The place I remember was at approx 51 degrees 03 min North, 0 degrees 09 min West.In other words somewhere deep inside the triangular wood just northeast of the C.H. railway station. It was a brick arch doorway, with a steel door, which had a veritable carpet of fag-ends at its foot (I wonder why?). I remember thinking at the time that it was in an odd position because unlike other bunkers it was surrounded by trees and would have had a very limited field-of-fire, but it would make more sense if it was a secret army hideout.
Does anyone else remember it and can give me more info before I pass it on to the Resistance Archive?
- LE (Little Erasmus)
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However, I do note that the stream, coming from Doctor's Lake, that runs from east to west through there in the fairly deep gully in the trees at the bottom or southern end of the area, is part of the headwaters of the river Arun and it is just possible that the metal door and its solid surround that you describe could be something to do with water management or control of a spring that comes up there.
I believe that the old 6-inch-to-mile Ordnance Survey Map that hung outside our dayroom, and on which we planned our runs and walks in those days, labelled this small wood "Sparrow Copse".
Thank you - that is a most helpful reply.
I had not thought of the possible water-management explanation and will mention that possibility when I send the info to the Resistance Archive people.
I cannot remember the precise location with any clarity (old age!) but suspect that if it was used as a 'smokers' den' (of which I am certain) it would have been off the beaten tracks/paths.
Of course, it raises the intriguing question that if it WAS a secret army hideaway, then WHO were the secret army soldiers? The school had a well-organised Home Guard unit, commanded by one Major H.L.O. Flecker (of course - who else?) and composed of members of the academic and estate staffs, but it does not seem impossible that some of those might have had a clandestine role. Further, all members of the secret army were required to sign the Official Secrets Act, which was taken very seriously, so they were unlikely to have discussed it with anyone else - not even after the war.
I shall pursue this,
Since posting my earlier reply I have checked the name of that small wood and you are absolutely spot-on - Sparrow Copse it is. Your memory is better than mine. Thanks again,
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Absolutely correct. That was slightly before my time, but records clearly state that such posts were placed in open spaces to deter glider landings, as had happened at the Belgian Fort Eban-Emael, for example. There were also mounds of earth on some of the playing fields.
I remember that one, as I used to pass it frequently in the late 50s on my way to listen to rock'n'roll from the juke box in the biker's caff in Broadbridge Heath.
It was just over the little bridge with the flood control sluice over the Arun.
https://s0.geograph.org.uk/photos/42/92 ... eafcd7.jpg
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I went in there one Sunday morning in the 1970s and there was porno lying on one of the shelves. Hard to imagine why someone would cart porn to a pillbox in the middle of nowhere and then just leave it there, unless Satanists did it in the hope of corrupting young minds. Fortunately my own mind wasn't appreciably more corrupt when I emerged from the pillbox than it had been when I went in.I remember that one, as I used to pass it frequently in the late 50s on my way to listen to rock'n'roll from the juke box in the biker's caff in Broadbridge Heath. It was just over the little bridge with the flood control sluice over the Arun.