R3 Nuclear Bunker and Radar at Neatishead 11th April 2015
Click to see photos in the Gallery
A few Club members and their guests made their own way and met outside the Royal Air Force Air Defence Radar Museum at Neatishead near Horning at 1:30 and were met by our guide who took us on a special guided tour of an R3 Bunker with Guard House and Main Entrance only open on certain times. One or two of the public also joined us as they happened to be there at the time. On the way round some of us saw a Little Owl fly into a tree which was a nice surprise.
Passing the R12 Building and Power Station, we then went into the R3 Bunker. We picked a token with a number on and wrote our names beside the number before going down into the Nuclear Bunker. My father who was with me showed me the thickness of one of the windows inside of the offices as he glazed some of these when it was operational. Before entering the main hub we passed the Decontamination Centre where they would take off their NBC Suits and enter one of the secure hatches with several locks on. We were shown the Power Room where various consoles were and wires and pipes spread. Also next door was the Telephone Exchange with a large panel. Most were taken out but you could imagine the room full and operators answering the phones. In the Computers Room were wooden floor boards with some panels where the Radar Consoles would sit. Under the flooring there was a maze of wires and pipes for cooling and powering the machines. Then we saw a few holes in the walls and were asked what we thought they were used for? It turned out that these were for bunk beds. Later we saw the water tank and chilled water pipes which were still whirring away and several valves were to be seen. On some floors we saw a few cranes which took the machinery down the to the depths beneath. One had a memorial plaque where three firemen died trying to put a fire out in February 1966 (Divisional Officer Gordon Dix, Leading Fireman Albert Durrant and Fireman John Holman) when in the smoke they toppled over the low balcony.
In the Operations Room we had a talk by someone from the public who used to work there and he explained that on a large screen would be a copy of what was on the radar panels. After giving back our tokens and rubbing out our names we had a tour of the Type 85 Radar and had a talk from the same man who worked at Neatishead during the Cold War. Sadly after just over two hours the tour was over and we were back to the Radar Museum, where some of us asked what was now on display there. The Club should be going there another time to do this as it takes about two or three hours to explore. Thank you to Peter for organising this and our guide from Coltishall and Radar Museum for inviting us and taking us around this rare site.

Andrew Elphick

Click these Links for more information!
History of RAF Neatishead
Neatishead Radar Museum