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  #1  
Old 3rd September 2014, 14:55
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Radar

There is a programme on BBC2 tomorrow - Thursday 4th - called 'Castles in the Sky'. It is a Drama chronicling the invention Radar by Watson Watt.

The thumbnail is (was) one the masts at Bawdsey Manor at Orfordness that was used by Watson Watt for his development work. This mast was also the site of Orfordness Radio/2OF, the VHF station remotely controlled from GKZ. Bearing in mind what we had at GKZ and other VHF remotes, I was surprised to find it in a neglected portakabin at the foot of the mast, sharing space with Thames Coastguard. At least at Bacton/2BA we had a proper equipment room within the gate house complex at the Shell gas site at Bacton and space on their masts.

I shall be interested to see if there is any resemblance to fact.

David
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  #2  
Old 3rd September 2014, 18:24
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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The oldest still working RADAR Station in the World is Staxton Wold in Yorkshire, although a shadow of its former self it was part of the High Level Chain Home System.
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  #3  
Old 4th September 2014, 08:33
Bill Greig Bill Greig is offline  
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Originally Posted by chadburn View Post
The oldest still working RADAR Station in the World is Staxton Wold in Yorkshire, although a shadow of its former self it was part of the High Level Chain Home System.
My brother worked there for a few years when he was in the mob.
Bill
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  #4  
Old 4th September 2014, 08:47
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Bill, Your Brother can visit what was the Underground Reserve for Staxton which is to the South at a place called Holmpton on the Coast road to Spurn Point, he may remember the place depending when he was in the Mob. It is now open to the Public as the Reserve is no longer connected to Staxton. An interesting underground Citadel with most of the old equipment still in place.
Chad.
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  #5  
Old 4th September 2014, 09:53
RayL RayL is offline  
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This programme promises to be of extraordinary interest to folks like us so we would be well advised to ensure that we don't miss it.

I understand that Sir Robert Watson-Watt felt aggrieved that his country did not adequately acknowledge the contribution he made to winning the war, and he even emigrated in disgust. Did he do something that got up the noses of the Establishment that would explain their ingratitude?
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  #6  
Old 4th September 2014, 12:29
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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According to Wikipedia, he returned to Scotland and is buried there, so, if he was pissed off, he must have changed his mind later on.

One of the Radar lecturers at Hull Tech, Mr Walker, was in the army and involved in the early days of Radar. He told us they used to open the wave guides and cook sausages in them. He was a little concerned about what may have happened to his genes in those days, but was proud of his contribution to the development of microwave ovens. It's not known if this research contributed in any way to the war effort.

John T
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  #7  
Old 4th September 2014, 13:05
Bill Greig Bill Greig is offline  
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Originally Posted by chadburn View Post
Bill, Your Brother can visit what was the Underground Reserve for Staxton which is to the South at a place called Holmpton on the Coast road to Spurn Point, he may remember the place depending when he was in the Mob. It is now open to the Public as the Reserve is no longer connected to Staxton. An interesting underground Citadel with most of the old equipment still in place.
Chad.
Thanks Chad,
I'll pass that on to him, he was there around the mid eighties as far as I remember.
Bill
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  #8  
Old 4th September 2014, 14:03
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
According to Wikipedia, he returned to Scotland and is buried there, so, if he was pissed off, he must have changed his mind later on.

One of the Radar lecturers at Hull Tech, Mr Walker, was in the army and involved in the early days of Radar. He told us they used to open the wave guides and cook sausages in them. He was a little concerned about what may have happened to his genes in those days, but was proud of his contribution to the development of microwave ovens. It's not known if this research contributed in any way to the war effort.

John T
The ground below and around the Transmitting Masts at Danby Beacon is dead. Danby Beacon was another High Level Chain Home RADAR the semi underground Operation Rooms were filled with water and the doors Concreted up after the Station was shutdown. Not sure now why W.W. Was unhappy but I would suggest due to shortage of money post War it was left to the Americans to further develop it which was not unusual with many inventions. I will be watching it Ray.
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  #9  
Old 4th September 2014, 14:46
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A statue to R W-W was unveiled in his home town of Brechin just yesterday.
My radar lecturer at Leith Nautical College, Mr Andrew Bogie, was involved with Watson-Watt in early experiments.
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  #10  
Old 4th September 2014, 15:32
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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The name sounds familiar KR another name was Ron Jones who use to appear on television on a regular basis.
Going to have a try at posting two photos on the Site, one is of the masts at Danby Beacon and the other of a WAAF RADAR Op at the same place.
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  #11  
Old 4th September 2014, 15:42
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Photographs in the Gallery now.
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  #12  
Old 5th September 2014, 08:07
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I thought the programme was well-produced and certainly entertaining, although I had a bad twinge of "rivet-counting" when I saw some of the radio gear they were using, most of which was American and wouldn't have been around in the era they were covering (apart from the HRO receiver, of course). Believe it was largely filmed in Scotland, although the place that was supposed to be Bawdsey Manor looked like Holkham House in Norfolk.

Anyway, a good effort and there's probably a few other WW2 technically-based stories that could be made in the same fashion; "bending the beams" springs to mind or the Bruneval Raid, maybe?


S2004.
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  #13  
Old 5th September 2014, 08:33
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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I agree I thought it was very entertaining, in today's world of the throw away culture not many think of the blood, sweat and tears that went into the development of the Magnetron when the house Microwave hits the scrap bin.
After Chain Home High and Low came ROTOR a multi million pound fiasco built under G.B. 'Black Budget' funding which produced eventually the Kelvin Hughes photo plot for ships after the system came off the Top Secret list. The larger Military system used 35mm film, the ship system used 16mm?
Then we had the 'Linesman' system G.B.'s first crack at the digital/computer world, this was a complete failure as the system was so large that the Contract had to be split up between different Companies, unfortunately when the system was fired up the different systems installed could not 'Talk' to each other ( a bit like the later National Health Country wide computer system) and 'Linesman' was scrapped.
We now have UKADS.
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Old 5th September 2014, 08:46
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Eddie Izzard is becoming a very accomplished actor - excellent drama.

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  #15  
Old 5th September 2014, 11:48
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A most enjoyable programme, I watched it earlier this morning.
Chadburn's #10 post mentions Ron Jones as being involved in radar. I think that will be R.V.Jones who wrote a good book on WW2 electronic technology stuff. I wonder if anyone on here can remember the name of that book, I would love to get my hands on a copy.
Jones eventually ended up lecturing in Aberdeen University.
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  #16  
Old 5th September 2014, 12:11
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadburn View Post
The name sounds familiar KR another name was Ron Jones who use to appear on television on a regular basis.
Going to have a try at posting two photos on the Site, one is of the masts at Danby Beacon and the other of a WAAF RADAR Op at the same place.
My Aunty Winnie worked at Danby Beacon but I think she was a WAAC rather than a WAAF. I checked with her son and it turns out she was in the Admin side of things - I'm sure she cleared up a lot of clutter (haw haw ... radar joke). Salt of the earth, she only left us a couple of years ago.

John T
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  #17  
Old 5th September 2014, 13:18
G4UMW G4UMW is offline  
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Originally Posted by King Ratt
Chadburn's #10 post mentions Ron Jones as being involved in radar. I think that will be R.V.Jones who wrote a good book on WW2 electronic technology stuff. I wonder if anyone on here can remember the name of that book, I would love to get my hands on a copy.
In the UK it's called "Most Secret War", in the USA "The Wizard War". Available in paperback from the well-known south American riverine retailer.

HTH,
Rob
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  #18  
Old 5th September 2014, 18:04
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Thanks G4UMW I will take that river trip!
For R651400. A perfect description of Mr Bogie. I do remember him saying when I started my studies at LNC for a PMG, you are not here just to get a ticket, lads, you are here for an education. Fine man.
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  #19  
Old 5th September 2014, 19:27
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When I first visited, I only saw the gate lodge first time around. It was pretty a unspeakable place at that time with only a security guard attending. Later when the Bawdsey Manor new owners established themselves, the gate lodge was an immaculate new office complex. Unrecognisable. The portakabin though and the mast itself were fast approaching their sell by date. I regret not asking if I could have looked around the Manor on my first visit.

David

I recorded the programme, so look forward to watching it later. It had a good write up in the press.
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  #20  
Old 5th September 2014, 19:56
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The method of obtaining radio valves from the Navy, as portrayed in the programme.
Was this anywhere near to what really happened?
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  #21  
Old 5th September 2014, 22:14
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
My Aunty Winnie worked at Danby Beacon but I think she was a WAAC rather than a WAAF. I checked with her son and it turns out she was in the Admin side of things - I'm sure she cleared up a lot of clutter (haw haw ... radar joke). Salt of the earth, she only left us a couple of years ago.

John T
John T there was all sorts of equipment on the Moors like Searchlights and Anti Aircraft Guns, the Army would have a 'Desk' at the RADAR Station who would inform these Units that aircraft had been picked up by RADAR to put them on Standby as they were manned by the Army. There would be also an Army Admin Section for the usual paperwork.
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Old 5th September 2014, 22:22
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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The method of obtaining radio valves from the Navy, as portrayed in the programme.
Was this anywhere near to what really happened?
Don't know is my answer, however, it would not surprise me as the 'liberation' of others equipment did go on. When the Long Range Desert Group was formed in N.Africa they had no tents nothing, when another Army Unit went to do a firing exercise the LRDG pinched their tents and other equipment.
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Old 5th September 2014, 22:43
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In the UK it's called "Most Secret War", in the USA "The Wizard War". Available in paperback from the well-known south American riverine retailer.

HTH,
Rob
There was a follow-up book he wrote too. It included the postwar developments, his trip to the U.S. on the Queen Mary, etc. Very readable--he was an accomplished writer. If the title comes to me I will post again (it's on the tip of my tongue now).

Got it!! 'Reflections on Intelligence'.
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  #24  
Old 6th September 2014, 08:23
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Originally Posted by Searcher2004 View Post
I thought the programme was well-produced and certainly entertaining, although I had a bad twinge of "rivet-counting" when I saw some of the radio gear they were using, most of which was American and wouldn't have been around in the era they were covering (apart from the HRO receiver, of course). Believe it was largely filmed in Scotland, although the place that was supposed to be Bawdsey Manor looked like Holkham House in Norfolk.

Anyway, a good effort and there's probably a few other WW2 technically-based stories that could be made in the same fashion; "bending the beams" springs to mind or the Bruneval Raid, maybe?


S2004.
Beam bending/ signal distortion still goes on nearly everyday over the North Sea when 'Rookie' Fighter Pilots are sent up to intercept a target only to find there is nothing there, another specialist electronics aircraft has bounced/artificially created a Target.
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  #25  
Old 6th September 2014, 09:16
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"Castles in the Sky"Eddie Izzard a English man playing Robert Watson Watt a Scot and David Hayman a Scott playing a English man Fredrick Hindemann?Thats show biz
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