Sugarloaf Patrol - Barton upon Humber
Site visit 30th March 2009
Mr John Andrew, a local historian in Barton upon Humber had seen the website and contacted me to see if I would be interested in his brother Tom's OB. John had been too young for war service but had discovered the OB on the family's farm. At one point he drove a tractor over the entrance cover and had to make some hasty repairs before the Patrol discovered what he'd done.
John and Tom Andrew in the Sugarloaf Patrol OB, March 2009
The Sugarloaf Patrol who occupied the OB was something of a family affair. Tom's father John was the patrol Sergeant and his uncle Godfrey (nicknamed "Wag") was also a member.
When Tom was old enough, he joined the RAF where he celebrated his 21st birthday in a unique manner by bombing the Tirpitz.
The OB is on private land and not open to the public. However, you can find out more about the Andrew family's war service at the Baysgarth House Museum in Barton. More details about the Sugarloaf Patrol and some of its equipment can be seen in the Imperial War Museum's Secret War exhibit.
The entrance shaft
The original entrance cover is long gone but some rusted workings still remain. A soil box blended the cover into the hedgerow. A man-hole key was used to drop the box onto the track and slide it into the embankment. A home-made ladder was then used to climb down into the OB.
The OB is a single chamber built by the Royal Engineers from a concrete air-raid shelter with a flagstone floor approximately 10 ft by 8ft. It is entered by a vertical10 ft shaft. The decoration is the work of local children who have used it as a den.
There is a large air vent in the ceiling and two smaller ones set low in the walls.
Though Hull can be seen from the OB, it was never a target. It's is on the other side of the Humber from Barton and the ferry trip would have lacked the necessary security. There were a number of RAF airfields within striking distance of the OB and the Patrol did occasionally test their security.
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