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WWII Barrage Balloon Sites

wendylee

master brummie
There was a BB site in Perry Common Recreation Ground immediately behind the houses on the corner of Dovedale Road and Witton Lodge Road. Until at least 1954, there were several heavy iron mooring rings concreted into the ground. I left Birmingham in 1965 so I have no idea what has happened to the area. I doubt if they are still there.
Hi Yes i remember a concrete slab and a large metal ring attached in the park/ grassland behind our house in common lane, sheldon, and dad told me it was a mooring ring for a barrage balloon. It is now called the sheldon country park and the rings may have been removed but now.
 

wendylee

master brummie
I think they pulled them down on winches when not in use.
I think they pulled them down on winches when not in use.
Hi Morturn, Yes they did and it was mainly women that manned them as most of the men were fighting as someone stated in an earlier post.
I enjoyed reading a fiction book a while ago about the "balloon girls" it was a dangerous job and extremely hard work getting the balloons up and down especially in high winds.I have googled balloon girls and there are lots of images of the women operating them , I was surprised to see the odd shape of the balloons!!!
Wendy
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Hi Morturn, Yes they did and it was mainly women that manned them as most of the men were fighting as someone stated in an earlier post.
I enjoyed reading a fiction book a while ago about the "balloon girls" it was a dangerous job and extremely hard work getting the balloons up and down especially in high winds.I have googled balloon girls and there are lots of images of the women operating them , I was surprised to see the odd shape of the balloons!!!
Wendy
Thanks Wendy

A couple of stories I recall from talking to some WWII veterans over the years are:

The German pilots would try to shoot the barrage balloon down and did this on one occasion in Birmingham. I cannot remember the location.

A chap who was a Lancaster navigator told me that the balloons had wires that would cut an aeroplanes wing off, and almost did so on one he was flying in.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
During the blitz the germans used long range ME110 fighter bombers to make daylight machine gun attacks on British cities and Birmingham took it's share of them. The barrage balloons in daylight probably acted as a deterrent to these attacks. There are some mentions on the BHF about these attacks but the links to the RAF Campaign Diaries sites giving accounts of the attacks have ceased to work ...
 

maypolebaz

master brummie
I've seen a picture somewhere, (possibly on this forum ?), of a downed Heinkel III. The plane had a structure built across its nose which had been fitted to deflect balloon wires. It must've been a swine to fly !
 

Elmdon Boy

master brummie
I would think that barrage balloon has been wound down, they were much higher than that, probably up to 2000 feet ,may be more to catch the enemy aircraft coming in on a raid. Not much use at that height in photo. They would be wound back to earth after the raid, ready to be wound back out on the next raid.
 

wendylee

master brummie
I would think that barrage balloon has been wound down, they were much higher than that, probably up to 2000 feet ,may be more to catch the enemy aircraft coming in on a raid. Not much use at that height in photo. They would be wound back to earth after the raid, ready to be wound back out on the next raid.
Ohhh of course, I thought it looked low haha.
 

impis

master brummie
open google Earth and view the area around Lyndon Playing fields on Wagon Lane, B92. Once there, there is a facility [ or WAS a facility] to view historical maps of that location. Somewhere at the top there's a menu for it somewhere. This will overlay older maps. There's a slider that you can use to go back in time. Over Lyndon playing fields, there's an old map which shows barrage balloons anchored there. This map is an aerial photograph which was taken at the time.
 

MickyT

proper brummie kid
Perhaps slightly off topic but was an ack ack gun in Digby Park Small Heath. Just after the war, when there was snow we used to build a 'fort' where it had been. (Imagine an igloo without a roof.) There were some fierce snowball fights to try to capture it.
Hi John, I don't know about Digby Park but there were anti aircraft guns on Hay Barn Rec. My father who was in the Home Guard (reserved occupation) was stationed there assisting the gunners. He used to call them " rockets" so l don't know if they were ack ack guns or something else.
I was told that before the guns were installed a single ex naval gun was installed on the rec. This was useless and could not hit anything. But we had nothing else and it made a lot of noise. It sent a clear message to the local population " we are fighting back and will carry on till we win".
 

Edifi

master brummie
When we moved from Vauxhall to Glebe Farm in 1949 if you stood in Easthope Rd you could watch the still used Barage Balloons to train the Parachuteists at Castle Bromwich Airfield.And my father used to take me to see the Spitfire come out of the hangers after being made
 

Robert Ensor (bob)

master brummie
My pop remembers one at Wright's playing field in Aston also it broke free dragging the cables, also a bomb landing in Longacre in front of the church my mom and dad got married in the same church, my pops house 90 Nechells Park road
 

charriso9

New Member
Hi guys, wondering if anyone can give me any information on barrage balloons in and around the area of Bordesley Green and what squadrons were stationed there?
Many Thanks in advance!
 

charriso9

New Member
Hi, yea I've been through it. There is mention of balloon emplacements near my area of search, but nothing that I think I could use for my specific project!
 

Pete W.W

proper brummie kid
I was born in Highters Heath Lane in 1941 and remember the balloon barrage on the corner of Highters Heath and Maypole Lane. My earliest recollection was being carried to an underground shelter and the sound of the planes coming over.
 

maypolebaz

master brummie
I was born in Highters Heath Lane in 1941 and remember the balloon barrage on the corner of Highters Heath and Maypole Lane. My earliest recollection was being carried to an underground shelter and the sound of the planes coming over.
Born the same year as you, I lived in Sladepool farm Rd. When we were kids we called the site you mention "The balloon field".
 
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