Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Defending British North America

Macaulay Point Park
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

This is the view from the battalion command post of the remains of a coastal defence installation, active from the 1890s to the end of the Second World War. The British Navy, which had been based in Esquimalt Harbour since the 1840s, built the gun emplacements, tunnel system and ammunition stores initially because of a perceived threat from Russia. The point was manned 24/7 throughout both World Wars, but was disarmed and the tunnels and buildings sealed in the late 1940s.

Much of the site, including the two remaining gun emplacements and one tunnel, is easily accessible to the hundreds of runners and dog walkers who frequent this spectacular park, and the whole place is quite fascinating to climb around in. Exceptions to this are ecologically sensitive areas protected by the ubiquitous snake-rail fences I’ve included in the painting.