EX-ROYAL Observer Corps member Paul Wakefield and I are trying to find out more about a concrete tower which was once located close to where the Sea Lane Cafe, in Worthing, is today.
Mystery surrounds its precise location as it does not exist to this day, but what is known is that it was used by the Royal Observer Corps from 1942 until the end of the Second World War as a lookout post.
The Royal Observer Corps, tasked with looking out for, identifying and reporting enemy aircraft, were already located on the roof of the County Restaurant (now Harry Ramsden’s) and the concrete tower at the end of Sea Lane was the satellite post.
It was maned by the Royal Observer Corps during daylight hours and is thought to have been in communication with the ‘parent’ post – the post above the County Restaurant.
Details would then have been forwarded on to their headquarters at Horsham.
It is believed the concrete tower was two to three storeys high with a cast iron ladder located either externally or internally.
It is not clear if the tower was built for the Royal Observer Corps or whether it was there beforehand and then requisitioned by them for the war effort.
Local man Brian Kemp-Potter recalls his father, who was in the Corps, was very much against climbing the cast iron ladder for whatever reason, but knew he had to carry out his duty and therefore had to get on with it.
Paul and I visited the Sea Lane Cafe area on Monday and found a concrete foundation on the beach, but it is not clear if these foundations are the remains of the tower.
Both Paul and I are keen to hear from anyone who may remember this concrete tower, or have any further information on the Royal Observer Corps and their wartime role.
Please contact me on 07793 435428.
• Graham Lelliott is offering a discount on his book for Herald & Gazette readers. To claim your copy of ‘The Royal Obsever Corps in Worthing’ for just £4, send a cheque, made payable to Graham Lelliott, and a covering letter, to 3 Busticle Lane, Sompting, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 0DH.