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WWII Barrage Balloon Sites

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O.C.

Guest
Now ain't that a great photo,well done Phil
Phil I don't know if you know this but the WAFC section of the barrage balloon operations were the hardest job in the ATS
The balloons were so heavy that where it took ten men to do the job, 16 women were needed to to the same job
 
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Phil Bonner

Guest
GEFF & sylviasayers Thanks for the posts about the sites.

cromwell I could be wrong, but I think the ATS was separate from the Womens Auxilliary Air Force (WAAFs). You are right about job being physically demanding; you can tell from the picture you posted of the WAAFs hauling on the ropes. One former WAAF wrote to me about the training at Wythall, explaining that their hands got terribly cut as they had to learn how to splice the wire ropes.

Rod Not quite sure of the company who made the winch. The winch lorry was a Fordson. I have some notes but it will take some time to check up on. I'll PM you with any details I find on the winches. Right now I am trying to concerntrate on finding the many sites.

Anyone out there know of sites in Summerfield Park, Salford Park, Langley Park and a site at the back of Erdington Abbey? Would be grateful for any information.

Thanks to everyone who has responded so far.
 
O

O.C.

Guest
Phil, I could not resist this, Title
Who has left his Grub behind.
 
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Rod

Guest


The above picture shows a captured German Aircraft fitted with Balloon Deflectors
 
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Phil Bonner

Guest
:-[ Alf Apologies for not having acknowledged your early post. I've not been able to find Blew Street or Blew Street Park. Could you give me some indication of where it was. I'm working off the Allday's Map Of Birmingham 1938, and also using a modern day version A-Z of Birmingham.
Once I've tracked down the location, I should be able to work out which Squadron manned the site.
Thanks for your help.
 
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Phil Bonner

Guest
:) Alf & postie Thanks for that. The Allday's map shows a recreational ground bounded by Blews St, Pritchett St, New John St & Aston Road. The missing 's' blew me off track. This is the closest site I've found to the City Centre. I reckon it was originally a 912 Sqn site and then probably a 913 Sqn site when 912 went to France. However, I've not worked out the exact dividing line between 911 & 913, and later on in the war, they were merged into 911/913 Sqn as one unit, covering the north barrage.
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Postie you are Brill on Photos but not on Streets\


Its St Stephens, Elkington, Miller,Morsome and Newtown Row is the trapment Area :)
 
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Rod

Guest
Blews street is a continuation of Elkington Street and ends at Brewery Street so Alf Postie was correct it is indeed off Pritchett Street
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Not according to my my AtoZ so now I'm going to be accued of being a misery old 70 year old :2funny:
In fact Blews Street is not on my map its called Ashford Street continuation of :-\
 
O

O.C.

Guest
Alf I reckon you are not talking about Blews St at all but thr Rec Ground Ashford St ,St Stephens and Elkington St (The Triangle)
 
R

Rod

Guest
I think that the Recreation ground is what we called Blews Street Graham. It might be that Blews Street was in part renamed? It was hard surfaced when we were kids but I understand that much earlier on it had some gardens. Alf Blews Street is a continuation of Elkington Street I lived local and played there!!!
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
I am corrected sorry lads :-[ But Cromwell that Rec in Ashford Street was always known as Blew St Park to us lads why? and thats where the Balloon was sited.Is there another Rec in Blews Street which I have now found on my Map. Postie you are a good Photo getter and Map reader after all ^-^
 
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Phil Bonner

Guest
:) See my Post #46. Allday's map shows a small recreational area, but this does not appear in Rod's map in Post #52. Reading Alf's Post#47, I checked Alldays map, and the second site is the most likely. Thanks to everyone for the team effort to tie down the location; really enjoyed the 'banter', it blew me away! This is still the closest site to the City Centre. 914 & 915 Sqn only gave the square on the Allday's map of where a balloon was. The squares are 1/2 mile squares, so I appreciate the 'accuracy' of the sites provided on this thread. I reckon I've tracked down about 40 sites, so only about another 110 to go.
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Thanks Phil on the Banter thats nothing wait till we get started :2funny: :knuppel2:
 

sylviasayers

master brummie
I can confirm that the Recreation Ground was always known as Blews Street Park and was on Elkington Street, and the other roads mentioned. I saw the barrage balloon many times, as I walked past to visit my grandparents who lived in New John Street, just round the corner from Elkington Street School.

Another site I was told about yesterday was on Hodge Hill Common and there was also an Ack Ack site there. It will need confirmation.
 
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Phil Bonner

Guest
:) sylviasayers Thanks for that. Just shows the importance of local knowledge. Must have cheered Alf up!
Next question - were there any huts on the site?
Thanks also for the snippet about HodgeHill Common. Anyone out there who could confirm this site?
 

sylviasayers

master brummie
Phil, I can't say that I remember any huts on Blews Street Park site, as I was only 7 years old when the war ended, but I was always fascinated by the barrage ballon - may have been more than one. It was a good place to site it though, very near Miller Street Tram Depot, which was bombed, and of course right in the middle of an industrial area.

One point the chap who told me about the Hodge Hill Common site made was that although the balloons were a deterrent to the Germans, they also indicated that there were factories etc., that needed defending - must admit I hadn't thought of that.
 
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Phil Bonner

Guest
NAZARETH HOUSE LONGBRIDGE

Is there anybody who can confirm the presence of a barrage balloon site at the RC Childrens Home Nazareth House? Nazareth House was by the roundabout of the Bristol Road and Lickey Hill, literally opposite the factory entrance to the Austin car factory.
There was a balloon site at Daffodil Park, near Longbridge railway station, one on Rubery Hill, one next to Lickey Hill Golf Course, and one by Bittel Reservoir. There were also balloon sites at Northfield reservoir, and Frankley Beeches.
The site at the Golf Course was known as site 60, but there was a site 61, listed in Rednal. Unfortunately a Blenheim bomber collided with the cables of site 61 and crashed. I'm trying to locate site 61, and the nearest I have come to identifying it is a vague comment that someone thought there was a site at Nazareth House, but no confirmmation.
Nazareth House no longer exists, and is now the site of St Columba's Primary school.
Any help would be gratefully accepted
 
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Phil Bonner

Guest
:) sylviasayers Good point about the balloons indicating where the targets were. I think the balloons were positioned where they expected the enemy to bomb, so the assumption was that the targets were already known.
The balloons were not necessarily meant to bring the aircraft down. By having a balloon barrage, the bombers could not fly as low as they wanted. Forcing them higher degraded the bombing accuracy and just as important, brought the bombers up into the searchlight screen and range of the anti-aircraft artillery. It was all complementary.
Looking at the barrage arranged around the Austin aero works at Longbridge, it was very difficult for the bombers to get a good run over the target. Similarly with the protection around the Castle Bromwich Spitfire factory.
 
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