The Spigot Mortar

by Norsey Road Bridge

A mortar of a type that could have been fitted to the Norsey Road emplacement
Another type of mortar in use

The Norsey Road railway bridge dates from 1898 but the interesting thing here is not the bridge itself but the site of a spigot mortar position from WWII. If you stand on the Town side of the bridge and look between Festival Gardens and the railway line you can just see the mortar emplacement.

Strategically sited around Billericay during the Second World War were barricades. There was one just south of the Town Centre on Southend Road near where the present roundabout is; another on the brow of the hill on Stock Road roughly outside St. John’s School and also one by the railway bridge on Norsey Road. This one by the bridge was the base of a Home Guard 29 mm {11.5 inches} spigot mortar emplacement.  The mortar sited here was to guard the railway line and road. The mortar was mounted on a purpose made concrete pedestal and could damage enemy armour at a range of up to a quarter of a mile.  It was most accurate at a range of 100 yards. Not so hot!

This type of mortar was referred to as a Blacker Bombard and fired a 20 lb anti-tank bomb and a lighter 14 lb anti-personnel bomb.

More information on the weapon is available here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacker_Bombard

 

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  • If you walk past the spot, you can still see evidence of the spigot mortar’s placement in the undergrowth

    By Sylvia Kent (18/12/2012)

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