The Changing Landscape at Southport, Lancashire

Robin Quance, Sheffield

I was seven when the Second World War began, and I lived in Birkdale, Southport, Lancashire. What I most keenly remember was how the beach vanished beneath hundreds of reinforced concrete posts standing roughly six feet high (but as a child, seemed higher) and around eight inches thick, which were positioned all over miles of beach at close enough intervals to defeat a German invasion by air (presumably gliders) and would have seriously inconvenienced an attack by sea. For me there was little if any true appreciation of what was going on, and for a boy these and other artefacts just became fun things to play around. I don't truly remember pill boxes in the sandhills, although I'm sure there must have been some. The posts remained on the beach for some time after the war, and became such a feature that when they were removed, the beach seemed to me to be curiously bald.