Rye Harbour Image Library | Picture

Picture No:300
Courtesy of:Barry Yates
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Blockhouse in village

This photo was taken in May 1946 when the road to the shore was being contructed, but it shows one blockhouse in the village that I have not seen in other photos. It is now the bus turning circle. There is another square building overlooking the river by the pub, but I am unsure what it was. It is interesting to note how low the floodbank was.
Picture Added on 08 February 2011.


A great photo, so interesting as we were only in the pub the other day!
Added by Jackie White on 02 March 2011.
Fascinating photo. This blockhouse can be seen in the distance in the sister picture photo 18 'Building the shore road' It must have been removed when the old bus turning circle was moved from its position in front of the pub (still visible in part today) by the other square building above.
Added by Geoff Pope on 15 June 2011.
Very recently the frontage road has been extended through the gate and up over the flood bank. The contractors had to dig out a foundation for the road and, in doing so, exposed a yellow stock brick small foundation. Speaking to Al Haffenden, he recalls that Mrs Tunbridge's cafe had a big extension in front of it, perhaps extending out as far as the foundation which thus might have been part of the cafe.

You can clearly see the small blockhouse with, in front of it, a large circular foundation, later to become the bus turning circle. The foundation was for one of two large oil tanks at least, according to Al, 20 feet high and part of the shore facility for one of the Pluto (Pipeline under the Ocean) fuel supply system for the 1944 invasion. Perhaps the small blockhouse was part of the pumping or control system? Al said that the slipway and jetty were built to accommodate a small tanker that filled the tanks.the tanks must have been cleared away very quickly at the end of the war, the other tank having been placed more or less next to the flagpole.
There were a couple of other tanks for firewater, one placed near the exit of Mary Stanford Green, the other by the allotments. These were apparently of quite large diameter but only about 4 feet high.
I'm grateful, both to Al Haffenden for this information, and Philip Moore for pointing out the image as essential evidence.

Added by Mike Slavin on 23 September 2012.
I remember very well the circular foundation in front of William the Conqueror (it is now partly under the flood wall and partly under the pub seating area. It was indeed used as the bus turning point up to c.1970's.

There was another foundation on the flat area near the mast over the road from the Black House (Gerry Blattman's house).

In July 1939 Rye Harbour came under the Admiralty’s Dover Command. In June 1945 The first petrol pipeline to France under operation PLUTO (PipeLine Under The Ocean - originally Pipe-Line Underwater Transportation of Oil) was completed from Dungeness to Ambleteuse to supply the Allied Forces in France.

The circular foundation was for oil storage tanks as part of PLUTO. There used to be the remains of a PLUTO pipeline that ran along the river bed to the harbour mouth from this storage area and I remember well exploring this with my dad Alec at low tides. I don't suppose there is any of that left now.

Added by Cric@blueyonder.co.uk on 12 February 2019.

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