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DAVE PLATT

HAWTHORNE CRATER CLEARANCE BEGINS

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DAVE PLATT

Hello All,

 

Seeing a lot of activity at the Hawthorne crater this week, which is easy to see with my Bino's from my kitchen. Flashing lights, vehicles, chain saws and branch choppers. So as it warmed a little today had a wander down. Its Sunday and most French are chilling, drinking wine and chatting at a family get together. However, a French chap I know from Beaumont village was collecting logs from this weeks clearances.

I was amazed to see how much had been cut back,  its the first time you can pretty much see the lip all the way around. Easy to see right through to the other side from any position. A clear definition of 1st July and 13th Nov mine explosions.  There is a French association of 5 people from the village working with a British group to clear the area for future and safe visits. A new pathway going up and  around with access to the crater floor is planned, which will make it safe to go in. A lot more trees to be cut yet he says but to have the thickets and Hawthorne cut to base is quite a revelation to see.

 

So a few photos for you from today, I will monitor the action and post more as we come to the end of the project.

 

Regards

Dave

 

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chaz

thanks  for posting Dave, hope to get over this year decorating and rewiring allowing.

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Derek Black

Thanks for posting the photos.

Derek.

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Fattyowls

Thanks for the information and excellent photos Dave, much appreciated. Good to know that Picardie is warming up a bit too, we are back to average winter here, if spring is round the corner it's hiding itself well.

 

Pete.

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Gareth Davies

Thanks Dave. I am there (leading a school group) in a couple of weeks time and look forward to peering into the crater.

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Paddy 60th

Thanks Dave - this is really good to see. Please keep posting updates.

Edited by Paddy 60th
spelling mistake

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horrocks

Heavens, I didn't even notice when I passed the Hawthorne several times last week.

 

I have a sense of foreboding though. Paths and fences, signs and no-entry warnings, all the paraphernalia of H&S. it will end up looking like the Lochnagar does now, more visitor attraction than Great War remnant, ever so slightly tacky. I suspect I will have much preferred it 'au naturel'.

 

I meant to photograph the old sign at the foot of the path. I wish I had, because I suspect it will soon be gone and replaced by something more garish.

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17107BM

I hope this site stays accessible to respectful Battlefield tours. I noted a couple of years ago on the field going up to the Crater from the road, there was a large hole. We took it that tree stump had been removed, but looking at old photo's there was never a tree there. It would seem that the old mine shaft was collapsing. Wish I had took a pic at the time. 

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dickaren

Thanks, great photo's Dave

Richard

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DAVE PLATT

I shall keep you updated as it develops.

 

Gareth when you visit, try and pop in so say hello, I have tons of relics you can explain about to the little troops, Anglia lads use the relic piles as a feature, do you take the walk from outside mine down Old Beaumont Road?

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keithmroberts

We had some info about this at a WFA meeting last week. I understand that there will only be ONE sign, and that there will be a set of railings to keep visitors to the footpath and off the farmers fields. yes, and access to the bottom of the crater.   I think the team involved were influenced by the rash of notices at Lochnagar and made an early and not difficult decision that they would do nothing of the sort.

 

Keith

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horrocks
23 minutes ago, keithmroberts said:

We had some info about this at a WFA meeting last week. I understand that there will only be ONE sign, and that there will be a set of railings to keep visitors to the footpath and off the farmers fields. yes, and access to the bottom of the crater.   I think the team involved were influenced by the rash of notices at Lochnagar and made an early and not difficult decision that they would do nothing of the sort.

 

Keith

 

I am relieved, but cautiously so. The WFA owned Butte de Warlencourt walks the same balancing act, and despite best efforts, not altogether successfully in my opinion. The chain-link fencing all around the Butte is utterly hideous, and I am unconvinced about the choice of material or colour of the pathway and fencing on the Butte itself. I appreciate that it is terribly difficult, with limited budget and no doubt a range of differing opinions, to please all of the people etc., and one fully appreciates that if it were not for such voluntary efforts and undertakings, these places would have probably long since gone the way of Y-Sap and Carnoy. I am undoubtedly being both romantic and impractical in wanting surviving GW sites to remain in their untouched states, but a plea for as light a touch as possible should offend no one.

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Gareth Davies
31 minutes ago, DAVE PLATT said:

I shall keep you updated as it develops.

 

Gareth when you visit, try and pop in so say hello, I have tons of relics you can explain about to the little troops, Anglia lads use the relic piles as a feature, do you take the walk from outside mine down Old Beaumont Road?

 

Dave, that's very kind, thank you. I have used the walk many times but sadly not on this trip.  

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Derek Black
1 hour ago, horrocks said:

... these places would have probably long since gone the way of Y-Sap and Carnoy.


For one who has not visited the sites of battle, what were these features and what happened to them and when?

 

Thanks,

Derek.

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Guest

Forgive me for not thanking you for posting these excellent images.

 

Mike

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horrocks
1 hour ago, Derek Black said:


For one who has not visited the sites of battle, what were these features and what happened to them and when?

 

Thanks,

Derek.

 

The Carnoy craters on the front line at Carnoy, and Y-Sap at La Boisselle. The latter was enormous, blown under German positions on July 1st. I'm not sure when they were filled, Carnoy most recently, now reverted to an arable field, Y-Sap some years ago - a house has been built on the site of the crater.

Edited by horrocks

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Derek Black
3 minutes ago, horrocks said:

 

The Carnoy craters on the front line at Carnoy, and Y-Sap at La Boisselle. The latter was enormous, blown under German positions on July 1st. I'm not sure when they were filled, Carnoy most recently, now reverted to an arable field, Y-Sap some years ago - a house has been built on the site of the crater.


Thank you.

 

Cheers,

Derek.

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nigelcave

Y Sap went about forty years or so ago; IIRC correctly its loss was what pushed Richard Dunning to buy Lochnagar Crater. Y Sap was on the north side of the Albert-Bapaume road, off to the right of the road to Authuille etc.

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Fattyowls
1 hour ago, Derek Black said:

For one who has not visited the sites of battle, what were these features and what happened to them and when?

 

Derek, have a look at this thread which has some good photos to give you an idea of the location of Y-sap.

 

Pete.

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egbert

Thanks for posting these very informative pictures

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Fattyowls
2 hours ago, Derek Black said:

For one who has not visited the sites of battle, what were these features and what happened to them and when?

 

Have a look at this thread for the Carnoy craters and the Casino Point mine. I've just had a look on Google Earth and there are some crop marks and chalk smudges in the fields which suggest that some trace still exists.

 

Pete.

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Fattyowls
4 hours ago, horrocks said:

 

I am relieved, but cautiously so. The WFA owned Butte de Warlencourt walks the same balancing act, and despite best efforts, not altogether successfully in my opinion. The chain-link fencing all around the Butte is utterly hideous, and I am unconvinced about the choice of material or colour of the pathway and fencing on the Butte itself. I appreciate that it is terribly difficult, with limited budget and no doubt a range of differing opinions, to please all of the people etc., and one fully appreciates that if it were not for such voluntary efforts and undertakings, these places would have probably long since gone the way of Y-Sap and Carnoy. I am undoubtedly being both romantic and impractical in wanting surviving GW sites to remain in their untouched states, but a plea for as light a touch as possible should offend no one.

 

Toby, at least we have the photos you took inside the Hawthorn craters a while back for a before view. I share some of your misgivings about the Butte de Warlencourt; I don't know if you saw Steve's post about the Butte recently, but it gives an interesting perspective and comparison with what is going on at Hawthorn ridge. Now it's cleared I won't have any excuse for mixing up Delville and High woods when viewed from the top, but I'm going to wait until it's a bit warmer........:blink:

 

Pete

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Roger H
9 hours ago, keithmroberts said:

We had some info about this at a WFA meeting last week. I understand that there will only be ONE sign, and that there will be a set of railings to keep visitors to the footpath and off the farmers fields. yes, and access to the bottom of the crater.   I think the team involved were influenced by the rash of notices at Lochnagar and made an early and not difficult decision that they would do nothing of the sort.

 

Keith

Thank God for that......

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horrocks
4 hours ago, Fattyowls said:

 

Toby, at least we have the photos you took inside the Hawthorn craters a while back for a before view. I share some of your misgivings about the Butte de Warlencourt; I don't know if you saw Steve's post about the Butte recently, but it gives an interesting perspective and comparison with what is going on at Hawthorn ridge. Now it's cleared I won't have any excuse for mixing up Delville and High woods when viewed from the top, but I'm going to wait until it's a bit warmer........:blink:

 

Pete

Steve's video is beautiful, what a lovely frosty morning. I love those slightly surreal and abstract scenes looking straight down from the drone.

 

I have found the Butte extremely resistant to my B&W photography, I never seem to get the right light, and you have to find a viewpoint clear of that ruddy fence. I had another go at it last week, not sure about the results yet.

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