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PNK
15-06-2009, 16:17
Unconfirmed location at NGR TQ631958

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn128/PNK_album/MountnessingMap-1.jpg


1961 Map
http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn128/PNK_album/Mountnessing1961.jpg

philbasildon
15-06-2009, 21:49
This was a Railway coal yard. It appears to have been installed in the 1930's, it was closed about 25/30 years ago. There was a smaller yard on the north side of the railway line that was served by a single siding, this could be the NGR.

PETERTHEEATER
16-06-2009, 08:44
I have it here:

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/Mountnessing2009.jpg

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=51.65643 ... =0&src=msa (http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=51.656438&lon=0.364184&z=17.4&r=0&src=msa)

Remains not clear in Flash Earth but...

As viewed in the current GE imagery, this is the likely site evidenced by what is a remaining D1 tank (mounded) at the bottom of, and another extant at the top end of the site.

PNK
16-06-2009, 13:20
That looks more promising. I will map it and see what was there.

philbasildon
16-06-2009, 13:47
Unconfirmed location at NGR TQ631958

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn128/PNK_album/MountnessingMap-1.jpg


1961 Map
http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn128/PNK_album/Mountnessing1961.jpg
The exact map reference shows it as being in what is now an industrial estate. On the modern map if you find the height mark .53 on the road running north/south the map reference is at the other end of the road opposite in the industrial estate. I live not far from Mountnessing and in the next few days I will try to visit the site.
Slight correction, it is just south of the building that is at a slightly different angle to the others on the industrial estate (on the next road south of the road mentioned above)

PNK
16-06-2009, 20:19
Don't get hung up on the grid reference as that is my suspected location not one given to me.
I think PTEs site is the right one so I will look at the map this evening. Most of the NGRs I have posted are subject to correction as they are for the general area.

PNK
16-06-2009, 20:47
Sorry. I now think it isn't. This aerial pre-dates the one above and shows no sign of the mounds. This one is dated 2000 and the one above as 2006.

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

Now that in itself is not confirmation but I have also looked at the maps from the 50s and 60s and there is no sign of tanks there then. Again not confirmation but doesn't bode well.

Sadly there is a huge whole in postwar aerial coverage over this area so the final proof is denied.

Maybe philbasildon could recce both sites? No pressure mind :)

PETERTHEEATER
17-06-2009, 07:06
Curses! You've gone too far this time Sir Percy!

Now I have to start all over again :D

EDIT: The site earmarked is on the former LNER line Brentwood to Southend. A 1938 map shows a single siding parallel with the main line but on the south side and it is marked as 'Mountnessing Siding'.

Right up the rail buffs alley this one so I have posted the question in an appropriate rail forum which has helped me before by positively identifiying the BILTON site.

Watch this space.

philbasildon
17-06-2009, 09:44
Peter, this is the site that I spoke of. The site to the south of the line was a coal yard, the grid reference is a point to the south of that, a spur from the coal yard perhaps? There was also the loop siding on the north side of the line that you can see on the 1961 map. I used to pass this point on my daily commute to work in the mid 80's. At that time all sidings had been recently lifted but the yards were still intact. A corner of the south yard was still being used by a coal merchant. The only building on the site was a derelict brick built shed the rest of the site had a cinder surface. The yard on the north side was a lot smaller with a steep access from the lane. It had a similar shed to the other yard, a concrete surface and some concrete structures that looked like wartime anti-tank obstacles but not easily seen due to fly tippers, the site appeared abandoned.
I will try to visit the site but I fear that I may not be able to gain access.

PNK
17-06-2009, 12:27
The main reason for including the 1961 map was what appeared to be tanks. They could be me wanting to see them though.
If the site was cleared in the late 60s or 70s it might not be recognisable as an ex-fuel depot now. It's a pity the maps weren't clearer.
Maybe the railway fraternity can help with this one?

philbasildon
17-06-2009, 12:55
The 1961 map is so small that I cannot see any detail. I have the 1/25000 scale map of the area which was published in the 70's. Large scale maps are held in the local libraries so I will have to visit the local (Shenfield?) library to see what they have.

Engineer
17-06-2009, 22:26
Hope you all find it, I spent some time on it and gave up!

PNK
17-06-2009, 22:30
This might be worth looking at. Its the sidings and its an Air Minisrty drawing. Dated 1938 so it could be the original drawings!

http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk/result_details.asp?DocID=830909

philbasildon
17-06-2009, 22:48
That is interesting in that the two brick huts I mentioned both dated from the 1930's. The line from Romford to Shenfield was quadrupled during the 1930's and this included the flyover just to the west. I will have to visit the ERO and have a look at the map.

PETERTHEEATER
18-06-2009, 08:16
A knowledgeable LNER enthusiast has sent me this response:

The siding was located on the up side of the line between Mountnessing Junction (21m 33ch) and Wash Road (bridge No 744) 21m 54ch.

If you go onto Google maps/satelite you will see an industrial estate Prospect Way and Wash Road. The concrete mixing plant (on the satelite image you can just make out a yellow concrete ready mix lorry) next to the railway, with its own access off Wash Road, is the site of the siding to which you refer.

I can remember the siding, which probably means it was site extant in the 1960s.

That would be the siding on the northside (up-line!) just before the bridge. The trace can just be seen on satellite imagery. It is the one mentioned by Phil.

The site has been obliterated but I think there is enough evidence to put it here.

philbasildon
18-06-2009, 09:38
The 'up' side would be the south side of the line. 'Up' in railway terms means up to the major terminus, London in this case.

philbasildon
18-06-2009, 10:01
Further to my last post, I have looked at Google Earth, The line of the access road to the smaller yard to the north can be made out. What I had assumed to be tank traps in the north yard could just as well be the supports for storage tanks. The site is heavily overgrown so nothing is visible. If the grid reference is correct the actual site is south of the readymix plant and now under the industrial site. Another possibility is that the north yard could have been the unloading point and then the fuel transfered to the site by lorry or possibly even pumped beneath the railway line, the distance would only be about 200 yards.

philbasildon
18-06-2009, 10:13
Another look at Google Earth. One of the brick huts I mentioned appears to still be there. On the north side of the line alongside the second overhead line support from Wash Road.

philbasildon
18-06-2009, 16:29
Another thread on this forum (RAF Aviation Fuel Distribution Depots) describes Mountnessing as type D1 with a total capacity of 2000 tons. Type D1 had rectangular all steel tanks of 250 or 500 tons capacity constructed on a concrete base slab, no other concrete was used. Protection was provided by 10 feet of earth being used.
To move 2000 tons by rail would require 200 10-ton tank wagons so the yard would be busy. The loop line to the north of the line could A. have been used to store tank wagons B. been used to unload the same. The advantage of the loop is that it would require less shunting and therefore would reduce the amount of time the train would need to be unloaded, useful if German aircraft were in the vicinity! Although if the north yard was used for unloading a pipeline to the depot would be required this could possibly have run down to Wash Road and beneath the main line to the depot.

PNK
18-06-2009, 22:36
I have run out of funds to be able to buy the OS map that shows something tank-like (i.e. my 1961 map) but I have plotted the blobs on a modern map. So if the blods are tanks they were where the red circles are (give or take a few feet.
The sidings would be right alongside.

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

PETERTHEEATER
19-06-2009, 08:09
Thanks PNK.

philbasildon
19-06-2009, 09:47
The Grid reference puts the site in the opposite corner of the industrial site. On Google Earth it is now a car park, it can be identified by a badly parked white transit van! The tanks were rectangular and there would have been between four and eight of them. The only remains if any would be the flat concrete bases of the tanks and they have probably gone by now.

PNK
19-06-2009, 09:57
I drew them as round as the shapes were not distinct. They should be rectangular as they were D1.
The map changes to an older version below the bottom one so the blobs could continue.

PETERTHEEATER
19-06-2009, 10:42
The 'up' side would be the south side of the line. 'Up' in railway terms means up to the major terminus, London in this case.

Thanks phil, I was a lousy trainspotter too! :lol:

philbasildon
19-06-2009, 10:57
As an aside, is there any record of whether the tanks were of the 250 or 500 gallon variety? also does anybody know of the dimensions of these tanks. The reason I am asking is to try to establish the extent of the site. It is a possibility that the boundarys still exist in the building pattern on the site, for example the buildings on the southern end of the industrial site are aligned at a different angle, this could represent the area of the depot.

PNK
19-06-2009, 18:29
Does the short history of this park help or hinder?

http://www.jayveenik.btinternet.co.uk/thepark.htm

philbasildon
19-06-2009, 19:58
It certainly helps, it even records that there is still something left to see (the guardroom base). I may be able to visit the site this Sunday.

PETERTHEEATER
20-06-2009, 08:43
As an aside, is there any record of whether the tanks were of the 250 or 500 gallon variety? also does anybody know of the dimensions of these tanks. The reason I am asking is to try to establish the extent of the site. It is a possibility that the boundarys still exist in the building pattern on the site, for example the buildings on the southern end of the industrial site are aligned at a different angle, this could represent the area of the depot.

If the record is accurate, with 2000 tons capacity in D1 tanks then the site footprint could have been quite small with 4 x 500 ton tanks spaced at a minimum of 100 feet. There are some sites which still appear to have the original mounded D1 tanks in-situ so I will try and take some rough measurements (not exact like some people we know! :lol: )

philbasildon
20-06-2009, 10:04
I will look for any signs on Sunday. If I can find the remains of the guardroom it should be easy to identify the rest of the site.

philbasildon
21-06-2009, 17:29
I visited the site, there is nothing visible now as it is under some modern industrial buildings. I could find no sign of the concrete base of the guardroom that was reported to exist. The site of the siding to the north of the line is heavily overgrown and fenced off.

PNK
21-06-2009, 18:01
Thanks for looking. A pity there is no sign on the ground or from the air as it means the location is not confirmed yet.

philbasildon
21-06-2009, 19:18
I will have a look for maps next time I go to ERO.

PETERTHEEATER
22-06-2009, 10:17
I'm pretty satisfied that it is now under the industrial site.

PETERTHEEATER
08-09-2009, 10:44
The actual Mountnessing site has been identified in the above posts but what was this site which was also noted:

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=51.656241&lon=0.364012&z=17.1&r=0&src=msl

It looks quite different in GE which shows buried tanks (?)

If it is a separate site then we need a new thread for it.

Problem is, it is nearer Mountnessing village than the other site and what appears to be D1 tanks fits the record!

Engineer
08-09-2009, 14:24
On FreshLogic "birds eye" the mounds look a recent addition as if they were from the excavation for the concrete slab.

PETERTHEEATER
09-09-2009, 08:06
Whoa! ATLAS Fresh Logic. Another 'viewer that I have not seen or used but, I like it. Thanks for the tip.

You are right Engineer it does look like spoil mounds from excavation so I shall write it off as a red herring.

PNK
22-09-2009, 21:24
The nice people at the Essex Record Office sent me a plan of the sidings at Mountnessing and for a very reasonable price. (All done by post and very quick).

The plan is numbered 11204/38 which I assume is 1938 and by the Department of Work for the Air Ministry.

Sadly no tanks are shown as it is a railway plan but it between the tracks it has something called "Railcar Filling Arms", 8 of them with arms either side. The boundry is noted as "AM Unclimable Fencing"

Oh and the Gradient of the siding is 1 in 109.

More confirmation of the fuel depot I hope but alas no layout of the tanks.
Worth a try though.

Engineer
22-09-2009, 21:55
"Railcar Filling Arms", 8 of them with arms either side. The boundry is noted as "AM Unclimable Fencing"

More confirmation of the fuel depot I hope but alas no layout of the tanks.
Worth a try though.

Always wondered what the overhanging palisade fencing was called, now I know.
The evidence seems to confirm this as the Mountnessing site.

Richard Drew
23-09-2009, 07:50
I have just looked at Flashearth & Atlas Fresh Logic and Wherethepath beats them all for clarity and shows up two pillow mounds? Also you get the OS map next to it.

PETERTHEEATER
23-09-2009, 08:09
An 'Unclimbable Fence' in Military parlance, was used to describe a barbed wire, or chain link fence (or combination) which had the top section angled outwards away from the protected area. The top section used several strands of barbed wire. Obviously, if someone climbed the fence from the outside the overhang would prevent them from getting over (unless they were sadists).

But, I have been in many secure areas where the overhang was angled inwards which caused the occupants to assume that it was to stop them from getting out! OK for prisons but on barracks?.

The accommodation assigned to USAF aircrew manning the B47's at Greenham Common had the unclimbable fence angled inwards and that was to stop them sneaking out since they were on 'no notice' alert to man their nuclear bombers.

PETERTHEEATER
23-09-2009, 08:14
Which of the two sites are you looking at Richard. We decided the southermost site on the west east rail line was 'it'

Richard Drew
23-09-2009, 12:34
It was the quality of the image not the site in question, people on AIX use flashearth etc but Google & Wheresthepath (I believe it too is Google) are a much better defenition???

PETERTHEEATER
24-09-2009, 07:26
Yes, I find that WheresthePath seems to have better quality probably due to time of day throwing the structures into relief.

Richard Drew
24-09-2009, 12:47
Peter actually I am not looking I am just intrigued by all these bombing ranges, fuel & bomb stores that you keep finding. Every time you all come up with another site I have to look and locate it. The gunnery ranges have been very interesting posts and the search for sites. Its just a pity they are mostly so far away from where I live because the ones on the coast look very nice areas to visit. Keep up the searches & posts please.

PETERTHEEATER
25-09-2009, 09:03
I've got a long list of Ranges many of which have not been positively located. It's an EXCEL file which I need to convert in order to post here when I get around to it. I shall sort out the Dorset ones if I can so that you can judge what's within your reach.

The Dorset ranges I have listed are:

Crichel Down (discussed)
Lyme Bay (or may be Lulworth Cove) Used by A&AEE for live bombing?
Poole Bay Used by the RAF or Air to Air
Studland Bay Used by USAAF for live bombing
The Fleet (inside Chesil Bank) Used by A&AEE for Highball trials
Christchurch Bay Used by RAF for Practice Bombing
Chesil Beach (probably Chickerell) (discussed)

Richard Flagg
25-09-2009, 10:09
I've got a long list of Ranges many of which have not been positively located. It's an EXCEL file which I need to convert in order to post here when I get around to it. I shall sort out the Dorset ones if I can so that you can judge what's within your reach.

Sounds like another Audit thread coming along! Look forward to seeing Peter.

PETERTHEEATER
25-09-2009, 10:33
OK. I shall try and put it up, warts and all, but it needs to be viewed in tabulated form so I have to follow PNKs tips to try and keep the format.

PNK
14-02-2010, 22:14
Finally got around to drawing up the 1959 map of the area. What I originally thought were tanks are in fact buildings :oops:

The tanks are not on the map I copied but they must be in the compund somewhere. They are either not shown or were removed at some point before 1959.

I have a railway plan of the gantry area but it shows little detail.

PETERTHEEATER
15-02-2010, 08:10
Nice job Peter. The development has obliterated almost all traces.