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RAF Air Defence Radar Museum has closed

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RAF Air Defence Radar Museum has closed

Old 28th Aug 2010, 18:24
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RAF Air Defence Radar Museum has closed

Sigh.............. Hope they get is sorted, especially in this pivotal year

RAF FCA Message Board - Closure of the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum
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Old 28th Aug 2010, 18:38
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I noticed that the site was upfor sale about 6 mouths ago, such a shame!
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Old 28th Aug 2010, 22:04
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Having served at Neatishead, albeit as a bluntie, I am very sad to hear of this decision. Is this yet another case of excessive caution. Good job they did not work off that premis 70 years ago!
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Old 28th Aug 2010, 22:13
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The "Defence Fire Risk Management Authority"?

Apparently there's a budget shortfall...
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Old 28th Aug 2010, 22:35
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Angry

As Kevin Pellatt mentions in his post on the FCA website, in the days when the R30 (the building occupied by the ADRM) was operational (I was there from 76 - 81, with a brief break in Saxa Vord in the middle), it was deemed an acceptable risk ... to have the fire escapes from the upper floor leading on to the roof of the extended floor below (which might have been in flames, but we were hardier then!!).

There is, of course, more to this than is evident from Kevin's brief announcement; there appear to be a number of 'political' machinations involved with the 'purchase' of the ADRM buildings from the Defence Estate and this may well be just another move on DE's part to put pressure on the ADRM Trustees to take over the full responsibility for the now segregated site, including any responsibility for fire safety.

Hopefully, the closure will only be temporary but, in today's economic climate with the pressure on MOD to cut costs wherever and however possible, the ADRM is going to need more than just a few prayers to help it!
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Old 29th Aug 2010, 06:33
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Wasn't it Neatishead where there was a fatal fire in the bunker in the 70's/80's?
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Old 29th Aug 2010, 06:41
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Wasn't it Neatishead where there was a fatal fire in the bunker in the 70's/80's?
1966. Arson by a supplier, SAC Cheeseman, who got 7 years. 3 Firemen died.

Bunker lay derelict till renovation started in the mid '70s, though it didn't reopen again as a UKADGE bunker until the early '90s!
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Old 29th Aug 2010, 06:52
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1966. Arson by a supplier, SAC Cheeseman, who got 7 years. 3 Firemen died
Someone is very knowledgeable
For years, the PBX door with the dried blood stains from the trapped fireman was in the Fire Section (part of the Station induction/arrival process), but I believe it has now disappeared.
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Old 29th Aug 2010, 06:53
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I noticed that the site was upfor sale about 6 mouths ago, such a shame!
Indeed, but it was said that the Museum was safe, could this be a back door way into getting rid of it so that they can sell the whole site? Or am I just getting a paranoid, cynical, grumpy old git?
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Old 29th Aug 2010, 06:56
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am I just getting a paranoid, cynical, grumpy old git?
We couldn't possibly comment (without knowing you better!)
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Old 29th Aug 2010, 07:14
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Air Defence radar museum closes?

Well, I didn't see that coming!
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Old 29th Aug 2010, 07:57
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Did my first tour as a controller there 75-76; and controlled my last aircraft there in Feb 1995, though I didn't know it at the time.

Last sortie controlled by myself: Drumstick 1-4, 2v1 PIs, 11 intercepts, 15th Feb.
Last sortie as instructor: 22 March, Exercise Brilliant Invader, CAP, student PO Worthington.
Last time on console: 24 March, Exercise Brilliant Invader, MC, 5 hours.

Then posted to SOC UK at Bentley Priory, then on to the UKCAOC for 3 years, when I took my option.
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Old 29th Aug 2010, 09:28
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More info

Norfolk museum set to close



Last updated: 28/08/2010 17:00:00


An award-winning Norfolk museum which for more than 15 years has helped tell the story of the nation's air defence has been forced to close suddenly after failing a fire safety inspection.

The RAF Air Defence Radar Museum received a letter on Thursday breaking the news, which museum manager Doug Robb described as “absolutely disastrous”.

The museum, which is housed on part of the former RAF Neatishead site near Horning, traces the history and development of air defence radar since its invention in 1935.

It has won several awards over the years, including the best small visitor attraction in England in the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence.

The news has come at a particularly poignant time as the country prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of a key Battle of Britain date - September 15, 1940 - the day the RAF was said to have secured victory in the home air battle.

“We had a fire inspection on Monday and the letter arrived on Thursday saying the situation was no longer acceptable,” said Mr Robb.

“We had no choice but to close.

“I am not sure what will happen now, the figure that needs to be spent on new fire exits and so on is probably around £40,000 to £50,000.

“We have had very good numbers visiting the museum all year which makes it all the more difficult.”

Mr Robb said he wanted people to know about the closure as soon as possible so potential visitors did not have a wasted journey.

Group visit organisers who have already arranged visits and paid deposits will be contacted by Mr Robb during the coming week.

Mr Robb said that he and the board of trustees would like to apologise to their loyal volunteers, friends and visitors.

“We hope that a reopening will be possible in the near future.”

The museum had opening days of Tuesdays, Thursdays and the second Saturday each month, as well as bank holiday Mondays and other days by arrangement.

As recently as February, staff and volunteers at the museum learnt they had a new benefactor in the shape of the Royal Air Force Fighter Control Association which adopted the museum as its charity for the year.





from
Norfolk museum set to close - Norfolk News - EDP24

Air defence museum closes suddenly - Norfolk News - EDP24
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Old 29th Aug 2010, 09:46
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"Failed a fire inspection" - so when was the previous one, has the requirement changed? If not how come it passed the first and failed the second? Is someone shifting goal posts here?
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Old 29th Aug 2010, 10:18
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Sad to hear about this. I visited in 2005, some 21 years after I left following a tour as a DSE, and it was weird to see stuff that had been a part of my career described as museum pieces. I found it fascinating from a personal level but wondered at its broader appeal. What a shame that it should close for an admin reason rather than a lack of popularity. Lets hope a solution can be found.
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Old 29th Aug 2010, 20:08
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Most of the site, including the R3 bunker was sold off in 2006/7 (the current 'for sale' signs have nothing to do with the MoD). A few of the buildings on the site including the R30 and the T84 Radar still belong to the MoD as part of the Remote Radar Head. It is most likely the MoD forcing the museum trustees into paying for the land instead of gifting it, However the R30 and T84 have preservation orders on them, hence anybody who buys them can do nothing with them.

One other thing to note is the place hosts a quite big collection of stuff from RAF Coltishall.
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Old 1st Sep 2010, 09:08
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BBC News Coverage

The story has also had BBC News coverage BBC - RAF Neatishead's Radar Museum in Norfolk closes down

Fingers crossed someone is able to come up the the money to upgrade the fire detection system etc so this wonderful museum may continue to operate. Especially considering this year is the 70th aninversary of the Battle of Britain, in which the key role radar played is well documented in the RAFADRM.
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