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WWII Barrage Balloon Sites

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
thanks for the photo elmdon it certainly looks like it was meant to anchor something down...if it was a barrage balloon i would think there would have been more than one anchor point...but of course you cant go digging holes all over your garden..hopefully someone can help you with this one

lyn
 
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elmdon

proper brummie kid
thats what i thought so i will make a feature of it
hope some one out there knows a bit more about the barrage site would love to learn a bit more about the history the rover plant and airport are close and solihull gas works and i know there was a gun site at the back of the olton hall pub and a couple of houses in jillcott road two mins away were bombed so the area saw some action have now been told all civil defence records are at warwick
elmdon
 

Neilythere

proper brummie kid
There was a barrage balloon (largely female) crew sited in playing fields half way down Oakhurst Road, Acocks Green. Used to watch them inflating the balloon and raising it up into the sky attached to its steel cable. One night we also had an anti aircraft gun in the road firing away (mainly to boost public morale I think, rather than to shoot planes down). A prized shrapnel find to us boys was a frgment of the brass vernier gauge from the end of a shell, used to set the height at which the shell would explode.

Interesting post - my grandparents lived in Oakhurst Road throughout WW2, as did my late uncle who would've been around 7 years old in 1940.My dad can also recount a few passed on snippets from that time - my gran apparently called the anti-aircraft gun 'Big Bertha' due to the noise when firing, the house at the top of Oakhurst Road which was hit by a bomb and destroyed....and also the oil bomb (?) which landed outside the shops and damaged the water main which meant the water supply was off for days.
As a youngster after the war, dad also recalls the trackway which led from Gospel Lane (now Langley Hall Road) which led onto what is now Robin Hoood Golf course - somewhere across in the field were anti aircraft gun base mounts - latterly also completely removed.
 
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There was a barrage balloon site at King Edwards Sports Ground in Trinity Road. it received a direct hit on Tuesday 19th November 1940. nine of the eleven people on the site at the time died. My mother 17 year old Barbara Richards was buried under the rubble for 36 hours, her friend Joan Russell aged 14 was killed the other survivor was a Jeffrey Sharp who was blown through the roof by the blast, Corporal Francis George Giles was also one of the victims
 
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wendylee

master brummie
have just uncovererd what i belive to be barrage balloon anchor point in my garden in solihull near ice rink 28x28 inch concrete slab with 1inch dia steel eye bolt and 1inch dia steel ring. was there a site in this area to protect the rover plant or elmdon air port would be grateful any info on this site

Hi I lived in Common Lane, sheldon when I was a kid from 1950 onwards. There was a barrage balloon anchor point over the park behind us. I believe its called Sheldon Country park now. It was about the size you stated and had a large rusty ring on it. My mum told me there were barrage balloons over there during the war.
Sorry can't help you with your question but the size you state sounds about the size of the one I found.
Kind regards, Wendy
 

wendylee

master brummie
will try to send photo if i can but will have to wait for my son to loand and sendView attachment 98788

Hi Just seen your concrete slab and ring, looks like the one in the park behind common Lane, someone else suggested they would be anchored by more than one which seems logical but I can't remember if there were more in the park, but sounds reasonable suggestion, but would be a fair way away from each other I would think,
Wendy.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Did Phil ever finish his research/book on barrage balloons? A cousin of mine, around ten years old at the height of the war, sent me a written memory. At the time, she was living on Daisy Farm Road, Warstock, south of central Birmingham. She said there were barrage balloons located near Daisy Farm Park, which I believe was near Gorleston Road. There were anti-aircraft guns on Daisy Farm Road, and a German aircraft crashed in a local field, known as The Stiles. The Prince of Wales Pub was very close by. Don't know if this is in an area Phil was looking at and/or researching, or if he's maybe already done, but throw this out just in case it's of any interest.

Ann
A recent post encouraged me to review this thread.
I had assumed that the barrage balloon I saw was based at Wythall but considering the direction we were looking would certainly fit with Daisy Farm Road and probably the open space, still there today, at its southern end. With hindsight it seems that Wythall is situated south west whereas the balloon was north west from our home at that time. At least it can be said that the balloon was within Birmingham and not beyond the city boundary.
 
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Radiorails

master brummie
I guess being very young at the time I mention, two or three at the most, I had no idea of anything other than there was something in the sky. :eek: It is strange, but as time progressed, daytime raids were, maybe, less common. Early warning systems had improved as the war progressed so probably the balloons were ready for launch but only elevated when necessary. I do not recall seeing a balloon in the later part of the war but maybe I had only seen it during summertime whilst it was still daylight.
 

oldbrit

OldBrit in Exile
I remember Bararge balloon's in the park at the top of Harvey just past the school and Church rd
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Oldmohawk has recovered many of the lost images on this thread. These have now been replaced. Well worth a look. Viv.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
The setting up of barrage balloon units around Birmingham (surprisingly as early as January 1939). More info provided in the cuttings attached. Viv.

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Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
The first Birmingham balloon seems to have been the Aston Park one. Viv.

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Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Inflating a balloon and the hydrogen gas containers used to inflate the balloons. If you wanted to see inside one for 2/6d, you could walk through one at the Hall of Memory (see attachment). Viv.

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Radiorails

master brummie
The Evening Despatch must have had had good informants about the looming war, as the newspaper is dated March, 1939. ;)
 

jmadone

master brummie
I have a vague recollection of my Auntie Alice telling me that when she was a teenager during the war there was either a barrage balloon station at Billesley common or an anti aircraft gun emplacement. She did mention, with a glint in her eye, that there were a number of Americans there for a short while.
 
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