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Luftwaffe bomber remains on Norfolk beach ‘may not be visible again for years’

PUBLISHED: 16:17 15 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:17 15 September 2018

The spot on the beach west of Sheringham where Chris Gleadell uncovered the remains of a German bomber from the Second World War. Picture: CHRIS GLEADELL

The spot on the beach west of Sheringham where Chris Gleadell uncovered the remains of a German bomber from the Second World War. Picture: CHRIS GLEADELL

Archant

Visitors hoping to see the remains of a Luftwaffe bomber from the Second World War on a north Norfolk beach may have to wait.

The Junkers Ju 88 was the backbone of the German Luftwaffe's bombing fleet during the Second World War. Picture: BUNDESARCHIVThe Junkers Ju 88 was the backbone of the German Luftwaffe's bombing fleet during the Second World War. Picture: BUNDESARCHIV

Chris Gleadell dug out what is thought to be what’s left of a Junkers Ju 88 that crashed on the beach about a mile west of Sheringham after aborting a bombing raid on Liverpool on May 3, 1941.

Mr Gleadell, of Sheringham, said he discovered the remains after almost tripping over a cog and other parts sticking out of the sand earlier this week.

However, he said today that for the next few weeks it will be covered by the sea.

He said: “It’s still buried on the beach, maybe not to be seen for another few years again if the shingle bank moves back over it. That is possibly why it’s not been seen too often since the 70s.

“It would take some major lifting equipment to move it and it’s not in an easy place to reach with the cliffs, high shingle bank, tides, soft sand and so on.

“Certainly, for the next few weeks, it will be covered by the sea anyway, as we’ve moved away from the series of low tides that exposed it.

“There may be a couple of days in October but it would need digging out again in a small window between high and low tide whatever the conditions.

“Where it will end up is anyone’s guess but, of course, it would be nice to see it in a local museum - some are aware - rather than lost over time to the elements, even if that deterioration might take decades.

“I also think there’s an impression from some that people can just amble along and see it at any time, but that’s far from the reality.”

Mr Gleadell believes the remains are the bomber’s right-hand wing engine.

Using a plastic spade, he dug out around it for an hour “to expose one camshaft with a couple of con rods and five pistons - the cog is the main camshaft gear.

“There’s still a fair old chunk of engine there, with the possibility there’s much more hidden underneath still.”

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