The Bodmin Stop Line - Cornwall

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Skoyen89, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    I went to Cornwall last weekend and spent Friday afternoon in the Cornwall Record Office. It was not very productive at all and I found nothing new on the Bodmin Stop LIne. I couldn't even find the documents refrered to in 'Cornwall at War' by Hancock. I also looked at some of the major points on the line but they have been changed by road widening etc. Photos of a surviving pill box are here:
    Flickr: skoyen89's Photostream

    The search goes on!
     
  2. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    Good photos. Glad the weather was kind! Apparently there was a second pillbox on the other side of the "Maudlin dip" near the old Methodist Chapel but no trace remains today.
     
  3. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Had a arranged a series of searches for aerial photos along the Bodmin Stop Line line at the English Heritage archives at Swindon. Chose spots at Bodmin. Wadebridge, Lanhydrock, Lostwithiel and spent a morning going over the photos with a magnifying glass. The photos were mainly from 1946, about eighty in number and I came up with nothing definitive!! Maybe everything had been removed by then? Possible locations for a couple of pillboxes but equally they could have been hayricks.....AAAAARGH!!!!

    Cornish Guardian the last resort.
     
  4. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    Some folks local to me used post war council records of contracts placed to remove defence works as part of their research into what defences were built.
    Noel
     
  5. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Thanks Noel. Yes, I tried that one but that sort of detail does not seem to be held in the Cornwall Record Office. Like you say it vcan be really good when you find those sort of record. Came across a tender to remove coastal pillboxes, fill in trenches etc near Lymington, Hampshire recently and it was so detailed.
     
  6. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    Was talking to Peter Tutthill in the Wadebridge Museum today about the Bodmin Stop Line & he told me to take a look at the road works in the main pedestrianized street where he is convinced there is the concrete base of an anti-tank trap. The hole has a mass of concrete with a rectangular hole in the centre, but I have to say the rectangular hole was bigger than those I've seen for a piece of rail elsewhere and I'm not 100% convinced the concrete is of wartime vintage. The contractors have hacked away a good bit of the concrete lump to get to the pipework they are fixing. Being a Saturday there were no contractors around to ask what it looked like when they first dug down.

    However given that the street was the main A39 road down to the bridge at Wadebridge I am certain there would have been roadblocks & anti tank defences but I'm not convinced by his location in the middle of the main street. I would have thought they would have been further up the hill on the edge of the town.

    Anyway, good to get the locals thinking about what defences there were and hopefully some more concrete evidence will come to light (pun intended!).
     
  7. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Phil

    It is feasible that the Defended Locality or 'Keep' would have been in the centre of town near the bridges rather than around the edge of the town. The main objective was to stop enemy passing through the town and over the bridge rather than defend the town as such. That said I have not seen any detail on the defences of the Wadebridge Anti-Tank Island and the few photos I found at Swindon did not show anything at all.
     
  8. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    Hi,
    I have spoken with Peter again since my last post and he says the location ties in with oral testimony he has received over the years. It seems there was also something further up the hill at the edge of the town, plus this in the main street to defend the level crossing on the railway and the only bridge across the river.
    The town council recently uncovered a defence position in Coronation Park on the road from Pomorla into the town. I've been to investigate and there are three two man slit trenches in fairly good condition. The council cleared a large overgrown area of much of the vegetation and voila! To date, it's the best remaining evidence of the anti-invasion defences for Wadebridge I've seen.
     
  9. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Sounds really interesting....do you have photos or map refs?
     
  10. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    I have attached one photo of one of the positions and a GE image with a red circle showing the location of the positions.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

  12. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    A video-book style presentation on the Bodmin Stop Line. The links below are to the first two in the series. Others will be posted over time.

     
    morrisc8, ozzy16, timuk and 2 others like this.
  13. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    The next installment covers the anti-tank island of Wadebridge which was the base for the Armoured Train, the St Issey Auxiliary Unit, the Washaway Ammunition Depot and everything else in between!

     
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  14. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    The third installment covers the military town of Bodmin which was designated an anti-tank island on the line, the Bodmin Wireless Station, and the St Columb, St Dennis and St Breward Auxiliary Units.
     
    ozzy16, Skoyen89 and CL1 like this.
  15. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    The fourth installment of this videobook presentation on the Bodmin Stop Line looks at the Fowey Valley between Glynn & the outskirts of Fowey including the anti-tank island of Lostwithiel & the Auxiliary Units at Fowey & St Blazey.
     
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  16. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    The fifth installment of this videobook presentation on the Bodmin Stop Line looks at the port of Fowey and the defences on the west side of the river including the 364 Coast Battery at St Catherine's Castle, Fowey. The east side of the river will be dealt with in the sixth and final part.
     
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  17. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    CornwallPhil: Watched all your videos in one binge the other evening. They are a great piece of research - hope you are proud of them and what they have added to the history of Cornwall. I particularly like the photos you got from the collection of George Ellis. I looked through all 1500 online but couldn't see those you used of the Lostwithiel pillbox and dragons teeth or the removal of roadblock post-war. I am trying to write up my research on the BSL at the moment. I will try to find your email address and get in contact again.
     
  18. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    Hi Skoyen89. Thanks for the kind words on the Stop Line videos. Still working on the final one. They are amateur but they are a means of getting the history out there.
    George Ellis took over 11,000 photos during the war years so I am sure there are more to emerge with some details that will contribute to the understanding of the Bodmin Stop Line. I am slowly working through them as time allows although with Kresen Kernow closed at the moment it will take quite a while. Look forward to seeing what you've come up with on the BSL.
     
  19. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    Here is the sixth and penultimate video on the Bodmin Stop Line. This one deals with the defences at Polruan and on the east side of the Fowey estuary. There is also a look at M92 the Chain Home Low radar station at Polruan. There will be one more looking at the neighbouring beaches. I had hoped to fit it in here but it was getting too long so will be Part 7.
     

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