Category: news


Transmitter Block reopens to visitors

By Sue Michell,

We are pleased to announce the Transmitter Block will reopen to visitors for October, on the following selected days 11am – 4pm:

Sun 4th Oct

Thu 8th Oct

Sun 11th Oct

Thu 15th Oct

Sun 18th Oct

Thu 22nd Oct

Sun 25th Oct

Thu 29th Oct

 

To ensure visitors have an enjoyable and safe visit, you will need to book and pay for your slot in advance, by telephone 07821 162879. The Booking System is now live and available on Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays 9am – 3pm.

 

Please note the following:

  • Pre-booked and pre-payed visits ONLY. If you haven’t pre-booked you will NOT be admitted
  • If you or anyone in your party feels unwell, please don’t enter the museum
  • Please wear your face covering when inside the building
  • Please observe the 2 metre social distancing guidance between yourselves and from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble
  • Hand sanitiser points available throughout the site
  • We are a card payment ONLY site
  • Test and Trace data will be kept for 21 days

 

Your booking will give you and your ‘bubble’ access to the exhibition for just under an hour, to allow you plenty of time to enjoy your visit.

 

The museum has met Visit England’s standards to be a ‘Good to Go’ venue which means social distancing, face covering requirements, additional cleaning, reduced visitor numbers and hand sanitising stations have all been incorporated.

         

  Category: news
  Comments: Comments Off on Transmitter Block reopens to visitors

Bawdsey Radar supports Battle of Britain Day

By Sue Michell,

BAWDSEY RADAR IN SUFFOLK IS AT THE HEART OF A TRIBUTE BY RAF CHARITY

An impressive and poignant light show has been produced at Bawdsey Radar Museum, a former Battle of Britain radar site. To mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain,the RAF Benevolent Fund, the UK’s leading RAF welfare charity, produced the light show to lead a national tribute to all those who played a key role in the Battle.

Bawdsey Radar, often referred to as providing “the eyes of the few”, was centre stage of the contribution by those who worked on the ground to support the famous ‘Few’ fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain. The radar museum, located in the 1937 Transmitter Block, tells the story of a “world first” in scientific discovery – the development of radar, and has been recognised as Suffolk’s Small Museum of the Year 2019. Bawdsey was the first fully operational radar station in the world.

It was radar stations such as Bawdsey which provided invaluable intelligence during the Second World War and particularly during the Battle of Britain when the Luftwaffe boasted nearly four times as many aircraft as the RAF.

The video animation light show that was projected on to the Radar Transmitter Block features the images of the giant Chain Home radar towers that stood 360ft tall and ran all along the East Coast of the UK, and the female radar operatives and filter room assistants who played such a crucial role in receiving and reporting the information back to Fighter Command. The light show pays homage to one group in particular, women of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force who worked on radar during the Second World War.

Women like Leading Aircraft woman Eileen Gray who was a WAAF at Bawdsey 194-44 and always described her service at Bawdsey as ‘the time of her life’.

Visuals of the lightshow seen can be seen here:

https://www.rafbf.org/news-and-blogs/80-years-radar-tribute-highlights-it-was-more-flying-few-who-won-battle-britain

 

  Category: news
  Comments: Comments Off on Bawdsey Radar supports Battle of Britain Day

Did you miss any of our Summer Activity sheets?

By Sue Michell,

They have been grouped together below.  There were five in total. Free and suitable for all the family – try a word search, identify some aircraft or make some paper planes.

The first Summer Holiday Activity sheet  is called:

‘How tall is it?’

Do you know how tall a Transmitter Tower was?  Watch the film below to help you fill in the activity sheet which can be downloaded here for printing.

 

 

Week Two

This week’s activities include a Word Search, you can download here, an online quiz and a bit of information what the word ‘home’ meant to people during World War Two.

 

Home – what does it mean?

The word ‘home’ can mean several things – our home where we live or the home screen on our mobile phones.

In the World War Two the word ‘home’ was used in several ways.

 

On the ‘home front’ was first used in World War One and describes how the war affected ordinary people at home and how they worked together to win the war ‘on the home front’. The threats came from Zeppelin aircraft which dropped bombs and from shortages of food.

In World War Two, ordinary people again worked together to help win the war. They helped by working in factories, growing their own food, looking after children who had been evacuated from cities and making their clothes and food last as long as possible.

 

‘Chain home’ describes the chain of protection that radar stations made around our home country, the UK, in World War Two.

Radar stations, including Bawdsey, were usually built near the coast and they created a defensive chain of protection by identifying enemy aircraft and ships and directing the Royal Air Force and the Navy to the right place.

 

Bawdsey Radar chain home station was the very first one in the world!  Search on the internet to find an image of the chain home stations built around the British Isles.

 

World War Two quiz here https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/quizzes/horrible-histories-heroic-home-front-world-war-two-quiz

 

This week’s activities are all about Identifying aircraft and solving Codes.

Radar was an important part of the defence system that helped keep us all protected in World War Two. The RAF relied on radar but also on observers on the ground who sent their information to operations rooms and to fighter command.

From here, defence measures like anti-aircraft guns, searchlights and aircraft could be directed to the best place.

 

Have a go at identifying the aircraft.

There are aircraft identification sheets to download.

This type of information was used by the Royal Observer Corp to identify the aircraft crossing the English Channel and North Sea.  Below is the line of command used when aircraft were spotted.

 

Week Three

IFF – what does this mean?

Identification Friend or Foe

It was really important that aircraft were identified as friends or foe (foe means enemy) and to begin with it was impossible to tell.

Very quickly a new way was developed so radar operators could tell the difference. It was called IFF Identification Friend or Foe.

How did it work?  A radio tone was sent from friendly aircraft in a very regular pattern which helped radar operators know who was who!

 

How good are your observational skills? Download the Spot the Difference picture and see if you can find the nine variations between the pictures.

 

Code Cracking

Being able to send secret messages is very important especially in times of conflict when you don’t want an enemy to know what you might be doing! Here’s a code to crack – have a go?  (hint – Google ‘Pig Pen’ first)

Good luck!

 

Week Four

Chocks away!

This week’s family activity is all about aircraft. There are some downloadable colouring sheets. We’d love to see them if you’d like to post them to Bawdsey Radar’s Facebook page.  And why not make a paper plane and challenge a friend of family member to see who’s plane flies furthest?

 

Than head over to CBBC and take a listen to the Horrible Histories’ RAF Pilots’ Song https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/watch/horrible-histories-song-raf-pilots-song

In World War Two pilots had to be trained quickly and were often very young. The average age of a pilot in 1940 Battle of Britain was just 20. The pilots and aircrew were supported by thousands of ground crew who looked after the aircraft, people in the operations’ rooms who scrambled the pilots into the air and radar operators along with ground observers.

All these people contributed to the successful outcome of the Battle of Britain and the war itself.

Find out more about pilots and aircraft on the Imperial War Museum’s website https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/7-pilots-who-flew-in-the-battle-of-britain

 

Week Five

The summer holidays are nearly over and for many of us it’ll be back to school and work very soon.

Before you start packing up your new pencil case, why not have a go at our activities here?

Robert Watson Watt and his team of scientists, radar operators, engineers and technicians all helped to develop radar at Bawdsey in the run up to World War 2. Radar was so effective at finding and tracking enemy aircraft it helped win the Battle of Britain and protect the country.

Radar is still used today – to guide aircraft, to track storms and migrating animals and to look deep into space.

Robert Watson Watt was caught out by his new technology though! Radar is used in the speeding guns that measure how fast vehicles are travelling. Robert was driving too fast one day and got a speeding ticket!

Now, have a go at the maze and then see if you can count the number of aircraft….it’s pretty tricky!

Then follow the link to read the story of Hazel Hill who when she was 13 helped her dad to do the maths to work out the right number of guns needed on a Spitfire. Hazel’s calculations were spot on and made a difference to just how well the Spitfires would work in aerial battles.

What an awesome achievement!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Category: news
  Comments: Comments Off on Did you miss any of our Summer Activity sheets?

Bawdsey Podcast 3

By Sue Michell,

Scientists, Air Marshalls and Politicians

Podcast number 3 is available now from Bawdsey Radar.

This podcast explores the background of some of the movers and shakers in the radar story, from engineers and scientists, Air Marshalls and politicians, including a certain Prime Minister, and his adviser.  We’ll hear about the egos, rivalries and power struggles in the story of radar developments at Bawdsey.

Click here to listen or look for it wherever you get your podcasts.

Thank you to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for making this podcast series possible, to our presenters David Heath and Phil Judkin and to Emily Casson for producing.

 

 

 

  Category: news
  Comments: Comments Off on Bawdsey Podcast 3

Summer Activities Week Five

By Sue Michell,

The summer holidays are nearly over and for many of us it’ll be back to school and work very soon.

Before you start packing up your new pencil case, why not have a go at our activities here?

Robert Watson Watt and his team of scientists, radar operators, engineers and technicians all helped to develop radar at Bawdsey in the run up to World War 2. Radar was so effective at finding and tracking enemy aircraft it helped win the Battle of Britain and protect the country.

Radar is still used today – to guide aircraft, to track storms and migrating animals and to look deep into space.

Robert Watson Watt was caught out by his new technology though! Radar is used in the speeding guns that measure how fast vehicles are travelling. Robert was driving too fast one day and got a speeding ticket!

Now, have a go at the maze and then see if you can count the number of aircraft….it’s pretty tricky!

Then follow the link to read the story of Hazel Hill who when she was 13 helped her dad to do the maths to work out the right number of guns needed on a Spitfire. Hazel’s calculations were spot on and made a difference to just how well the Spitfires would work in aerial battles.

What an awesome achievement!

  Category: news
  Comments: Comments Off on Summer Activities Week Five

Summer Activities Week Four

By Sue Michell,

Chocks away!

This week’s family activity is all about aircraft. There are some downloadable colouring sheets. We’d love to see them if you’d like to post them to Bawdsey Radar’s Facebook page.  And why not make a paper plane and challenge a friend of family member to see who’s plane flies furthest?

 

Than head over to CBBC and take a listen to the Horrible Histories’ RAF Pilots’ Song https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/watch/horrible-histories-song-raf-pilots-song

In World War Two pilots had to be trained quickly and were often very young. The average age of a pilot in 1940 Battle of Britain was just 20. The pilots and aircrew were supported by thousands of ground crew who looked after the aircraft, people in the operations’ rooms who scrambled the pilots into the air and radar operators along with ground observers.

All these people contributed to the successful outcome of the Battle of Britain and the war itself.

Find out more about pilots and aircraft on the Imperial War Museum’s website https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/7-pilots-who-flew-in-the-battle-of-britain

 

 

 

 

 

  Category: news
  Comments: Comments Off on Summer Activities Week Four

Bawdsey Podcast 2

By Sue Michell,

‘The second in the series of podcasts looks at how a small development team at Bawdsey produced the world’s first airborne radar. Fitted into night fighters, it helped to counter the Blitz in 1940/41. The ability of airborne radar to detect ships and U-boats also allowed it to play a pivotal role in winning the Battle of the Atlantic’.

You can hear the podcast via the link below or on Apple, Spotify and Google or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Follow us on social media, search for Bawdsey Radar.

 

  Category: news
  Comments: Comments Off on Bawdsey Podcast 2

Summer Holiday Activities Week Three – IFF

By Sue Michell,

This week’s activities are all about Identifying aircraft and solving Codes.

Radar was an important part of the defence system that helped keep us all protected in World War Two. The RAF relied on radar but also on observers on the ground who sent their information to operations rooms and to fighter command.

From here, defence measures like anti-aircraft guns, searchlights and aircraft could be directed to the best place.

 

Have a go at identifying the aircraft.

There are aircraft identification sheets to download.

This type of information was used by the Royal Observer Corp to identify the aircraft crossing the English Channel and North Sea.  Below is the line of command used when aircraft were spotted.

 

IFF – what does this mean?

Identification Friend or Foe

It was really important that aircraft were identified as friends or foe (foe means enemy) and to begin with it was impossible to tell.

Very quickly a new way was developed so radar operators could tell the difference. It was called IFF Identification Friend or Foe.

How did it work?  A radio tone was sent from friendly aircraft in a very regular pattern which helped radar operators know who was who!

 

How good are your observational skills? Download the Spot the Difference picture and see if you can find the nine variations between the pictures.

 

Code Cracking

Being able to send secret messages is very important especially in times of conflict when you don’t want an enemy to know what you might be doing! Here’s a code to crack – have a go?  (hint – Google ‘Pig Pen’ first)

Good luck!

 

  Category: news
  Comments: Comments Off on Summer Holiday Activities Week Three – IFF

Interesting Objects!

By Sue Michell,

An occasional series of interesting objects, that have Bawdsey connections.

 

78 years ago today 9 August 1942

Henry Collins had wanted to join the Navy but couldn’t so joined the Royal Air Force instead, finishing his training in June 1939. All his wartime postings were home postings and he arrived at Bawdsey on August Bank Holiday 1940, staying for 4 and a half years.

Here are some of the incendiary bomb casings retrieved by Henry Collins, who was on duty on the night of August 9 1942 when they fell. Mr Collins was a corporal at the time, on guard room duty, only 150 yards away from where the bombs fell. 
Bawdsey was a targeted several times: sadly, three people died and several more injured during the course of the war.

You can hear Henry Collins talk about this incident by clicking on the link below.

  Category: news
  Comments: Comments Off on Interesting Objects!

Summer Holiday Activities Week Two

By Sue Michell,

This week’s activities include a Word Search, you can download here, an online quiz and a bit of information what the word ‘home’ meant to people during World War Two.

 

Home – what does it mean?

The word ‘home’ can mean several things – our home where we live or the home screen on our mobile phones.

In the World War Two the word ‘home’ was used in several ways.

 

On the ‘home front’ was first used in World War One and describes how the war affected ordinary people at home and how they worked together to win the war ‘on the home front’. The threats came from Zeppelin aircraft which dropped bombs and from shortages of food.

In World War Two, ordinary people again worked together to help win the war. They helped by working in factories, growing their own food, looking after children who had been evacuated from cities and making their clothes and food last as long as possible.

 

Chain home’ describes the chain of protection that radar stations made around our home country, the UK, in World War Two.

Radar stations, including Bawdsey, were usually built near the coast and they created a defensive chain of protection by identifying enemy aircraft and ships and directing the Royal Air Force and the Navy to the right place.

 

Bawdsey Radar chain home station was the very first one in the world!  Search on the internet to find an image of the chain home stations built around the British Isles.

 

World War Two quiz here https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/quizzes/horrible-histories-heroic-home-front-world-war-two-quiz

  Category: news
  Comments: Comments Off on Summer Holiday Activities Week Two