Historic North Weald
This morning I have been drawn to the Epping area. I have spent a lot of time here because I was stationed at the radio station in North Weald for about fifteen years. An AdLab series has recently been published - Historic North Weald and I’m keen to follow it through
I started off at the CM multi in Epping Upland though. I had been here before. I parked up In the church yard to discover that the multi was in fact a jigsaw puzzle. I was not best pleased.😀 This time I had a quick find.
I dropped down into Epping but failed to find the bonus cache of the Epping: Other Churches AdLab series. I drove down to Stonards Park and had better luck with two of the Stonards Wander series. The recently published 2: Harts of Epping Unknown was very well hidden and I don’t know what the local guides, whom the series had been set for, made of it.🤔 I quickly found the #1 trad which I couldn’t find last time. I had a very quick find in a place that I definitely looked at last time.
I now drove over to St Andrew’s Church in North Weald. I quickly found the CM multi and this was also the start of the AdLab series. I was directed into the military graveyard for stage 1 and noted that there were nine headstones for male and female RAF personnel who were killed when a V2 rocket fired from Holland on 23rd January 1945 landed on a hangar at the nearby RAF North Weald. Whilst reading up on this I discovered that there were in fact 27 killed during the attack. RIP.
I carried on with the next stages of the AdLab series before I had to backtrack to the church. I made my way to the Village Hall and quickly solved the VHs multi. I resumed the AdLab series and carried on up the track to what was left of the old radio station. I found the last two stages near what we would have called “E” station on the other side of the old tube line between Ongar and Epping.
I relived many happy days repairing and maintaining the 10Kw QT3 STC transmitters here. Just a hundred yards away was the house that Hadley Salway, one of the managers, rented from BT. I will always remember that he said that he would be as happy as Larry, delivering letters around the Devon moorland. This was long before Postman Pat.
Now what has happened to the old Marconi radio station and the Victorian redoubt that was part of the defences around London is an absolute travesty. The main station could have been used as a centre of village life, even a school. However, it mysteriously caught fire in the early 90s. It sounds as if it went the same way as anything ancient in Basildon.
The redoubt was special and is a listed building but it is now surrounded by thicket and there is no telling what damage has been done to it. I can remember the painted signs on the interior walls - Shell Store, Shell Lift and other military signs. There were even two complete WW2 Allan-Williams Turret pillboxes there. There were only 200 built and only 33 survive including these two and the one in the Imperial War Museum. I have no idea if these two are still here.🙁
Having completed the AdLab series, there was a bonus cache to play for. I found a footpath that led out to the search area but when I got there I could see that there was an active Hornets nest there so I gave it a swerve until another time.
On the way home I found the clever multi at the Fine Pair ~ Toot Hill and collected the info at the CM in Bentley near Brentwood for the multi.
1 Traditional 1 Unknown 4 Multi 5 AdLab