December 2023

Twelve Days of Radar – Day Ten

Restoration of the Transmitter Block

For the next instalment of our 12 Days of Bawdsey, we are sharing the story of restoring the Transmitter Block which houses Bawdsey Radar Museum.

In 2003, the Transmitter Block at Bawdsey was opened during July. Although only a handful of visitors were expected, but amazingly, 950 people came to the site! As a result, Bawdsey Radar Group was formed and the Transmitter Block was shown on the Series BBC2 Restoration. The building fourth in the final, only 5000 votes behind the winners!

In 2009, Bawdsey Radar Group became the Bawdsey Radar Trust of today and in 2016-2017, funding was provided by the NHLF, Historic England and other organisations to transform the Transmitter Block from a derelict building to our award-winning museum, helping to preserve the nationally-significant building for future generations.

Restoring the building was no mean feat! Decades of being exposed to the elements and coastal air had taken their toll upon the site. Many tonnes of shingle, originally used as blast protection on the roof of the building, had to be removed to enable the roof to be sealed before being replaced.

Much work was also needed to make the concrete safe. The steel rods reinforcing the concrete had corroded, breaking large sections of the blast walls away. With careful restoration, these walls were brought back to their former glory, with the original shuttering marks replicated on the repaired sections!

Inside the Block, a new exhibition was installed, telling the story of the development of radar, as well as the men and women who lived and worked at RAF Bawdsey. Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved, the Transmitter Block has been preserved for future generations, helping to share the story of radar and RAF Bawdsey for years to come.

 

A damaged section of blast wall

 

Repaired section of blast wall
©AndrewHendry
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Twelve Days of Radar – Day Ten