Rocket Discovery at the Cliff Hotel, Gwbert

Recently, as I was waiting to start a presentation on historical aerial photography at a hotel near Cardigan, I spotted an object placed on a hall-stand, and recognised it as a small replica of a 3” rocket launcher. Intrigued, I picked up the model and read the inscription:

THE ORIGINAL 3” A.A. ROCKET PROJECTOR

DESIGNED IN THE CLIFF HOTEL IN THE SUMMER OF 1940

PRESENTED BY SIR ALWYN CROW C.B.E.

The 3” ground-to-air rocket was a ground-breaking early application of military rocketry. Each projector at the AA battery had a ground crew of two. The missile was fired by a small electrical charge, igniting the 9lb of cordite propellant, to guide the 7ft long rocket, with a 4lb explosive charge in the warhead, towards enemy aircraft.

Although the system wasn’t terribly successful, with only a very few confirmed “kills”, the rocket launchers boosted the morale of the local population. By all accounts, battery salvos generated a tremendous noise as the missiles were sent on their way.

3”-ground-to-air-rocket-launcher

This discovery underlines the significant developments undertaken with both liquid and solid-fuelled rocketry in Ceredigion.

Also see:

 

By Medwyn Parry

01/26/2017

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John Brittain
John Brittain
7 days ago

Dear Medwyn, I was intrigued to see your picture of the model 3″ rocket projector model, in the Cliff Hotel, Gwbert-on-Sea, my grandfather Dr John Brittain worked at Aberporth from 1940-1946, when he was killed in an air crash, near Caterham in Surrey. I have been to the hotel on a visit to Cardigan a couple of years ago, so I will make a point of going to have a look, when I visit Cardigan in September. Sir Alwyn Crow had been my grandfather’s boss, since about 1935, at Woolwich Arsenal, Fort Halstead 1939 and finally Aberporth when he was… Read more »

Peter Henley
Peter Henley
3 years ago

Dear Medwyn, Thanks for your help finding the Cardiff street map last week for me. Regarding your story about the Aberporth Rockets today. During that tense Cuban Russian US period in the 1960s, a group of Aber Coll students as a Rag stunt, borrowed a Russian car during wintertime, wrapped themselves up in furs including the right bearskin style hats and parked in the dim light outside the heavily guarded gates of the Aberporth RAF base making sure they were seen.They stood there lighting Russian cigarettes, throwing the empty packet on the ground before racing off at speed. It caused… Read more »

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