Page 13 - March 2018
P. 13

FEATURE PETER CRIDDLE (6562)
        CODENAME HILLSIDE





       THE STORY OF WARTIME PAPER WITH A DIFFERENCE


            few years ago I visited Hughenden
            Manor in Buckinghamshire, a
       A National Trust property and home
       of Benjamin Disraeli from 1848 until
       his death in 1881. Apart from the usual
       interesting house, walled garden and
       tea room I was delighted to find that the
       cellars had an unusual printing history.
         During the last war the house had the
       code name Hillside and was occupied
       by the Royal Observer Corps which
       was responsible for interpreting aerial
       reconnaissance photographs, drawing
       maps and isometric views of target areas,
       and printing them on lithographic presses.
       At nearby Naphill, Bomber Command HQ
       made use of these maps when planning   Hughenden Manor in Buckinghamshire
       missions, including the Dambuster
       raids, the sinking of the Tirpitz and the   Also shown are copies of Hillside
       D-Day landings.                       Herald, an occasional newspaper
         The bomber crews were also supplied   produced in quiet moments by members
       with them; the target views being designed   of staff - “Civilian artists, architects
       to look as they would when approached   and draftsmen... who retained their
       from the planned direction at a particular   unconventional and somewhat bohemian
       time of night and phase of the moon,   approach to life, even when in uniform”.
       with light reflecting from rivers and   One issue of the Herald includes a vivid
       standing water. While no presses remain,   description of life in...
       photographs and samples of maps and
       views are on display.                 The Machine Room
                                             “You’ll soon find the Machine Room”
       “Never mention the                    said the editor, “because you’ll hear the
       word ‘parade’ down                    gentle hum of machinery as soon as you
                                             get downstairs”.
       here,” he whispered                    I soon located the hum, pulled open
       harshly “it might cause               a door, and stepped straight into a 1944
                                             version of Dante’s Inferno. I was standing
       a lot of trouble.”                    on a platform that gave an uninterrupted
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