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Thread: Mossley (Greater Manchester) Decoy

  1. #1
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    Default Mossley (Greater Manchester) Decoy

    From Pastscape: http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx...nor=31&recfc=0

    "A Second World War bombing decoy site at Mossley. It was commissioned in December 1940 as a 'Permanent Starfish' site to deflect enemy bombing from the city of Manchester. The 'Starfish' decoy operated by lighting a series of controlled fires during an air raid to replicate an urban area targeted by bombs. The site is referenced as being operational until 1943, but could have been in use until August 1944. Aerial photography from 1968 shows that the site was located on moorland and that no features of the decoy survive. Mossley was one of nine 'Starfish' sites for Manchester."

    Some items from the site do exist, only just, on the edge of the quarry.

    I believe that the Starfish site was centred on a loop of track, at the end of a trackway, the bunker would have been a couple of hundred yards back down the track, but sadly the quarry expanded post-war, and the trackway and bunker have been quarried away.

    However, the loop of track survives, with a perimeter firebreak trench, and some vague suggestions of the fire basket groups on the 1946 aerial photo of the site, the loop still exists, literally hanging on.

    Location: http://binged.it/x2P7bx

    bing 5 700.jpg

    1/. supply track and loop - blue
    2/. outer perimeter and firebreak trench - yellow (bit hazy at bottom right)
    3/. internal sections and firebreaks and trackways - red, usually groups of fire baskets
    4/. the bunker would have been 400 yards or so back along the track, now currently in the quarry.

    aix 1.jpg

    aix 2.jpg

    aix 3.jpg

    aix 4.jpg

    The first 3 photos are copyright NMR, RAF Collection.

    The last photo is from Bing maps.

    Pastscape are correcting the entry on Pastscape re: this site, they did state that no remains exist, which was obviously incorrect.
    Last edited by a10694; 24-03-2012 at 21:59. Reason: better picture to come

  2. #2
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mossley (Greater Manchester) Decoy

    Great stuff. Have you ever found any features, like the bunkers, marked on OS maps post war?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mossley (Greater Manchester) Decoy

    Quite a few Wirral bunkers appear on post-WW2 maps, I don't have any of this area - it's not my usual patch, but I had a request from someone at Manchester Uni who was digging on the nearby Mossley Castle site.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mossley (Greater Manchester) Decoy

    I've studied the high definition 1946 photo scan, and the bunker simply is not where I thought it would be, or not obviously so visible. Any much further along the track and the site would be out of view of the bunker. It really needs a mooch in that area, but it's almost on the quarry edge now.

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