Posted: 25 July 2008 22:23

Roadblock recce I spent this afternoon cycling around Hailsham and its 12 roadblock sites, including one on the A22 that had been listed as being at Polegate.

Unfortunately, not a single piece of evidence remains at any of these locations.

The photo shows the entrance to Hailsham Market; somewhere here was a block consisting of 7 sockets with 3 bent and 4 straight rails.

I know from other sources that the line of anti-tank cubes (long removed) that circled the Hailsham nodal point ran on the other side of the wooden fence on the left in the front garden of The Old Vicarage.

It's no surprise to me that there is very little evidence for roadblocks at their original sites; in fact, only 3 sites have so far proved to certainly retain original features in this project.

I know of perhaps another 3 sites yet to visit as part of this project that do have materials onsite, and, although I've always been aware of the (relative) portability of cylinders and buoys, it's starting to look as though the majority have been moved at some point and that their presence is in no way an accurate indicator of a roadblock location.

- Pete

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Buoys

Small concrete roadblock obstacle comprising a truncated cone with domed base. A hollow shaft down the centre allowed the buoy to be manhandled using a crowbar. Buoys were deemed of little value by 1941 and cylinders seen as a better solution.


Cubes

Anti-tanks blocks, popularly known as dragon's teeth. Not to be confused with smaller blocks known as pimples, cubes can be upwards of 1m square. Many examples in Sussex have apexes or chamfered edges, leading to them being incorrectly recorded as coffins.


Cylinders

Reinforced concrete cylindrical obstacles with a shaft down the centre in which could be inserted a crowbar for manhandling, or a picket for barbed wire. Cylinders were 90cm high and 60cm wide and deployed in groups of three as a more effective alternative for buoys.


Nodal Point

Defended road junction(s), usually within a village/town with a Home Guard garrison intended to deny enemy use of the roads. Nodal Points were not to defend the village, but solely the road network. Category 'A' Nodal Points were to hold out for 7 days after invasion without outside assistance.


Sockets

Concrete-lined shafts dug into road surfaces into which rails or RSJs (hairpin or straight) could be inserted to form a roadblock. When not in use, a wooden cover was placed over each socket.



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Hibbs, Peter Roadblock recce (4) - Hailsham (2017) Available at: http://pillbox.org.uk/blog/216559/ Accessed: 23 November 2017

The information on this website is intended solely to describe the ongoing research activity of The Defence of East Sussex Project; it is not comprehensive or properly presented. It is therefore NOT suitable as a basis for producing derivative works or surveys!