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General - - Weston PoW Working Camp, Cheshire - an update | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

General - Weston PoW Working Camp, Cheshire - an update


tigger

mog
Regular User
History:
I couldn't find anything about the history of this place....

....oh hang on, I'll save that chestnut for another day. Let's just say that a lot of what you will find online is utter twaddle and hasn't been helped by some over-imaginative urban explorers.

Weston PoW Working Camp was built around 1942 to house low risk Italian prisoners.
A few of the huts were already in place as accommodation for the anti-aircraft battery that was partially constructed to the South-East of the farm. This was so 'partial' that we aren't
sure exactly where it was to be built. (Many planned defences to the West of Britain weren't completed (or even started) as other foreign commitments were keeping the Luftwaffe busy.)

Initially a sub-camp of 74 Racecourse Camp at Tarporley, the site was expanded to 38 huts. These were mostly of Nissen or Turner's Everite type with a single MoS wooden hut.
Post WW2 the site was known as "Weston Hostel 189 G.P.W. Wkg. Camp" suggesting that it had become a subcamp of Marbury (though by this time numbering was becoming very confused
and it's feasible that it was a subcamp of Dunham), housing around 300 low risk German PoWs until it's closure in 1947.
The site was then adpapted and used by the tennant farmer (Reg Williamson) and later his son (John) as grain storage, a pig unit and hen houses as well as general farm storage.
Occasional applications for outline planning permission were made by the owners (Co-Operative Group Property) but due to the recession these weren't pursued.
There were some objections and calls for it to be turned into a museum (pointless waste of money IMHO as there are already several good PoW Camp museums around
and almost every building at Weston had been stripped and modified).
In 2006 two Nissen huts were donated to Sywell aerodrome museum and removed. Three others were demolished.
Planning permission was granted in early 2017 for demolition of the remaining structures and replacement with residential buildings (the work is ongoing).
In 2018 three of the Nissen huts, plus a few other frame sections, were dismantled and taken to East Kirkby to help with the expansion of buildings at their museum.

An aerial view

weston1.jpg


I know, you are now thinking what is the point of that, might as well be in the next county......bear with me, it will become clearer later.


Most of the 'buildings' have been photographed and posted before several times so I will largely ignore those for now. There are a few little details worth recording.

First up lets dispel a common myth...the structure between these two Turner asbestos huts isn't anything to do with air raids or PoWs - presumably all the people who say it is are keen on the film Chicken Run. It was the nesting area for the hens kept in the two huts by Reg (and the small openings in those huts seen in other peoples photos were so the hens could be let in/out).

weston8.jpg



I rather liked this desk lamp situated above the Wardens desk, such a shame there is so little left.
weston2.jpg


Most people visiting ex-military sites will have seen the trays upon which stoves sat. For some reason these survive well where toilets are always smashed.? Anyway here is one moved and standing on it's side, followed by the chimney pipe from a pot-bellied stove which was gone long before I first saw the site.
weston4.jpg


weston3.jpg


The kitchen and it's store rooms were quite easy to identify. Here is the preparation area of the kitchen. The cooking ranges would have been along the left wall.
weston7.jpg


Ablutions - These are for officers. PoWs had pretty much the same facilities but more 'communal' and what little was left isn't worth using up my self-imposed ten image allowance on
weston6.jpg


weston5.jpg


weston9.jpg


weston10.jpg


The buildings themselves need to be included more than I have done so far. On this occasion via a link (and it will be better viewed full screen on a PC rather than a cell phone browser). That brings us back to that first aerial photograph. It was one several hundred I took prior to the last planning application. I'd seen some rather nice 3d photogrametic models and
wondered whether I could do something similar without raiding my emergency stash of ten bob notes. Well, it seems I could do something even if not quite as good as the professional
jobs.

3d aerial model - https://www.altizure.com/project-model?pid=5958b5b95ec6a95e86a15a31

For more 'history' (but be aware that memories can't always be trusted), see:
Tyrrell, Mark A (2011) Embracing the enemy an anecdotal history of the prisoner of war camps at Warmingham, Weston and Crewe Hall. Crewe, Mpire

The planning information, including the heritage impact assessment, should be available on the website of whichever piece of Cheshire it's in.
 

Yorrick

I call bullshit!
Regular User
Good to see an update and a few details too. Shame it's going, but at least some has been preserved elsewhere.
 

Stef.cope.cheshire

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
History:
I couldn't find anything about the history of this place....

....oh hang on, I'll save that chestnut for another day. Let's just say that a lot of what you will find online is utter twaddle and hasn't been helped by some over-imaginative urban explorers.

Weston PoW Working Camp was built around 1942 to house low risk Italian prisoners.
A few of the huts were already in place as accommodation for the anti-aircraft battery that was partially constructed to the South-East of the farm. This was so 'partial' that we aren't
sure exactly where it was to be built. (Many planned defences to the West of Britain weren't completed (or even started) as other foreign commitments were keeping the Luftwaffe busy.)

Initially a sub-camp of 74 Racecourse Camp at Tarporley, the site was expanded to 38 huts. These were mostly of Nissen or Turner's Everite type with a single MoS wooden hut.
Post WW2 the site was known as "Weston Hostel 189 G.P.W. Wkg. Camp" suggesting that it had become a subcamp of Marbury (though by this time numbering was becoming very confused
and it's feasible that it was a subcamp of Dunham), housing around 300 low risk German PoWs until it's closure in 1947.
The site was then adpapted and used by the tennant farmer (Reg Williamson) and later his son (John) as grain storage, a pig unit and hen houses as well as general farm storage.
Occasional applications for outline planning permission were made by the owners (Co-Operative Group Property) but due to the recession these weren't pursued.
There were some objections and calls for it to be turned into a museum (pointless waste of money IMHO as there are already several good PoW Camp museums around
and almost every building at Weston had been stripped and modified).
In 2006 two Nissen huts were donated to Sywell aerodrome museum and removed. Three others were demolished.
Planning permission was granted in early 2017 for demolition of the remaining structures and replacement with residential buildings (the work is ongoing).
In 2018 three of the Nissen huts, plus a few other frame sections, were dismantled and taken to East Kirkby to help with the expansion of buildings at their museum.

An aerial view

View attachment 793065

I know, you are now thinking what is the point of that, might as well be in the next county......bear with me, it will become clearer later.


Most of the 'buildings' have been photographed and posted before several times so I will largely ignore those for now. There are a few little details worth recording.

First up lets dispel a common myth...the structure between these two Turner asbestos huts isn't anything to do with air raids or PoWs - presumably all the people who say it is are keen on the film Chicken Run. It was the nesting area for the hens kept in the two huts by Reg (and the small openings in those huts seen in other peoples photos were so the hens could be let in/out).

View attachment 793066


I rather liked this desk lamp situated above the Wardens desk, such a shame there is so little left.
View attachment 793067

Most people visiting ex-military sites will have seen the trays upon which stoves sat. For some reason these survive well where toilets are always smashed.? Anyway here is one moved and standing on it's side, followed by the chimney pipe from a pot-bellied stove which was gone long before I first saw the site.
View attachment 793069

View attachment 793068

The kitchen and it's store rooms were quite easy to identify. Here is the preparation area of the kitchen. The cooking ranges would have been along the left wall.
View attachment 793070

Ablutions - These are for officers. PoWs had pretty much the same facilities but more 'communal' and what little was left isn't worth using up my self-imposed ten image allowance on
View attachment 793071

View attachment 793072

View attachment 793073

View attachment 793074

The buildings themselves need to be included more than I have done so far. On this occasion via a link (and it will be better viewed full screen on a PC rather than a cell phone browser). That brings us back to that first aerial photograph. It was one several hundred I took prior to the last planning application. I'd seen some rather nice 3d photogrametic models and
wondered whether I could do something similar without raiding my emergency stash of ten bob notes. Well, it seems I could do something even if not quite as good as the professional
jobs.

3d aerial model - https://www.altizure.com/project-model?pid=5958b5b95ec6a95e86a15a31

For more 'history' (but be aware that memories can't always be trusted), see:
Tyrrell, Mark A (2011) Embracing the enemy an anecdotal history of the prisoner of war camps at Warmingham, Weston and Crewe Hall. Crewe, Mpire

The planning information, including the heritage impact assessment, should be available on the website of whichever piece of Cheshire it's in.
Hi im literally 5 mins away in crewe could you help me with some directions? Cheers
 

tigger

mog
Regular User
Hi im literally 5 mins away in crewe could you help me with some directions? Cheers
Really? Five minutes away and you can't find a reasonably large building site?

Google/Bing/Cheshire aerial photography?
Council online planning documents?
Local library?

Ignoring how easy it is to find out the location within five seconds it is not considered good form to ask for locations without ever having posted a single 'report'.
 

Bikin Glynn

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Thats a good thorough report, loving the 3d map.
& yes if u cant find this u prob shouldn't be exploring
 

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