Lancashire At War.co.uk

Exploring the hidden history of War sites in Lancashire

Middleton near Manchester - What were these buildings used for?

While looking for evidence of the Barrage Balloon Centre Number 10, Manchester near Middleton (See that PAGE HERE), I found these builings next to a public footpath.

 

What on earth were they for? Some people have mistaken the main building for a Control Tower, but as far as I know the site did not have a runway, and anyway, it is NOT a Control Tower.

 

The most common thoughts are that it is something to do with water - purification perhaps? Is it a sewage plant? Or is it something else entirely? And did it have anything to do with what was going on in the area in World War Two? Read on....

 

Several people have been in touch offering ideas and these are as follows:

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One theory was that it could have been to make the gas for the barrage balloons. This had crossed our minds too, but when we asked http://www.bbrclub.org/

who are the experts, they said it wasn't upon seeing the photos.

 

Jon Bleasdale contacted us and told us: "The unidentified buildings are shows as tanks and filter beds in the OS map from 1955". Thanks Jon.

 

Noel Ahern contacted us to give us further information: "One of the the reasons why Bowlee and Birch have not been over developed is: their isnt a main sewer running along that stretch of road. To this dayseptic tanks are used. Your mystery building is a WW2 septic tank  for the waste from the Bowlee station."

Thanks Noel.

 

So it is agreed - these are indeed World War Two buildings. They are water tanks and filter beds (i.e. a sewage works) for the former RAF station nearby.

 

Not quite as exciting as it could be but we would always prefer to print the truth.

 

Thanks again to everyone who contacted us.

 

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