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Report - Armthorpe Q-station Decoy Bunker, Nr. Doncaster - June 2012

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by jazzywheelz, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. jazzywheelz

    jazzywheelz Boring Bearded Bastard
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    When I was a kid, my best mates grandad told us about an old air raid shelter in a field a couple of miles from where we lived, so off we went to find it. 15+ years later I thought I'd go back to see if it was still there.

    It was.

    [​IMG]

    One thing had always bugged me about this place. Why was it there? It's on the edge of a field, miles from the nearest village. Surely it must have been for military use rather than a civillian shelter? It is located roughly 2 miles from RAF Lindholme and 3 miles from RAF Finningley, could this be relevent?

    The structure has two entrances at 90 degrees to each other. Each one is constructed of red brick and are protected by blast walls (which have now been pushed over to block the entrances).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The first entrance leads into the larger of two rooms. Constructed using steel 'ribs' and covered with corrugated sheet.

    [​IMG]

    There are various bits of pipework in the walls, presumably leading outside.

    [​IMG]

    The two rooms are seperated by a central passageway which also forms the other entrance.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The second room has a different construction to the first. It is made from pre-cast concrete sections and is roughly half the size of the first room.

    [​IMG]

    In this room there is more pipework and two large concrete slabs on the ground. Could these be a base for some kind of machinery?

    [​IMG]

    This last shot shows the concrete form of the second room protruding out of the earth mound.

    [​IMG]


    Not a massively interesting report in all honesty, but I'm kinda hoping some of you with more experience of this kind of structure might be able to tell me what it's purpose was and why it's in such a remote location.

    Answers on a postcard.​
     
    #1 jazzywheelz, Jun 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2013

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  2. pantomime horse

    pantomime horse Nay Nay and thrice Nay
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  3. Ordnance

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  4. jazzywheelz

    jazzywheelz Boring Bearded Bastard
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    Re: Military Bunker/Shelter - Doncaster - June 2012

    Thanks for the info chaps :thumb

    I'd been searching the net using terms like 'bunker', 'shelter', 'pillbox' etc. but hadn't even considered it could be part of a decoy. A further search found a Google Earth overlay showing decoy sites in the surrounding fields, so that confirms it.

    I guess the concrete bases were for the electric generators to power the decoy lights. Also it now makes a lot of sense why it's located in such a remote area :eek::
     
  5. jazzywheelz

    jazzywheelz Boring Bearded Bastard
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    Re: Military Bunker/Shelter - Doncaster - June 2012

    Further googling confirms that it's a fairly typical design for a 'Q' type (nighttime) Airfield Decoy Bunker, as explained in the following link...

    http://www.aviationmuseum.net/decoys.htm
     
  6. Isiah_Sheepworrier

    Isiah_Sheepworrier 28DL Full Member
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    Re: Military Bunker/Shelter - Doncaster - June 2012

    The jointed concrete sections are what is known as a Stanton Shelter. They were quite common on airfields. There's a very good one preserved at Metherignham in Lincolnshire
    If you look at Google Earth and get hold of the Defence of Britain Extended Database file for it, it shows a number of Starfish Decoy sites in the area, all of them removed. If this is one of them it could be that the site wasn't investigated well enough, or it could be a previously unknown extant site
     
  7. jazzywheelz

    jazzywheelz Boring Bearded Bastard
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    Re: Military Bunker/Shelter - Doncaster - June 2012

    This website will tell you all you need to know mate.
     
  8. SaltGeorge

    SaltGeorge Сталкер
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    Re: Military Bunker/Shelter - Doncaster - June 2012

    By my reckoning on getamap your site is at grid reference SE 653 040 (Getamap is great for determining grid references).

    Colin Dobinson lists a Q-station Armthorpe at SE 645 040. He also lists a QL-station Armthorpe at SE 643 043 and a Starfish site at SE 643 044 (probably a combined SF/QL decoy).

    Colin was probably converting Cassini grid references, and the conversion is imprecise - or the original records Dobinson referred to were incorrectly plotted (Dobinson didn't confirm all sites on the ground but worked through the archived records). But I think your site is Armthorpe Q-station as it is a perfect example of the design of these decoys. This was one of two decoy sites attached to RAF Finningly. The other site was a Q/K station at Owston Ferry (SE 792 012, according to Dobinson). The Extended Defence of Britain dataset lists Armthorpe Q-station as "removed" - probably because the HER/DOB recorders were looking where Dobinson suggested and missed the site. I've sent the keeper of the EDOB a note that the record is incorrect. It's probably worth looking at the local HER to see if it's been updated since the DOB was first created.



    In case anyone's wondering why the DOB dataset tends to have so many errors..

    The Defence of Britain dataset (DOB) was generated as a heritage project and used recorders to identify and describe the remaining defences, the recorders largely went by the existing Heritage Environment Records (HER) and were working to a tight time/funding timetable. Actual boots on the ground investigations varied in quality across the country, so it was highly likely that anything not already known about would be missed. If the earlier records incorrectly plotted a feature it was likely to be missed. Some areas benefitted from very knowledgeable local experts and are covered better. The DOB project closed and the dataset stopped being updated. Steve Thompson then took up the challenge of taking the original DOB dataset and expanding on it with improved data generated by volunteers. This became the Extended Defence of Britain datatset (EDOB) and is building into a much higher quality information source.
     
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