Sixty years, nearly, have passed since the Workington coast-battery was last used; never ('Bring-To' incident notwithstanding) - fortunately - against any threat of invasion. Apart from a few disparate, severed lumps of ferro-concrete hidden in the tufts of sea-grass and down on the beach amongst the cobbles and solidified slag, a first-time visitor would have no real idea of the area's past history.
It is understandable, perhaps, that a war-weary generation wished to erase any reminder of recent events, and the battery was torn down; the area - along with its pre-WWII industrial legacy - reclaimed and 'tidied up'. Even the more permanent batteries at places like Walney Island could not survive, let alone emergency batteries built with rapidity - unmatched since war-time - to serve a specific need, like those here and at Whitehaven.
I took some of the following photographs on a bright, breezy afternoon in late January 2004, and the remainder some three months later on Easter Monday, when the tide was out. Despite the general quietness - punctuated only by the gentle whooshing of the giant wind-turbines and the cars on the little clifftop car-park, I tried to put myself in the Gunners' shoes, and visualise life on the battery a mere two-and-a-bit generations ago. I hope you like them.
The three photographs below were taken at low tide on Easter Monday 2004. Left to right: Concrete-filled sandbagged support to buttress the slag-bank cliffs below number 1 gun; A panoramic view of the (south) concrete sea-wall which illustrates the location of the guns, a ZAA magazine, and the south searchlight emplacement; A picture of the (north) concrete terraced sea-wall with the approximate position of the north searchlight indicated.
1948 Aerial Photo | Main Coast-Battery Page | XDO / Marines Signals Post | Graphic