Nah, the view of the Blantyre battery is fine in Flashearth.
Make sure you've got the Microsoft VE (aerial) option selected at the top left. If the view defaults to Google, then you just get Google's lo-res satellite view, and it doesn't show the required detail.
I visited the Larkfield site yesterday and had a closer poke about it. I spotted that a section of brickwall had apparently been repaired with bricks from BLANTYRE FERME. How is that for an unexpected find?
Long time lurker, resident of the the Halfway area of Cambuslang and long time dog walker through the various agricultural, industrial, war-time and other relics of Cambuslang, Blantyre, and Dechmont and the outskirts of East Kilbride.
Some might know me from posts over at HG, and I met the good Captain once when he was kind enough to show me some goodies around the Daldowie area!
Anyways, main interests are sites like Fin Me Oot, Blantyreferme AA site, Dechmont firing range and the various collieries in the area.
Decided to register after doing some research recently on decoy sites, which I find fascinating - so curious to imagine folk in the middle of a bombing raid setting off various special effects from a small hut in the middle of nowhere!
Anyways, back to Blantyreferme AA site - there's long been talk of what lies under the spoil heap, and I've been walking round here since I was in my early teens (so a good couple of decades now). It's harder to discern what's going on there due to vegetation growth from when I were a lad, but I clearly remember that the spoil heap hid the entrance to a further magazine building, although I hadn't seen it for years because of the tree and thorn growth.
About this time last year, one very frosty morning, I set off looking for it again, and with vegetation growth in its winter state, I managed to find it again, on the NE corner of the spoil heap - or at least, the top portion of its entrance, and a small chasm delineating its roofline. Here are a few snaps, taken on my compact camera in freezing shivery conditions - it's my intention to go back before the vegetation growth starts again in spring and record the whole site properly on my bigger camera.
The pics here will have to do until then - a shot of the the entrance, which is at the end of a concrete rat run, rather like the central magazine building encased in earth and concrete. A shot inside, which if you can see through my breath vapour, shows the numbered stalls inside, and a shot of the roof of the building, just peeking out from the side of the mound.
It's a while since I shot the battery at Blantyre (it might have been the first I visited since it is reasonably handy), and although it's nice to do these things in summer, the downside is the vegetation.
I remember gazing at the spoil heap under its coating of long grass and other growth, and wondering if there was any chance of ever finding out if there was actually anything under there, as per the hint. I suggested back then that it was hopeless - unless someone had a JCB or similar handy.
I'm amazed to see it was all there to be found once the undergrowth had died back a bit.
Welcome to the Site. Great stuff, I missed this when I shot the site a couple of years ago. I am surprised that the Battery is still there as on my visit it was clear that a new access road was being built through the woods which suggested development of the area. Can you tell us what the situation is now?
Re Blantyre Ferme Brickworks, mentioned above several years ago - I noticed that it is shown on one of the maps on the Fin me out page. Do you know if there is anything lleft of it?
The new access road with the gate leads to Redlees Quarry, not the AA gun site - the quarry was run as a fishery up until a couple of years ago, now it's abandoned again - although the fishery folk remodelled it a bit to make it a bit deeper. I should say that the road to the quarry itself isn't new, but it was the area round the entrance off Blantyre Farm Road that was cleaned up and remodelled a bit, since it had become an easy target for fly-tipping.
The quarry itself intrigues me, it isn't on the aerial photo of the gun-site taken in the 1940s, so is presumably post-war, but other than that, I know very little about it.
At the same time as the gate to the quarry was tidied up, they did some work to the path that runs to the east of the AA gun site, since it had become a bit boggy, and more recently, the land between it and Blantyre Farm Road was excavated for new drainage ditches - I'll need to get along to see if the work there has thrown up any evidence of the camp for the AA gun site, which was right underneath this area.
Blantyreferme Brick Works - that site was landscaped and planted in the early 80s, I think - it's the tree-covered area next to Blantyre Farm Rd opposite the road to Fin Me Oot - there used to be an information board on one the paths they created round the brickworks site telling you about the history and redevelopment of the area, but been years since I was there, so don't know if it's still there. It's the wooded area with the paths running through it in this map here:
I came across this link recently which is an aerial view taken in 1946 of Dechmont Hill in Cambuslang, just south of the main Cambuslang/Blantyre road, showing an army wooden huts (12) to the east of the hill, presumably accommodation for an anti aircraft gun emplacement. (see the track going to the left). I remember these huts as abandoned as a youth in the early 1950s.
You will notice in this same photograph, The Blantyeferme anti-aircraft gun emplacement has been removed thought the accommodation huts remain surrounded by trees. This row of huts left standing after the war and were used as emergency housing for ex- service men and thier families.
Abov and below the map are a number of automatically formed links, based on the coordinates of the site, and these extract the nearby results from collections such as Canmore, which are the source of the RCAHMS and ScotlandPlaces info.
While they're handy in themselves, they're still no substitute for a little local info though, which is often where the real gems are found
The last paragraph of this short extract from the Winter 2009 NRA Journal may interest Gap74 and others:
DTE Ranges Ranges still out of commission include Tyddesley Wood, which will probably be decommissioned in the near future, and Whittington is still closed. Approximately two years ago, several members from the West Midlands put two proposals to the NRA to pass on to DTE. One, to build a ‘bund ‘on Kinsgbury between ‘A’ and ‘B’ Ranges to allow concurrent shooting at different distances and a second to refurbish the range fl oor and realign the Stop Butt on Whittington Range. All at no cost to DTE. Both proposals were politely received but not accepted.
We are still looking at Dechmont Ranges. The NRA has carried out two surveys of the range so far. Our consultant believes that the range can be reopened, however, DE has reservations. The NRA now has again gone back to HQ Scotland with our plans.
Having shot at Dechmont in the 1960s, first as a cadet and subsquently with the West of Scotland Rifle Club, I should be delighted to see the ranges re-opened.
Nice find Ed with the huts east of Dechmont - I'd looked at that aerial shot before and never thought to look there, but I don't think there was any AA battery there. Were they not maybe connected to the firing range itself? I see there are far more buildings at the firing range HQ than there are now too, maybe these huts were built as overspill? My grandfather was stationed here during the war, and married a local (my grandmother, obviously!). He was from the Norwich area, so troops from far and wide obviously came here. Likewise, a friend from Westburn's Mancunian grandfather was posted to Blantyreferme battery and also married a local.
The AA Battery at Blantyreferme isn't on that map, as you point out, but not because it's been removed - rather, it's been crudely disguised by a having a field and some woods painted over it! These photo maps were produced just after the war, so any sites of strategic importance were censored - if you look at the map sheet immediately to the north of this one, in which Blantyreferme makes an appearance just at the bottom, it's disguised in that one by a cloud!
Likewise the map sheet covering Rogerton on the way to East Kilbride, the battery there is also the only thing in the picture covered by a small, curiously localised cloud!
Looking at the Dechmont huts again, I see zig-zag trenches just to the left of them. I'm sure there's the remains of one brick and concrete hut still in the strip of trees adjacent to the site, will need to get back and have a look. I have no idea what the little thing the path leads to is though, anyone any ideas? Barrage ballon site maybe? There's a large quarry in the woods to the left, which you can see on the photo, but no sign of a regular path between that and the hut, so I don't think they're related to that.
The presence of those huts at Dechmont might also explain why I've never been able to find any remains of the 18th century weaving mill that was in that rough area, and gave the place its name (Flemington, the weavers apparently being Flemish) although I did think I'd found the dam. Not so sure now, since I suspect the dam might be a later drainage work by the farmer!
I'm sure I've heard loudish shooting fairly recently at Dechmont, but as far as I know, it's only a small area of the range which is used by cadets, the TA, the police and shooting clubs now. The army appeared to stop using it for a few years after Dunblane - indeed, I seem to recall reading somewhere that Thomas Hamilton had legitimately used the range at least once. I never see the flags go up now, have they stopped doing that I wonder?
A small accommodation camp consisting of 17 huts, probably associated with the rifle ranges, has been identified from RAF wartime vertical air photographs (E309, 7075-6, 3 October 1941) immediately E of the Light Burn.
We've got a few rifle ranges in the Wiki, most interesting ones that we concentrated on were the old Victorian or war-related items, but is it seem many went to wall after Dunblane, and the bans that followed, in the sense that they were used for air weapon events, as opposed to firearms use.
Rummaged through it, but I don't see a single RC heli on the Cathkin club site - I may be doing them a disservice, but I recall being warned off from approaching them years ago - as a heli flyer - as they only flew fixed wing.
I ended up going to the East Kilbride club, which did have a few heli pilots on board, but it was all to formal for me - nice folk though - and I gave up after a few visits.
They are indeed shooting at Dechmont today, something I can confirm after listening to the sound of "nearby" gunfire while doing some work outside, in the cold, and the frost, and even at 12:30, we're still only at -1°C today - and my pot of water which lies outside is still frozen solid.
That layer of cold dense air is doing a wonderful job of channelling the sound, and stopping it from dispersing.
Big plans, it seems, for Redlees Quarry and the AA Battery - time to get those pics before it all changes!
South Lanarkshire Council have passed plans this week to turn the area into an urban fringe parkland, with a lot of work to the quarry area to make it more attractive to wildlife. The AA Battery is to be fenced off and have interpretive boards placed around it. The work also involves the building of car parks.
Unfortunately, the council web site seems to thwart external links, even by simple copy & paste of the url/address, and you have to use their Search, and search for Redlees. That brings the suggested document up at the top of the list, and clicking opens it with no problems, even though it looks to my tired eyes like exactly the same url. The may have some nasty code checking to see that the request has been made from their site, and kill any links from others.
A quick glance seems to suggest a bit of vision for a change, even if the Blantyreferme battery is amongst one of the most damaged and vandalised.
However, if the vegetation is cleared, there will be much formerly unseen and inaccessible material to be seen.
I suspect, from kicking around the ground, there will also be undiscovered feature to be revealed, as I found there were areas of grass and earth covering concrete features that would have need a shovel to get down to.
Granted they may only be manhole covers or sewage, but there may be some ducts or the like to be found.
The plan of the site is interesting, as it seems to show the six batteries, competed with shelters and ammunition stores around the holdfasts.
Maybe they'll clear the spoil over the buried magazine too.
Hope they don't demolish things like the workshop with the collapsed roof - tidied and made safe would be good, but not demolished and cleared.