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Author Topic: Naval Sea Forts  (Read 15419 times)

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Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2015, 23:19:02 »
Four photos showing the naval forts being built at Red Lion Wharf, Northfleet, by civil engineering company Holloway Brothers.

© IWM (A 26872) A completed pontoon that will form the base of a sea fort to be used in the Thames Estuary. The first pre-assembled reinforcing grids of the twin towers are in place and the pontoon is lying on the mud in No 1 berth. Later it was floated on the tide to a dock basin.

© IWM (A 26873) Maunsell Sea Forts in the Thames Estuary: In the dock basin the twin towers of a sea fort to be used in the Thames Estuary are rapidly rising from the floating pontoon. A pre-assembled spot welded cage is hoisted into position, and the concrete is poured between a permanent wooden inner wall and an outer steel shell. Then the steel shell is moved up and the next cast is made.

© IWM (A 26874) Hoisting into position the pre-assembled cage of reinforcement for the towers.

© IWM (A 26875) Putting in the floors of each section of the towers. A pre-cast reinforced "biscuit" (they were actually turned out like biscuits, one on top of another, with brown paper separating each) is attached to a steel spider and lifted into position, then the spider is unscrewed and attached to the next floor.
Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2015, 22:09:17 »
Two photos of the IWM 1/48 scale model of a Thames Naval Sea Fort. One leg is sectioned to show the internal layout.

© IWM (mod 426) Forts of this type were designed to fulfil several roles during the Second World War, namely to break up enemy aircraft formations approaching London from the sea, to prevent the laying of mines in the navigable channels, to prevent E-Boats from raiding shipping, and to provide early warning of approaching hostile air or sea forces by means of radiolocation. They were built at riverside sites on the Thames and floated out to their locations in the Estuary, where they were flooded and settled on the sea bed. Each of the towers was 24 feet in diameter, 60 feet high, and had 7 internal decks. A total of 4 forts of this type were deployed in the Thames Estuary, in the area colloquially known as "E-Boat Alley", and were manned by a crew of Marines and Bluejackets, numbering 100 officers and men. The first fort was due to be towed out to a point near Harwich in January 1942, but bad weather delayed this until early February. The Navy (and Army) Forts were built at Red Lion Wharf, Northfleet, Gravesend by Holloway Brothers, and then towed to Berth 28,Tilbury Dock for final fitting out before being towed out and sunk in position. Each army tower weighed about 600 tons whilst the complete naval fort weighed about 3000 tons.
Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

Offline MedwayDweller

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2015, 15:38:14 »
Great piece of footage you found there Herb Collector. I have a great passion for these forts and have  visited them on a few occasions but it's always great to see these wonderful structures when they were still intact and rust free.

Medway dweller
nostalgia's not what it used to be

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2015, 20:53:38 »
Thames sea forts. British Pathé 1.50.
Footage taken in 1948 while the forts were still in active service.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=k9J-sPv2CgU
Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

Offline Ted Ingham

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2010, 17:54:31 »
Positioning and sinking of the Naval Sea Fort.






Regards,
Ted.

Offline Ted Ingham

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2010, 21:22:07 »
The Knock John Fort.Taken in the early 80's before the guns were removed.




Offline kyn

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2010, 20:21:49 »
 :)  You have certainly had some rare experiences!  Thank you again for your posts!

Offline CDP

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2010, 19:04:25 »
A FREEZING EXPERIENCE IN THE SUMMER.

As an apprentice Engine Fitter around 1946,  part of my training was on refrigerators (three months ) and my instructor Fred Buddle informed me that the next day we were to repair a rather large refrigerator and I was to take some sandwiches with me ?.

This day we had repaired the Captain of the Dockyard's  fridge in his large house which was  inside the Dockyard. It was a long job that lasted all day . We lifted the fridge upside down to allow the gas to flow back to the bottom of the casing and  that took 2 minutes and that was all it required .We then had to have a few cups of tea ,a few cigarettes,  a walk around the yard and just managed to arrive back in time to clock off. We were tired out.!

The following day Fred informed me that we were to go by boat to the Forts just off Herne Bay and repair their fridge .It was either Knock John Fort or Tongue Sand Fort.
The boat would wait until we had finished and then take us back to the Dockyard.
The Fort is two large cylindrical concrete uprights in the water and a very large platform across the top on  which  was a  large gun. The  fridge was at the bottom of one of the large cylinders and could hold enough food for 120 men  who manned it during the war  and the food would last for 6 weeks ,the men worked in shifts of six weeks.
As it was peacetime  the Forts were maintained purely for navigational safety reasons by six sailors .

That morning we boarded a tug  at 8 o'clock and enjoyed the sea trip  at 9 knots  ,we also caught a few fish, It was August and the weather was superb. We arrived at the Fort and then the tug men said they were off to Harwich ,and had no instructions to wait for us .
After a short discussion they said that they would phone Sheerness Dockyard from Harwich and arrange for a boat to collect us .  The  Fort  we were to work on had no telephone , but the other Fort did have a phone but that was of no use to us as there was no way to contact them. There had been a serious fire on the other Fort and they were unable to let the authorities know for a few hours !!!

After climbing up the long slippery ladder to the top the six sailors were there to greet us  the first sailor was a Sheerness lad-Ginger Murdock ,his mother had a very small ice cream shop, I think it was located inside the concrete bend on the sea wall opposite the Ship on Shore. He explained there was a large spiral staircase to the bottom where the fridge was but  said I could use the lift , which I preferred. The lift was a three foot square platform with no sides and was used to hoist up the ammunition .When this "lift" was  hurtling down I looked up and saw Ginger with a broom trying to knock the "off" switch ,which was on  the opposite side of the lift well, which he managed to do amidst  the laughter from all but me ! and I stopped about two feet from the bottom with a shudder.

We repaired this oversize fridge and then sunned ourselves on the platform on top , suddenly a large pleasure boat  from Herne Bay started to circle the Fort and the Skipper was telling the boat load of sightseers all about these forts.
Ginger and I decided to ?man the gun?  and to the consternation of the boat and occupants we  trained the large gun on the boat and followed it around the Fort. I think the skipper was worried because he sped off rather quickly.

Around 7 o'clock our tug came to collect us  I was hoping we had been forgotten  but no . We had a little sleep on the way home. A job well done.!!
As we used to say in the Dockyard - Give us the jobs and we will finish the tools?
With apologies etc.
The solution to every problem is a.) time , or  b.) another problem.

Offline helcion

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2010, 18:17:45 »
Men aboard the fort as it was being 'planted' with one bloke anxiously peering over the side at the downhill end !

What would Health & Safety say ?

Offline Ted Ingham

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2010, 15:56:08 »
A couple of pictures of the fort being towed out in the Thames Estuary.On the back it states "Daily Graphic".
The coloured ones are of the Tongue Sands Fort taken about 1981 by me from a Wessex of 22 Sqn, Manston.








Offline JohnG

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2010, 23:14:34 »
merc.  It was I that managed to get one of the 3.7 inch HAA guns of the four removed, as I had no where to put it, it went to New Tavern Fort.  It has a little damage on it from gun fire and it is sugested that it was on the fort that was attacked by e-boats. I have visited the other three in Orkney in the museum on Hoy.  I was offerd two but did not know where to put them so only took one, it was an interesting operstion.
JohnG

Monkton Malc

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2010, 15:39:10 »
Is this the one the RE blew up off Margate?

No Paul, the RE blew up Sunk head in the late 60's.

The Tongue fort collapsed into the sea in 1996.


MM

merc

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2010, 13:25:40 »
Great pictures Ted Ingham :)

The 3.7" Heavy anti-aircraft guns were removed in 1992 from Tongue Sands Fort, by a Mr Ray Hughes. He approached the MOD to see if they had any objections to him removing them. They didn't think he would be able to manage to move them, but agreed to let him have them. Mr Hughes then approached the Royal Engineers at Brompton Barracks, and the RAF for help to move them. Using a Chinook heavy lift helecopter they moved the guns to RAF Manston. Three of the guns went to Scapa Flow, where Mr Hughes was the manager of the local museum and the other one went to New Tavern Fort, Gravesend.

The 3.7" gun at New Tavern Fort (3rd pic down) http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1873.msg16142#msg16142

Offline Paul

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2010, 12:43:24 »
Is this the one the RE blew up off Margate?
Maybe it's big horse I'm a Londoner. :{

Offline Ted Ingham

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Re: Naval Sea Forts
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2010, 16:14:10 »
These pictures were taken from the GSNC "ROYAL SOVEREIGN" approx 1960.She normally did an afternoon cruise along the coast around North Foreland. However one day of the week she did a cruise around the Tongue Fort and the nearby Lightship.You can see the lightship in one of the photos.
There was an excellent model of the fort in the Imperial War Museum many years ago which was cut in two so you could see the living accommodation,stores and generator room..
You will also notice that one of the pillars is beginning to list. Eventually the structure collapsed and only half the pillar is standing today.












Regards,Ted


 

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