January 18, 2018
Burnham-On-Sea beach's Mulberry Harbour blocks may be moved

Several of Burnham-On-Sea beach's historic Mulberry Harbour concrete blocks could be moved to a new exhibition.

Over 30 of the Burnham-On-Sea beach Mulberry Harbour blocks are located near the town's low lighthouse, partially buried in the sand.

The large concrete blocks were once part of the crucial man-made Mulberry Harbours used to land troops and machinery in France during World War II.

Local resident Chris Howlett has asked Burnham and Highbridge Town Council for approval to remove several of them for an exhibition.

"I am looking at the potential to recover some of the concrete fenders - maybe three or four - then refurbish them and display them as a memorial to the inpsirational design that went into the Mulberry Harbours," he says.

"No location for their eventual display - should it prove to be possible - has been decided although the Imperial War Museum at Duxford has recently opened a Mulberry Harbour exhibit with a section of floating roadway. This would make a nice location for the fenders."

They came about because the Allied troops needed harbours in order to land their hundreds of thousands of troops and millions of tons of supplies during WW2.

By 1944 the Germans had used their years in France to turn most of the English Channel ports into fortresses, which would be needed if Operation Overlord, the code-name given to D-Day, was to succeed.

The artificial harbours were built to land and support what was to be the world’s greatest invasion.

The harbours, code-named ‘Mulberries’, consisted of 73 individual prefabricated concrete blocks that would form ports, breakwaters and pontoons where ships could tie-up and unload their precious cargoes.

Floating ramps were also used as roadways to allow lorries to be driven directly on to the beaches.


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