The Denge sound mirrors have proved to be a popular location for music videos and associated photo shoots, and are included in a new book called Rock Atlas, by David Roberts.
The author has got in touch to tell me that:
The 304-page, full-colour guide book includes 689 fascinating British and Irish music locations and the stories behind them. Written and researched by former Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums editor David Roberts, the book provides instructions on how to find each place of Rock and Pop pilgrimage, plus extensive lists of the birthplaces of every major musician.
The sound mirrors entry says:
The Dungeness coastal landscape is shaped by the strange architectural splendour of the sound mirrors that are featured as cover artwork on Turin Brakes’ Ether Song album and hit single ‘Long Distance’. Constructed as a Royal Air Force early warning system for incoming aircraft, the Denge mirrors are often referred to as ‘Listening Ears’ and have also featured in The Prodigy video for ‘Invaders Must Die’ and Blank & Jones‘ Monument album cover and video for ‘A Forest’.
LOCATION 147: between Lydd-on-Sea and Greatstone-on-Sea. Postcode: TN29 9NL. Access with guided walks. www.andrewgrantham.co.uk/soundmirrors
Over Christmas I read Air War Over East Yorkshire, an interesting book by Paul Bright about WWII aviation in the East Riding.
It avoids the dryness of a lot of military books, and unusually has a fair amount of data about the Luftwaffe as well as the Allied forces. It discusses the radar stations in the area, including RAF Staxton Wold, possibly the oldest active radar site and with a history as an early warning site stretching back pretty much forever.
Air War Over East Yorkshire
In most accounts of the air war over Britain in summer 1940, the events over East Yorkshire are mentioned only in passing, yet it was there, on 20 August, that the first enemy aircraft fell to the guns of a Polish fighter squadron in the RAF, less than a mile from where these words are being written. It was also where the ‘north-east town’, as Hull was identified in the news bulletins of the day, suffered its prolonged agony under the bombs of the Luftwaffe. Indeed, the very last British civilians to die as a direct result of Luftwaffe bombs in World War II were killed in Hull on 17 March 1945. As the home of much of the RAF’s night-bombing force, East Yorkshire was also frequently the scene of Luftwaffe night intruder raids. This book, based on years of in-depth research into primary sources, personal accounts and experiences, reveals many new facts and gives long-overdue recognition to the events and people who fought, lived and all too often, died, in East Yorkshire during 1939-1945.
Paul Bright, now a retired history teacher, was born in Hunmanby, then a part of East Yorkshire, and as a schoolboy witnessed at firsthand quite a few of the events described in this book. His father was an auxiliary fireman in Hunmanby who participated in the response to many of the air attacks and their aftermath. Other members of his family endured the Blitz in Hull, consequently he is able to write about the period from personal experience as well as from the perspective of the dispassionate historian. He lives in Filey.
Source: Flight Recorder Publications
I’ve acquired a copy of the newly-published book Pillboxes of Britain & Ireland, by Mike Osbourne.
While it doesn’t cover sound mirrors, it is an excellent and comprehensive book on pillbox design and development, with typologies, plans, photographs and details of the theory and use of pillboxen. It is well worth any connoisseur of concrete defensive structures getting hold of a copy.
While we’re at it, I’ll also mention another good recent read, the new Osprey book on Armored Trains. I would review it, but this review says it all pretty well.
Unfortunately the book doesn’t mention the armoured train in Sarajevo.
While I’m doing an update, I’ll mention that the Hythe Civic Society has completely sold out of copies of Echoes from the Sky. There’s none left.
So please don’t e-mail them to ask about buying one!