REMINISCE About Redcar at War
PROMWALKER remembers the fortifications, and what they got up to………..
The stray along to Marske was cordoned off with barbed wire, and mined. There were anti aircraft guns and searchlights at the Marske end. I cannot recall any anti aircraft balloons.
I do not know how far the barbed wire and mine fortifications stretched in the Saltburn direction, but each valley running to the beach was heavily blockaded with anti tank blocks and machine gun posts.
The army stored ammunition’s in boxes in the dunes near to the Coast Road bend at Marske and, believe it or not, our gang, actually knew the way through the wire and through the minefield to the ammunition dump, which was situated by Green Lane, and also through watching the soldiers on duty.
There were boxes of shells, bullets and what we called phosphorus bombs, (Molotov cocktails), which were small, nip sized bottles holding phosphorus which ignited when exposed to the air.
Between the paddling pool and the Green Lane end of the walkway by the beach there was a temporary concrete structure shaped like a memorial cenotaph. I think that this disguised a gun emplacement, but am not sure.
Another thing I remember was “ACHTUNG” painted in large letters on the seaward wall of the New Pavilion. We, as kids were led to believe that this was to confuse the enemy ships into crashing onto the rocks!
AULD CODGER remembers a tragedy……
Yes !! The Stray was mined nearly all the way to Marske.
The Promwalker and I could have been in the same GANG as we often went on the beach through a ‘secret ‘path through the mine field.
I was sitting on the wall in Durham Road talking to a girl when two very young children walked along with buckets and spade. We thought no more of it until there was a huge bang, they had tried to go through the mine field. The youngest boy was blown up and his sister badly injured.
Going to John Batty School we used to pick up the shrapnel from the AA Battery at POOH or BIDDY Camp
February 5, 2010 Military & War Years