Operation ‘Family Affair’

Restoration Of The Tulks Hill Observation Pillbox

When you have been married to a `Pillbox Spotter` for as long as I have then you will understand that `concrete-itous` is just part of life`s rich tapestry and that it`s quite normal to drive around the countryside peering over hedges!

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Making the tea on top of the Tulk`s Hill Pillbox!

If you haven`t guessed by now then I am the PSG Webmaster’s better half and since our return back to Dorset in 2006, Graham has been dragging me around the county looking at many of the pillboxes that he reported to the Defence of Britain Project back in the mid 90’s. It was on a visit back to our all time favourite pillbox at Tulk’s Hill, overlooking Chesil Beach, that we decided that we should give it a good clean up and remove 10 years worth of beer cans etc.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

The pillbox on a very chilly winters afternoon, just at the start of the clean up.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

View from the top!
Looking east along Chesil Beach to Portland

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

View from the top!
Looking west towards Lyme Regis.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Undergrowth covering the observation loopholes

What is so unusual about this pillbox is that it has 3 large ‘panoramic’ windows, which were obviously used by the observers living inside to view a huge area of Chesil Beach.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Large loopholed window with the original wooden window frame still insitu.

The only way of getting the huge amount of mud from the inside was for Graham to shovel out of the windows!

Here`s a bit that missed the window but found the sill!

Note the still intact wooden window frame which has been here since 1940.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

67 years of mud exiting the pillbox!

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Graham hard at work shovelling out the soil and mud.
He`s looking a little surprised at being on the receiving end of a photograph for a change.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Clearing back the dead vegetation outside and flattening out the soil from the pillbox to give it some landscaping.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Clearing back the vegetation

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Carol & Gavin Matthews taking a tea break in the winter sunshine whilst enjoying the breathtaking view.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Almost all the soil & mud outside at this point.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

60 odd years of mud slumped at the bottom of the entrance steps.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Just a little bit of mud to be removed from the inside walls with a brush after Graham missed the window!

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

A good view of the large observation loopholes from the inside.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Excavating the steps.

Gavin doing a fantastic job cleaning off the brick entrance steps.

We were very careful to preserve the live ferns growing on the side wall.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Graham sticking his hand into some pretty unpleasant muck in an attempt to clean out the drain.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Up to his elbow in it!

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

Bottom of the steps with mud now removed and the drain cleaned out.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

The drain!

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

I could`nt resist cleaning out the fireplace and having a go to see if the chimney still worked.

TULKS HILL OBSERVATION PILLBOX

The restored Tulks Hill Observation Pillbox.

The end of a couple of afternoons work with the pillbox looking good after 60 odd years of neglect.

Why not get your family together and adopt a pillbox near you. Take a picnic and give it a really good clean up.

It`s a really rewarding task and I have to be honest and say that I really enjoyed my ‘pillboxing’ days.

Carol A. Matthews

West Dorset

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Disclaimer

Defence Structures and sites of all types both above and below ground can be very dangerous. Serious injury or even death can arise from unauthorised entry into such sites and structures. Join a responsible club, group or society who can arrange official visits. The Pillbox Study Group accepts no responsibility for any damages or injuries caused by ignoring this advice.

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