Life on Marsh

Life on Marsh

Shaun Hickey (4)

Ewes on the score banks with views of Stanlow Oil Refinery in the distance.

Shaun Hickey (9)

The WWII gun turret on the score banks and never used in anger.

Allan Williams Turret Pillbox formed by a metal turret, which could be rotated through a full 360 degrees, set above a steel and brick-lined pit. It was designed for a machine gun to be fired either through the front loophole which was further protected by shutters, or through the circular opening in the roof in a light anti-aircraft role. According to the manufacturer, it was suitable for Vickers, Bren, Hotchkiss or Lewis machine guns in either a ground defence or anti-aircraft role, or a Boys anti-tank rifle or rifle grenade for ground defence. Weapon change requires selection of appropriate bracket. The army did not favour the design, most were installed at airfields.

The turret was designed by A.H. Williams in conjunction with Colonel V.T.R. Ford and Lieutenant Williamson. Williams was the Managing Director of Rustproof Metal Windows Company in Saltney, Chester where the turrets were produced. The company had been engaged in war work since 1939, mainly manufacturing ammunition boxes for the Admiralty using a patented galvanising process.[85]

The turret had a garrison of two men or, if necessary three men, for whom there were folding seats inside. One man can rotate the cupola which is on roller bearings and requires 15 lb of force to move it.

According to the manufacturer, four men could dig the position out and erect the turret ready for firing in two hours and remove it completely in 30 minutes. Cost about £125.

Nearly 200 Allan Williams Turrets were made and installed, but salvaging of the metal after the war means that only 33 remain. Known survivors include: two at North Weald Redoubt, Essex; one on display at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford (recovered from an Essex village); one at Worbarrow Bay, near Tyneham, Dorset; one at Seacombe, Dorset; one on the seawall at Cley Next The Sea, Norfolk; two at Cockley Cley Hall, Norfolk; one at Bembridge Fort, Isle of Wight; one at Plymstock quarry, converted into a blast shelter for quarrying (now relocated to Knightstone Tea Rooms at the former WWII RAF Harrowbeer Airfield, near Yelverton[88]); one at Exmouth seafront, Devon (re-located from docks); one at Builth Wells war memorial, Wales; two on display at Sywell Aviation Museum, Northampton; and one at RAF Dishforth.

Extract from…/British_hardened_field..

Thanks to SH for his detective work. Presumably the are not aware of this, another nearby and the base on Runcorn Hill? I think we’ll let them know.

Shaun Hickey (8)

The shooters hut by Ince marsh looking east to Frodsham Marsh.

Shaun Hickey (7)

Canada Geese on the score marshes cast an impressive sight when they take wing and a Barnacle Goose hiding below.

Shaun Hickey (6)

Ravens have increased considerably over the last few years encouraged here by plenty of carrion out on the score to keep their bellies full.

24.12.10. Weaver estuary, Frodsham Marsh

The River Weaver and estuary are frozen in this picture which was taken in 2010.

24.12.10. No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh.

No.6 tank frozen and covered in snow. Image taken in 2010.

24.12.10. No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh

Another shot of the frozen tank.

Sunset over the Mersey. Bill Morton

A sunset image over the River Mersey and Liverpool from Frodsham Marsh.

Images: 1-5 by Shaun Hickey and images 6-9 by WSM.