World War II Heritage in Bedford: The Interchange Pillbox
What is a Pillbox? A pillbox is a type of bunker, a brickhouse or a concrete dug-in guard post, used to protect from small arms and explosives, equipped with small loopholes through which to fire weapons.
The Interchange Pillbox is a building important heritage and the only one left in Bedford. It was built during World War II, when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, Norway, Denmark, Holland and France. The purpose of the pillbox was to protect the railway and munitions factories in Elstow, Ampthill Road and Kempston Hardwick, if England would be invaded by German armies.
This pillbox is a Type 22, which used Querta Bond style of reinforcing and is still in great conditions. It will be manned by the Home Guard volunteers, unpaid part time soldiers between 17 and 65 years of age.
The whole Interchange Area, that now hosts a shopping complex, restaurants and car dealerships, was just farm land. Throughout history, it was used as a horse racing course which usually attracted over 40,000 spectators. It was also used b RAC as a field to land faulty aircrafts.
I often drove past the pillbox, and never though it has a historical importance, until I had to take my car for services and walk back home. I seen the board and I was curious about it's content. I was amazed to see that this building has such an important role.
War-time Bedford was a very exciting place, packed with multi-national troops. American troops were stationed close to Midland Railway Station and the American Red Cross club was located in Goldington Road.
DeFi bounty at CakeDeFi with $30 DFI for new users
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