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Author Topic: Lodge Hill, Chattenden  (Read 26314 times)

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Offline kyn

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2012, 17:28:58 »
Lodge Hill Assessment attached

Offline cliveh

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2011, 10:04:45 »
The magazines at Lodge Hill and Chattenden were foremost in Winston Churchill's mind during the Agadir Crisis of 1911. He was Liberal Home Secretary in early April 1911 when a rebellion broke out in Morrocco against it's Sultan. The French Government, under whose 'Sphere of Influence the North African kingdom came, prepared to send troops to put down the rebellion and protect European lives. They despatched a column of troops to Fez in late April despite pleas from the British Government to show restraint. Meanwhile the German Government, encouraged fervently by the press, ordered their gunboat the 'Panther' to the Morroccan port of Agadir and she docked there on 1st July raising tensions with the French. The British were also concerned that the Germans intended to take advantage of the crisis to create a naval base on Morrocco's Atlantic coast and so, albeit grudgingly, pledged their support to France.

Tensions were further raised on 21st July when the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, delivered his Mansion House speech warning the Germans that "...national honour was more precious than peace." Meanwhile Churchill, who as Home Secretary was in charge of the Metropolitan Police who in turn were responsible for guarding the Royal Navy's stores of cordite at Lodge Hill and Chattenden, was dining with the Met's Commissioner. Inquiring of him the prepardness of the police guards in the event of a surprise German raid on the magazines he was shocked to be told they were not armed with any firearms. Both the First Lord of the Admiralty and the First Sea Lord wew away and out of contact so Churchill made an urgent call the the C-in-C the Nore to request armed Royal Marine gurds for the magazines. This request was refused so he then contacted the Minister of War who immedietly agreed the despatch of two companies of infantry to the magazines. At the same time Churchill authorized the issuing of firearms to the magazines' Metropolitan Police guards.

Churchill's worst fears were never realised and the Crisis abated with the signing of the Treaty of Fez in November 1911.


cliveh

tedthedog

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2011, 11:58:45 »
Thanks Kyn.
That was very interesting and brought back a load of memories. I used to be the Dog Training Officer for Kent Police and used the PIRA village quite extensively as we, as Bomb Dog handlers, worked very closely with the army. You might be interested in one of my books "Bomb Dog Mitch-Another Box of Dogs" which is just out on kindle and other readers. I describe exercises that I carried out in that village and the part that my Mitch and I played after the IRA callously murdered The Royal Marines Bandsmen at Deal. A survivor of that incident, now a very senior officer, kindly penned me a foreword
Have a look at http://tedthedogbooks.com and you might find it interesting
Thanks again
Ted

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2011, 13:30:03 »
The standard gauge line that is there now was laid for RE training purposes by the PRA Wing and was not part of the Munitions Depot lines. There are a one or two remaining fragments of the old depot line but not much. The only bit of the narrow gauge line I have seen is at Lower Upnor Depot at the bricked-up gateway where the line entered the depot.

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2011, 12:57:03 »
I understand from a close friend that this stretch of rail has never been connected to any other. It was laid as a training exercise and was used for exercises and training on rail vehicles. It had nothing to do with any other standard gauge line in the area. He can't quite remember when it was laid but it was recently in the grand scheme of things. By recently he means mid 1970's onward. It was certainly after the removal of the narrow gauge line.
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Offline man-of-kent

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2011, 07:07:10 »
A couple of us were lucky enough to be part of a group who were given permission to look around these magazines today, access was only possible to a couple of buildings but we saw each magazine, training areas and the odd pillbox on our walk round!  It was a very long walk but worth it  :)

Original railway from Upnor to Hoo, this section kept for search training


A big thank you to those that arranged this  
Thanks for great pictures Kyn, however the section of railway track is standard guage so could only have been part of the Chattenden to Kingsnorth railway, and it is at right-angles to that too. The line originally entered the depot from the east, after crossing Dux Court Road. Checking Google Earth, I can just about trace the course from Sharnall Street on the A228.


Moderator note: Please do not use pictures in quotes
Derek Brice

Offline mikeb

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2011, 21:30:20 »
Bromptonboy, many thanks for digging that out for me. It seems therefore that Lodge Hill was perhaps a final assembly point for munitions before being sent out to the fleet. The photo's I have are dated 1919 and show, it says, all the staff, which at a guess is about 600+ men & women. Interestingly, the women are predominately in overalls / protective clothing of some sort and of different colours (its a B&W photo of course) but the men are all in normal civilian clothes, except one naval officer of some sort.
Thanks again.

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2011, 09:49:10 »
Ah, many happy hours spent on Lodge Hill ATA, especially fishing in the old fire water ponds! Anyway, turning to 'Mikeb's' post of April 5th.
It would appear that the Magazine Establishment at Chattenden was commenced in 1876 when a small prison was built for one-hundred inmates engaged in constructing new magazines for the War Department. The prisoners were sent across the river from Chatham Convict Prison to Upnor and then by tramway to the site. The work continued for ten years at the end of which the prison was demolished. (Source - The History & Romance of Crime by Arthur Griffiths)

The magazines and areas around them were used for many purposes at various times by both the War Department and the Admiralty and by the First World War had become predominantly under Admiralty control. An insight into what was being done at Chattenden at that time can be gleaned from the Hansard record of Parliamentary debates for 20th April 1914 quoted below:-

'Colonel WARDE asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the amount of money spent in the parish of Hoo in the extension of the Deangate (Chattenden) powder magazines and cartridge-filling factories between 1st January 1909 and the 31st December 1913?
Dr. MACNAMARA The amount was 18,755.'

The question put by Colonel Warde suggests that Chattenden was at that time not just a magazine establishment but also a filling factory. Perhaps obtaining its explosive fillings from the explosives factory at Cliffe Marshes?

Offline mikeb

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2011, 10:52:49 »
Have just found this thread and wonder if your collective knowledge can explain what went on at Lodge Hill during 1914-1918 war? Were munitions manufactured here or was it basically a distribution centre for naval ammunition? When was Lodge Hill first opened?
My interest is from my grandparents working there at this time, but I dont know what they actually did there. I have some photos, those long rolls, of the entire civilian staff, dated 1919. Too long for my scanner and therefore to post I'm afraid.

seafordpete

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2011, 09:47:30 »
The clearance of the school area could be interesting. Numerous 50kg bonb cases were dropped down bored holes for location exercises and for digging shafts. Details were usually recorded in a pocket book now presumably gone. Also when doing my A3 trade test, of which a week is spent sinking a 9'x8' timber lined shaft, we were warned that there were WW1 chemical weapons buried in concrete "coffins", one of the previous group had found one and tried to smash it to get it out of the way, luckily the instructor recognised it.

Offline WildWeasel

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2011, 23:55:25 »
What I think was a Canberra was further away from buildings as I recall ....In a wooded area....Mind you that was late 1980's....Was told it was used for training IE Hiding things inside for the dogs to find....I worked there a few times when I was at GEC Marconi as they where very intererested in the NVG's I was working on at the time...Very interesting place right on our door stop
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Offline kyn

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2010, 08:11:44 »
It was still in use when we visited the site a while back, not sure what it was storing but we were not allowed to visit this area.

Training areas

Dinner time  ???

Original railway from Upnor to Hoo, this section kept for search training

Bailey Bridge

Offline Trikeman

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2010, 23:44:02 »

Definitely a McDonnell Douglas Phantom boys  - nice selection of ordenance lined up as well.
There is a recent picture of Lodge Hill ordenance depot as well - is it still used?
Trikeman





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Offline Paul

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2010, 11:41:29 »
Theres some Anti-Ship missiles and further over a Bloodhound GTA.

And what looks like Thunderbird 3 in white?    http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=sk5bf8h19695&scene=53816257&lvl=2&sty=b
Maybe it's big horse I'm a Londoner. :{

seafordpete

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Re: Lodge Hill, Chattenden
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2010, 09:43:10 »
Seems to be missiles on the ground opposite it..  http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=sk549mh193yx&scene=24344009&lvl=2&sty=b

DEODS has/had an exhibition hall that contained anything that went Bang from the year dot up to modern missiles and bombs. There was also stuff outside as seen on the link. At the back of the huts was a slection of about 200 items that were or looked like ordnance that were used in training and part of the A3 trade test, (identify them + pick out the 20 non ordnance items) . They were varied from anti personel mines to WW1 gas cylinders, flares, etc. Outside of 33  Eng regt HQ was a row of every size of WW2 German bomb.

 

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