Post ‘Cold War’ era In 1993, the R3 underground bunker once again became operational after a complete refit with a fully Integrated Command & Control System. This system incorporated ultra-fast and secure communications with E3 surveillance aircraft and maritime units and new remote mobile radars.   In 1995, as part of the so called ‘peace dividend’, the SOC element at Neatishead closed and relocated to Bentley Priory but Neatishead still continued in its role as a CRC.  In 2004, after another major reorganisation of the UK Air Defences, Neatishead closed as a CRC and reassigned as a Remote Radar Head, tasked with supporting the last two remaining CRC’s at Boulmer and Scampton.

A registered Charity No. 1058887

World War II

In 1941, the Air Ministry surveyed a piece of land not far from the Broads at Horning in Norfolk with a view to establishing a site to host a brand new Air Defence station, a Ground Control Intercept station to be exact, from where Fighter Controllers, backed up by a wide range of support staff, could direct RAF fighters, day or night, to attack enemy aircraft from Germany as they launched raids against Military and Industrial targets in Norfolk as well as against the City of Norwich itself.
In September 1941, two years into the Second World War, the first Secret radar system was installed at the new Radar Station of RAF Neatishead.  Initially, the complement of forty airmen and airwomen was billeted at a local village and training began in this radical early warning system. At first, the station was home to temporary mobile Radars but it was soon to boast new, improved fixed Radar systems such as the Type 7 Search Radar and Type 13 Height-finding Radars.  The hardened Control Room, the “Happidrome” was built and it is this very building which, today, forms part of the Museum.

The Cold War Era

At the end of World War II in 1945 the world entered seamlessly into a new conflict that was to last 45 years – the ‘Cold War’.  As the defences for the United Kingdom were reorganised with fewer but more advanced radars to meet the new Soviet air threat, RAF Neatishead continued to play an increasingly important role in the nation’s air defence.  In 1953, as part of the upgraded ‘ROTOR’ system, operations were relocated from the wartime ‘Happidrome’ building to a new three storey bunker, deep underground, designed to withstand a nuclear attack.    The bunker was destroyed by fire in 1966 and for 8 years Neatishead took on a limited operational role and became a trials unit for the next generation of search radars, the Type 84 & 85.
In 1974 Neatishead once again became fully operational as a Sector Operations Centre (SOC) and as a Control & Reporting Centre (CRC).  Operating from the old ‘Happidrome’ building, but with a new standalone computerised command and control system (Standby Local Early Warning & Control System) the unit became a key element of the UK Air Defence Ground Environment.  CRC Neatishead task was to track and identify all aircraft within the southern sector of the UK and to conduct the NATO air policing of the airspace.   Neatishead sister station, RAF Buchan, Aberdeenshire, was similarly tasked to cover the northern section of the UK.  Both units were supported by remote radars in the Hebrides, the Shetlands, in Cornwall and North Yorkshire and by CRC Boulmer, Northumberland.  Together all units helped protect the UK from a Soviet air threat up until the end of the ‘Cold War’ in 1991.
Neatishead Today Today, the aim of the base at Neatishead is to “to provide radar, ground-to-air radio and data links coverage as part of the UK Air Surveillance And Control System (ASACS), in support of national and NATO air defence; a task that has become increasingly important after the tragic events of 9/11.” Now called a Remote Radar Head, staff based here are responsible for both the Radar at Trimingham as well as equipment at a number of other sites in North Norfolk and at Neatishead itself.  Information is sent by secure datalinks from the various systems to RAF Boulmer where the Controllers monitor UK airspace. The Birth of the Museum
Post ‘Cold War’ era In 1993, the R3 underground bunker once again became operational after a complete refit with a fully Integrated Command & Control System. This system incorporated ultra- fast and secure communications with E3 surveillance aircraft and maritime units and new remote mobile radars.   In 1995, as part of the so called ‘peace dividend’, the SOC element at Neatishead closed and relocated to Bentley Priory but Neatishead still continued in its role as a CRC.  In 2004, after another major reorganisation of the UK Air Defences, Neatishead closed as a CRC and reassigned as a Remote Radar Head, tasked with supporting the last two remaining CRC’s at Boulmer and Scampton.

World War II

In 1941, the Air Ministry surveyed a piece of land not far from the Broads at Horning in Norfolk with a view to establishing a site to host a brand new Air Defence station, a Ground Control Intercept station to be exact, from where Fighter Controllers, backed up by a wide range of support staff, could direct RAF fighters, day or night, to attack enemy aircraft from Germany as they launched raids against Military and Industrial targets in Norfolk as well as against the City of Norwich itself.

A registered Charity

 No. 1058887

The Cold War Era

At the end of World War II in 1945 the world entered seamlessly into a new conflict that was to last 45 years – the ‘Cold War’.  As the defences for the United Kingdom were reorganised with fewer but more advanced radars to meet the new Soviet air threat, RAF Neatishead continued to play an increasingly important role in the nation’s air defence.  In 1953, as part of the upgraded ‘ROTOR’ system, operations were relocated from the wartime ‘Happidrome’ building to a new three storey bunker, deep underground, designed to withstand a nuclear attack.    The bunker was destroyed by fire in 1966 and for 8 years Neatishead took on a limited operational role and became a trials unit for the next generation of search radars, the Type 84 & 85.
In 1974 Neatishead once again became fully operational as a Sector Operations Centre (SOC) and as a Control & Reporting Centre (CRC).  Operating from the old ‘Happidrome’ building, but with a new standalone computerised command and control system (Standby Local Early Warning & Control System) the unit became a key element of the UK Air Defence Ground Environment.  CRC Neatishead task was to track and identify all aircraft within the southern sector of the UK and to conduct the NATO air policing of the airspace.   Neatishead sister station, RAF Buchan, Aberdeenshire, was similarly tasked to cover the northern section of the UK.  Both units were supported by remote radars in the Hebrides, the Shetlands, in Cornwall and North Yorkshire and by CRC Boulmer, Northumberland.  Together all units helped protect the UK from a Soviet air threat up until the end of the ‘Cold War’ in 1991.
Neatishead Today Today, the aim of the base at Neatishead is to “to provide radar, ground-to-air radio and data links coverage as part of the UK Air Surveillance And Control System (ASACS), in support of national and NATO air defence; a task that has become increasingly important after the tragic events of 9/11.” Now called a Remote Radar Head, staff based here are responsible for both the Radar at Trimingham as well as equipment at a number of other sites in North Norfolk and at Neatishead itself.  Information is sent by secure datalinks from the various systems to RAF Boulmer where the Controllers monitor UK airspace. The Birth of the Museum