Monday, 26 March 2012

Looking back to a very fine Ramble Indeed

They say that March comes in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb and this year that seems to be holding true, for we are already experiencing some beautiful weather. Sunshine and gentle breezes that take me back to a late summer ramble I enjoyed whilst visiting a friend last year in Oxfordshire. We skirted the Thames not far from its source and stumbled upon a series of Pillboxes - A network of defence bunkers built across Britain in the early 1940s....

From 2nd World War Pillbox to 21st century Bat Roost

This one has been recycled into a bat roost. Once a structure for the defence of the realm, now like many a church we Ramblers visit, it's a defence for a threatened species. What a great idea and one that really fills me with hope.

The river Thames taking it's time just south of Bampton

When I was young I was part of a gang and we had a pillbox as a den. It was almost hidden amongst fallen trees and Ivy and a great place to try your hand at smoking, drinking and all those other things that mark the perilous journey through childhood, including some some very memorable afternoons with my mate's older sister. Great days!

It was a hideout and nothing more back then - A fun place and like the bat roost an optimistic place, for when we are young most of us look forward and very rarely back. But now when I look at these structures they make me think back to more pessimistic times, when for many there was a papable feeling of fear, that all they held dear was hanging on a knife edge.

Bricked up door of the Pillbox

Perhaps it's a sign of growing older that we begin to look back towards the past, but that's the way of things and it didn't lessen my enjoyment of a very fine ramble indeed.

Another Pillbox by the side of the Thames
Look closely or click on image to enlarge

+Many Coats+


  1. Judging from some of the magazines I have found in old pillboxes, the are often used for onanistic experimentation also. Give me bats any day.

    1. Great days Tom. Great days indeed!

  2. Prof. Norman Smythe-Cockton28 March 2012 at 07:15

    Oh I remember the days. I remember being bent over, what oh! Ah can't say anymore, violates my restraining order. Er ah is wasn't me I tell you it was a complete fabrication. Must go now ttfn.

  3. I for one could not imagine the feeling of being caught inside one of those bunkers with someone approaching to kill you. Brave people in desperate times. How fortunate the country stayed safe from land troops. I am humbled by their fight for my freedom.

    1. The Contribtions Secretary, RSAR28 March 2012 at 13:29

      Well said, my anonymous friend. The Society appreciates your visit and your thoughtful ness.

      The Sec