Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Blown Away Bunker Hunting.

A howling blowy wind was the order of the day & just my luck for a day off work ! A work mate & I were talking about the Auxiliary bunker at Penmanshiel & after my failings the last time I tried to find it. I done some research & my work mate was out walking one day & found the bunker where I thought it might be, so as we were both on days off from work we had arranged a wee jaunt on the bikes back along the Penmanshiel woods to find it.

Leaving my house & trying to keep out the worst of the howling wind I took a field track down to Crowhill where the old unused farm buildings are slowly being developed into houses with very little character in my opinion.

Against the grain for me cycling so close to the busy A1 road I really do hate it, but I was running late for meeting up with Jimmy my work mate & was glad when I reached the end of the dangerous cycle path to turn off onto the quiet little back road passing Bilsdean to Cockburnspath where Jimmy lives.

The Cockburnspath village market cross or 'mercat cross' with the old school house to the right.

Meeting up with Jimmy we set off into the wind passing by the old Cocburnspath Tower Castle en route to Penmanshiel.

A field of Alpaca's not the usual livestock seen around this part of  Scotland.

We were glad to be out of the howling gales & into the calm of the Penmanshiel woods.

After a bit of a traipse through the woods dumping the bikes we soon came across the world war 2 auxiliary unit's operational base bunker & I couldn't wait to go inside for a look around.
The entrance end of the OB, now blocked off by mud & debris.
The escape tunnel also filled up with rubble & mud which is the only open way into the bunker & the way we came in.

Above are what I believe are called voiding guages, used on the railways. The wooden flat base slid under the rail & pushed up the short arm of the pointer until it touched the bottom side of the rail. When a train passed over the pointer would move & stay in place showing how much packing of the ballast was required to obtain a smooth ride. These guages are non military & were most probably left in the bunker by rail workers before the rail route was altered.
Old cans.

The bunker made safe with a fence as it would be easy to miss with all the dead foliage & fall into it. The original entrance now blocked up & alost invisible now.

Heading back the way we came through the Penmanshiel woods.

Back over the Pease bridge and it's a fair old drop to the bottom & was at one time the highest bridge in the world.
Out of the woods & into the wind once more.

After saying cheerio to Jimmy who I think was glad to be back home I dropped down to the coast following the route of the John Muir link path so that I would get a bit of protection from the southerly wind, even if it was only for a short while.

Again it was lovely & calm down here at Dunglass beach so was nice to stop for a bit to fill my belly & do a bit of fossil hunting.
The cliffs down here are forever getting battered by the relentless waves, so there is always something new to find like the fossilised tree trunk above or maybe even... nah it can't be... surely it's not a cannon ball embedded into the soft rock...
...is it ???
I gently started pulling it away from the mud...
...and then...

...it crumbled in my hand when I then realised it was just a stopcock from an old toilet cistern !
Gutted to say the least :-(

So off I went on my merry way up the Bilsdean Creek slightly disheartened but never mind. 

Up onto the cliff top footpath where the wind was there to greet me once again.

Even the pigeons were keeping low out of the wind until they saw me that is.

From up here the sea looked utterly awesome because of the raging southerly wind hitting the northern shore of the beach, the wind was blowing the crest of the waves which in turn was making amazing rainbows in the the sea spray, unfortunately I didn't manage to get any pictures of the rainbows.

The forever changing Thornton burn eroding the sands every time the tide goes out.

I could of done with wearing trousers & having eyelashes like a camel cycling along Thorntonloch beach as the dry sand was blasting me before it blew into the sea.

With news that the gypsy population that have occupied the old A1 at Eastbarns for months being moved on I thought I would take a look at what they've been up to !
And I could not believe my eyes at what they have done to the place...

Gas bottles dumped & left lying all over the place...

Dozens & dozens of fire sites where caravans, cars, cable stolen from the cement works, car wheels with tyres burned on the rims & all sorts of other things have been burned !..

And believe me the above pictures are only a small quantity of the mess they have left behind them...

Destroyed the boundary walls for what reason I have no idea !!

Pulled out catseyes from the road & sustrans cycle route sign post !
Why ?
Even found the court summons for their eviction stuffed into a hedge !
And down here on the old Dryburn road they must have used as their latrine nothing but soiled toilet paper everywhere stuck in the hedges, long grass etc. 
I thought about taking pictures but had second thoughts as it was bad enough me seeing it without sharing with you !
I can't honestly believe that people from a developed country can live like this without any care & consideration for the enviroment, anyone else or even themselves for that matter.
Many people stick up for them saying they deserve to be able to park up there caravans where ever they want, find work locally & that everyone has their rights But I most certainly think they get the reputation that they deserve living like this destroying the area & the thieving that they have done over the months while they have been here & who will be paying for the council to clean it up ??? 
Yes us tax payers !
It's a disgusting outrage & even when it's cleaned up their mark has been made with the damage to the walls, the trees & hedge bushes that they have hacked to bits for their fires.
And I repeat once again that the photos I have shown above are only scratching the surface I could of taken hundreds of pictures.
But on a plus note I can now start using this road again as for me it's a commute route & quick access to the coast woo hoo :-)

Thanks for looking & please visit again soon