Saturday, 20th June started with an early ferry trip over to Guernsey. We sailed on the new Condor ship Liberation, for some of us this was a first sailing experience on the new boat. We were picked up at the harbour by Geoff who was driving Richard Heaume’s 1939 Morris Commercial lorry. He took us to see gun positions 1 and 3 of the Mirus Batterie and their bunkers and were shown around by Vince Blampied of Festung Guernsey.
These are amazing fortifications, with a rabbit warren of rooms with loads of stencil and art work on the walls. Also amazing is the amount of original cabling still in situ. The scale and size are simply breathtaking.
We then headed off to Batterie Scharnhorst where we were taken around by Ian Brehaut who gave us a short talk on the Batterie and its guns. This is on private land and the Festung Guernsey team are working in partnership with the landowner to restore the pits and fortified field positions.
From there we went down to the sea front and had lunch at Crabbie Jacks and also got to see a bit of the sand racing. We then walked to Fort Hommet and Richard Heaume’s restored 10.5cm casemate. Here we were treated to Pimm’s by Richard outside the front of the bunker.
Just adjacent to the 10.5cm casemate Ian Brehaut was on hand again to open the M19 automatic mortar bunker for us to have a look around. With the time ticking away we all got aboard the lorry again which took us up to the Occupation Society’s Naval Signals Headquarters at St Jacques for a look around. Again another complex kitted out like it was in the day, with many original items retained and beautifully restored.
After that we had a short trip down into St.Peter Port and the harbour to catch the boat. A big vote of thanks goes to Noel for organising such a great day as well as all the people on Guernsey who showed us around.