Anti-aircraft gun site tours on historic day

Jen Johnson and Oly White at their caravan and camping site at Butt Farm near Beverley.
Jen Johnson and Oly White at their caravan and camping site at Butt Farm near Beverley.

A World War Two Anti-Aircraft site at a Beverley-based farm will open to the public for the first time during the Historic Open Weekend.

This year, for the first time, Butt Farm Caravan and Camping Site is opening up its hidden treasure to the public for one day only.

This Sunday (11 September) a local anti-aircraft enthusiast will also be on hand throughout the day to guide people around the site and give an insight into how the site worked.

This gun site battery was part of a series defending Hull and other cities from Second World War bombing.

The East Riding was very much in the front line and bombing was constant here throughout the war. From its inception in 1941 this site was used to train soldiers from quieter parts of the country.

It was staffed by a mixed sex regiment which used women from the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

It operated the radar, communications systems and crucially provided technical support for identifying the elusive moving targets. Men operated the guns to bring down the German planes.

An Historic England spokesman said: “Over 60 years after its final abandonment, the heavy anti-aircraft gun site was swamped by vegetation, trees and brambles.

“The site was intermittently farmed, then neglected for years.

“The farm was taken on by Jen Johnson and Oly White and they have become very interested in the site and its history.

“They were so keen to see it emerge from its engulfing bramble patch that they enlisted local Scouts to help.

“Under Historic England’s guidance, St Cuthbert’s Scout group worked really hard on the site to remove the vegetation. Like Sleeping Beauty, it has now emerged back into the daylight.

“We request that if people are interested in having a look around the site that you either call or email to book a place on a tour. We are doing guided tours at 10am, 12pm and 2pm.”

To book a place please email butt.farm@hotmail.co.uk or contact 01482 870984.