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RAF NEATISHEAD

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  GROUND CONTROLLED INTERCEPTION STATION 21G, GCI (A) ROTOR STATION 'BWP'
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The site of a Ground Controlled Interception (GCI) radar station at Neatishead. GCI stations were developed by the Air Ministry from 1940 to detect, locate and track enemy aircraft and provide inland radar coverage of Britain. Neatishead was operational by November 1941 as a Mobile station reporting to Coltishall Fighter Sector. Mobile stations comprised transmitter and receiver aerial arrays mounted on trailers spaced no more than 220ft (67.1 metres) apart, with equipment stored and operations carried out from trucks. By January 1943 the site had been developed into a Final station. Final GCI or AMES Type 7 stations comprised a single rotating aerial array with transmitter equipment stored beneath in an underground well, plus an operations block (or Happidrome), a standby set house for reserve power, and a guard hut for the site entrance. The radar station was extended between 1946 and 1949 for use as a Sector Operations Centre. The station was remodelled in the early 1950s as part of the Rotor programme to modernise the United Kingdom's radar defences. A two-storey underground R3 operations bunker was constructed at the site and it was fitted with a Type 7 Mark 2 radar head for local search and control, two Type 14 (Mark 8 and Mark 9) plan positioning radar heads, and two Type 13 Mark 6 and three Type 13 Mark 7 height finder radar heads, all mounted on plinths and 25 feet gantries. Between 1961 to 1963 the station was reduced to care and maintenance and it was then reopened as a Master Radar Station. A fire in 1966 destroyed the underground operations complex and the station was closed until 1974, reopening with a new data-handling system occupying the Second World War Happidrome. The station continued to be an operational base until 2006 when it was sold and in 1994 an Air Defence Radar Museum was opened at the site.

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