Bid to preserve unique wartime pillbox in Southwold and Reydon

The Royal British Legion, Southwold Rotary and Southwold and Reydon Society are launching a campaign

The Royal British Legion, Southwold Rotary and Southwold and Reydon Society are launching a campaign to get a first world war pill box at the entrance to Southwold renovated and opened as a tourist attraction. Jonathan Hadgraft, Sue Doy, PCSO Gary Wallace, John Perkins, Alan greening and Chris Ure. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A campaign is under way to restore a First World War pillbox as part of an effort to mark the centenary year of the outbreak of the conflict.

The Royal British Legion, Southwold Rotary and Southwold and Reydon Society are launching a campaign

The Royal British Legion, Southwold Rotary and Southwold and Reydon Society are launching a campaign to get a first world war pill box at the entrance to Southwold renovated and opened as a tourist attraction.John Perkins, Sue Doy and PCSO Gary Wallace inside the pill box. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The building, believed to be unique in design, stands neglected and covered by undergrowth on the Reydon side of Mights Bridge.

But now the Southwold and Reydon Society (SRS) has joined forces with the town's Rotary Club, the Royal British Legion, the Southwold Arts Festival and others in a bid to launch a restoration project.

Its aim is to clean up the pillbox and preserve it as a wartime landmark. With the SRS co-ordinating the groups involved, its secretary, John Perkins, said: 'The society is concentrating its efforts on organising a group of people to restore the First World War pillbox at Mights Bridge – which is thought to be the only one of its type still in existence.

'It's in a pretty sorry state at the moment and desperately in need of structural repairs.'

The Royal British Legion, Southwold Rotary and Southwold and Reydon Society are launching a campaign

The Royal British Legion, Southwold Rotary and Southwold and Reydon Society are launching a campaign to get a first world war pill box at the entrance to Southwold renovated and opened as a tourist attraction. - Credit: Nick Butcher


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The pillbox is believed to have been built in 1914 and was also used in the Second World War. Mr Perkins said: 'Many people do not know it's there and it is virtually invisible from the road.

'Inside it is covered in graffiti and littered with cans and bottles.

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'The society's aim is to restore it to its original condition to help mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. It would be not only a focal point for people entering and leaving Southwold and Reydon but also a reminder of what the war meant to the area and its people all those years ago.'

Although the restoration plans are still taking shape, a fund-raising drive is in the pipeline and one of the ideas being mooted is for a walkway around the pillbox with display boards.

It is hoped this would allow it to be used for visits – particularly by groups of schoolchildren studying local history.

? Do you have a First World War story? Email ww1@archant.co.uk

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