December 13, 2009

The Bellingham Royal Observer Corps - 1939-45 war

By Graham Batey

The Bellingham Royal Observer Corps observation post was a low wooden den-like structure covered in blue shale and turf for camoflage, built on the top of the Blue Heaps, about a mile out of the village on the Woodburn road.

It was manned by volunteers who for various reasons could not, or did not join the forces. Age and lack of fitness were the main criteria and some had served in WW1.

  • Billy Beattie (Post Office) was in charge.
  • Percy Bolam (Railway clerk)
  • George Colling (Roadman)
  • Bert Lamb (Railway worker)
  • George Batey (Builder working on Otterburn military camp)
  • Matty Bowman
  • Jack Gregg (publican)

There were other observer posts at Otterburn, Kielder, Haydon Bridge and I knew a few of the staff at these other posts as I spent a lot of time at the Blue Heaps post as I had to take Dad's bait up at all hours of the night when he was on duty.

We used to sit behind the wall at the Blue Heaps and watch the air raids on Tyneside, complete with searchlights and Ack Ack fire. It was quite something to watch.

1 comment:

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