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Road closures, Pozieres and Thiepval


Beselare
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Road widening/improvement is taking place between Pozieres and Thiepval and between Thiepval and the railway. The estimated time for completion is the end of April. For the Ulster Tower it is necessary to park in the Thiepval centre car park and then walk. No diversions are signposted. The best alternative for Pozieres to Thiepval is to go to La Boiselle and turn right towards Authuille. Go through Authuille and you will be at the Memorial car park. An alternative for Thiepval to Beaumont-Hamel, Newfoundland Park, etc., is to go through Grandcourt, turning left in the centre of the village and following the road until you arrive at Beaucourt Station.

Bob

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This appears to be but one of many road works that have stated up and down the Western Front from last week. For example concrete filling in opposite the Australian plaque facing "Moo Cow" Farm, I suspect that the last week in Oct marked the opening of the road works season - route barre quite randomly everywhere from the Salient to Albert

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Yes major changes. Dom from Le Tommy told me of these proposed works back in March. All due to expected increase in traffic and coaches between 2014 and 2018. Mill Road won't ever be the same!

TT

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Luckily all of this worked out ok, no road closures, roads were a bit rough but not closed, al they have done is taken in the sides of the road about 3 to 4 foot each side, hardly noticeable.

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Definitely closed 2 weeks ago, possibly unlucky being there on the day they were closed

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I've been told that roads were accessible this "special" and long week-end (and might be the next week-ends too?) otherwise they are closed during the week (Monday to Friday) when they are working.

I'll see tomorrow !

Sly

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My thoughts exactly, they haven't started on the stretch from the Ulster Tower down to the rail crossing and evidently a car park space will be cleared in the field opposite the Ulster Tower. There will be some itchy mitts hanging around there for a while.

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you could not get down it for metal detectors 3 weeks ago! Seemed like a family day out.

Tony

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  • 2 weeks later...

you could not get down it for metal detectors 3 weeks ago! Seemed like a family day out.

Tony

Kirky I thought that the unrestricted use of metal detectors was illegal in France and there were stiff penalties if caught using one, if so how come!.

Norman

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Norman, that is what I thought, no signs of any police, they probably think it is a minor offence and it seems quite common.

Tony

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Thanks Kirky, what I cannot understand is why no action is taken never mind the fact that these people are apparently thumbing their noses at the law what about if they dig up unexploded munitions that surely is a public safety issue?.

Regards

Norman

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I assume for the police, this will not be a priority. That is not an unreasonable position, assuming the usual limits on resources. There are likely more immediate and more serious crimes to investigate etc..

Nevertheless, it is a pity. I would expect that roadwork of this sort (with the added news of a discovery of remains)will attract all sorts of treasure-hunters, and not all of them local.

I'm saddened to hear about the roadworks and to hear another place wrecked. I look forward to 2019.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I assume for the police, this will not be a priority. That is not an unreasonable position, assuming the usual limits on resources. There are likely more immediate and more serious crimes to investigate etc..

Nevertheless, it is a pity. I would expect that roadwork of this sort (with the added news of a discovery of remains)will attract all sorts of treasure-hunters, and not all of them local.

I'm saddened to hear about the roadworks and to hear another place wrecked. I look forward to 2019.

I think a number of "us" who have had a long term interest in the history of the Great War view the impending commemorations with some trepidation. It appears to many to be an excuse for inappropriate commercialism. We can't say it was unexpected however, it reminded me of the following poem;

High Wood

Ladies and gentlemen, this is High Wood,

Called by the French, Bois des Fourneaux,

The famous spot which in Nineteen-Sixteen,

July, August and September was the scene

Of long and bitterly contested strife,

By reason of its High commanding site.

Observe the effect of shell-fire in the trees

Standing and fallen; here is wire; this trench

For months inhabited, twelve times changed hands;

(They soon fall in), used later as a grave.

It has been said on good authority

That in the fighting for this patch of wood

Were killed somewhere above eight thousand men,

Of whom the greater part were buried here,

This mound on which you stand being...

Madame, please,

You are requested kindly not to touch

Or take away the Company's property

As souvenirs; you'll find we have on sale

A large variety, all guaranteed.

As I was saying, all is as it was,

This is an unknown British officer,

The tunic having lately rotted off.

Please follow me - this way...

the path, sir, please,

The ground which was secured at great expense

The Company keeps absolutely untouched,

And in that dug-out (genuine) we provide

Refreshments at a reasonable rate.

You are requested not to leave about

Paper, or ginger-beer bottles, or orange-peel,

There are waste-paper baskets at the gate.

Philip Johnstone 1918

See http://www.langdale-associates.com/alsace_2006/prologue/ww1_poets.htm for details of the author, Lt. John Purvis, an obviously very perceptive man.

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I agree. I hope the local authorities put some security measures in place. The site will invariably attract "treasure-hunters".

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It is my understanding that the Gendarmes will immediately intercept anyone using a metal detector in the Department of The Somme. I have watched them slow down and study a car with its boot open on the side of the main road, close by Mouquet Farm. I am told that they will confiscate the detector along with any artifacts in the person's possession. I am told there is a fine also.

I have been told that it is not illegal in Pas de Calais, however, the local Mayor along with the landowner must give consent.

Last year, I was told a story by a guide in Belgium that the local police wheel-clamped a suspicious car parked in a nearby wood. The police later returned when the owner asked for the clamp to be removed. They checked the car and a search of the nearby shrubs revealled two metal detectors. The vehicle owner denied that they were his so.........the police smashed the detectors against the neaby trees and then suggested that he return to his country of origin and, not to return to that area again.

Will be very happy to see that road works completed and hope that the parking area, for the viewing of Mouquet Farm, will be improved. Many times I have seen vehicles poorly parked and partly obstructing the traffic. I do realise that the drivers should be more aware of their vehicle dimensions/position but two vehicles is a real squeeze.

Peter

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