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Offline MOD Historian

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2017, 10:19:43 »
Does anyone have any information about the period between 1921 and 1937 when Fort Halstead was in private hands? It is said to have been used for scout camps, but which troops might that be and were any photographs taken? There is a certain amount available about Lt Col Bradshaw who owned the old fort, but what about the Allports who owned the caretaker's cottages just outside. I've only seen one photograph from that period which is in the Sevenoaks Historical Dictionary produced by Professor David Kilingray, but I'm sure by the 1930's that cameras would have been much more available and affordable to 'the masses'.

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2016, 14:50:08 »
H.C. When I returned to Kent as a sales engineer in 1966, I used to call at Fort Halstead, which was then the R.(Royal) A.(Armament) R.(Research) & D.(Development) E.(Establishment). I was always strictly escorted to the particular engineer that I had come to see but when I'd finished, left to find my own way out! 

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2016, 17:07:28 »
Inside the secret world of explosives forensics.

Blink and you miss the turning. There are no signs to announce its whereabouts, just a leafy lane in rural Kent that ends with a chain-link fence, a gate guarded by police and a visitors' reception.

The UK government's Forensic Explosive Laboratories (FEL) at Fort Halstead is clearly not a place that likes to advertise.

Yet here, in this sprawling collection of red brick MOD buildings, pristine laboratories and curious ventilation chimneys, close to 2,000 pieces of evidence are brought in for forensic examination each year.


Continue @ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37048421

Debe  Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2016, 20:04:38 »
Fort Halstead, Dunton Green, Sevenoaks, Kent
A brief assessment of the role of Fort Halstead in Britain's early rocket programmes and the atomic bomb project
Research Department report series no. 49-2010
Wayne D Cocroft. English Heritage. Pdf file 560KB.
http://services.english-heritage.org.uk/ResearchReportsPdfs/049_2010WEB.pdf
Debe  Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté

Offline cliveh

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2015, 15:12:08 »
Just to clarify the previous post - the 'Y' Station was at Ivy Farm, Knockholt - not at Fort Halstead

cliveh

Geoff B

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2012, 13:14:27 »
Fort Halstead was one of the Y stations in Kent that intercepted and listened to Enemy Enigma Code messages in world war 2 . The morse code messages were then taken to Bletchley Park for the codebreakers to work on.

The other Y Station in Kent was Fort Bridgewoods. This work was Top secret and only recently declassified. The Germans never realized we had decoded these message.


Please see more information on this secret operation on this link to Fort Bridgewoods

http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1698.msg113596#msg113596 

Bletchley Park is well worth a visit. Some of the code breakers are there still and explain what it is all about. Kent can be proud of its contribution to this codebreaking activity. What was found out was stunning.

http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/content/museum1.rhtm

Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2012, 19:18:36 »
Rocket Expert, Dr. L.W.J. Newman, who was Senior Principal Scientific Officer at the Ministry of Supply Rocket Establishment at this fort resigned in May 1948.  During WWII he served in the R.A.F. Research Development Arm.

Offline yeoman

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2011, 21:25:45 »
It's in Surrey but there's a mobilisation centre/fort of the same vintage, now restored and in National Trust ownership at Reigate, although it's only open for guided tours.

"Built in 1898, Reigate Fort was never designed as a conventional armed stronghold. It was originally called a Mobilisation Centre, as its main role was to supply tools and ammunition to enable soldiers, volunteers and contractors to dig entrenched positions along a designated section of the North Downs." TQ257521

I had thought Halstead was armed in some way, if only because it is sited at the mouth of the Darrent Valley.  The casemates also suggest, to me at least, that it was intended as more than a simple store

Offline david

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2010, 18:31:02 »
The most up-todate information that I have is here:
http://www.palmerstonforts.org.uk/redan/mobil.htm
We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is com

Offline cliveh

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2010, 09:24:34 »
Hi Tom Burnham

According to Victor Smith in his book "Front Line Kent" the Westerham Fort has been pretty much destroyed or "mutilated" as he put's it. Farningham he says is in much better condition. Both forts are now on private property so access to check current conditions could be difficult.

cliveh

Offline Tom Burnham

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2010, 22:50:06 »
Reading the postings on military research at Fort Halstead reminds me that Fort Halstead was only one of a chain of forts south of London built in the mid-Victorian period - the others in Kent included Fort Farningham (533671) and Fort Westerham (about 436576, I think).  As I understand it, they were intended as mustering points for infantry, rather than heavily fortified artillery positions.

I wonder if anyone has any recent information on their condition?

Regards

Tom Burnham, Staplehurst, Kent

seafordpete

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2010, 18:53:57 »
I had a friend who worked there in the 1970s, he had some photos from the camera referred to (or one similar) showing fired bullets in flight- it even showed the shockwaves in the air streaming away from the nose. Speed would be around 1800-2000 ft /sec,  some 12-1400mph

Offline cliveh

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2010, 18:14:00 »
I lived in Dunton Green, just down the road from "The Fort", for 17 years '67-'84. Test explosions from there used to make the buildings in the village shake!

My Dad joined the MOD Police Club up there -  cheap drinks all at NAAFI prices. Through this we were often  invited to the Fort Fireworks Display - now they what you called a "REAL" fireworks show. All the fireworks were produced at the Fort and the display commenced with the most tremendous explosion with Guy sitting at the top of the bonfire being blown 100ft up in the air and the bonfire in seconds a ball of flames which lasted all night.  The fireworks made the ground shake and lit up the skies for miles around! :)

Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2010, 21:29:28 »
1959

Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Halstead
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2010, 20:51:41 »
Fort Halstead was considered obsolete by 1921 and was put up for sale.  On the 8th of November 1921 the fort sold for £1,450 after being described as a: Delightful little country retreat.  The fort was sold by Messrs. Weatherall and Green from Chancery Lane.

 

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