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Drumnessie Decoy

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Bunker Entrance, 2006, Capt
Bunker entrance, 2006

The remains of a World War II Starfish Decoy site can be found on the east side of the Tak-Ma-Doon road between Kilsyth and Carronbridge, northeast of Glasgow. Part of the . The site was known as Drumnessie, although it may also have been known as Banton, or Tak-Ma-Doon Road.

The site was visible in aerial photographs taken by the RAF in 1946, which are reported to showed the decoy as three enclosures made up of ditches and banks, containing a group of fire baskets, and located some 1.3 kilometres northeast of the control bunker. The enclosures themselves were located about 300 metres east of the Tak-Ma-Doon Road. The record describes this as a QL site, but this designation refers to a lighting decoy, and the aerial survey indicate that the site was actually a QF (fire) decoy.

The control bunker for the decoy remains to the east of the Tak-Me-Doon road, and consists of an earth covered, concrete and brick built structure containing two rooms connected by a short corridor, with its entrance protected by a brick built baffle wall. The more easterly of the two rooms has mountings for a generator, while that to the west shows evidence of former partitions. The structure measures some 4 m x 9 m, and may be similar to the that described on the Craigmaddie Muir Decoy Site.

This may explain the QL designation of the decoy in the records, as the lighting would have required a substantial generator to power it. Although there are no remains to be found, the report refers to another possible decoy area, located some 300 metres north west of the bunker, and described as having a number of parallel alignments of small stones. This has been suggested to represent the layout of lighting intended to simulate street lights within a populated area, but seems pointless, since such lines would have given away the false nature of the view if spotted from the air, and would have been redundant if the implication is that they marked the layout - the cabling and its ground anchors would have done this, and there would have been a documented plan. In practice, such lighting patterns would not simply have been left on, which would actually have signalled to enemy bombers that they were in fact false, but would have been operated intermittently, and probably not in full at any one time, in order to attract the enemy to the area by providing sighting clues, rather than fixed targets. There is a further problem with this report, as it places the lighting and generator on opposite sides of a road, requiring the power cables to cross over or under the road. Had there been a lighting decoy, it would have been on the east side, along with the generator, or the generator would have been built on the west side of the road, if the QL decoy existed.

Other than the control bunker, there do not appear to be any further remains of the decoy surviving in the area.

Site visit

A site visit was carried out during 2008 and found a number of unusual features regarding the bunker. The internal rendering was almost intact, but where it had fallen off it revealed the positions of bricked up apertures, while panelling which had survived on the walls was assumed to have been used for mounting of switchgear. The engine room only had two fuel feed pipes evident, typically there are three. Pipe ducts were seen to lead from the engine room, one running south and the other north. Both were twelve inches in diameter, wider than found elsewhere.

Photographs

2006

Blast wall at entrance, 2006, Capt
Blast wall at entrance
Observation/access shaft, 2006, Capt
Observation/access shaft
Access corridor, 2006, Capt
Access corridor


2007

Entrance, 2007, © http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n204/6553mark/DSCF3397.jpg
Entrance, 2007
View from entrance, © http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n204/6553mark/DSCF3415.jpg
View from entrance
Interior ladder, © http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n204/6553mark/DSCF3400.jpg
Interior ladder
Generator plinths, © http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n204/6553mark/DSCF3414.jpg
Generator plinths
Decoy site area, © http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n204/6553mark/DSCF3392.jpg
Decoy site area



External links

Related Canmore/RCAHMS and ScotlandsPlaces (SP) entries:-

 

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Aerial views


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