Story behind the roar of the Eskmeals guns
Published at 11:49, Saturday, 28 February 2009
TODAY we are taking a look at the activities through the decades at the Eskmeals gun range, north of Millom.
It was prompted by the loan of picture from Tony Cummings, of Newton Street, Millom, showing Eskmeals instrumentation staff from around 1960. They were known as range assistants.
Shown on the back row (from left) are Don, Tony Priestley, Ernie Burgess, Bill Elliot, John Applegate, Alec Gill, Taff Jones and Tony Warburton.
On the front row (from left) are Cyril Finch, Malcolm Parminter, Tony Cummings, Bill Brain, Bob Caisley, Ron Bettinson, Alec Ross and Leslie Webster.
Firing rights at Eskmeals were secured in July 1897 by Barrow’s Vickers, Sons and Maxim from the Lowther Estates.
The site was termed Main Battery and firing was carried out over the foreshore with the medium to large naval guns produced at Barrow and taken to Eskmeals by rail.
It was an improvement on test firing into a sand-filled butt.
By August 1897 the Barrow company had bought extra land at Monk Moors from Lowther Estates.
Early in 1898 the Furness Railway Company agreed to provide sidings to Eskmeals from the Bootle line.
By 1900 the range had its own wooden railway halt for the use of workers and official visitors from all over the world.
Many rail travellers will recall the signal box which controlled traffic at what was called the Vickers Gun Range Sidings. It was removed for preservation in 1992.
Main Battery, South Battery and associated workshops were kept busy as Vickers produced more and bigger naval guns both for the Royal Navy and the foreign countries, such as Japan.
The first master gunner at the range in 1897 was Harry Williams who had served with the Royal Marine Artillery.
From 1910 the first full-time superintendent at the range was Alan Craig, a technical expert in trials and experimentation for Vickers.
Just before the First World War Vickers also started sending a range of field guns to Eskmeals for testing.
During those war years 15,000 trials and proofs were carried out on guns at the range.
During the Second World War the range was still operated by Vickers but under the control of the Ministry of Supply.
A wide range of guns were tested, including secret work on the first multiple launched rocket system.
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
More Grange news
- South Lakes housing estate plan approved
- Store owner appeals to public after £25,000 jewellery heist
- Grange man accused of grooming girl for sex
- Loved ones remembered at Cumbria service
- New Grange estate proposal branded ‘vandalism of a public view’
- Cumbria sex offender pensioner due in court today charged with loitering near children's play area
- Cumbria fly-tipper admits dumping his old sofa
- High winds close outdoor exhibition in South Cumbria
- Cartmel Races - Betfair Barbecue Day 2014
- Cartmel Races - Totepool Cumbria Crystal Hurdle Day 2014
- Two race horses perish at Cartmel races in South Cumbria (16 comments)
- Consultation begins on £1.4m South Cumbria homes proposal (1 comment)
- Cartmel Vintage Race Night
- Barrow bakery has recipe for success
- Car stolen in South Cumbria
- Barrow and Grange venues for summer street gallery exhibition
- Cumbria chef Simon Rogan wins another accolade
- Concerns over application for 68 new homes in Cumbria town
- Grange care home residents given month to leave (2 comments)
- Police appeal after Cumbria collision between car and pedestrian
- Work on multi-million housing development in South Cumbria under way
- Cumbria women invited to Dalton, Grange and Ambleside events to "change their lives"
- Look for elusive bird in Cumbria
- Supporters prepare South Cumbria lido Lottery cash bid (1 comment)
- Social media crimes in Cumbria on the increase
Evening Mail homepage
ENERGY FOR LIFE 5.1k WALNEY FAMILY FUN RUN
Did you enjoy the Energy For Life 5.1k Walney Family Fun Run?
• Click here to pledge to take part in next year's event on September 2, 2012
Post 16 education
A new year - a new you
Light up a life