Thursday 11 June 2015

Redsands revisited

Last Saturday was a lovely day for a boat trip. On board the X-Pilot, I enjoyed a picnic on the deck, views of the Thames Estuary, and the clear, fresh air. However, this was a boat trip with a purpose: we were visiting the Red Sands Forts. The X-Pilot is able to get closer to the forts themselves than other ships, and is now working in partnership with Operation Redsands Fort, which proposes to secure their future by conversion into a hotel, and Project Redsand.

These Maunsell forts have an eerie presence, like abandoned invaders from a sci-fi movie. Their distinctive shapes, with long, concrete legs and rusting iron bodies, can be seen from shore -but are even more compelling when seen up close. Protectors of London in World War II, home to pirate radio in the 1960s, today they are largely abandoned (although there are occasional residents). What will be their future?



Zephyrinus said...

Most interesting Post. Thank you.

However, when viewing your excellent photographs, I cannot help but think of the marvellous tones of Richard Burton, as heard on the soundtrack of "The War of The Worlds", Jeff Wayne's musical version of the Science Fiction Classic, from 1978. It can be heard on YouTube.

I recommend listening to Burton, whilst viewing the photographs of The Red Sands Forts (also known as "Maunsell Forts").

Wikipedia states: "Each of these Anti-Aircraft Forts carried four x 3.75 inch guns and two x Bofors 40 mm guns. During World War 2, the Thames Estuary Forts shot down 22 aircraft and about 30 flying bombs. They were decommissioned by the Ministry of Defence in the Late-1950s."

Björn H said...


PamC said...

Superb photographs - really give a feeling of the isolation and the way they impose themselves on the seascape.