Lancashire At War.co.uk

Exploring the hidden history of War sites in Lancashire

 

 

Miscellaneous Curiosities

Some sites don't quite fit on a particular page. So here are a few of them on their own page.

Anglezarke Crash site memorial:

 

The plaque reads:

"To the memory of F/S J.B. Timperon, Sgt E.R. Barnes, Sgt J.B. Hayton, Sgt R.S. Jackson, Sgt G.E. Murray, Sgt M. Mouncey. Killed when a Wellington bomber crashed on these moors on Nov. 12th 1943. Erected by Rotary Club of Worwich, June 1955"

 

The bomber (no. Z 8799) was on a night exercise and had flown from its base at Wymeswold in Leicestershire. The cause of the crash is unknown, but could of been due to mechanical failure due to cold temperatures.

 

Source for above: About Anglezarke, M.D. Smith, 2002, Wyre Publishing

 

There is some dispute about the date of the crash. See this excellent little article:

http://www.wittonweavers.co.uk/?p=1852

Anglezarke bomber memorial Leyland tank 1 Leyland tank 2 017 (480x640)

Hidden room in Manchester Town Hall Extension has a diary of bombing raids on its wall from World War Two

In my professional life, I was involved in the recent renovation of The Central Library, Manchester. Which was part of the Town Hall Extension renovation project. As part of our induction we were told of a "secret room". A room "not on any of the plans" that had been discovered during the work. On the wall of this room was an account of bombing raids during World War Two. A graffiti diary in pen and pencil naming dates and German cities. It was planned that this would be preserved as part of the social history of the building.

I tried to gain access to the room via official and unofficial site contacts - but unfortunately it didn't happen and the room is not open to the public. On its re-opening, the newly refurbished Central Library has a large framed photograph of some of the wall (See Photo Right). It is still a mystery though - not just who wrote it (no one knows) but also when it was written and why. AND what the whole thing means.

There are a list of German cities bombed and the associated dates (under the heading German Blitz) - were these announced on news bulletins afterwards? But there is also the dates of the 1940 Manchester Blitzes next to it - was someone keeping score? Plus drawings on other parts of the wall (at the top - not easy to see on the photos) look like they could possibly be a map?

You can see for yourself on the above photos (Click on them to make them larger) - taken of THE photo on display in the Central Library, Manchester (It is on public display - but I cannot remember where exactly - but not far from the entrance).

 

The Manchester Evening News carried the story and you can read their description here:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/the-fightings-on-the-wall-secret-record-of-second-689199

 

One theory in the M.E.N. report is that it was a Firewatchers base, which, beng on the 9th floor would be a possibility. This could also account for the possible map that I think I can see on the wall - as it could be their area covered.

 

I will try and get a better photo. Does anyone know if this room is now part of the Manchester Town Hall tour/walk?

Made in Leyland –

the Centurion Tank

A Centurion tank stands at the roundabout connecting Flensburg Way and Penwortham Way (both part of the A582 road), in between Leyland and Preston. There is ample parking at the side of the tank, so you can get out and have a good look at it.

South Ribble Council has erected an information plaque alongside the tank.

The following is a quotation from part of the plaque:

“The Centurion was developed during World War II as a cruiser tank and Mark 2 models entered service after the end of the war. Over the years, continuous development saw numerous modifications culminating in the Mark 13. The Centurion is regarded as one of the best British tank designs of all time. Centurion tanks were made in the Spurrier Works in Leyland. The ‘tank factory’ was opened on 23 October 1953, during the Korean crisis and is part of Leyland’s famous industrial heritage. Making them was hard work- one worker recollects : “We called them the fingerless phantoms due to the number of workers losing fingers during production…usually at least a hand per month”.

The all-welded steel hull of the 53 ton Centurion is divided into three compartments: driving at the front; fighting in the centre; and engine and transmission at the rear. For over sixty years the Centurion Main Battle Tank provided the military backbone for the numerous armies around the globe, seeing action in wars from Korea and Vietnam, to India and the Gulf.”

SAM_2130 (480x640) SAM_2131 (640x480) SAM_2133 (480x640)

Robert Whitehead, a member of the Whitehead family of Bury, invented the torpedo. Behind Bury Town Hall is Whitehead Gardens which features the Portland stone clock tower designed by noted architects Maxwell and Tuke.

 

There is a torpedo model set on a stone base in memory of its inventor. But the surprise is still to come....according to Robert Whitehead's memorial plaque: "His daughter Agatha Von Trapp was the Grandmother of the children whose escapades were featured in the film 'The Sound Of Music' ."

 

We were both born and bred in Bury and we did not know any of this until today!! I saw the torpedo and wondered what it was...took a look and made this post.

So here it is, another miscellaneous curiosity from Lancashire's war years.

Robert Whitehead (1823 - 1905) - Inventor of the Torpedo - and his link to 'The Sound of Music' !

Prestwich HG map 1 Prestwich HG map 2

These Home Guard hand drawn maps of Prestwich are a great rare find. Julian Sorfleet posted them on line having met someone who had these and other maps and photos of Prestwich. I contacted Julian and he very kindly said I could put his photos on my site.

 

If you click on a photo it will open in a bigger format on another page.

Home Guard map of Prestwich