Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Sulham Valley Part 2

 After walking the first half of the valley I managed to enlist the help of Tony Honeyman who has a whole wealth of knowledge on the stoplines.

  The start point was Sulham Church that overlooks the first pillbox which is a Type 28 twin which is sat in the middle of a field

 A footpath runs past it and while you walk along it look to the right and you will see another which we met on the way back. The pillbox can be got to by walking over the field and when we visited it was in good condition though both embrasures were blocked at least the entrance was not.

  From here Tony started looking for another and took me to the corner of the field where the outline of a second box could be made out. This could have been demolished but then most likely it was never built.

Looking further up Nunhide lane you can see the next pillbox which is along a footpath but you need to go along the lane first where you come to some bends. Look to the right and you can see a Type 28 Twin which has been buried least the entrance has the two embrasure can be seen though all of them are blocked apart from the vent.

Walk on and to the right you see a footpath to Malpas that will take you to a Type 22. It’s in good condition apart from the graffiti some kids think is great to do. 

   Back to the lane now and double back to a footpath leading up into Sulham Woods, once in there turn right and stay near to the edge of the woods but watch out for holes in the ground there are some you can fall in. Eventually you will come across a Type 28 Twin.

 At first it looks ok but the you notice  the holes in the side and the roof.

We left there and followed the field boundary down to another Type 28 Twin which though blocked was in reasonable condition.
Back to the land and looking left we saw another Type  22 but would visit later.

We then walked on past the farm and took the footpath where over to the right you can see a copse of brambles and a couple of Type 28A’s which again are back to back.

 Getting in is a task though as it was winter was possible. They were in reasonable condition apart from rubbish.

Now it was off towards Pincents Farm (Hotel now) where another Type 28 Twin looks down on you, it’s another blocked up but with a door on in this case and locked to boot

but walk on from there towards Theale and not far away and not far away is the mate stuck in more brambles but at least the embrasures were open. The only way to get in was through one as the back and side was all brambles. The pillbox looked ok at first but on closer inspection there was crack round the roof and damage to the embrasures.

  There were more pillboxes nearby but these have been demolished though if you get up to the M4 roundabout there is a Type 28 twin in a field I have yet to Visit, it’s mate was demolished to make way for the M4,

 we headed back to the lane where we spotted another Type 28 Twin base.

We dithered in the area a while looking for a second pillbox but nothing could be seen so it was off along Nunhide lane to pick up the Type 22, another is reasonable
condition apart from graffiti but a bonus was a company insignia painted on the entrance.

 Leaving this one and heading back to the footpath to Malpas  and take it past the Type 22 which if you look has the same insignia on as the last.  I suspect the pillbox covered the bridge that may have crossed the ditch here in the war.

Carry on the footpath and turn right at the next one and follow the footpath till  You pass the pillbox you noticed when you started out inside you should be able to see some furniture and an old sleeping bag.

 Crossing the field till the stream you should see some rails marking the end of the ditch.

  A little way along the stream is a Type 28 twin with the entrance to the stream. I think it would have had a bridge to cross to gain entrance. The pillbox is completely blocked though you can see inside though the small loopholes.

  From here you can head to the road but if you look to the left corner of the field and head there you will see a set of Dragons teeth and if you look back the way you came you can make out the filled in ditch

  also if you look across the road in the hedge are a couple of road blocks.

  Now walk off towards Tadley and soon you should see the last for this part a Type 28 Twin in a paddock under a tree.  We never bothered visiting as it you could see it had been used for storage though I’m sure it would be possible to visit if you asked permission.

 Before we headed off to the car we stopped to look over a gate at some large cylinder roadblocks.

 That completed the second trip and it was not until a few weeks later that I went back to Pangbourne to pick up what I consider the first Type 28 Twin which faced the Thames I still have yet to go back for the last. To read a more in depth article look at Geograph