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Report - - High Garrett Radio Mast, Essex - December 2020 | High Stuff |

Report - High Garrett Radio Mast, Essex - December 2020

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Goes where the Buddleia grows
Regular User
The History

The 300ft mast itself is of course a utilitarian structure without much in the way of design or character. However, it was evidently built for radio signal I am going to speculate somewhere between the 1960s-80s and has seen recent use by Essex Police who apparenty rent it out to a private unknown owner. There's not a whole lot of dishes on it now but it seems to still be used for something. Word of warning - avoid microwave dishes on climbs like these and simply don't risk any uncertainties. Whilst the mast's history may be less clear, it does however stand on the site of something a lot more interesting; a Prisoner of War camp dating to WW2. POW Camp 78 High Garrett was a camp for Germans, and apparently initially around 700 Italians, to work in the surrounding countryside in the open style of prison which mixed with local communities commonly seen in WW2. All that remains today is the water tower which has recently been converted into a dramatic Ā£1.2 million home.


POW 78 High Garrett

The Explore

Unfortunatley due to the limited daylight of winter and the timing of our plans, we didn't have much choice than to climb it in broad daylight (in retrospect a pointlessly unhelpful decision - off peak is always best). Because I'm a scaredy cat with heights, my usual ethos is to tell myself I'm just recceing a place even when I know full well I intend to climb it. We made it up about half way after many stops to combat the usual adrenaline-induced jelly legs, but luckily it had platforms spread out. Having said that, there was quite a bit of wind and the ladders started to shake as we got higher up. It was all going well until we noticed a woman on her phone outside one of the houses below in full view. Suddenly, a police car with sirens blaring came tearing down the very busy road right next to the mast and we started climbing down as if we were pros. Miraculously, it just sped on elsewhere and we were spared from capture! Still, we didn't hang about and it was time to get out. On the way back we had a quick look at the POW water tower - a fairly substantial structure although somewhat overshadowed by this very tall mast next door.











And some bonus shots of the POW camp water tower:






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