Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

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Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

Postby Giffer » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:53 pm

:D New to this so if I am posting wrong I am open to critical advice but keep any cheeky or nasty comments for yourself. A few weeks ago when attempting to find photographs of the old Blackhill Anti aircraft site just of the Balmore road I came across some photies showing old nissen huts and general brickwork. Unfortunately I failed to note the www address and since then have been unable to find these photographs. While in normal circumstances this would not rate any high mark on the "get a life scale" I have been informed by older family members (much older) that when just a toddler I resided with my brothers and parents in these nissen huts as squatters prior to securing a house in Maryhill. I am presently involved in writing a life journal and the strange thing is that when a young man I also had residence on the old Garscadden Anti aircraft battery site. It would be really helpfull if anyone could guide me to or advise with regard to securing these photographs.......Not the recent Google photographs but photies of the actual nissen huts.
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Re: Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

Postby Dexter St. Clair » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:25 am

Start with the Site Index.
"I before E, except after C" works in most cases but there are exceptions.
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Re: Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

Postby pingu » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:36 am

try going into your browsers history and it should show up the pages with the pics you where looking at.
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Re: Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

Postby BrigitDoon » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:22 am

If you were logged into Google at the time (assuming you have an account), it may have recorded what you were searching for and which pages you visited.

Firefox retains a history of where you've been - if you type CTRL-H it will appear in the left hand part of the window.
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Re: Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

Postby moonbeam » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:19 pm

I have a fair bit of information re the Garscadden Heavy Ack Ack gunsite. This was the second in Scotland to have radar installed in late January/ early Feb 1941 and was operational during the Clydebank bliz. Radar controlled gunsite that could detect German planes up to 30 miles away. There is a nice aerial photo in July 1941 of it on the Canmore website. Garscadden was one of the first mixed gunsites. By October 1941 women served alongside the men all in Royal Artillery mens tunics with Royal Artillery shoulder patches. I do have a photo of the women in front of a wooden hut at Garscadden-Hut 15-from around Oct 1941. I recall a chap called Houston (?) ran a wee shop when the squatters moved in. Also the guns were "upgunned" in 1947/48 during the cold war. The army moved out in 1955 when the
RAF took over air defence. Drumchapel was being built all round it by then. The Buchanans ran Garscadden Mains farm.
Next the camp. The school kids from the squatters camp walked to either St Ninians at the bottom of Cloberhill in Knightswood or Drumchapel Primary in Garscadden Road. A lot of the kids at the camp were "on the parish" and had basic school uniforms and shoes proved by the "parish".If memory serves me there was about 25 families at Garscadden squatters camp. Also it was Number 500 Garscadden Road!
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Re: Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

Postby Giffer » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:01 pm

Hi Moonbean wonderful information re:-the Garscadden gunsight. After moving to Drumchapel in 1953 I subsequently married and had residence in the Rozelle Avenue/ Jedworth Road area which I believe was the base for the battery. I am presently writing a journal recording all aspects of my life the purpose of which is to give to family members on my demise (whenever that will be) some idea of the social and political aspects of life throughout this time. The main reason that I have an interest in both the Garscadden and Blackhill sites is that I lived at the Garscadden site and am informed that my family were squatters in the nissen huts on the Blackhill site. As yet I have been unable to secure the photographs of the nissen huts at Blackhill but appeciate any information or access to photographs of the Garscadden site.
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Re: Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

Postby moonbeam » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:48 pm

If you can get hold of a copy of a book "The Story of Drumchapel". There is a description of the squatters camp in it by a former resident.
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Re: Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

Postby Vinegar Tom » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:56 pm

Thanks for posting that information Moonbeam - fascinating.
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Re: Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

Postby moonbeam » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:46 pm

What I forgot to mention was the fact on the first night of the Clydebank blitz Garscadden Mains ran out of ammo. Reason: They had just finished training on how to operate the radar and control the guns-half battery of 3.7in- thus were rather over enthusiastic! So blasted away as hard as they could thinking the raid would be over in a 10 or 15 minutes! Also these were new guns not "old" second hand rubbish sent up to Scotland.

There is a German air recon photo from 1939 with the gunsite labelled "Flak". In 1939 they had 2 telephone poles as "dummy guns" out of four-a half battery-due to war time production problems. They could not make them fast enough!

I was fortunate years ago to speak to an old man who installed the radar. Miles of chicken wire suspended about 3 feet off the ground with a receiver in the middle.Also another old man who was on the gunsite the night of the Clydebank blitz.

Another bit of true fact. Old Buchanan the farmer who had allegedly! his best potato field confiscated to build the gunsite persuaded the officers on the gunsite to grown potatoes round the gun pits inside the barbed wire fence!

He also persuaded the officers "it would be a good thing" if the squaddies waiting for the Germans to fly over perhaps helped him weed the turnip fields, cut some logs in Garscadden Wood, learned to use the plough and generally help out on his farm!

Both Buchanan brothers had been in WW1 and were none too enamoured of the "officer" class! One of them was a farrier and worked with the horses of War Horse fame. So it came to pass. Lots more workers on the farm.Then in late 1941 there were 80 women and 80 men waiting around for the Germans to fly over.

The girls were originally sent to Bishopbriggs but this was judged to be too near the bright lights of Glasgow. Thus they were sent to Drumchapel as it was out in the country. So how did they pass the time? The Germans flew totally unexpectedly over in late March 1943. Panic stations on the gunsite-but thats another story!
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Re: Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

Postby Giffer » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:37 pm

Moonbeam......you seem to have a great deal of interesting info on Drumchapel. When I was a child aged around eleven while in hospital I talked with on old fella who told me that he worked in the old Peel Glen mine in Peeel Glen Road in Drumchapel. Do you haave any info 0on this or leads where info could be found..Giff
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Re: Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

Postby moonbeam » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:35 pm

The last mine at Peel Glen closed in May 1886. The last mine in Drumchapel closed in May 1891 at Essenside Ave.
You can still see where the railway line ran into the mine. They were actually mining coal under Jedworth Ave from a 2ft 4in seam around 570feet deep when they closed.The mines in the Peel Glen area mined iron as well as coal. The iron was more important. The mine owners at Peel Glen were Merry & Cunningham who owned a complete mining village at the top of Peel Glen. The mine spoil heaps were used to make bricks on the site of Edrington Holdings. A 2ft gauge narrow gauge railway transported the blaize to the brickworks. The old boy probably worked at the brickworks. Names that I know from that era were Brash,worked the brickworks boiler, Coffey and Frame. Local pit shaft collapses have occurred at Lochgoin Ave in 1992 and Drumchapel Gardens-next St Benedicts-in 2004.The Drumchapel Story book has a lot of information on this.
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Re: Blackhill Heavy anti aircraft gunsight

Postby bobby clark » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:53 pm

giffer I am looking for any information regarding blackhill squatters camp I lived in it for7 years and it was the best time of my life. I cant find anyone that lived there from my time also would love to find some pick of the camp x
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