Other Defences

Anti-tank blocks Usworth (HER 5851),The most common anti-tank blocks were concrete cubes, with sides of either 3 feet 6 inches or 5 feet. Other designs included “coffins”, pyramidal “pimples” and cylinders. They were designed to stop the progress of a tank, often in conjunction with pillboxes, traps, or other defences, so that the stationary tank was in the field of fire of antitank weapons. Should that tank attempt to mount the obstacle, it would expose the unarmoured underside of the chassis (Lowry 1996, 85-7)

West Boldon (HER 5850) Site of WW2 concrete roadblock. In vicinity of Addison Road. Stop-lines included permanent and moveable road barriers. The most substantial works were formed from square or cylindrical concrete blocks entwined with barbed wire and fitted with explosives. Moveable obstacles consisted of horizontal or vertical bars or poles of steel, set between concrete blocks. Bent steel girders could also be slotted into sockets cut into the road surface. Modern road improvements are removing evidence for both, but some of the original blocks or aperatures have been observed in-situ. Cylindrical blocks have been used to line private roads or placed on river banks to combat erosion {Defence of Britain Handbook 1995}.

From this RAF picture taken in 1946 (Reproduced by permission of Historic England Archive) to the top left of the cross roads which would be the junction of Addison and Hylton road, what could be possibly seen is some concrete foundations. Is this the afore mentioned checkpoint or maybe the location of a pillbox/defence as described as being near here in another source. It is certainly an important defensive position being on the main Sunderland to Newcastle Road. The site was later occupied by Bank top Garage and associated bungalow and now a new housing development.

Grid Reference:NZ352610