On 24th September 1937 RAF Bawdsey became the first fully operational Radar station in the world. This was only just over eighteen months after the first experiment, conducted by Robert Watson Watt and Arnold Wilkins, established that by using transmitted radio waves it was possible to detect an approaching aircraft.
Bawdsey continued in the development of Radar until the outbreak of the Second World War, on 3rd September 1939, when the scientific team was moved from this vulnerable east coast site to Dundee. RAF Bawdsey remained an important Radar station and later a Bloodhound Surface to Air Missile (SAM) site until 31st March 1991, when it was officially closed.
Radar fitter at Bawdsey 1946-1947
Dangerous operations by radar fitter at Bawdsey 1946
In August 2005 the Heritage Lottery Fund made an award to Bawdsey Radar for an oral history project documenting the experiences of people whose lives were touched by what went on at Bawdsey.
Bawdsey Radar Trust began life in the Autumn of 2003 as the Bawdsey Radar Group. Its formation came about following the opening of the Transmitter Block to the public one weekend in July of that year. Only a handful of visitors had been expected but amazingly 950 people turned up.