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Report - Great Manshead Hill Starfish site, West Yorks.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The 'Starfish Site' pictured was one of 235 dotted around Britain by the end of 1942. The Cragg Vale one was erected as a decoy for the station and marshalling yards at Greetland near Halifax, and was operational from 1941 to 1943 by which time the Germans had lost air superiority. Some distance south west of the pictured control bunker were about a dozen square tanks described as being filled with oil and tyres which could be ignited remotely by the staff at the control room. The resultant fires were supposed to imitate a series of incendiary bombs so hopefully fooling the German bomber crews into dropping their loads in the wrong place. Besides the control bunker and the flare pans, skeleton structures were also erected so as to imitate buildings to add to the overall effect of a station and marshalling yards.

Looking at the area now, one can not believe what a hive of avtivity the place was in it's wartime heyday, around 20 RAF staff were employed in shifts in the running of the facility. Anyone who was not a member of staff caught near to the facility would be challenged and warned in no uncertain terms to keep away.
This was bad news for some of the locals as the Sugden family were to find out. The family lived at Slate Delfs Farm which was to be found in the area of the site. When the men from the ministry came calling the family were evicted from their home and livelyhood, and were sadly never able to return. The farm lay derelict for some 50 years, it has now been restored.

No bombs were ever dropped on the site, but also none were ever dropped on the Greetland marshalling yards.














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