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Thread: Mablethorpe Offshore Structure

  1. #1
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    Default Mablethorpe Offshore Structure

    I am writing in the hope that, through your membership and/or archives, you can provide assistance in solving a question on the history of Mablethorpe.

    Back in the 1950s as a youngster, I spent many holidays with my parents at the Golden Sands Caravan Park at Mablethorpe. I distinctly remember crossing the dunes to the beach and walking north (not too far due to wide streams crossing the beach in the vicinity of Saltfleetby) on many occasions. Clearly visible out to sea was a large structure on legs; the structure appeared square, reddish brown in colour and made of timber/steel?

    I believe I was told that it was a sea defence of some sort from WW2 but can find no photograph or reference to it on any relevant website. I believe that your members may hold the answer to my question as to what the structure was and even hold written and/or photographic documents on same.

    I have no living relatives that can assist me with this search as to what it was and hope that you may assist an ex-pat here in Australia with an interest in the past.

    Some have told me that it may have been one of the Forts in the Humber Estuary but I find this questionable due to distance and line of sight. I have contacted the Leader Newspaper re this question and am led to believe that a reader has responded by advising that it was the southern marker of the bombing range.

    Searching the internet, I have noted some photographs of the early 60s which show these bomb range markers as being on steel legs but, with pyramid style silver coloured metal structures on the top. Is it possible that these metal pyramids replaced the old square wooden/metal structure that I saw back in the 50s?

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated and I look forward to your positive reply in due course.

    Regards,

    Trevor

  2. #2
    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mablethorpe Offshore Structure

    The air bombing and gunnery ranges in that area were the Theddlethorpe Ranges and it is likley that what you saw (could see) was actually a bombing target.

    Our resident Ranges expert PNK will be a long in a minute........

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    Default Re: Mablethorpe Offshore Structure

    Thanks PETERTHEEATER,
    I do not think it was a bombing target as it was there on more than one trip to Mablethorpe. It was definitely a large structure, steel pylon legs and a square wooden or steel superstructure of a reddish brown colour.
    It was offshore a distance and as I said in my earlier post, it was in view when you walked north along the beach to the location where the creek crosses the beach into the sea.
    Apparently the gent that spoke to the Mablethorpe Leader said it was the southern marker of the bombing range that I saw.
    Checked this site out re same and the only markers are circa 60s and silver coloured pyramid structures on steel pylon legs that (legs) seem a lot older than the top structure.
    I was hoping that maybe the pyramid structures replaced the square wooden/metal superstructures because of age/damage/rot sometime in the middle 50s..
    Maybe PNK will have the answer?

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    Senior Member Sparky67's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mablethorpe Offshore Structure

    Is THIS the structure by any chance Trevor ?
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Sparky67; 14-06-2012 at 09:32.

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mablethorpe Offshore Structure

    The Theddlethorpe 'C' Range target was located here:

    http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepat...z=15&oz=7&gt=1

    I've got an aerial photograph somewhere on my HD if PNK doesn't post.

    Trevor, you and I are almost in the same time zone whereas UK has just started work.

    Found it:



    The target is the triangular structure at 3 o'clock.
    Last edited by PETERTHEEATER; 14-06-2012 at 10:47.

  6. #6
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mablethorpe Offshore Structure

    My first thought would be the target and they would have lasted through the 1950's. A boundary marker seems unlikely as range limits were usually marked with flags and red light on shore and marker buoys at sea. I have not come across a reference to structures being used to mark range limits, although with the size of the sandy beach at low tide it may have been a local solution.
    Back to targets, as not all carried raised pyramid structures, although they were still triangular in plan and some had submarine coning tower superstructures (these were painted a submarine colour - a rusty one perhaps ). Could it have been one of these. The AP above won't help on superstructure, being a vertical shot.
    Trevor, do you have a rough idea of the grid reference or lat/long so that we can home in on the rough area? I can then check for RP (Rocket projectile) targets as well, although these don't fit the bill.

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    Default Re: Mablethorpe Offshore Structure

    Thanks Fellas,
    Trust I am not wasting your time but the structure I saw was definitely square, red/brown and fairly large.

    Looking at the OS map, I would estimate that it was on a line out to sea, east/nne of Saltfleetby. That coast line may have changed in 50 odd years but the structure was visible from the beach where the somewhat wide and deep water channels cut across the beach. I remember those quite well as we could not cross them!

    So, approaching the channels, the structure was clearly visible out to sea.

    It became a regular walk for the family or relatives on our visits to Mablethorpe during the mid to late 50s and the talk was that it was an old sea fort or defence structure from WW2.

    The structure would be out to sea on a line directly east/nne from Saltfleetby.

    I have checked out your picture, Sparky 67, and I can say for sure that it was not an oil rig. Same type of square structure and similar colour but the structure on top of the legs was like a big shed with a flat roof (presume the roof was flat because I cannot remember seeing a roof). In addition, the support structure had more substantial legs.

    It is quite possible that it may have been a target but may I say that there were not many good shots around in those days as it remained the same for some years. Further to that, I never saw any aerial nor seabourne activity around the structure during our walks.

    Thanks for all your continuing interest in this enigma. I have just about ran out of options in my search for the answer.
    Last edited by Trevor S; 15-06-2012 at 07:50.

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mablethorpe Offshore Structure

    Last edited by PETERTHEEATER; 15-06-2012 at 08:33.

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    Default Re: Mablethorpe Offshore Structure

    Trevor,

    Don't worry about wasting out time if we can help solve your problem. In any event you may have something that may be of interest to us. I am a bit stuck now as it doesn't appear to fit with what I have. The only plan I have is from 1948 but as with a lot of plans the may not reflect what was actually built. I still need to check your location versus the plan to see what was near to it but probably won't have time until Sunday.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mablethorpe Offshore Structure

    in the late 1990s i had a few holidays at Golden Sands caravan park and when on that beautiful beach by the park i recall watching what i took to be GR1 jets making bombing runs out at sea slightly North of the park. Just by the Sands beach car park is a Seal Sanctuary and by the entrance is a pool with a big solitary blind seal in it,named Nookie . From what i understand he is still there now. think ive read somewhere that the owner of the sanctuary has been there a long time,might have beach memory info !
    Last edited by corij; 15-06-2012 at 17:56.

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