Welcome to this blog which is intended to accompany a website on how Suffolk was defended during the Second War. The blog will describe my trips out and about looking for the remains of the Second War defences while the Website will concentrate on putting these into context.

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Monday, 25 April 2011

Barking Tye Pillboxes

There is some interesting correspondence at SRO between a resident of Barking Tye and the Parish Council, dating from 1992, on these pillboxes. One resident of the village was particularly keen to see them demolished as he considered them to detract from the Tye ('Tye' means a settlement built around a common or green). Correspondence with English Heritage at the time suggested that EH were only interested in designating pillboxes to be of 'Historical Interest' if they were good examples of disguised ones, a particular or unusual structure or those with a proven defence role. (I don't think things have changed). 

These two at Barking Tye are not unusual (they are a Type 22 and Type 23, both common) or part of any defence position / stop line. The village was not a Nodal point, or on a key reinforcement route or other essential traffic route. So what was their role?

According to the correspondence anti-aircraft guns and a search light were stationed on the Tye, no doubt part of nearby RAF Wattisham's AA defences. It is also feasible they could be to guard against airborne/paratroop landings in the vicinity of the Aerodrome. Certainly single Type 23's and 22's can also be found at other search light sites in Suffolk.

The correspondent who was hoping for their removal had also costed the job. A demolition company would charge (1991) using a breaker and 360 deg machine £1400 plus vat for each pillbox. However he had been in touch with 212 Squadron Royal Engineers at Wattisham who would be prepared to do the job at minimal cost as a training exercise. The question of these pillboxes had been discussed at Parish Council meetings over a number of years. Thankfully the Parish Council decided unanimously to retain them, so I was able to visit nearly 20 years on!

Image 1: Type 23, Barking Tye
Iamge 2: Type 22, Barking Tye
Image 3: Type 22 with Type 23 in background (LH side) on the Tye




1 comment:

  1. I am seeking info about identifying and registering a pillbox near Felixstowe Rail line north of Ipswich.
    Any advice about who to contact would be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete