Saturday, 5 March 2011

Ballon Command Bollard...?

Recently a comment was left on this blog site by a lady named Jennifer on the 13th post "Zebra bollard with a bell attached". Now the comment was rather or should I say very interesting because she stated that whilst on a walking tour in London the guide referred to these bell shaped bollards and informed her that they were used to tie "barrage balloons" too.

With the power of the web and I have to say google I put the words barrage balloon in and hey presto found that here in the UK the RAF did have a squadron(s) which came under the name "Balloon Command". Please click on the link and read a little about the work of the people who helped defend our cities from the bombers in the skies. Some of these barrage balloons were winched in and out of position but surely some of them were more permanent and therefore the hole in the top of these bell shaped bollards makes perfect sense.

The bollard or "bell" in the picture is "zebra stripped" or black and white and now we have an idea that they may have originally been used to attach "barrage balloons" to it makes sense they were painted "black and white" due to the blackout late at night.

We shall research further and confirm this rather interesting of tales/stories but at the moment "Jennifer" and her comment makes perfect sense.

Bollards of London...

PS Thank you to all the brave men and women of our armed services whether they be on the land, in the air or at sea...god bless you all.


  1. Hi I am not convinced these have been around since WWII, they seemed to appear mid 1980's. Can anyone else recall seeing them before this?


    Bell Bollards
    All rights reserved.
    Bell Shaped Traffic Bollards in this or other forms, with or without surface decoration are Copyright Protected (filed in accordance with Universal Copyright Convention in London) & may not be reproduced without the prior permission of Furnitubes International Limited or the original Copyright holder.

    Registered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
    No B9/1082/3602

    Copyright © 1986 Paul M. Harris
    Innovation and New Product Design.


    Ms Tigger N1.

  2. Cool blog! I found this website while searching for different types of bollards:

    Looks like they make bollards in the shape of bells because they are great for deflecting wheels and protecting buildings and pedestrians (like the one you posted on January 31st). They didn't seem to mention anything about the history though.

  3. There are two outside the old Scala Cinema in Kings Cross, opposite that block that's scheduled for demolition. If they're not barrage balloon anchors, /why do they have a hole at the top?/

  4. There are two strange granite bollards half-hidden in a facade near Royal Oak - I'll try and get a picture for you.

  5. Those are Furnitubes Bell Bollards, designed by Hacker Harris of the GLC in the mid 80s although I'm certain he designed it in his own free time. The hole at the top is so that they can be moved into position by hook and cable from forklifts or JCB buckets. You would not be able to move one of these about by hand, they have as almost as much metal below ground as above. They can be painted any colour, the choice of the local authority that uses them. The white stripe in this case is to aid visibility.