Then and Now – Sand Bay Bunker

This is a regular series of blogs about photographs of the same place taken years apart.

I quite like those Then and Now comparison photographs that you see in books or on the Twitter or Facebook.

I always think I should give them a go. However what I have started to notice is that I have been doing Then and Now photographs unintentionally over the years and have been taking photographs of the same thing or place from the same view or perspective years apart.  The first instance of this that came to my attention was last year in May when I went to Manchester.

It only really came to my attention that I was doing this a lot, when checking the Places function on the Apple Photos Mac App that I could see I had taken the same photograph of the same thing just years apart!

On the beach at Sand Bay is 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.

This was the view in April 2017

Here is the (same) view in June 2020.

There appears to be an extra telegraph pole that was installed in the intervening  three years.

Even I was a little surprised to see that I had taken two photographs each time of the bunker.

This was another view in April 2017

Here is the (same) view in June 2020.

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.

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