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PETERTHEEATER
20-08-2008, 09:25
RAF HOCKERING - FAD - Mystery objects

A correspondent of mine has recently completed a thesis on the WW2 Forward Ammunition Depot located in Hockering Wood, near East Dereham, Norfolk.

During her field work she came across these two items which she thought might be components of bomb trollies.

As an ex-RAF Armourer, I could not identify them, yet, they look vaguely familiar; probably agricultural.

Now that the forum has really taken off with the inclusion of ARG, there is a wide knowledge base across Forum Members that will, I hope, result in one of you being able to ID two objects even if they were part of Farmer Giles's muckspreader!

Over to you.

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/Hockeringmysteryitem2.jpg

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/Hockeringmysteryitem1.jpg

MandatorV8
20-08-2008, 19:47
Peter: The two pictures are of the same object and I'm afraid that Farmer Giles has my vote. In the second pic you can see the attachment points for the two lower links and the top link of a classic "three-point linkage" on the rear of an agricultural tractor. That said, exactly what the gizmo was used for, that has me stumped.

PETERTHEEATER
21-08-2008, 06:13
Thanks Mandator,

I see now that both pics are different views of the same object yet I felt sure that I had copies of two similar but separate objects. I have searched my HDD but no luck so I guess I was mistaken

Not to worry. I had it figured as agricultural what with the two pintle pivots and the locking bar arrangement.

Peter H

DG1
30-08-2008, 22:50
Hi Peter. Definitely fits on to a tractor. Pic 1 shows how it would look fitted to the tractor. Thought that I know most agri implements, but this has me stumped. Possible that a rubber skirt was attached and was used as a slurry scaper. Then again many farmers make up their own equipment and might just be a one off for a particular job.
But what is the blue thing just under it?

PETERTHEEATER
31-08-2008, 06:28
Thanks DG1,

the thing that made my corresspondent think that it may be RAF origin was remains of what appears to be RAF Blue paint on the frame.

The 'blue thing just under it' is a bit of windborne trash plastic.

The thing is that it was found in Hockering Wood so if it is agricultural someone must have lugged it in!

Peter H

DG1
31-08-2008, 14:46
I just can't leave these mystery objects alone so
Here goes with another theory.
Early Fork lift with tines missing. fitted either to back of tractor or on front end loader.
Front end loader because the bottom end fixing pins are pointing the same way. As corresponding holes on the FEL do not move, as the arms on the back of a tractor do. The unit would have to be slid into the holes. The top link would be fixed to hydrulic ram fixed across the arms of FEL to operate the level of the tines. Slots on the frame, to adjust the width of tines.
It is well made ie good welds and cuts so suggests made in well equiped workshop (not farmers bodge up) Raf paint so could well have been used in ammo dump for movement and loading pallets of ammo.

As for the blue thing thought it was a sweet wrapper :lol:

Have my own mystery objects on key publishing forum http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/forumd ... esc&page=2 (http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=8&order=desc&page=2) no one seems to know what they are.

Hope I'm right with this.
regards Richard

PETERTHEEATER
01-09-2008, 09:17
Unfortunately, my corresspondent did not indicate the size of the object.

I shall see if I can get that information.

The slots in the cross beams intrigue me.

Thanks for your link, I shall take a look at your mystery objects.

Peter H

PETERTHEEATER
01-09-2008, 09:24
I can't find your posts in the Av Forum. What UN are you using?

Peter H

DG1
01-09-2008, 11:03
Hi Peter
Post on Av forum is Unknown object by Richard gray, alternatively you can see them on www.bazjasp.co.uk (http://www.bazjasp.co.uk) under unknown objects.
Think I have found out what no1 is, but will let you have a look before I say what I think it is.
regards Richard

PETERTHEEATER
02-09-2008, 05:58
It's off topic so I will PM you.

Peter H

simon
30-03-2009, 22:14
Hi to all! I am hoping that someone may be able to help me with some information. I am seeking any info/pictures/anything about a out-lying section of the Attlebridge site that I have just inherited. This part is located on Stone Road, Hockering.The reference from google maps is approx 52.693699,1.077186 This is quite close to Hockering Wood which i believe was used for bomb storage. The area i am trying to find out about has been owned by my family for many many years, but i know very little of it's history! There are several Nissen huts erected on a mostly concreted site. There is also a brick building with a flat concrete roof which i have always thought might have been used for the repair of military vehicles etc as it has an inspection-pit in it. There are also smaller brick buildings. One of the Nissen huts has a large raised area inside and what i think is a loading ramp outside near the road.
I would really appreciate any information even if very vague that anyone could give.
Thank you.

simon
30-03-2009, 22:33
Hi to all! I am hoping that someone may be able to help me with some information. I am seeking any info/pictures/anything about a out-lying section of the Attlebridge site that I have just inherited. This part is located on Stone Road, Hockering.The reference from google maps is approx 52.693699,1.077186 This is quite close to Hockering Wood which i believe was used for bomb storage. The area i am trying to find out about has been owned by my family for many many years, but i know very little of it's history! There are several Nissen huts erected on a mostly concreted site. There is also a brick building with a flat concrete roof which i have always thought might have been used for the repair of military vehicles etc as it has an inspection-pit in it. There are also smaller brick buildings. One of the Nissen huts has a large raised area inside and what i think is a loading ramp outside near the road.
I would really appreciate any information even if very vague that anyone could give.
Thank you.

Peter Kirk
30-03-2009, 22:33
If I have the co-ords correct this is the place in 1946. It doesn't look like an airfield site at first glance. Hopefully someone with a plan will be able to confirm.

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn128/PNK_album/Attplot.jpg

Peter Kirk
30-03-2009, 22:37
Deja Vu?

This is the post I added to the East Anglia Section

If I have the co-ords correct this is the place in 1946. It doesn't look like an airfield site at first glance. Hopefully someone with a plan will be able to confirm.

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn128/PNK_album/Attplot.jpg

simon
30-03-2009, 22:53
Yes thats the correct area! It is brilliant to see that picture! Would it be possible to e-mail me a copy?
Thank you so much......i cant wait to find out more!

Richard Flagg
30-03-2009, 23:05
Hi Simon

Welcome to the forum, looking at the site plan I have for the airfield (I don't have a plan for the dispersed sites) and also checking in Roger Freeman's The Mighty Eighth War Manual, the area above is not associated with the airfield. It could be a later addition though.

The bomb Dump was on the east side of the airfield and the dispersed sites were mostly to the south of the airfield.

Do you have any photos you could post up?

simon
31-03-2009, 09:16
Thank you for your welcome and help.
Here a few photos (appologies for the quality as these were taken on a mobile phone)
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww233/retro-sounds/057.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww233/retro-sounds/052.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww233/retro-sounds/051.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww233/retro-sounds/058.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww233/retro-sounds/059.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww233/retro-sounds/067.jpg

sumter
31-03-2009, 10:22
simon - Type Hockering (with a capital H) into the forum's search facility: it seems there's quite a bit about it on here already.

sumter

Carnaby
31-03-2009, 12:49
A nice bit of history Simon - you've got the Technical Site from the Hockering Forward Ammunition Depot

From Site Plan - 3364/54
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o102/grahamcrisp/FAD.jpg

The FAD opened as No.231 Maintenance Unit on 11 Jan 1943 to supply bombs, ammunition and breathing oxygen to RAF airfields in the area. (USAAF airfields were supplied from their own bases, chiefly Earsham and Barnham). It was parented by RAF Swanton Morley and disbanded to 94MU Barnham on 27 Jan 1948, though the site was active for several years in bomb disposal work, using the redundant airfields at Attlebridge, Old Buckenham, Shipdham and Rackheath as additional storage sites.

Additional info:
13.5.44 1900 oxygen cylinders serviced by 231 MU Hockering.
25.7.44 Liberator from Attlebridge took off and developed engine trouble. Fortunately pilot did not jettison bombs immediately as many would have fallen in Hockering's storage areas.
6,700 tons of stock in October 1946. The site was eventually cleared in July 1954.

Does the key make sense regarding the buildings you've got?

Graham

simon
31-03-2009, 16:41
Carnaby......the plan you kindly have shown fits exactly! After all these years of not knowing anything of any detail about the site the Airfield Information Exchange has answered so much already.
If anyone has any additonal info it would be greatly appreciated

jason
31-03-2009, 16:54
Is there any chance of visiting the site ? I've got to re-visit the Control Tower and photograph the buildings nearby so this will help get my collection of Attlebridge up to date.

simon
31-03-2009, 17:05
Hi Jason. You would be very welcome to visit the site. Let me know nearer the date of your visit to Attlebridge so we can arrange it. I would love to find some photos of the site while it was in use or during construction. Would any members have any ideas where i may be able to locate some? I am very interested in its history.

Peter Kirk
31-03-2009, 20:17
Simon,

The aerial photo was sourced from this site :

http://www.historic-maps.norfolk.gov.uk/Emap/EmapExplorer.asp

If you select the type of view as 1946 Aerial Photo (or 1988 if you like) then type in a nearby postcode you should get the picture I posted.
Once a view is open you can select a larger view and move around and zoom in closer.

If you are having problems let me know or if still require an emailed version PM me your email address

simon
31-03-2009, 20:42
PNK......thank you for your help. The site works very well.

Carnaby
31-03-2009, 20:46
From the site plan I published above I suspect that items 2 and 14 are reversed. Hence the AM drawing is wrong - not an infrequent occurrence.

Graham

Carnaby
31-03-2009, 21:18
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o102/grahamcrisp/FAD2.jpg

(1) is your site Simon
(2) is also marked as a technical site with 4 buildings (Nissens?) away from the road
(3) is the main incendiary storage area - there should be lots of Nissen bases
(4) is shown as 'suggested Communal Site'with 6 buildings - some large, eg dining rooms
(5) is shown as 'suggested Dispersed Site', 30+ buildings, probably Nissens

The whole of Hockering Wood, with the exception of the NW corner was HE storage.

Items 4 and 5 above, I suspect may not have been constructed if accommodation was available at Attlebridge Airfield.

Would be interested to hear if any concrete bases are found in items 2-5 above.

Graham

simon
31-03-2009, 21:24
Hi Graham! I can see what you mean out 2 and 14 being reversed. Also number 9 ended up being built closer to number 8 than is shown on the plan. Everything else looks about correct although the Dog-Pens that i believe have always been there are not on the plan at all! A couple of the small nissen huts blew down in the 1970's but all others are still standing. The site has been used for agriculture since i believe it was handed back to my grandfather when the RAF had finished with it (i seem to remember being told that the bare land was taken from him for the RAF to build on). There are a few items from it's former military past such as a large galvanised water tank with "Officers And Sergeants Showers" written on the side of it.

simon
31-03-2009, 21:44
Graham. I have not been into Hockering Wood for around 20 years but i remember a nissen hut or possibly 2 still being just inside the main entrance (item 2). The wood had a network of conrete roads running in what seemed to be grid formation. In the 1970's car rallys were held in the woods mostly at night. I never noticed anything around item 3, but it is a large wood and im sure i never covered all of it. Items 4 & 5 belong to Hockering House. There is a roadway leading to this area and i had been told many years ago that this was the barracks area. As far i know no buildings still exist in here but areas of concrete (possibly pads) still do. There is also what i believe to be a small water-tower/tank. There are pads at each end of Stone Road where small buildings once stood. I think these buildings were guard-houses.

Peter Kirk
31-03-2009, 21:57
You need a Lidar map to see through the trees. Anyone got one?

DG1
31-03-2009, 22:24
As I was passing yesterday I thought I would have a quick look at Hockering wood. I found that it is open to the public, and a lot of thinning out of the trees has been done. Not being aware of this I had not got my wellies and camera, but am going back soon for a good look around as according to a tree feller :lol: who was working there making trees safe after recent strong winds, he told me that under the leaves and muck, there still remains about seven mls of tarmac road and further into the wood the were remains of other buildings.
No 2 on Canaby's pic is the entrance to the wood. there is one nissen hut there, no doors or windows but the structure is sound and has a brick partition wall up the middle, so not quite sure what this hut was used as, but I am sure I will find out.

simon
31-03-2009, 22:33
Hi DG1. It will be interesting to hear about what you find.

Carnaby
31-03-2009, 22:47
Graham. I have not been into Hockering Wood for around 20 years but i remember a nissen hut or possibly 2 still being just inside the main entrance (item 2). The wood had a network of conrete roads running in what seemed to be grid formation.
Items 4 & 5 belong to Hockering House.
There are pads at each end of Stone Road where small buildings once stood. I think these buildings were guard-houses.
These would be certainly be guard posts since the whole of Stone Road was under control of the Air Ministry. Only one is shown on the plan.
Hockering Wood
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o102/grahamcrisp/img023.jpg

Items 4 / 5
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o102/grahamcrisp/FAD3-1.jpg

DG1
31-03-2009, 23:01
That's brilliant Graham. Can see my little legs are going to be tired, if I tramp all them roads. The tree feller did mention a moat I can see where it is now.

DG1
06-04-2009, 20:39
Was Going to have a look around Hockering wood today but gate was locked, It was no problem to enter by foot but thought the better of it when I read the sign.
http://i526.photobucket.com/albums/cc342/Richardg_04/Hockering%20wood/hock09.jpg
Fire arms in use Keep out.

but did sneak in and take these.
http://i526.photobucket.com/albums/cc342/Richardg_04/Hockering%20wood/hock1.jpg

http://i526.photobucket.com/albums/cc342/Richardg_04/Hockering%20wood/hock3.jpg
Notice welcoming visitors.

http://i526.photobucket.com/albums/cc342/Richardg_04/Hockering%20wood/hock2.jpg
Front of nissen hut.

http://i526.photobucket.com/albums/cc342/Richardg_04/Hockering%20wood/hock4.jpg
Rear.
http://i526.photobucket.com/albums/cc342/Richardg_04/Hockering%20wood/hock5.jpg
View inside from front.

http://i526.photobucket.com/albums/cc342/Richardg_04/Hockering%20wood/hock6.jpg

Possible living quarters.
One day I will get the knack of how to use a cemera.

simon
20-04-2009, 20:52
Has anybody got any ideas where i might be able to locate photos etc of this site while it was in use? Thanks to all for help so far.

Carnaby
13-08-2009, 14:04
Page 11 of THIS (http://www.uea.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.81442!issue%207.pdf) has an article on Hockering.

Graham

PETERTHEEATER
14-08-2009, 10:00
Thanks Carnaby, of interest but not a lot of detail. The author would have got more information if he was an AiX member!

bswingler
10-03-2010, 15:00
Hi Guys,

As one of the students who surveyed Hockering and incidently wrote the brief article mentioned above, I'll try and fill in a few gaps if I can!

First of all the wood is pirivate land so you will need permission before entering but if you can get access there is still plenty to see!

In summary, all the roads and bomb dumps still exist within the wood as stated on the plan with the exception of HE group 17 which was split across both sides of the road (on the plan the entire group is located on one side).

Although I have found no 'official source' confirming this, apparently the roads were named after London Streets e.g. The Mall. I understand this was not uncommon practice at RAF dumps.

The Nissen huts are no longer there but a few bases remain and the others are visible via the growth of Dog's Mercury which for some reason seems to grow in their absence. Has anyone seen this at any other sites?

The internal walls of the Cat X SAA Nissens still exist.

The hardstandings for the smith gun ammunition stored in a field to the north of the wood no longer exist as they were removed for agricultural purposes as were several Nissen huts within the wood.

The picture of the Nissen hut on this thread was probably some sort of picket post as it is located next to the main access point of the wood

Interestingly you can still make out the fire breaks cut around the bomb dumps despite 60 odd years of subsequent growth.

One feature not shown on the plan but is located near HE group 34 is a fire pool. There is also a large are of concrete located at the end of the main access road into the wood which was presumably a passing bay/roandabout.

I am not aware of any picures of the site in operation but in the Hockering ops log at TNA there is a picture of some of the airmen that served there.

Hockering was an RAF FAD (although there was some discussion over this as the American's wanted to use it for their bombs.) However, it did have a close relationship with Attlebridge and a satellite was constructed along Blind Lane near the airfield which stocked American bombs (One HE Group). A further satellite was also built for incendiaries comprising four groups in the area of Tudenham Common.

I do not know if these are visible archaeologically but the 1946 APs clearly show the HE Group on Blind Lane.

That's everything I can think of to add to the discussion off the top of my head! Though feel free to ask me any questions and I'll do my best to help.

Ben

danelectro
04-11-2010, 12:28
HI Everyone, I'm probably a little late posting on this thread!!!

However, I have just read through and find this absolutely fascinating, I live in Hockering, and have wondered for many years what the said buildings were (simons inherited bits!)

Has anyone found any further info on these??? There has been a couple of Photo exhibitions in the village hall, which showed a good history of the village, but I wasn't looking for info at the time, so nothing of note came up.

Simon, have you any more info??!!

danelectro
10-02-2011, 08:40
Hi everyone again!!

Well what is happening at simons land?? There is mass clearance of the site, and you can really see the layout now. I was going to go and take some photos, but I really need permission from the owner, Does anyone know if Simon is still active here, or know of a phone number for him??

I will try PM'ing him via here first. but if anyone has any info, please pm me

Thanks

Neill

danelectro
13-02-2011, 08:17
Well I have tried sending a PM to Simon, but alas no response so am guessing he doesn't visit anymore, so, anyone else know anything at all??

PETERTHEEATER
13-02-2011, 08:33
I had a quick look here to see if the are any planning applications:

http://planweb.north-norfolk.gov.uk/Planning/AcolNetCGI.exe

danelectro
13-02-2011, 08:45
I never actually thought of doing that Peter...Doh!!!

Nothing appears there, I think I might have to wander up there and have a pleasant chat with the contractors, see if they can shead some light on it. Got to say it's looking really good all cleared, just hope it's not going to be leveled.

Will report back if i find anything out

Cheers

Neill

danelectro
13-02-2011, 08:57
I have just trawled through the Breckland Planning applications site and there's nothing there either, so I assume it's being cleared and kept?? which would be nice!

PETERTHEEATER
14-02-2011, 08:07
By cleared, you mean that there is a lot of surface rubbish? So the buildings would remain?

danelectro
14-02-2011, 09:00
By cleared, you mean that there is a lot of surface rubbish? So the buildings would remain?

Yes peter, that's exactly it, all the ground level rubbish has been cleared, and the buildings remain untouched. You get a good overall view of the site now. I am going to go there today and speak to the contractors to see if I can either find Simon, or possible persuade them to let me take a couple of pictures, if i get any I will post them on here.

PETERTHEEATER
16-02-2011, 03:02
Sounds promising, thanks danelectro.

danelectro
19-03-2011, 17:54
Well I have some sad news on this site, so far it looks like it has been sold, and the whole site is being raised to the ground, high fencing going up, and a large concrete crusher, and scrap metal skips litter the area.

I think this one will be totally gone within a couple of weeks :sad:

PETERTHEEATER
20-03-2011, 04:55
The march of progress; thankfully, the main storage site - the wood - will remain.

Richard Flagg
07-05-2012, 14:59
Some photos I took at RAF Hockering on 5 May 2012.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/NORFOLK/Hockering/20120505Hockering1-001.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/NORFOLK/Hockering/20120505Hockering30-001.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/NORFOLK/Hockering/20120505Hockering29-001.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/NORFOLK/Hockering/20120505Hockering4-001.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/NORFOLK/Hockering/20120505Hockering9-001.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/NORFOLK/Hockering/20120505Hockering14-001.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/NORFOLK/Hockering/20120505Hockering15-001.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/NORFOLK/Hockering/20120505Hockering22-001.jpg

PETERTHEEATER
08-05-2012, 06:37
The bottom right on the Ground Equipment Section board looks like I/C (in-charge) SAC JARVIS.

The clearance has certainly opened up the site and it looks like all will be flattened.

SimonGee
08-05-2012, 19:23
And you didnt nab the 'Ground Equipment Section' sign REF - ? Shame on you if not - !:o