Records indicate that a World War II Starfish Naval decoy was located west of Larkfield, to the south of Gourock on the Clyde coast. The site lies in the area of Earnhill Road in Larkfield Industrial Estate. Part of the Clyde AA Defences Site number GG1. The site was known as Auchmead.
The site has been described as a fire decoy, from RAF aerial photography taken in 1945. Little detail is given, other than the positions of the control bunker, where the service personnel would have sheltered and been able to trigger and fuel the decoy fires, and the power generating bunker, which would have housed a petrol or diesel generator to power the decoy. The generator bunker is described as possibly being in the area of the Covenanters' Well and Pulpit Rock.
The bunker is understood to have been demolished in the mid 1950s, and was therefore probably removed when the area was being cleared for development.
In 2009, the National Library of Scotland (NLS) began posting Ordnance Survey Air Photo Mosaics online, dating from 1944-1950.
One of our visitors believes these images appear to contradict the recorded positions of the bunker and decoy, and has provided alternative locations based on reviewing these period images. These have been marked on the map below for comparison.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to link to any of the Air Mosaics, and in order to see the images you must visit the site (at the link given below), and then manually enter the the grid reference NS232763 in the Search box offered in the By zoomable map of Scotland option, which the NLS site offers on its home page.
(Admin's note - I have tried to find these alternates, but cannot see anything at the points given, which lie some way south of the original locations).
- Auchmead Control Bunker
- Auchmead Generator Bunker
- Covenanters Well
- Alternate bunker location proposed from NLS Air Mosaics
- Alternate decoy position proposed from NLS Air Mosaics
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