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Thread: Skipness bombing /gunnery range .

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    Default Skipness bombing /gunnery range .

    I spotted a large directional arrow at 55.765614, -5.331738 .Skipness Bombing Range was a World War II bombing range located at Skipness on the east coast of the Kintyre peninsula. The approach to the range passed over the waters of Skipness Bay, and was marked by a large concrete arrow set into the ground adjacent to the east wall of the graveyard next to the remains of Skipness Chapel.

    The arrow indicated the correct approach to the range, which was overlooked by observation posts crewed by observers who would report the result of each crew's run (using dummy, or practice, weapons), allowing them to adjust accordingly on subsequent runs. The range was primarily used by aircraft from HMS Landrail (RNAS Machrihanish), and for both bombing and torpedo practice. There were no targets on land. One of the two towers still stands at the entrance to the village by the cattle-grid. The other - demolished - is supposed to have stood on the point by the cemetery, where can still be seen the large concrete directional arrow in the field between there and the cemetery


    The above was copied from http://www.secretscotland.org.uk/ind...ssBombingRange

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skipness bombing /gunnery range .

    There is also an extant Quadrant Shelter:



    http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepat...z=19&oz=7&gt=1

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    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skipness bombing /gunnery range .

    Skipness was for the Fleet Air Arm and the other quadrant shelter was about 60 yards to the east of the arrow. Now demolished it would have looked similar to the extant one but probably with a ground floor room.

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    Default Re: Skipness bombing /gunnery range .

    I got down to Skipness on Sunday and took pictures of the concrete arrow as well as taking some measurements. I did the same for the Quadrant Tower West of the village, could not find the one East of the arrow but the thick gorse was a bit of a deterrent.





    Fleet Air Arm Bombing Range Marker Arrow, Skipness

    Fleet Air Arm bombing range was off the coast and this arrow pointed towards it.

    Tip of Arrow NH 91087 57483
    Bottom of Arrow NH 91106 57504

    Arrow points 224 degree magnetic.

    Quadrant Tower to the West of the village. Another reported East of the arrow, but very overgrown with gorse and nothing can be seen.

    Concrete about 100 MM thick

    Site Type BOMBING RANGE MARKER (20TH CENTURY)
    Canmore ID 288013
    Site Number NR95NW 24
    NGR NR 9108 5749
    Council ARGYLL AND BUTE
    Parish SADDELL AND SKIPNESS
    Former Region STRATHCLYDE
    Former District ARGYLL AND BUTE
    Former County ARGYLL

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    Default Re: Skipness bombing /gunnery range .

    More .............

    Some others are too large but all on FLICKR

    I will stick pictures of the Quadrant Tower later today hopefully.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skipness bombing /gunnery range .

    The east side of Kintyre seems to have more survivors than the west. Luckily the arrow and one quadrant survive at Skipness, the other was to the east of the arrow and as you say possibly on a mound. The photo below was taken of a photo but shows the arrow in all its glory. The quadrant must have created a gap in the wall by the looks of it. The measurements will be useful as Google Earth is too unreliable for such small items.

    The arrow also survives at Crossaig and I believe one quadrant is still hidden in the trees further north of the arrow. The west side ranges at Bellochantuy and Killean appear to have no remains despite Killean being in use into the 1950s. Ballure is the icing on the cake with most of its feature extant with possible two arrows, one near the mysterious control bunker but very overgrown. I really must try an visit Kintyre but it such a long way to drive from Kent!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Skipness bombing /gunnery range .

    Thanks, that's roughly where I thought it must be from the distance given - I measured to the wall with my laser rangefinder and it was about 40 metres. I spoke to a couple of people out for a walk, they had lived nearby for many years but did not remember any building there.

    If I get back down I will check for the two short lines and the dots but nothing caught my eye except as I mentioned there were a couple of lumps of concrete near the arrow so wonder if the 'dots' had been dig up. Must be a chance of something of the two lines.

    Kintyre is a long way from anywhere!

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    Default Re: Skipness bombing /gunnery range .

    I have just looked at the arrow pictures again and it is surprising how thin the concrete was, at least near the edges. It's not that it needed to be thick at the time but to have survived so long I imagined it to be more substantial. The discs and bars may not have any remains as many were wooden framework only and the circle was actually square painted with a white circle and turning them "off" meant folding the hinged half over the fixed half. The concrete ones would have been covered or uncovered as required.

    Found a quick way to Skipness, assuming Machrihanish is not an airport. Fly to Prestwick, drive to Ardrossan, ferry to Brodick, drive to Lochranza and ferry to Creggan then drive to Skipness

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    Default Re: Skipness bombing /gunnery range .

    Yes there is a ferry just down the coast from Skipness at Claonaig. .

    I was lucky with the weather, overcast today.

    I must get the rest of the pictures on Canmore, it died last night. Either I crashed it or it does some sort or reboot at midnight.

    If it is OK I will pinch some of your details / comments on the Kintyre sites as I promised to let For Argyll website use my pictures.

    PS
    This site has some free access until the end of the month, www.fold3.com/ . Mainly naval but I saw some pages on an American anti-submarine patrol landing at Tiree.

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    Default Re: Skipness bombing /gunnery range .

    You can see how gaps have opened up between the concrete sections in places. No structural strength was needed and the tolerances of the dimensions seem quite wide though I had to estimate the position of the edge where overgrown.

    I am sure the one near Portmahomack was built to a better standard but it has survived seventy years so cannot have been all that bad.

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