Jump to content
Norfolk Explorer

RAF Neatishead. Norfolk. June 2015

Recommended Posts

Back in 1994 I visited this site when I was helping out with a open day when I was in the cadets. Many years later I was shocked when I found out that you could now get tours around the site and the bunker, so for the last 4 years I have been waiting to get onto one, but each time I have either been working or on holiday, but this time I got lucky and away we went to have some fun and games.

The day was perfect as we met up with people who I had only ever chatted online with , so It was fab to finally put a face to the person. The only gripe of the day was the typical british weather, when we popped back out on ground level it was raining sideways, so that ruined our chances of a great group photo under the Radar.

A little bit about the site and what it was used for.

World War II

In 1941, the Air Ministry surveyed a piece of land not far from the Broads at Horning in Norfolk with a view to establishing

a site to host a brand new Air Defence station, a Ground Control Intercept station to be exact, from where Fighter

Controllers, backed up by a wide range of support staff, could direct RAF fighters, day or night, to attack enemy aircraft

from Germany as they launched raids against Military and Industrial targets in Norfolk as well as against the City of

Norwich itself.

In September 1941, two years into the Second

World War, the first Secret radar system was

installed at the new Radar Station of RAF

Neatishead. Initially, the complement of forty

airmen and airwomen was billeted at a local

village and training began in this radical early

warning system. At first, the station was home to

temporary mobile Radars but it was soon to boast

new, improved fixed Radar systems such as the

Type 7 Search Radar and Type 13 Height-finding

Radars. The hardened Control Room, the

“Happidrome†was built and it is this very building

which, today, forms part of the Museum.

The Cold War

At the end of World War II in 1945 the world

entered seamlessly into a new conflict that was to

last 45 years – the Cold War. As the defences for

the United Kingdom were reorganised with fewer

but more advanced Radar Stations to meet the

new threat, RAF Neatishead continued to play an

increasingly important role in the Air Defence of

Great Britain. The station was established as a

Sector Operations Centre (SOC) and continued to

be used as such until 2004, by which time the

only other SOC was in Buchan, Scotland. In

1954, the main Operations Centre was re-

established deep underground in a vast two-

storey hardened Bunker designed to withstand

attack by Nuclear bombs.

Between them, the Centres were responsible to

NATO for the Air Defence of the UK, the Western

North Sea (including the vital oil production

platforms), and the Eastern North Atlantic well

out past Ireland. To provide cover over such a

vast area, a number of remote Radar sites were

set up to feed information into the Sector

Operations Centres, with Trimingham on the

North Norfolk Coast being the Radar site still

associated with RAF Neatishead today. By 2004,

technology had improved to such an extent that

all controlling functions could be undertaken from

one Control Centre at RAF Boulmer in


Neatishead Today

Today, the aim of the base at Neatishead is to “to provide radar, ground-to-air radio and data links coverage as part of the UK Air Surveillance And Control System (ASACS), in support of national and NATO air defence; a task that has become increasingly important after the tragic events of 9/11.†Now called a Remote Radar Head, staff based here are responsible for both the Radar at Trimingham as well as equipment at a number of other sites in North Norfolk and at Neatishead itself. Information is sent by secure datalinks from the various systems to RAF Boulmer where the Controllers monitor UK airspace.

The above information has been taken from the museum's website, and plenty more information can be found on that right here

My photos from the 3 hours spent inside and down below





























































Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

That really is good to see as without a doubt rather special and so well captured :D

Always that winning combo Dibs, quality write up and pics :thumb

Thanks for the share mate.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

17! Nice shiny dialage, you know I share your love of dials!! Lovely place mate and I liked reading that you had been there before. Nice bit of history too. :thumb

Thanks for sharing

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By anthrax
      Disclaimer: Some of the images displayed in my album contain anti semitic graffiti. I'm not promoting anti semitism here but am only showcasing what's inside this bunker. 
      Today's post is about the exploration of a World War II bunker, that has  been abandoned since approximately 1955, when Austria signed the Declaration of Neutrality. Construction began during the war but because of the siege of the Red Army, the bunker was never finished.
      Nowadays, most of the former exits have been walled off with only one proper entry and exit remaining. Rescuing people trapped in certain areas of the facility would be close to impossible, due to some entrances being filled with stones and mud.
      You imagine bunkers like concrete mazes and even though it looked like one, it was hard to get lost. It was very easy to navigate around even though the tunnels measure about 700m (0.45 miles) in total. Initially, there were around 5 to 7 entrances throughout the whole structure which made it impossible to get lost.
      DSC_5054 by anthrax, auf Flickr
      DSC_5080 by anthrax, auf Flickr
      DSC_5085 by anthrax, auf Flickr
      DSC_5090 by anthrax, auf Flickr
      DSC_5124 by anthrax, auf Flickr
      DSC_6339 by anthrax, auf Flickr
      DSC_6351 by anthrax, auf Flickr
      DSC_6353 by anthrax, auf Flickr
      DSC_6357 by anthrax, auf Flickr
      DSC_6369 by anthrax, auf Flickr
      If anyone is interested in more, the full album of photos can be found here and my post about the structure here. 
    • By Norfolk Explorer
      Visited with clarexplres and cheers for the heads up from Black Shuck a few months ago.... But as usual I only just got round to this nice post now. 
      An hours drive and walking up the wrong side of the field to try and find the ROC post to start off with and eventually we were on our way in
      This was the 1st time I had been in a ROC Post and actually felt how cramped it must have been down there. With stuff strewn everywhere you could hardly more. This site is listed as locked on the Outdated Subrit site and you can see from the images it has not just been opened up recently either.... So get out there checking other ones folks. 
      This particular post  opened March 1958 and closed September 1991
      What are they
      Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Posts are underground structures all over the United Kingdom, constructed as a result of the Corps' nuclear reporting role and operated by volunteers during the Cold War between 1955 and 1991.
      In all but a very few instances the posts were built to a standard design consisting of a 14-foot-deep access shaft, a toilet/store and a monitoring room. The most unusual post was the non-standard one constructed in a cellar within Windsor Castle.
      Almost half of the total number of posts were closed in 1968 during a reorganisation and major contraction of the ROC. Several others closed over the next 40 years as a result of structural difficulties i.e. persistent flooding, or regular vandalism. The remainder of the posts were closed in 1991 when the majority of the ROC was stood down following the break-up of the Communist Bloc. Many have been demolished or adapted to other uses but the majority still exist, although in a derelict condition.










      We could have had some serious fun if this was still there





    • By Ghost-Scooter
      This ex Nato Base is not really spectacular regarding its structure or facilities but for its location. Situated on the top of a hill (about 1000m) it's a beautifull place to spend the night having a barbecue and some drinks with your buddies. Don't forget to wrap up warm. In the nights it's getting damn cold up there even in summer. 
      DSC07419 by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
      DSC07390-2 by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
      DSC07385 by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
      DSC07412-Bearbeitet by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
      DSC07395-Bearbeitet-2 by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
      DSC07415-Bearbeitet by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
      DSC07414 by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
      DSC07416-Bearbeitet by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
      DSC07417 by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
      DSC07399-Bearbeitet by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
      DSC07401-Bearbeitet by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
    • By Nelly
      Cold War AA Gun Emplacements
      Just outside Harlow on the Herts/Essex border sits this Anti Aircraft gun emplacement, this was the second trip out this weekend with the kids and their Grandad
      The site consists of four 3.7 inch AA gun emplacements each with ammunition recesses and integral shelters.
      Sat just back from the AA guns was the Generator block and several hundred yards further down the concrete road sits the Operations Block
      The site was built in the early1950's and ended it's life in 1958 when jet aircraft and surface to air missiles took over their role.
      3.7 Anti Aircraft Guns

      The site. Top right are the four AA gun emplacements, follow the road to the top left
      and you find the Generator Block and further on around the corner is the Operations Block

      The Gun Emplacements

      The Generator Block

      The Operations Block

      As usual, thanks for taking the time

    • By he who must rome
      Traditions, Battle Honours and the 'Esprit De Corps' are the things Regiments are made of. They promote feelings of pride, honour, trust and above all else a sense of belonging.
      Men are bound together into a family by these things and the bonds are powerful and lasting. Men will fight for their Country when ordered, but they will fight for the Honour of their Regiment simply because it is their family, and they are part of it.
      One such 'Family' was The Sherwood Foresters. The regiment of the Counties of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Its men in the main were recruited from these two counties and this again helped make them into one of the nations most famous Regiment. (The Sherwood Foresters amalgamated with the Worcestershire Regiment in February 1970 to form The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters regiment