Saturday, 26 February 2022

Starfish Bunker Remains, Sowerby

 During the Blitz, British cities were taking a heavy bombardment and November 1940 Coventry was almost completely destroyed which led to the involvement of engineer and retired Air Ministry officer Colonel John Turner. He was tasked with expanding his "K" and "Q" sites which had been developed to resemble factories airfields to "SF" sites to resemble nearby major cities. The "SF" was for special fire but a site near Bristol was given the name Starfish and this stuck for all sites from then. One of these sites was developed on the moors above Sowerby as a decoy for the cities of Leeds and Manchester as well as the nearby railway goods yards at Greetland and major railway junctions at Todmorden, Halifax and Rochdale.

The sites were built so that during the day the resembled farm buildings. The surrounding area was then covered with metal troughs hidden by vegetation which were linked to tanks filled with oil and water. The troughs were also filled with creosote and coal and when in operation this see the water released in to the hot pans approx. 15 mins after lighting to create a large burst of flame and explosion to confuse enemy bombers.

The bunker was a 2 room control area entered by a short passage protected by a blast wall. The bunker and blast wall remain in good condition despite being over 70 years old when these pictures were taken. There is nothing else nearby to give a clue to the history of the site.

The pictures were taken on 16 June 2015 using a Polaroid IS2132 bridge camera. There are a total of 7 which can be seen below and on ClickASnap where they are full size, resolution and un-watermarked.

Inside the right side control room.

The left side control room.

Taken stood atop the bunker looking in the direction of Lancashire.
The blast wall was in excellent condition.

The only entrance / exit to the bunker. I imagine it could have
got quite claustrophobic inside.

I decided to make the pictures black and white because it's just seemed appropriate for the subject i was picturing. If walls could talk I bet they'd have some stories to tell here.

Thanks for looking and please take a moment to share and follow me on social media via the links in the sidebar. All the pictures remain the copyright of Colin Green.