Nostalgia: Hidden secrets high in the hills

Security was high during the Second World War and even the villages of Charlesworth and Chisworth had their well-kept secrets.

What was known as Robin Hood’s Picking Rods was an isolated area between the two communities where people liked to walk and take picnics.

But there were rumours that the Royal Air Force had taken it over which turned out to be true when servicemen arrived to string up barbed wire fences to keep people out.

What went on was unclear and there was still a hint of mystery when the war was over and the Air Ministry began to remove what were described as ‘certain obstructions’.

Teams took away ‘dumps of barbed wire’ and reinstated the footpath that wound through the picturesque piece of open countryside.

Also taken down was a barbed wire fence running from the Picking Rods eastwards across Crown Edge to Monks Road and Plansteads Farm.

Quite clearly Robin Hood’s Picking Rods was a place that the RAF wanted to protect and wanted to keep secret, so what was there?

An observation post to log enemy aircraft on bombing missions to Manchester? Maybe a training base?

Surely after almost 80 years someone in the villages must know?

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