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Report - Pingley POW Camp - Brigg, Lincolnshire - 1942-2009

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by MADMAX, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. MADMAX

    MADMAX Member
    28DL Full Member

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    I first visited Pingley with Tims and sixxfingers back in October 2006.
    Back then there was loads to explore and tons of old stuff still inside the old huts.
    Only a few months ago it was on BBC Look North, as the owners were looking for a buyer for the site to redevelop or do with as they saw fit.

    History
    Pingley Camp was one of a large number constructed to a 'generic pattern' during 1942-1943. This was largely due to the numbers of Italian prisoners taken during the North African campaign successes. Designated 'Camp 81', it was originally designed to house 750 prisoners. The camp consisted of buildings for the prisoners and guards, recreation ground and garden plots. There were no guard towers; the prisoners being regarded as 'low risk'.

    The guards area (and water tower) consisted of 15 huts whilst the prisoner's compound had a total 35 huts, including ablutions huts, cookhouse and dining room, carpenter's shop and 25 accommodation huts. Most of the huts are Ministry of War Production (MoWP) construction, of 18 foot 6 inch span. Alongside these are a few Laing huts, being timber-framed and clad externally with corrugated iron sheeting.

    Originally containing Italian POW's, by mid-1944 after the invasion of Europe was well under way, large numbers of German prisoners began to find their way to the UK and about this time, Pingley became exclusively German. After the end of the War, the numbers of prisoners swelled and by 1946, was responsible for 1,862! Many of these were billeted in tents or accommodation in the surrounding area. By 1947, with the prisoners finally gone, the Camp became an agricultural hostel and this was to continue until possibly the 1980's. Since this time, it has remained in part-use for storage by a local farm. During 2004, the site was the subject of a planning inquiry (for proposed low density housing). English Heritage raised objections and pushed for at least one building to remain. The objections were 'noted' and it appears there was an attempt to reach a compromise.

    The preservation state is remarkable. Most of the buildings are standing and are a time capsule from WW2 to the late 20th Century. Furniture, fittings and artifacts remain scattered everywhere. Perhaps the most stunning remains are a door, with a glass panel complete with a legend in German and original wall art. This takes the form of two paintings of scenes in Germany, with what looks like the location written in Gothic-style script. Whilst the paintings appear to have been washed over, some attempt has been made to uncover them, unfortunately causing damage. That notwithstanding they are, in the context of POW camps, apparently quite rare and exciting to see.
    Taken from http://airfieldarchaeology.fotopic.net/c1213468.html

    THEN (Oct 2006)
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    Myself and Cobra00uk returned to today hoping to explore whatever was still left at Pingley.
    We found that apart from the Metal Shed and the brick Tower everything else has been raised to the ground.
    Talking to one of the demolishion guys on site, the final hut came down last Friday.

    NOW (Jan 2009)
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    RIP Pingley POW Camp
     

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