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Thread: RAF Sealand lighting decoy, Burton Inner Marsh (Puddington)

  1. #1
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    Dec 2008

    Default RAF Sealand lighting decoy, Burton Inner Marsh (Puddington)

    This picture turned up amongst others when I was looking for something else. This shows the location of what I guess is the RAF Sealand lighting decoy. The photo is from 1947.

    Copyright English Heritage (NMR) RAF Photography


    It is located in a corner of Burton Marsh, which was cut off by the building of the railway (Wrexham - Hawarden Bridge - Bidston). The site is now the new RSPB Burton Marsh wetlands sanctuary.

    The railway runs up to the top left corner - and even has a steam train on it. Burton Point is just off the top of the picture.

    To the west of the railway is the Sealand Army Rifle Range, which still continues to this day. Only a few Rifle Range buildings remain, the base of the camp buildings can still be seen, there was a small halt adjacent to the buildings ("Rifle Range Halt").

    The Decoy Bunker / generator building is identified, and survived until the building (digging) of a boating lake by British Steel, which engulfed it.

    There are markings in the fields to the top right which are probably caused by the QF parts of the decoy. There was a small camp associated with the site, only an accommodation shelter persists. The area is usually known as "Barn farm".

    Looking at the QL section, the yellow line aligns with the RAF Sealand runway. The red box labeled "QL/QF ?" is a truncated loop of the gutter (dyke), which was cut off by the straight line section, presumably to keep the lighting section dry. It has not changed since.

    The top left diamond shaped pond is interesting, it looks like it has anchorage points on the sides, presumably to support some pylon / overhead cable system and light bars. I must assume that there was the same sort of arrangement at the bottom right end.

    The lozenge shaped pond in the middle looks like it was added after the original construction, it looks like it had an arrangement for a lighting bar or cables across it's width.

    It has been suggested that this one of the trial layouts for airfield lighting decoys.

    Why water filled ponds? Well (pun), they were experimenting just around the corner, literally with the Burton Marsh Decoy for Garston Docks, so they were familiar with the technology of using water ponds as a reflecting medium.

    Accommodation Building

    RAF Sealand Decoy - Accomodation building - 2010.jpg

    Bunker - now obliterated

    RAF Sealand Decoy - bunker location - now in the yachting lake - 1955 - 2.jpg

    RAF Sealand Decoy - bunker location - now in the yachting lake - 1955.jpg

    If anyone has any better ideas, they would be welcome.
    Last edited by a10694; 20-12-2011 at 22:10.

  2. #2
    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Hua Hin, Thailand (resident) ex RAF Armourer 1956 - 1970

    Default Re: RAF Sealand lighting decoy, Burton Inner Marsh (Puddington)

    Good stuff, thanks.

    The Control Bunker is (sort of) visible in Google Earth 1945 view now that you have identified the location.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2008

    Default Re: RAF Sealand lighting decoy, Burton Inner Marsh (Puddington)

    I have to admit that it did confuse me initially. The trackway that goes from the railway past the bunker has been completely erased over the years.

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