HMS 'Habbakuk' with HMS 'Indefatigable', 1946
Illustration showing the top secret design for HMS 'Habbakuk' (centre), a giant aircraft-carrier built of ice and wood pulp, which was proposed as a secret weapon in the Second World War. This project was put forward by Geoffrey Pyke in 1942, but was never built as the practicalities involved were too much for the British war effort. The 'Habbakuk' is shown next to HMS 'Indefatigable' (right), a large British aircraft-carrier built of conventional materials.
© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans
China Clay - The Secret
China Clay - The Secret. Florence Mary Anderson / Molly MacArthur (1893-1972) had two distinct styles of illustration. From the middle of the 1920s, she moved on from earlier highly-decorative fairy art to produce beautiful monotone woodcuts in a distinctly oriental style. This artwork (as seen here) was produced under the name Molly MacArthur, or F.M. MacArthur.
© The Florence Mary Anderson Collection / Mary Evans Picture Library
Blowing up old radar station, Beachy Head, Sussex
Blowing up an old radar station at Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, Sussex. In 1950 an underground Air Ministry Radio Station was constructed on the cliff top at Beachy Head. It was in fact part of a top secret Early Warning (CEW) system which remained part of Britains defence capabilities until it closed a decade later. One Sunday in late September 1963, members of the demolition team of the 21st SAS Territorial Regiment started to clear the surface buildings. The buildings proved to be stronger than first expected, so the team packed in more explosives and tried again. Demolition had to be abandoned until the next day, when the manager of a nearby hotel complained that his windows had cracked. The task of clearing the remaining buildings was then taken over by a local demolition company. At a later stage the stairwell access behind the guardhouse was demolished and capped, along with the emergency exit, humid air exit and cable shaft. The only way into the bunker was via a small manhole set into the concrete slab placed over the stairwell. Access remained available to the bunker for a while, but due to vandalism the entrance was finally sealed with a large tree trunk thrust into the hole by a JCB and back filled with chalk. Today tourists can stand on the mound above the bunker unaware of the secret rooms and tunnels beneath their feet. Date: 1963
© Mary Evans Picture Library/DAVID LEWIS HODGSON