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In connection with Paul Johnson’s article ‘East Yorkshire had nuclear missiles powerful enough to destroy a city, July 26, 2018’, I have recently sent this email to some friends and family, which might be of interest to some readers:-
“Thought you might be amused and interested in this recollection and (very) late-spurred bit of internet research/googling.
I think I was driving my first car (a secondhand Riley 1.5, two-tone – cream and brown!) – but I could possibly have been on my earlier University-era Lambretta SX150 – so sometime probably say 1967-ish-1968/early 1969 – and on my way (from my parents then home + shop near Worksop, Notts) I think probably to Bridlington for a day’s drive/ride, when somewhere in the (then) wilds of East Yorkshire (prob. not a million miles from the A614) on what I recollect as a small, quiet road in the middle of open countryside, I zoomed past a field where, through the open gateway/entrance area and corresponding gap in the hedge, I glimpsed what seemed a field-full of an array of small-ish, evenly-spaced (but unmistakably/definitely) military missiles, grey-ish or brown-ish I think, poss. with RAF , circular markings, on what seemed to be small turntables or the like. It was a surreal image. I recollect thinking about turning back to confirm the surreal scene, I might even have had a camera with me(!), but I think time and the seaside air beckoned more strongly. And maybe something in my mind said ‘Military/Top Secret/Keep Away!’..
Now what I saw must have been some years after the main installations described in the article/s below, and I think they were definitely not the tall, 65-ft Thor ICBMs/IRBMs – which apparently had their own silos/pads – but were much smaller, maybe just ground-air defence/anti-missile missiles.. but still surreal.
I’ve often thought of that startling image over the years, but never explored/researched it further, I suppose realising that, post the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War, anything was possible/plausible in that era.
In recent days, the missiles image surfaced again in my mind, coupled with the thought that David Hockney (and his Yorkshire connections, inc. East Yorkshire esp. in the early 2000’s) would make a great job of painting that surreal image amid the Yorkshire countryside. This time it prompted me to do a bit of Googling.
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