Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Last week of January...

Been nice spending less time in the evenings in front of a PC blogging-but in reality i have spent the same amount of time doing other stuff on line!. too many hobbies and interests!
I stopped watching TV last summer. And now i do not know how i had time to watch TV!
I absolutely refuse to watch TV channels with commercial breaks. Watching that crap every 20 minutes or so i can feel my life webbing away like the tide wearing down a rock. Since i met Francis who does not even own a TV in her home we both are too busy outdoors. The TV is only ever on to watch DVDs now.

On winter nights sitting in front of the fire i would rather read. I have a truck load of books to read...  :)



I do watch BBC 4 documentaries on iplayer, There is a lot of great (advert free) programmes on BBC4.
I will still pay my TV licence as i am happy to watch advert free Television, even if usually on BBC iplayer which is free!. Maybe one day i will again sit down to watch a live broadcast on TV! lol but i have so much going on in my life these days to sit and slouch around, life is too short!,
Here is some outdoor stuff from the end of January;

Some good winter days on the coast cycling, while Francis was horse riding...












Endurance horses average speed ain`t slow!, a good fitness workout keeping up , or ahead!..





Get it on Film;
Was also out with mate Dave who had just bought a Quadcopter to play around with his son. We fitted my Go Pro camera to try some filming...



Easier said than done to fly!, but Dave managed to land it ok each time,.
Copter  took a temper tantrum and refused to fly after a while so we called it a day-then, back at my house and after the Moonlander was washed it flew fine! lol
here is a short film from some of the footage...




Been out on the usual coast rides. Some amount of sand has been washed out above the high tide line in places, and deposited on other areas of coast. Most amount i have ever seen moved. a lot of areas of rocks are now covered!...



Fantastic low sun winter light on the wet sand and sea...



Loads of Lobster creels washed in this winter...



Winter swell pushing in...


Canada Geese...



Sea Buckthorn clearing at Gullane...


Fatbiking...



Miles of criss cross sandy single track...

WW2 Type 27 Pill box nearly disappeared in growing dunes on the Reserve...





Nearby these tank traps were arranged with a junction for a reason my dad told me...


Killing zone of tank traps. Invading forces landing on the beach would have been funnelled into this V shape via a mine free section of beach-where machine gun and mortar fire crossed would be a nasty surprise...

Polish soldiers and POW`s left their mark here when the Anti tank blocks were made here in 1940...


Yikes!, bet the POW who did that got a slap...

Wednesday 21st August 1940...


Here is a clearer earlier pic of this block. Note the spelling of Wednesday!...


Google that date and we were in the midst of the Battle of Britain.
Here is the RAF report of the day;

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 21st 1940
WEATHER: 
Cloud and winds continuing to come down from the north, much cooler and conditions expected top deteriorate during the day. Rain periods are expected in the south during the afternoon especially in coastal districts.
OPERATIONS IN DETAIL: 
The weather, which was slowly getting worse from the previous day was expected to continue. Fighter Command knew that large scale operations would be out, but they were not stupid enough to acknowledge the fact that the Luftwaffe would not attempt the occasional mission to possibly airfields and/or industrial targets.
This was borne out just after midday when the days events started to unfold.1215hrs: Radar picks up a small to medium formation out over the North Sea off Norfolk. The formation is tracked for a while before Fighter Command dispatched any aircraft. This was due to the possibility that the formation may have been on a reconnaissance mission and not causing any particular threat. The formation breaks into two groups. One comes inland and flies on a south-westerly course, the other continues north past the Wash and the Humberside region. Newly formed 302 Squadron Leconfield (Hurricanes) and 242 Squadron Coltishall (Hurricanes) were instructed to intercept.
The Dorniers are from KG2 and head towards Norwich crossing the coast near Great Yarmouth. The other formation also consisted of Do17s were from KG3 and continued their flight path along the east coast towards Hull.
1230hrs: 242 Squadron Coltishall (Hurricanes) make first contact and throw the Dornier formation into disarray. As the bombers twist and turn, Blue Section led by Fl/Lt G.F.Powell-Sheddon, tear into the front part of the formation and with two of his section hit one of the Dorniers. The Do17 of KG2 goes down and crashes in flames in Norfolk. Many of the formation seek cover in the low cloud and abort the mission. 302 squadron, a new Polish squadron was returned to base.
1235hrs: As the other portion of the formation flying north-west pass Hull, they are closer to the coast and Fighter Command release 611 Squadron Digby (Spitfires) and interception is made just off the coast at Skegness.
P/O J.W.Lund claims first blood when he shoots down a Do17 that crashes into the sea killing all on board.
1240hrs: The next casualty is one of the Spitfires of 611 squadron, when P/O M.P.Brown launches in to attack a Dornier, but as he pulls away his Spitfire his hit by gunfire from the Do17 which damages the tailplane and one of the ailerons on his starboard wing and he is forced to return to base with a very unresponsive Spitfire. More Spitfires go into the attack, F/O D.H.Watkins lines up a Dornier in his gunsight and gives it a five second burst. Smoke trails from the stricken bomber and it goes down crashing into the sea off Scotts Head killing all the crew.



1245hrs: Within five minutes, his Spitfire is hit, but damage is only minor. The pilot, F/O D.H.Watkins tries to stay with the combat but his crippled aircraft is just a burden in the affray so he decides to return to base.1300 hrs: A section of 242 Squadron led by S/L D.R.S.Bader was coming in to land at Coltishall just to the north of Norwich from a normal practice flight when Bader heard over the R/T that an enemy aircraft had been spotted near Yarmouth. The call was actually not for 242 Squadron, but for 66 Squadron also based at Coltishall. Bader could not resist the temptation, Yarmouth was only minutes away and he could be there within minutes.

He heard over the R/T a voice saying: "Rusty Red Leader calling. Rusty Red section airborne."And then the controller: "Hallo, Rusty Red Leader. Bandit angels seven over Yarmouth. Vector one-one-zero." *
Yarmouth lay fifteen miles to the south-east and Rusty was the call sign of Rupert Leigh's 66 Squadron. As soon as it had registered, Bader's throttle was wide open and he streaked for Yarmouth.
He came to the coast north of the town but saw nothing else in the air. Rusty section had not arrived yet. A layer of strato-cumulus cloud covered the sky at about 8,000 feet. Might be something above that! He lifted his nose and bored into the cloud; twenty seconds later he lifted out of the grey foam into brilliant sunshine and there unbelievably in front of his eyes flew a Dornier 17 with a glistening pale-blue belly. She was about 700 feet above, going from left to right only a couple of hundred yards in front. As he wheeled up, the Dornier spotted him and dived for the cloud, but Bader was between the cloud and the enemy.
Closing fast, he fired, seeing the tracer flick out. The rear gunner was firing. He was straight behind now and something came suddenly away from the Dornier like a little chain with weights on, ** and then it had whipped past under him. He had his thumb on the button in a long burst when the Dornier slid into the cloud and he followed, still hosing bullets into the greyness.
Paul Brickhill Reach For The Sky Collins 1954 p199 
* Communication talk meaning 'Enemy aircraft 7,000 feet over Yarmouth. Steer 110 degrees magnetic to intercept.
** This was a new form of weapon which the Germans threw out of bombers. The 'weights' were grenades and were attached to a long wire. These were to explode when coming into contact with a fighter. They were not really effective.
S/L Douglas Bader lost the aircraft in the cloud, he stayed just under the cloud base twisting and turning, but the Dornier eluded him. Bader returned to base exceptionally annoyed and in a state of rage.
1305hrs: The combat action continues and moves off the coast at Skegness, the Dorniers have been foiled in their attempt in attacking a coastal convoy coming down the coast. Many of the bombers try to gain height and take cover in the cloud. The Spitfire of P/O J.W.Lund takes a hit from gunfire from a Dornier and decides to return to base only to crash on landing with the pilot escaping any injury.1320hrs: Another Spitfire takes a hit in the glycol system and it is believed that he also sustained damage to the hydraulic system, and returned to base. With 611 Squadron losing half of its aircraft the rest attempt to block access to the cloud cover forcing many of the Dorniers to take evasive action.
1330hrs: In a desperate attempt to seek the safety of the clouds, one Do17 collides with another receiving damage that forces the bomber to make a forced landing between Skegness and Maplethorpe. The crew were believed to have been captured. The other Do17 is immediately attacked by 611 Spitfires and crashed in the vicinity of Maplethorpe.
In the south west, German bombers made several attacks targeting 10 Group airfields and oil installations.
1425hrs: 234 Squadron Middle Wallop (Spitfires) intercepted and attacked a Ju88.  Possibly shot down by P/O R.F.T.Doe. The bomber crashed and burst into flames killing all on board.
1615hrs: An attack was made on Brize Norton airfield and also at Middle Wallop. 17 Squadron Tangmere (Hurricanes) intercepted a formation of Ju88s making the attacks. One of which was shot down, the Junkers crash landed at Earnley and the crew captured. 17 Squadron sustained no casualties. One Blenheim bomber was damaged at Middle Wallop during the raid.
CASUALTIES
No casualties were reported on this day.

This young man lost his life...

And this German Bomber was shot down in England by Hawker Hurricanes of 17 Squadron...

Quieter times out here today...
Still surviving pieces of WW2 history to see...


Found the Spigot Mortar mount out on Aberlady Reserve. I also found another one at Fernie Ness at Longniddry  a few years ago. These are not documented anywhere on line or in local WW2 history books...


The Iron Ore mines here were explored by the late local Author and friend of my father Nigel Tranter.
He told stories of exploring here with a candle and lenght of string in talks he used to give to us at Aberlady Primary school...This is the spoil out of the mines, the entrances behind have disappeared after being sealed...



Big swell pushing in today...






Never seen this complete WW2 Coastal defence Anti Invasion Anti Glider Pole before that has been exposed lately...




Lost a tent peg? :)  3 foot long WW2 peg exposed in dunes washed out by the high tides...




Creels washed up everywhere...

Flickr films of the swell...








All this used to be rocks under my wheels!...


3 tennis balls found for Mowgli!...


Same bike and a different day again here on the coast...






Had a couple of hours on the coast at low tide at Yellowcraig between heavy showers, so shot some film on the compact camera with Gorilla pod doing some rock crawling.
Since the ride above i refitted the stock fork to the Moonlander as deft some high speed wobbles with the Jones steel Truss fork which really needs a frame with slacker head angle. Not sure what to do with that fork now...
Anyways some film...
Song is `Buckie High` by  Boards of Canada
click on the cog icon to view in HD




Back soon...


3 comments:

  1. We live on a very interesting coast, amazing what the shifting tide can expose. I love the anti tank blocks & I found the one at Belhaven with the wheel barrow sticking out, the tyre still looks much the same as it would have when it was buried by the concrete although a little perished now, it's approx 100 yards along from the bridge on the shore front. I was once told by an old boy that after the war most of the blocks from Belhaven & Dunbar were dumped into Seafield pond to fill it up a bit as it was once a brick works or the clay pit for the works can't quite mind as it was years ago & that the Battleblent hotel was the owners house. Great post just hope we get a bit of drier weather soon !
    Cheers the now.

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  2. Hi Robert, Iliked your last blog post, great pics!
    I need to go see that block!.
    Racing this Sunday at Fox Lake on a fatbike for a giggle. maybe see you if your out and about?, need to get you out on a fatbike sometime! :)

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  3. Sounds good I feel I'm forever being drawn closer to a fatbike build :-) there's so much of the coast that I want to explore but am limited with a standard bike.

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