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We are indebted to Mr. David Buckley for the following information about Home Guard defences in Leicestershire.

As a boy I had the good fortune to start my life in the small mining village of Newbold, Coleorton in Leicestershire. As youngsters we roamed the woods and parklands for many miles surrounding the village, with its Coal Mine and Pipe works connected with railway tracks and all the assorted structures that were so interesting to young boys.

As a boy I never realised the importance of two of these structures that stand on either side of the B587 on the Newbold side of the hump backed railway bridge on the way to Lount. It wasn't until later in my working life that they came up in discussion at lunch one day with another ex Newbold lad named Frank Birkin and I discovered the true purpose of these structures. They were constructed early in the WW2 circa 1940/41 by the local Home Guard, probably at the local New Lount Colliery and were in fact:- GERMAN TANK TRAPS!

The intention of the structures was to ensnare the invading German Tanks as they advanced from the A453 towards Newbold. The tanks would be temporarily unsighted as they rolled over the railway bridge and then become entangled in the strong steel cables that had been stretched across the road by the Home Guard. This would enable the Home Guard to then attack and destroy the enemy tank. What a brilliant idea and so like those instances so cleverly portrayed in "Dad's Army".

These structures are still there, as shown in these photos taken recently. They are however beginning to rust badly and deteriorate and will soon be gone forever if nothing is done to preserve them. Also I do not suppose many people know that they exist and if they do, they do not know what they were originally designed for.




Text and images  © David Buckley 2007