The Royal Air Force Air Defence Radar Museum

In a top secret location in Norfolk is a facility that played a crucial role in World War 2 and was used as an operations centre throughout the Cold War.

Somewhere near Norwich

In the countryside near Norwich is The Royal Air Force Air Defence Radar Museum.

Somewhere near Norwich

Security sign

This is not Disneyland. And I thought the Auckland Skytower Jump disclaimer was scarey.

Security sign

Radio Direction Finder

At this top secret facility the first air defense Radio Direction Finder (RDF) was installed. Eventually the American name for it became more commonly used: radar.

Radio Direction Finder

Flight operations centre

The station was used during World War 2 and played a major role during the Battle of Britain. These are the original map tables and tally boards. In those days, flight control was a totally manual task involving many people.

Flight operations centre

Cold War operations centre

This facility was used during the Cold War operations centre.

Cold War operations centre

Cold War operations centre

The original equipment is left exactly the way it was back in 1993 when the station was decommissioned.

Cold War operations centre

Cold War operations centre

It looks like something out of a movie, but this is no wargame. The people who worked here were watching for nuclear missiles from the Soviet Union, and were poised to launch a nuclear counter strike. It is frightening to think how close the world was to destruction.

Cold War operations centre

Control centre

More flashing lights and buttons to push.

Control centre

If you visit the Radar Museum, you should try to allow for a whole day. There is lots to see and the staff are extremely friendly and enthusiastic. Many of them are retired air force personel--they will corner you and tell you fascinating stories all day long, if you let them.

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Collection: WEST 2009

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