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target railways at ash &stoney castle ranges


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13 hours ago, Hair Bear said:

Going off on a slight tangent, I've heard rumor of a narrow gauge railway running east-west direction just south of the A30 between Gibraltar Barracks at Minley and Blackwater. There is supposed to be a small girder bridge out there somewhere! Not an area I'm familiar with so does anyone else know anything?

This is a new one for me. Never heard of a narrow gauge railway on that part of the Common...but I will have a ride out that way in the next few weeks and have a look around.

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Hello.  This is my first post.  My interests have been for vintage cars until recently when I bought a half share in a Ford F60S artillery tractor.

I spent my working life in radar and weapon systems and we had an interesting radar on the Essex mud flats that would see over the horizon.  It was situated at 51-42-41N, 0-56-30E (you will see a thin white line running North South showing where it was).  The site was a firing range in WWI and a firing/bombing range in WWII and for a number of years afterwards.  Disappointingly, Google Earth used to show clearly the four posts in the sea that defined the range and the narrow gauge railways that serviced the targets but I have looked today and they are no longer visible.  I think the closure of the range was partly due to a RAF pilot killing himself by flying too low and hitting the sea wall.  Artefacts from the narrow gauge railway are preserved in the Burnham on Crouch railway museum where you can also buy a pamphlet describing the history of the range.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have discovered a target trolley made by Hudson of Leeds which is a non engine trolley not like the Wickhams  with a Jap engine. This trolley operated by pulleys and cables from a engine driven winch house. These trolleys were designed and made up from the range drawings and specs and not supplied as a whole complete wagon or trolley only the parts were supplied  from Hudson like the axial and boxes nuts bolts and accessories. Would anyone know who has the plans and construction drawing and lay out to such  moving target narrow gauge ranges and details of winches and types of trolleys used. I may suspect the National archives or the RE museum may hold such documents, anyone know who else may keep them.

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On 09/01/2018 at 6:38 PM, Hair Bear said:

Going off on a slight tangent, I've heard rumor of a narrow gauge railway running east-west direction just south of the A30 between Gibraltar Barracks at Minley and Blackwater. There is supposed to be a small girder bridge out there somewhere! Not an area I'm familiar with so does anyone else know anything?

The 10.25inch gauge Surrey Border & Camberley Railway ran in this area and had many spectacular features befitting the ideals of the wealthy individuals who funded it. Google around and you can find maps, etc., which might help. 

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=surrey+border+and+camberley+railway+wiki&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjC7-bGqezYAhVKAsAKHfykCdsQsAQINw&biw=1242&bih=579

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  • 3 years later...

We`ve been having an  intense discussion on the Ash, Ash Vale, Tongham and Pirbright Historical FB page about the old tanks formerly stored opposite the old Range Wardens` hut beside the Basingstoke Canal in Ash Vale - part of Ash Ranges.  Latest opinion is that they were Crusader`s but I`m not convinced.  John Reeves

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There are a couple of tanks that can be mistaken for crusaders like the Covenanter and the A13 cruiser which are of the same family, the covenanter being the more likely candidate as they were either scrapped, used for range work or buried when they could no longer be repaired. Most of the A13s got lost in France and were used in North Africa as with the Crusaders.

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23 hours ago, John Reeves said:

We`ve been having an  intense discussion on the Ash, Ash Vale, Tongham and Pirbright Historical FB page about the old tanks formerly stored opposite the old Range Wardens` hut beside the Basingstoke Canal in Ash Vale - part of Ash Ranges.  Latest opinion is that they were Crusader`s but I`m not convinced.  John Reeves

Hi John, they were three shermans without turrets,parked on the concrete hardstanding by the pine trees, on the opposite side of the road from the warden's hut, there was also a turreted sherman in the woods by the RAMC at Mytchett, and a superb complete tank that had the big studs on the turret (I pinched one bank of smokes off it!) outside mytchett place

I've still got one of those immaculate 3" mortars that were on the mantlepiece in the warden's hut....

as for the tanks on pirbright and chobham ridges........

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