Barrage Balloons on Wanstead Flats

I almost literally stumbled upon these curious posts when walking back across Wanstead Flats the other week. I’m fairly certain that they were used to tether the barrage balloons that were part of the air defences based on the Flats during the Second World War. The foundations of the communications hut can still be seen in Long Wood.

london

Wanstead Flats – winter

Over to Wanstead Flats for a walk in the last hour or two of daylight as I have been doing semi-regularly since late Spring, but have neglected of late. There were large pools of water, yet to soak down through the gravel and tertiary clays, gathering round the rushes, marsh grasses and varieties of vetch. Rooks peck the ground looking for grubs. My father recently quoted me something he’d read in his youth, “a rook on its own is a crow”. The parliament of rooks was in full session out on the Flats today.

Through the bare trees where in summer we sheltered from the blistering sun. The moon is high over Aldersbrook whilst the setting sun drops into the Lea. Spring-fed Alexandra Lake is splattered black and white with Geese and Gulls; in the frozen shade Coots slide across the ice. I plod back through the rising mist towards the High Road and home.