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Thread: Project Emily

  1. #1

    Default Project Emily

    Congrats on finding Driffield East Rob, (and for the extra info Siobhan).

    The Bardney pair are new to me as well - I thought the remaining Project Emily pillars were simply 'location unknown'. Are there more known locations not on T:UK or BM:UK ? Or did Rod S magic these up from the archives?

  2. #2
    trigbagger Guest

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    I'm really Glad that Driffield East has finally been sighted. A few years ago I asked a question on trigonomy about Project Emily as once I'd seen the first trig pillar there I'd done a bit of research (as none of the maps I'd looked at, even the older ones showed it) I was sure it hadn't just been moved from somewhere else (as sometime happens) as I'd checked out most of the pillars near it and found them where they should be.

    Once I discovered it would have been one of a pair I started looking for the other, I'd just never had the time to devote to a thorough search and at that point wasn't sure where on the area it would be. I really should have put more effort into it as my HQ is the camp next door, at one point I was working there on a daily basis and had legitimate access onto the area, I should have been out there looking during my lunch breaks. :lol:

    Then about 3 years ago my mate Dani told me that she had seen it, she had just wandered into the woods to answer a call of nature and there it was, I then looked on a few occasions where she had descibed it and not a sign, I had begun to think she was winding me up.

    It's good that this one has it's flush bracket. I know that Driffield West hasn't as when I first discovered that one it was standing upright on it's foundations and all four sides could be seen.
    Last edited by trigbagger; 19th October 2009 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Spelling

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by trigbagger View Post
    I It's good that this one has it's flush bracket. I know that Driffield West hasn't as when I first discovered that one it was standing upright on it's foundations and all four sides could be seen.
    You don't happen to recall if it had a space for a FB, i.e. did it look like one had been removed? I vaguely remember someone saying that paired Project Emily trigs only had one FB between them.

  4. #4
    trigbagger Guest

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    I don't remember that I'm sorry, I remember I walked around it looking for the flush bracket and I'm positive it didn't have one because I was disappointed that I couldn't make a note of the number. It was stood in the middle of a recent fire and I remember scrabbling about in the ashes looking for the FB, I didn't find it but I did find the metal plug though.

    I don't recall if it had the indented space for one though. It was about 8 years ago now and my memory is hazy. And the photographs that I took back then (and the ones I took when it was first moved to the hedgeline) were stored on a laptop that was stolen early last year so I can't even consult them to check.
    Last edited by trigbagger; 19th October 2009 at 08:52 PM. Reason: Spelling

  5. #5
    trigbagger Guest

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    I've just seen the photos that Garvald Punks has uploaded to T:UK of this pillar. Interested to see the close up of the flush bracket.

    http://www.trigpointinguk.com/photos/P65965.jpg

    There appears to have been an attempt to chisel off the OS, I don't think it's natural weathering or wear and tear as the rest of the lettering is still very well defined and prominent and where the S was you can make out some marks that look like they were caused as it was chiselled off.

    Would the MOD have done this as it was one of theirs and not an OS one as such?
    Last edited by trigbagger; 20th October 2009 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Spelling

  6. #6
    j.i.wilson Guest

    Default Project emily

    Forgive my ignorance - could someone tell me what is (was) Project Emily?

    Thanks

    Ian Wilson

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by j.i.wilson View Post
    Forgive my ignorance - could someone tell me what is (was) Project Emily?
    Cold war shenanigans. 'Project Emily' was the military code name for the deployment of US Thor ballistic missiles by the UK in the 1950s. A number of triangulation pillars (32 or thereabouts?) were purpose-built by the OS as part of the process of constructing specialist airfields for the missiles.

    Some of these missiles were fitted with nuclear warheads, and so were an early target of anti-nuclear protests, and some were used to fire satellites into space. Apparently the nuclear warheads were 100 times more powerful than the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Oh, the joys of the 'special relationship' with the US - we get the dubious pleasure of keeping their murderous weapons on our doorstep.

    As per usual, the whole thing was top secret and completely denied by the UK state at the time.

    This message will now self-destruct.
    Last edited by agentmancuso; 21st October 2009 at 09:48 PM. Reason: sp

  8. #8
    j.i.wilson Guest

    Default Project Emily

    Oh!

    I can confirm that in over 20 years of maintaining/extending/recording the OS trig network - I never came across the term on any document - anywhere.

    Just shows how secret it was!

    I would muse that it seems unlikley that OS ever bulit any pillars especially for Project Emily. Given the killing radius of a nuclear missile the accuracy of even the 4th order poillars would be well good enough for their purposes. I would suggets that exisiting pillars were more likely used.

    Thanks

    Ian wilson

  9. #9

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    That would leave the puzzling question of just why the OS would build 20 pairs of pillars, at intervals of a few hundred yards, in the immediate vicinity of ballistic nuclear bases, at the very point in time those bases were being fitted out for Project Emily, and then name the pillars after the bases.

  10. #10
    Sagina nivalis Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by trigbagger View Post
    I've just seen the photos that Garvald Punks has uploaded to T:UK of this pillar. Interested to see the close up of the flush bracket.

    http://www.trigpointinguk.com/photos/P65965.jpg

    There appears to have been an attempt to chisel off the OS.
    Yes - so there has - I hadn't spotted that. In the case of Bardney West, the "OS" and the numbers have gone; just the BM remains http://www.trigpointinguk.com/photos/P65955.jpg albeit the pic doesn't extend up above the "BM". Any suggestions as to the FB number? S98xx is as far as I can get.

    Would the MOD have done this as it was one of theirs and not an OS one as such?
    Could be. Or the OS requested it. As I understand it from Rod Sladen, the Emilys weren't built by the OS, but by the MoD to the OS design. But the details are in the OS archives, although not all of the FB numbers are known. I understand that FBs weren't known for any of the 3 found so far. RodS knows more on this of course. I'm not sure that he uses this forum but a msg on [trigonomy] would elicit more info I'm sure.

    There's a spreadsheet from RodS which I'm pretty sure is in the [trigonomy] files area.

    Hopefully more Emilys still to be found among the southern half of their range but the northern sites have mostly been fairly well searched.

  11. #11
    trigbagger Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagina nivalis View Post
    Any suggestions as to the FB number? S98xx is as far as I can get.

    Looks like the third digit could have been a 7, however I can't make out the last at all and to me the first number appears to have the rounded shapes of a number 8.

    I had read that the MOD made these trigs not the OS that's why I wondered if the OS wanted the OS lettering removed. I haven't a clue why though, mysteries bug me, lol.

  12. #12
    Sagina nivalis Guest

    Default

    I've just alerted RodS to this discussion; maybe he'll comment himself. Anyway, he reckons, "most likely S9872. Certainly S987x, evidently not S9871, but S9870 and S9879 remain possibilities"

    The Emilys with known FBs are/were S95xx or S98xx; that's not to say there weren't other subsets than these, I guess. I'm pretty sure the first number is 9 not 8, though.

  13. #13
    trigbagger Guest

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    You're probably right, the top is certainly rounded so could definitely be 9, the last number has been very well chiselled off so that one is really hard to see, but if 9 is a possiblily I can sort of make out a rounded curve on the top left hand side, but that could apply to a 2 also.

    Now I've looked at it with 9872 or 9879 in my mind, I can see that either are very good possibilities.

    I haven't looked through FB numbers though to see what S98?? numbers are taken elsewhere and which are therefore unnacounted for, I'm sure Rod has that info.

  14. #14
    RodS Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagina nivalis View Post
    I've just alerted RodS to this discussion; maybe he'll comment himself.
    And here he is now!

    There were 20 Thor missile sites constructed under Project Emily. At each site there were 2 pillars, so a total of 40 pillars. All were constructed to standard OS design. OS records indicate that 31 of the 40 had Flush Brackets, but the FB numbers are listed there for only 10 of them. Rob's find of S9865 at Driffield East adds one more to the known list.

    At least one pillar at each site evidently had a Flush Bracket - in fact, 9 out of the first batch of 10 sites seem to have had one pillar with FB and one without. The remaining 10 sites, plus Shepherds Grove from the first batch(also known as Stanton) had FBs on both pillars.

    For Bardney West, I reckon most likely S9872. Certainly S987x, evidently not S9871, but S9870 and S9879 remain possibilities.

    The FBs in the probable ranges that are or were unaccounted for are S9535, S9536, S9537, S9539, S9560, S9563, S9564, S9565 plus S9864, S9865 (now found by Rob on Driffield East), S9866, S9867, S9868, S9869, S9870, S9871, S9872 (but see Bardney West above), S9879, S9880, S9881, S9882, S9883 - It is likely that Project Emily accounts for all but one of these.

    Driffield West is recorded as having a Flush Bracket, but no FB nor cavity is visible on the 3 currently accessible faces

    The original locations for all the pillars are indeed known precisely (supposedly to a resolution of 0.01 metres, or 0.001 metres for the final dozen pillars!), but most have probably been destroyed or, at least, moved (as for example, Driffield West and Bardney West). Driffield East in the only one so far found which appears to be in its original location.

  15. #15
    RodS Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by j.i.wilson View Post
    Oh!

    I can confirm that in over 20 years of maintaining/extending/recording the OS trig network - I never came across the term on any document - anywhere.

    Just shows how secret it was!

    I would muse that it seems unlikley that OS ever bulit any pillars especially for Project Emily. Given the killing radius of a nuclear missile the accuracy of even the 4th order poillars would be well good enough for their purposes. I would suggets that exisiting pillars were more likely used.

    Ian wilson
    I'm not sure of the split between MoD and OS reponsibilities on Project Emily, but there are references in the OS records to "NG Job 42 (Trig)" for Feltwell and "NG Job 43 (Trig)" for Shepherds Grove, so there must have been some OS involvment, even if only in supplying the Flush Brackets and Spiders, and maybe drawings.

    The removal of the "O S" from at least some FBs suggests that OS might wish to make it clear that they were not taking any responsibity for maintaining these pillars.

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