We went to Sand Bay for a walk along the beach. Taking advantage of the easing of restrictions we were able to now drive to a place for a walk. To be honest we could probably cycle there from our house.
We parked in the village, mainly as I thought the car parks may still be closed. Though they weren’t, the two car parks we saw on our walk were packed full of cars.
Lots of other people had the same idea we had, but it was nowhere near as busy as other beaches we have seen on the news.
Though it was windy, it was quite a warm wind, and with the sun shining we walked down to Sand Point, though we had decided we wouldn’t walk along Sand Point, but we could see that others had had that idea.
On the way there we passed an old second world war pillbox.
It looks like it has sunk into the sand, I am not sure if it has just sunk, or of it had slipped down the beach over the years.
The car park at Sand Point was full, and with the narrowness of the road leading to the car park and limited turning space, the whole place was one big traffic jam. People unable to park, people unable to leave the car park, as those wanting to park were blocking the narrow road. I was glad we had parked up in the village and walked.
There was an ice cream van, and myself and Jacqui had a ice cream. It was nice to do something “normal” for a change.
We walked back to the car, and though I had seen the world war two pillbox in the sand before, I noticed that there were two more up on the dunes that I hadn’t seen before. Well if I had I hadn’t noticed them before.
I do think it interesting that there are quite a few pillboxes and beach defences at Sand Bay. You wouldn’t have thought that this coastline was under threat of German invasion back in the 1940s. It’s quite a way from the continent and you would need to go around both Devon and Cornwall (going past Plymouth, a major Royal Navy port), as well as South Wales before hitting the beaches at Weston and Sandy Bay.
However doing some research about the pillboxes, I came to realise that the British in 1940 did believe that invasion may come from the South West.
The Taunton Stop Line was a defensive line in south west England. It was designed “to stop an enemy’s advance from the west and in particular a rapid advance supported by tanks which may have broken through the forward defences.
After walking back to our car we went home.
Close to my house, on an old piece of land, a new petrol station, 24hour supermarket (and not quite yet) Starbucks has been built. No I am not blogging that there’s going to be a new coffee shop…
During clearance work, two Type 22 Pillbox bunkers were uncovered.
I know the area quite well, and have seen a few pillboxes in the area, but having passed this way many times I wasn’t aware that they were even there.
Looking at this old Google Street View image you can see why, this is how it looked before the construction started.
Here is how it looks now. Part of the planning permission was that these should be retained and protected.
So what we have is a World War Two pillbox defending a Shell petrol station!
The pillboxes were constructed to protect the airfield, RAF Weston-super-Mare, which was a Royal Air Force station on a civilian airfield in Weston-super-Mare. The civilian airfield was taken over by the RAF on the 1st May 1940 and would remain there until 1993.