Tank Traps at Stockton Beach.

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 09:22
ThreadID: 31663 Views:3430 Replies:7 FollowUps:11
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The tank traps at Stockton Beach are slowly been covered by sand.
The traps were put along Stockton Beach to stop the invasion during WW2.
The traps have been a popular spot to go to when on Stockton Beach but are getting harder to find because they are being covered by the sand. A strong wind in the right direction might cover them up or just might expose them to what they were.
The first image was taken 28th Aug 2005
2nd image 5th Feb 2006
3rd image 5th Mar 2006

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Wayne
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Reply By: hoyks - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 09:30

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 09:30
That would explain why we had a little difficulty finding them yesterday. The sand certainly moves around a lot, especially after a week of Westerlies or winter storms.

After a bit of wind you can also make out the old barbed wire entanglement fence lines that used to zigzag up the beach. It would have been a big job fencing that little lot.
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 09:35

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 09:35
hoyks,

Did you find the traps and if you did what were they like?
Just as exposed as the last image or are they now completely covered?

I do have the GPS coordinates just in case they do get completely covered.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: hoyks - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 10:07

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 10:07
I had been to them before and were driving North through the dunes hoping to stumble across them, but the sand was a bit soft and the car was getting hot, so we tried running a little closer to the beach along the edge of the dunes and hoping to spot them from there. A few months ago when I was there they were easy to spot, but this time we had no luck, I can see why now.

I had the GPS in the car and the grid reference in a book, but we weren’t that desperate to see them. The baby was hungry, daughter wanted to play in the water and my wife had had enough, you know how it is.
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Reply By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 14:10

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 14:10
Thanks Wayne
very interesting , i love our wartime history and stories.

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Reply By: F4Phantom - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 16:07

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 16:07
I am a little confused and have missed something here, how did they last 50 years and then get covered up in around 1 year from the 1st to last picture. Were they a lot bigger originally and have been getting covered for 50 years and have finally been topped??
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Reply By: Steve - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 17:00

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 17:00
Wayne, it's a while before Aug 05 since I was last there and they were pretty well covered then. So, since I last saw them, they've been uncovered to reveal as much as your Aug 05 pic. I think there's a maintenance crew that bulldoze the stuff around, have you seen the maintenance "village"? Like a little shanty town. Don't know if that's the reason or mother nature.
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 18:20

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 18:20
Steve,

That village that is on Stockton Beach is known as "Tin City". They are huts that the fishermen use. They have some type of lease on them. No one person owns a hut but they maintain them and instead of mowing the lawn they have to gig the sand away. They do have a front end loader to do the job.

Wayne
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 18:32

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 18:32
From what I have been told the tank traps were laid along a section of beach along with barb wire. The tank traps that we can see today are only a small section. There are more in the bush directly west of where they are now. There would have been a lot bigger line of the traps but the sand has burred them.

The sand at Stockton moves about one metre west a year and sand dunes that we used last year are no longer there. Wheel tracks that were there on Sunday are gone by Monday so the impact of vehicles on the dunes is minimal.

We will not be running a trip up there again until April 23rd so it will be interesting to see what they look like then.

Wayne
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Reply By: Geoff M (Newcastle, NSW) - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 19:12

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 19:12
Hello Wayne,
My long deceased grandfather used to tell me the traps extended south almost to Stockton itself.
This would pretty much fit with my experience of fishing on the beach for about 28 years.
Occasionaly after particularly heavy storms a piece of concrete will apear in the shore break. The only thing it really can be is a tank trap.
Intersting structure the tank trap, it has 4 equal triangular sides. Even if you tip it over you're faced with exactly the same obstacle.
Another piece of Novocastrian trivia, I've lived here 46 years and still maintain the wildest night I've ever experienced is the night the Sygna went aground. That wreck is a monument to Newcastle's militant industrial past.
The ship broke its back when it went aground.
The bow was dragged off first and moved to Corlette in Nelson Bay. A few days later the stern was dragged off the beach and anchored in Stockton Bight. The maritime unions bunged on a blue and the stern got blown back up during a subsequent storm a week or so later. (The current resting place of the Sygna is not where it originally went aground)
One of the Sygna's anchors and chain is still on the ocean bottom just to the south east of the isolated danger marker at North Rock.
I've dived on it a few times and you can follow the figure eights within figure eights to the anchor.

Trust I haven't bored you,
Geoff.
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Follow Up By: Steve - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 20:16

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 20:16
Not at all Geoff. It's an amazing place. I bumped into a part-Abbo bloke, and he was telling me that area was going to come under their control. Sounded a bit like conjecture to me, I don't know. He reckoned it'd be better than it coming under Nat Pks or similar because that'd be the end of 4x4 activity around there. He said they'll keep it open and charge a small fee, which is what we have now.

Wayne: "Tin City". That's the one.
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 20:21

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 20:21
Geoff,

There is not much left of the wreck either. When I first went to Stockton there was a lot of the upper infrastructure on it , now that has all gone.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 20:43

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 20:43
This is of the wreck on the 5th March
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Wayne
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Follow Up By: hoyks - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 21:06

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 21:06
From what I understand the Stockton Bight (from Stockton to Anna Bay and bordered by the Stockton Anna Bay rd, less private and defence land as well as a few sand mining leases) has been handed back to the local Aboriginal Lands Council. There was a barney going on between the Council and the Lands Council as the council wasn’t paying over the fees it collected for beach access.

As for the speed that the sand moves, we were there one weekend and it started blowing. A mate bot bogged and we had to dig him out. By the time I got back to the car 20 minutes later my wheel tracks had completely been covered.

For exposed tank traps, have a look at the Anna Bay car park near the beach, there are a lot there.

When you build Dragons Teeth you leave a lifting eye on the top so you can shift them. Once in position, you cut the lifting eye off to make moving them hard for the bad guys. They are unlikely to permanently immobilise a vehicle, but they give you time to hit it with something more effective
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Follow Up By: Geoff M (Newcastle, NSW) - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 21:14

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 21:14
Hello Steve and Wayne,
True, there isn't much of the Sygna left these days. I can vaguely remember when it had paint on it!
You've got my mind running now.
An old mate of my departed dad's is a third generation square rigger captain, scotchman fascinating man. Bill still lives in Newcastle and is a living encyclopaedia of world maritime history. I can't for the life of me remember even the year the Sygna went up on the beach. Bill at 80+ will let me know, he'll even remember the owners, crew count and the masters name.

Steve the local aboriginal's have been telling everyone for at least 20 years "we'll be in charge soon" About 6 to 8 years ago they had Birubi Surf Club in a state of flux as they'd applied to take over the site.
Nothing actually came of it.

Geoff.
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Follow Up By: hoyks - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 21:34

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 21:34
well, I was wrong, there had to be a 1st time, it doesn't get more offical than this:
From NSW Parliament Hansard
(http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LC20030902055)

On 2 July the Hon. Malcolm Jones asked the Minister for State Development, representing the Premier, a question without notice regarding Stockton Beach permit fees. The Premier provided the following response:
Ownership of Stockton Beach is not vested in the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council. The Land Council holds freehold title to two parcels of land that vehicles traverse to access the beach. The allocation of revenue from beach permits over lands owned by the Land Council is a matter for negotiation between the Port Stephens Shire Council and the Land Council. The Government is advised that the Land Council and Port Stephens Shire Council have reached an agreement in principle for the allocation of a proportion of fees collected from beach permits to the Land Council.
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Follow Up By: Geoff M (Newcastle, NSW) - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 21:58

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 21:58
Hi hoyks,
That somewhat sums up my undestanding, the Worimi people don't own Stockton Beach.
Mind they than can still take pippi's etc from the beach using "traditional" methods.

Geoff.
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 15:09

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 15:09
Wayne,

May I use the images & Desc for the Tank Traps in the places system?
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 18:10

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 18:10
David,

Yes, you can use the photos and description of the Tank Traps.

Wayne
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