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Thread: Selsey Area

  1. #1
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Selsey Area

    Can anyone help in identifying the many ranges listed in this area. I'm sure some are the same site but not sure exactly where they were and whether they were inland or coastal.

    The sites I have on my list are :-

    Selsey
    Selsey Bill
    Bracklesham
    Earnley
    Pilsea Island

    Local info says one range was between Bracklesham and Selsey(West beach) but is that Selsey or Bracklesham or both!
    So far I have been uable to identify anything range like in any of these areas but they may have been airbrushed.
    In May 1947 Hansard says Earnley was no longer used but Bracklesham Bay was.

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selsey Area

    Better late than never!

    Bracklesham would be Bracklesham Bay around SZ8195

    Selsey and Selsey Bill are one and the same.

    Earnley - Don't know

    Pilsea Island - Don't know.

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    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selsey Area

    Sad thing is I used to know Selsey like the back of my hand when I was 6 to 8 years old in the early 60s.

    I will keep coming back to this as I think the aerials I have were doctored because the range was active at that time they were taken.

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    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selsey Area

    Quote Originally Posted by PETERTHEEATER View Post
    Selsey and Selsey Bill are one and the same.
    Earnley was being cleared of "unexploded missiles" in 1945 so I assume it was a live range?

    The two Selseys were listed seperastely in Air 2/12875 with different numbers. Possibly the same with two different elements?

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selsey Area

    Right, having focussed more today I believe that Earnley was better known as Bracklesham Bay unless you have evidence to suggest otherwise.

    If it was a live range, I would expect a 'live' off shore target so any UXB items would be at the bootom of the sea. But, it may have been used for live RP trials in which case a beach target may have been used to ensure 'fall of shot' could be plotted so there would have been a need to clear the area. Just speculating.

    To further confuse you, I have a Chichester Bay listed as an AAEE RP Range but where was Chichester Bay?
    Last edited by PETERTHEEATER; 12-10-2009 at 09:38.

  6. #6
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selsey Area

    A visit to Kew has cleared things up a little. There were three ranges in that area.

    1. Bracklesham Bay - Located closer to the gap between South Hayling and West Wittering, extending south east towards Bracklesham. This range was offshore.

    2. Selsey (aka Manhood) - Situated between Selsey and Bracklesham in the omega shaped river. There was an offshore target for practice bombing and an land based RP and Cannon range.

    3. Selsey Bill - Located south and east of Selsey Bill, this was an offshore air to air firing range.

    Of the alternative names found Manhood is the name on the 1949 and 1951 plans for the Selsey ranges but it is called Selsey in the same documents. The name Manhood doesn't seem to appear on any maps but it is certainly used in the name of a local School. Earnley would be more likely to be Selsey as it is inland and the nearest village to that range.

    Chichester Bay, mentioned by Petertheeater, could also be the Selsey Range. There is a Chichester Harbour but as far as I know no Bay.

    I also have Pagham Harbour as a practice bombing range so this area seems to have been quite busy, including the post-war era when holiday camps were being expanded and new ones being built.

    I will draw a diagram of the ranges of the various ranges in the area as soon as I can and post it.

    Apologies for the lengthy post but this area hold many memories from the early sixties where my parents had a chalet a few hundred yards from the old Selsey Range.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Selsey Area

    did pilsea get cleared up? I can find reference to pilsea sands which appears to be an island directly south of thorney island.

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    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selsey Area

    Quote Originally Posted by rat256 View Post
    did pilsea get cleared up? I can find reference to pilsea sands which appears to be an island directly south of thorney island.
    Not as far as I know. I haven't found anything on it.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Selsey Area

    Site mentioning pilsea sands:

    http://www.ncaveo.ac.uk/test_sites/thorney_island

    GE image for pilsea sand/island

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ll=50....z=15&t=h&hl=en

    I can't find any reference to it in a military context, but knowing the probable location might help.
    Last edited by rat256; 21-11-2009 at 14:13. Reason: correct typo

  10. #10
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selsey Area

    One search came up with "Pilsea, formerly a bombing range". Since I can find no "official" mention of the site either I wonder if it was another name used to refer to the Bracklesham range.

    to help clear things up regarding Selsey's ranges theis map shows the three ranges used in WW2 and into the 1950s.



    Information was taken from AM Drawing 1230/48. More detailed drawings were 1395/49, 1244/51 and 294/48.

    The range calle Selsey was on the detailed plans as Manhood. It included a parctice target offshore and RP targets inland. There were a number of Quadrant towers associated with both ranges and a a couple of other features which I am not 100% sure about.

    1. Markers Shelter
    2. Dive Shelter

    Plan for the on shore part below.


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