Work has now started on weather proofing rooms that have been exposed to the elements. This will enable restoration to continue inside during the winter months. Broken and bent window bars have been cut out, straightened and re fitted. A new one has been made where there was one missing. 3 windows have been replaced to date with another one due soon
Following on with our consent for works in the western gun position we have now removed the modern steps that gave access to the area when it was a horse riding school. We then set to work on removing the 6 inch thick concrete cap covering in where the Moncrieff gun was sited. Once the concrete was removed it was quickly established that the rest of the pit was infilled with clay. As this was removed, by digger initially and then by hand, what was left of the traversing ring was revealed. The ring is mostly intact but due to the width of the pit opening being narrower than below the rest will have to be carefully removed by hand. After this a report will made on the findings to Heritage England and permission sought to preserve what is left
Following on with our consent for works in the western gun position we have now completed the earth retaining wall. We will now start to demolish the old 1960,s steps that used to be the access point from the Haven site to get to the horse riding stables. We will follow this with starting to excavate the 9.2 inch Moncrieff gun pit to see what remains. We are ever hopeful after finding a cast iron wheel which may have come from the gun. We are also progressing with the restoration of the main fort building and have another 4 windows on order arriving in October. After getting these painted and fitted it will enable us to weather proof 3 more rooms before winter sets in.
Following on with our consent work on the western side of the fort, we have started to cast the missing retaining wall. Rebar used to tie it into what is left of the base and the upright surface. Its a slow progress, 9 inches of shuttering, concrete mix, let it set and then the next 9 inches. 14ft long, 6ft 6 inches high and 30 inches thick.
This month we were lucky to take delivery of this 3.7 inch anti aircraft gun, all the way from Dumfries Aviation Museum.
These were the type of gun that were on top of the Maunsell Forts out in the estuary, this may have come from Red Sands or Shivering Sand, we are waiting for more information from the museum. There was also a number of these guns within the village of Allhallows during WW2 and they were fed their ammunition from Slough Fort. The gun has been positioned facing the Thames as it would have been when in action.
We also had the Sheppy Pirates take over the fort for the bank holiday weekend, they are here teaching the visiting children how to use swords (foam) before sending them off in the arena following a battle with the red coats to check all the pirates were well and truly dead !.
Having received consent to excavate along the western service road we were pleased to uncover the full extent of the old cobbled gated entrance. Also following the concrete drainage gully expose the full width of the road and the remains of the metalled road surface
The new perimeter fence is now lit up of a night making the fort quite a feature against the night sky
During March our landlords Haven replaced the fence between the fort and the seafront. This will enable us to create a footpath around the glacis. It has also put the lost 6 inch gun position to the east on our side of the fence allowing excavation.
Another interesting feature discovered on the track down to the fort, a cobbled area and evidence of curved metal runners that would have taken the wheels of a gate, no doubt a guarded vehicle entrance. We have found this on a 1891 drawing and it appears that there is also a third gate which looks like a possible pedestrian entrance.
Work has continued on the cells, cell Number 2 is now complete, all lime washing done, floor stained and bed constructed. Would you like to spend your nights in here ?
Cell Number 1 is now being finished in time for our 2023 season
We had a trial dig late this month, and there is more of the position left than we expected. See here the original stencilling showing the type of shells stored in the recess, as good as the date it was put in place. The site is now covered to protect it until the weather gets better and we can carry on.
This is a scaled drawing of the eastern 6 inch gun position over a drone picture. During the winter months the fence line will be move so we have the position on our side of the fence. Weather permitting we will have a dig to see what is left, if any !!!
Happy Pancake Day!
The Slough Fort Preservation Trust’s Trustees and Volunteers have been hard at work once again, and lots has been achieved over this last month – we can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to!
Slough Fort is proud to announce that we are now a part of the Wheels of Time education scheme! A fantastic scheme aimed at encouraging young children (ages 3 to 11) to connect with fascinating local heritage in their area and across the county. There are 53 members of the Wheels of Time scheme in 2022, so there’s no shortage of places to visit! If you’d like to tick off Slough Fort from your Wheels of Time list, check out our Guided Tours or Open Days pages on our website to see when you can next come down! Alternatively, click here to head over to the Wheels of Time website and find out more about the scheme and other sites involved.
To find out more about the goings-on at Slough Fort, head over to the Slough Fort Facebook page, or take a read of one of our newsletters here on the website.
Happy Valentines Day to all the Slough Fort supporters out there!
As always, the Trustees and Volunteers of the Slough Fort Preservation Trust have been as busy as ever, and we can’t wait to tell you what we’ve been up to!
Slough Fort are now the proud owners of some rather rare anti-tank cylinders, found nearby in the village of Wainscott. With thanks to Ross Crayford, Chris Saunders and many others, these priceless artefacts of the Second World War can now be proudly displayed at Slough Fort next to our Tett Turret at the Main Gate. Want to come along and take a look at the brand-new guard position at the Slough Fort entrance? Why not come down on one of our Guided Tours, or pop along to one of our Open Days? To find out more, please head over to the relevant pages on our website.
In other news, we have had a change of leadership within the Slough Fort Preservation Trust. Keith Gulvin, the outgoing Chair of the Trust, is to be taken over from by Colin Davis. Keith first visited Slough Fort back in 1976 as a member of the Medway Military Research Group, and has been involved in the restoration of the site since 2013 – that’s nine years at Slough Fort! We are happy to announce that Keith will be staying on with the Trust in his new role as Vice Chair. The Slough Fort Preservation Trust would like to thank Keith for all his work, and wish Colin the best of luck as the incoming Chair.
That’s all from us for now, but would you like to learn more about the goings-on at Slough Fort? Head on over to the Slough Fort Facebook page, or take a read of one of our newsletters here on our website.
Happy New Year everyone!
Work has continued this New Year at Slough Fort, and we can’t wait to tell you all about it!
A relative of one of our Volunteers has very kindly donated two models of Moncreiff Disappearing Guns – the same type that were at one stage installed at Slough Fort. It’s great to see such detailed models of these guns, as they provide valuable insight into exactly how the Fort was used, manned and armed. Would you like to see these models, and learn something new about Slough Fort’s role in protecting the River Thames? Come down on one of our Guided Tours, or visit us on one of our Open Days! To find out more about these, please head over to the relevant pages on our website.
In other news, a number of projects have come into fruition during December and January such the Go Green Project. This project is aimed at protecting the environment in cooperation with the Peninsula East Primary Academy, and was a great success with a number of pupils from the school coming to Slough Fort to learn more about what they can do to help safeguard their local environment.
Lots more has taken place at Slough Fort over the last month. Would you like to learn more about the goings on at your local fort? Head over to the Slough Fort Facebook page, or take a look at our Newsletters!
The Slough Fort Preservation Trust (SFPT) are a group of volunteers dedicated to the long term restoration and development of the Fort as a community asset and tourist attraction.