10th Warrington Scout Hut
The origin of the scout hut has been passed down through the group. It is said it was used to house Italian prisoners of war during the Second World War at a camp on South Lane, Barrows Green. A letter from Arthur Dorning (Group Scout Leader) in 1984 to the Council asking for grant funding states the hut was “…originally an Italian Prisoner of War Barrack on the Cronton Road…”, the Cronton Road being the A5080 which runs from the West of Penketh towards the village of Cronton. This road leaves Penketh named Farnworth Road and then changes to South Lane after the Liverpool to Manchester railway line.
The following information gives some background to the POW camp and how it has changed over the years.
List of WWII POW camps from Guardian website http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/nov/08/prisoner-of-war-camps-uk
Based on the book Churchill’s Unexpected Guests by Sophie Jackson
After Prisoner of War Camps (1939 – 1948), Roger JC Thomas, English Heritage 2003 http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/upload/pdf/Prisoner_of_War_Camps.pdf
|Gdn ID||National Grid Reference (NGR)||OS sheet no.||Camp no.||Name & Location, County, Country||County||Country||Cond’n||Type 1945||Comments|
|342||SJ 5416 8789||108||290||Penketh Hostel, South Lane Farm, South Lane, Barrow’s Green, Lancashire, England||Lancashire||England||3 (Partial remains)||German Working Camp||Former Heavy Anti-aircraft battery (HAA Bty)|
1937-1939 map – pre-war the site is a green field
1954-1956 map – the POW camp is shown but not the Heavy Anti-Aircraft (HAA) battery. The battery was constructed and used during WWII but then extended and upgraded in the Cold War period. It may therefore not be shown on this map for security reasons.
1962 map – this more detailed map clearly shows the POW camp and HAA battery (note still in the Cold War period)
1962 map detail of camp – it is not known which of these structures became the Scout Hut
1969-1975 map – The POW camp is still shown in detail.
1987-1993 map – the POW camp has been replaced with a battery hen farm
The site as shown on Google Street View May 2012
Cold War AA battery details