View Full Version : Archived: Coast Artillery School, Llandudno - April 2011 : IMAGE HEAVY!

The Littlest Jellyfish
14-04-2011, 09:36 PM
I don't know anything about the military, so rather than just making stuff up and incurring the wrath of people that do, I'm going to shamelessly copy some info from the internet. Because as we all know, if it's on the internet, it's going to be accurate and true. The excellent Fortress Study Group page here - http://www.fsgfort.com/DB/C086/34/Text.htm is going to be our source of information for this report.

In 1919 the School of Gunnery at Shoeburyness, Essex was renamed the Coast Artillery School. The function was not only to train officers and cadets in the art of Coast Artillery but also to assist in the development of new weaponry, tactics and instrumentation.

On the outbreak of WWII in September 1939 the school was very much still on a peacetime footing, having a capacity for training only 24 officers and 60 other ranks. After the fall of France in June 1940 a considerable expansion of Coast Artillery was undertaken to meet the possible threat of invasion. The lack of facilities at the school, plus the constant interruption to the sea ranges, coupled with the increasing air raid alerts prompted the decision to move the school to a more suitable location.

Strict criteria were laid down for the new location; it should be relatively free from the threat of bombing, have sea ranges as clear of shipping as possible, a harbour for target towing craft and suitable geographic conditions for Radio Direction Finding (RADAR) equipment. The War Office also stipulated that no site be selected where accommodation had to be built. After a protracted reconnaissance of various west coast sites, an ideal location was found on the west side of the Great Orme Head, Llandudno, Wales, overlooking the river Conwy estuary.

By August 1940 the site had been pegged out, apparently using balloons purchased from the local Woolworths, a contractor employed and building work begun. The first courses were held on the 30 September and by 7 October the move had been completed from Shoeburyness.


I don't know what most of the words on this map mean, but it looks interesting anyway.

This is the former guardroom:


Looking back from the former 4-in gun line towards the main road:


Here's the gun line in its heyday:


The mounting rings are still visible now:



http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b167/dr-nylon/uef/mil/cas3.jpg http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b167/dr-nylon/uef/mil/cas4.jpg


Due to the War Office ban on the building of accommodation, over 75 houses were requisitioned in the Llandudno area.

The instructional staff consisted of one chief instructor, 23 instructors in gunnery, 7 instructors in fire control for radar, 24 assistant instructors of gunnery (Warrant Officers) and 9 technical instructors for fire control (Warrant Officers and Staff Sergeants).

The Engine Room, aka Angie's Special Place:






(tile spotters will note there are Dennis of Ruabon tiles in the engine room! Or should I say Nobaur fo Sinned)

Gun line ammo store - as seen in the gun line photo above, the holes with railing round.






http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b167/dr-nylon/uef/mil/cas21.jpg http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b167/dr-nylon/uef/mil/cas22.jpg


Feral Kashmir Goats
The 200 feral Kashmir goats living on the Great Orme are descended from two goats acquired by Major General Sir Savage Mostyn from Queen Victoria. Sadly, they were not part of the Coast Artillery School, even though they live there now, but are included in this report because goats are funny. More info here: http://www.llandudno.com/goats.html



Join me in the next comment, where things start to get really cool!

The Littlest Jellyfish
14-04-2011, 09:37 PM
The Hornby Group Battery Obsevation Post






At the end of the war strong representations were made to the War Office to make what had become an ideal site permanent. It was the lack of its own accommodation that swayed the decision to transfer the school to the Royal Citadel in Plymouth.

By the mid 50s much of the site had become derelict and subsequent demolition removed all the surface structures, bar the searchlight emplacements and Hornby Fortress Observation Post. There were several observation posts around Conwy Bay to observe fall of shot and check the range was clear of shipping.

Fighting Searchlight Posts






http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b167/dr-nylon/uef/mil/cas35.jpg http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b167/dr-nylon/uef/mil/cas36.jpg



-- communication ends --