Details of Trapezoidal Wall and “Workshop” Building Remains

(Above) – At the seaward end of the range is the characteristic trapezoidal shaped wall of cavity construction that used to have the “Repair Shelter” attached. This is where the target trolleys were maintained and the photo shows the seaward side, i.e. the opposite side from that facing the training turrets. Note the two concrete blocks in front of the wall, the holes and ridge giving an outline to the “Repair Shelter” building (highlighted) and the impressions of wooden shuttering used during construction.

(Left) – The non-seaward side of the wall has a number of shells embedded in it.

Questions & Comments

  1. It is not clear what the “Repair Shelter” building looked like. From aerial photos of 1945-6, the track divided into two before it entered the building, to the left or northern end of the trapezoidal wall in the photo. Two concrete blocks remain in the ground in front of the wall – perhaps these were some form of floor support, or what ? Similar blocks were noted at Dumfries, Millom and Wigtown ranges.
  2. On the face of the wall can be seen rectangular holes that may have been for timber framing of the shelter building. Also, near to the top of the wall is a ridge in the concrete that looks like a roofline of a single pitched flat roof. This feature is also present at some of the other ranges visited.
  3. The wall cavity is now filled with sand & rubbish so it is not known if the cavity was originally empty. It may have always been filled to absorb any bullets that might have penetrated the first wall ?
  4. It is believed that damaged targets or trolleys were changed over in the shelter.
  5. It is assumed that the track for the ‘main line’ was continuous and actually passed through part of the shelter. The ‘siding’ terminated at some small stop blocks, an example of which can still be seen at the Millom range. It is possible that the Hell’s Mouth stop blocks are still extant, buried under the sand dunes.
  6. Other ranges visited had the remains of a protective bank of earth or sand on the landward side of the wall to absorb bullets. It may be assumed that at Hell’s Mouth this bank was never as extensive as at the other ranges due to the large number of bullets embedded in the wall.

‘Workshop Building’

Below is a view of the remains of the base for the ‘Workshop Building’ taken from the south-eastern end. The building itself was on the right-hand side with a concrete apron or hardstanding on the left.

The next photo (below) is taken from the north-western end of the building and has its outline superimposed, showing the central workshop area with offices/rooms either side. The training gun turrets were operated from the concrete apron on the right, firing towards the oval of track and trapezoidal wall.

(Below left) – The photo shows detail of one of several post holes at the front, Turret firing apron side of the building. These posts supported the building’s canopy (See photo of extant building at Theddlethorpe).

(Below right) – The centre section of the building had four sets of folding doors to allow the training turrets to be wheeled out onto the apron for firing. The remains of the steel door runners still exist as can be seen in the photo.

Questions & Comments

  1. The building was fairly extensive (approximately 87ft x 18ft) with the concrete apron to the front, trackside, being about 15ft wide. Dimensionally the concrete base is almost the same as the existing Workshop building at the Theddlethorpe range.
  2. At both ends of the concrete base there are traces of brick walls (mostly single brick thickness) indicating the offices or rooms, again, similar to Theddlethorpe. Between these there are indications of the main workshop area complete with steel door runners visible in the concrete.
  3. The relative heights of the building/apron area with respect to the protective earth banked walls and the trackbed is not clear.

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