Salthouse History site

The Story behind the remnants of a
             Radar Pylon

                             on Salthouse Heath


Adrian Lewis, a bird-watcher on holiday from Bristol, visited Salthouse Heath on 5th March 2002 (having seen golden orioles there thirty years ago), and he came upon the mysterious remnants of a war-time pylon.

He says, "I noticed that one of the pylon's feet had a bouquet of flowers attached to it and, walking over, found a note addressed to 'the crew of LM720'. It was a sign of remembrance from someone called Hilda and her family. Remembrance poppies and small wooden crosses were also tied there. It was getting towards sunset on that windswept hilltop and I found the memorial both fascinating and extremely moving, and it stays in my mind."

On his return to Bristol he searched the internet for anything about Salthouse, and somehow got in touch with me (I can't think how - since this website was not in existence then and the book hadn't been published).

Gerald Cubitt

Gerald Cubitt, Salthouse-born historian, was able to tell about the pylon and also supply photographs. On 15th January 1945, a Lancaster bomber returning after a night raid over Germany crashed into this 200-foot-high pylon and all of the seven crew members of the aircraft died. He said "Many people visiting the heath today wonder about the remains to be seen there, of a wartime radar pylon, and over the years a number of small wooden crosses have been placed on one of the four steel base-plates which still mark the site of the pylon." Gerald mentioned a similar note which he found on a visit to the heath in May 2001, attached to one of the crosses which carried the following message:

Remembering the crew of the Lancaster bomber
squadron which crashed into this pylon in the
night of 15th January 1945—
The Boyce family.

Like Adrian, Gerald was moved by the tribute, and felt he wanted to say a personal thanks to the Boyce family for their gesture of respect to the memory of those who lost their lives here.

 

for Gerald's remarkable photo of the pylon after the Lancaster bomber hit it, see next page