford) defences.

We were a very important line of defence against the oncoming German panzer and infantry hordes.

More than people today could ever realise. 

Now I remember the swing bridge and cantilever pillbox defences on either side of both bridges, for people today it almost defies belief that it was a very real possibility back then  knowing the hiding our town would receive in order for the enemy to gain access across the ship canal.

I played in them in early 1950's as they were probably left in case of the Soviets coming.Pillbox FW3/24 Lossiemouth - Lossiemouth - TracesOfWar.com

My problem is lack of photos.I have added an example of the type of defence structure that was there , but wonder of anybody has actual pictures.

There must be some somewhere it is only 80 years ago

 

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I don't even know if they were manned by regular or home guard troops if it was the latter then some locals would surely have some.

And so if anyone could help please ?

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I remember a long dead uncle of mine & his tales of "fire watching" off Rylands roof during WW2 after doing 12 hour shifts in the factory.

He fought in WW1 with the Canadians. He emigrated with some of his mates to America before WW1 & when war broke out they all crossed the border into Canada & signed up.

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I lived through the whole war in Woolston, but I don't remember any concrete defenses of any kind.  I do remember the farce of air raid shelters both during and after the war.  Approx fifty feet by thirty feet, nine inch brick walls with a concrete slab roof.  Pitch black, no lighting of any kind and only ever used as convenient bath rooms - watch where you put your feet in the dark.  Although I bet they were a godsend to the Yanks and the local women !

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19 hours ago, Stallard12 said:

I lived through the whole war in Woolston, but I don't remember any concrete defenses of any kind. 

I suppose it depends on the area you lived in. Dam Lane (for example) would likely not have anything. 

But Walton/Stockton Heath and Latchford were on the front line hence the difference

I  don't know how old you were at that time but children just tended to frequent mostly close to their homes

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7 hours ago, Evil Sid said:

apparently there is a pickett-hamilton fort that was used at Burtonwood airbase somewhere on the omega site.

Remember seeing an article or maybe a documentary mentioning it.

 

Burtonwood was so very important but there is a danger of it's history going into the mists of time through lack of knowledge on younger generations.

WBC don't help with their lack of putting it in the limelight now and again

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3 hours ago, Latchford Locks said:

Burtonwood was so very important but there is a danger of it's history going into the mists of time through lack of knowledge on younger generations.

WBC don't help with their lack of putting it in the limelight now and again

Latch, that will be this

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1464711

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Lymm.jpg

Although this is strictly not Warrington, a couple of items of interest. In the "Old River"  at Statham, a section of the River Mersey left when the Ship Canal was cut through are three sunken concrete barges, which my late father maintained were placed there during WW2 with a view, should there be a threatened German invasion up the canal these barges would be towed into the centre of the waterway and sunk, effectively rendering the canal impassable.

Below the high level bridge at Warburton (erroneously referred to as the Toll Bridge) are a couple of concrete "pads" remnants  of the foundations of a Pill Box and gun emplacement. During the War the bridge was continuously defended by the Home Guard !! An amusing tale was told to me by one of them. the watch was very boring and uneventful, so they stuck a sign on one of the bridge stanchions :-  "if Jerry comes, we're in the Sarrys" (the Saracens Head at Warburton)

 

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