Any Chain Home stations left?

There's the shell of one overlooking Port Talbot. You can see it on the hill overlooking Margam as you drive west on the M4 west between Pyle and Port Talbot. Not much left of it. Iirc the main building is still standing and the powerhouse nearby.

Are you suggesting visiting………………….WALES!!!!!
 
There's the shell of one overlooking Port Talbot. You can see it on the hill overlooking Margam as you drive west on the M4 west between Pyle and Port Talbot. Not much left of it. Iirc the main building is still standing and the powerhouse nearby.
The Port Talbot radar was part of Chain Home Low.

Interesting info from Wiki:

Chain Home Low (CHL) was the name of a British early warning radar system operated by the RAF during World War II.[2] The name refers to CHL's ability to detect aircraft flying at altitudes below the capabilities of the original Chain Home (CH) radars, where most CHL radars were co-located. CHL could reliably detect aircraft flying as low as 500 feet (150 m).

Also:

CHL remained an important part of the Chain network for the rest of the war, and was retained in the post-war era until it was replaced during the ROTOR upgrades by the AMES Type 80.

Chain Home Low - Wikipedia
 
IIRC the ferry was left open for the local fire station to row across in a hurry if the bunker had a fire.
One of my bosses had the job of caretaking the camp when it was waiting to be reopened,
He was told off for answering the phone as station commarder.
IIRC it had to be offered back to the family of the owners who gave it up to the war effort, at 1940s price.
also sad to say had a blue on blue in ww2 that saw some booties killed
Charlie Brinkley seemed to live on his boats as he was always there at all hours of the day and night. He had timetabled sailings for the general public but also ran off-timetable ferries for the top site shift changes.

He was awarded the MBE for his unbroken service over god knows how many years - it ran irrespective of time, tide and weather. The irony was the week after receiving his MBE, he was off sick with a cold and the ferry didn't run for a couple of days. That meant everyone was faced with a 25-mile bus trip to get to Felixstowe - swimming across the Deben was a no-no due to the many dangerous currents; there's graves in Anderton church yard for those who were foolish enough to try it.

The original owners were the Quilter family; I thought the Ministry had bought the site outright in the 1930s as I don't recall any requirement for "reversion to original condition" when I was there.
 
RAF Dry Tree on the Lizard Peninsula was a Chain Home station.. There are a few remains of buildings and anchor points around. It has been years since I’ve been there (mainly shagging my girlfriend in the lay-by when I was young) so I can’t really say what it is like now. Just next to Dry Tree is Goonhilly Earth Station, which used to do tours, I’m not sure if they do now. Off thread, I could see the Goonhilly dishes from my bedroom window as a kid.


RP
 
Charlie Brinkley seemed to live on his boats as he was always there at all hours of the day and night. He had timetabled sailings for the general public but also ran off-timetable ferries for the top site shift changes.

He was awarded the MBE for his unbroken service over god knows how many years - it ran irrespective of time, tide and weather. The irony was the week after receiving his MBE, he was off sick with a cold and the ferry didn't run for a couple of days. That meant everyone was faced with a 25-mile bus trip to get to Felixstowe - swimming across the Deben was a no-no due to the many dangerous currents; there's graves in Anderton church yard for those who were foolish enough to try it.

The original owners were the Quilter family; I thought the Ministry had bought the site outright in the 1930s as I don't recall any requirement for "reversion to original condition" when I was there.
only going on what i was told by lads that were there iirc a lot of sites given in WW"2 had buy back rights.
The fire section at Bawdswy iirc was a pavillion type thing over the POL tanks,the JRM was in the Manor house ?
 
JRM in the Manor?? Christ! When I was there, the JRM was a pre-fab building (Costains?) behind the then Sgt's Mess. The singlies lived in pre-fab 10-bed chalets. The manor was the Officers Mess.

IIRC the Fire Section was a small wooden hut in the MT yard ( probably the same one you mentioned) as that was the site of the civgas and diesel pumps and Supply was in the old stables building - tech stores walls still bore hoof-marks from frisky hosses. The rubber store was the hut where game was hung by the original owners - it still had the hooks for hanging the pheasants.

True dit. The SNCO Fire was a bit of a gardener and he discovered the old fire fighting foam was a very good fertiliser as it contained ox-blood. Consequently, he used the greenhouses in the walled garden to grow crops of excellent tomatoes and other veg until some 2@t at the Stores Management Branch queried why Bawdsey was demanding shed loads of fire-fighting foam which was scaled for flying stations only.

Fantastic place to be stationed at - but like lots of other good postings, it was closed.
 
Some of the buildings associated with the Chain Home Radar Station at Craster are still there ... I have visited them several times ... they are part of a " Pillbox walk " ... self taken pic ...

DSCF4619 WL.JPG



ETA ... more info linky ... CLHG History Walks Radar Station
 

This seems to be the killer link

 
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Ok weird tangent.
Does anyone have any pictures of the top platforms on the radar towers? As in close up ones? I ask as I have a report on the idea of sticking PAC Barrages up there. No idea if it was carried out though.
 

auggie rock

Old-Salt
I'd recommend Bawdsey museum. It's a bit dry but full of great stuff if you're a radar nerd or interested in the history of RAF Bawdsey. The other recommendation I'd make is Dunkirk (the one in kent). There is only one tower still standing, but the bases of the others, several buildings, and even a Bofors tower are still to be seen. It's almost all on private land so you'd probably have to contact the owners first - although some bits are free to explore.
 

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A.N.Other

War Hero
The Port Talbot radar was part of Chain Home Low.

Interesting info from Wiki:

Chain Home Low (CHL) was the name of a British early warning radar system operated by the RAF during World War II.[2] The name refers to CHL's ability to detect aircraft flying at altitudes below the capabilities of the original Chain Home (CH) radars, where most CHL radars were co-located. CHL could reliably detect aircraft flying as low as 500 feet (150 m).

Also:

CHL remained an important part of the Chain network for the rest of the war, and was retained in the post-war era until it was replaced during the ROTOR upgrades by the AMES Type 80.

Chain Home Low - Wikipedia
My bad. I thought they were the same.
 
In the past when I looked, it was hard to discern any detail other than just photos or representations of the CH masts themselves. Found these today.

7ba14a75d9a88bb5084c9dff50edd5a5.jpg

CH1.jpg


In the following diagram, Long Wave and Short wave should be read in the context of radar wavelengths of the time, circa 1939, not broadcasting wavelengths. 20 to 55 MHz seems very low indeed and yet the Soviets were using a massive curtain array on even lower frequencies during the Cold war, for over the horizon missile detection. The long range was more important than resolution. This was known as "The Woodpecker" because of the noise it made on the shortwave radio.

R.ed7681e9e8be43859368a3c3d5e71689

Source: Chain Home and the cavity magnetron

For exciter, read "radiating element". In a television receiving antenna, there is the active element which is coupled to the coaxial cable; directors which are perhaps 5% shorter and a reflector with may be 5% wider. These help give the antenna relative gain. The CH radar antenna appears to have a stacked horizontal array of active or radiating elements. The receiving antenna diagram references a reflector.

I suppose we could imagine a massive stack of bow tie antennas fixed to a vertical mast. I picked this image as it may be familiar as a type of television antenna, with the active elements and the reflector but no director elements.

OIP.3pwtajYiYbb42C1I0-_cBwHaIo


The Radar Pages has a diagram describing the transmitting antenna as a curtain array.

chfig1.jpg

Radar Pages Home page

More on reflective array antennas here: Reflective array antenna - Wikipedia
The wiki page on curtain array antennas emphasises short wave broadcasting. The principles are very similar except that rather than directing radio waves to bounce of the ionosphere, CH was intended to bounce signals off of enemy aircraft.

Chain Home and the cavity magnetron

Chain Home Low introduced higher frequencies, more accurate altitude resolution and rotating antennas. Rather than the coordinated reports of aircraft range in order to plot a position and bearing, a single radar could now present this information on a Plan Position Indicator display.

CHL-masts.gif
1634912092076.png

Chain Home Low (CHL)
 
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JRM in the Manor?? Christ! When I was there, the JRM was a pre-fab building (Costains?) behind the then Sgt's Mess. The singlies lived in pre-fab 10-bed chalets. The manor was the Officers Mess.

IIRC the Fire Section was a small wooden hut in the MT yard ( probably the same one you mentioned) as that was the site of the civgas and diesel pumps and Supply was in the old stables building - tech stores walls still bore hoof-marks from frisky hosses. The rubber store was the hut where game was hung by the original owners - it still had the hooks for hanging the pheasants.

True dit. The SNCO Fire was a bit of a gardener and he discovered the old fire fighting foam was a very good fertiliser as it contained ox-blood. Consequently, he used the greenhouses in the walled garden to grow crops of excellent tomatoes and other veg until some 2@t at the Stores Management Branch queried why Bawdsey was demanding shed loads of fire-fighting foam which was scaled for flying stations only.

Fantastic place to be stationed at - but like lots of other good postings, it was closed.
i only went for a night tbh, ate in the hall in wood panneled rooms ,there were some new blocks with single rooms iirc.
Think the in joke at innsworth was "confusing" Bawdsey and Brawdy up, firemen on first posting from catterick thinking for a while that they were off to a busy fast jet camp,only to end up at a camp where the flying programme was only going to last the first day of WW3
 

Chef

LE
Thanks,
But it looks like it was either not installed or was removed after the war.
Correct:

The Great Baddow Mast – a former Chain Home radar transmitter tower, originally sited at RAF Canewdon – was moved to the outskirts of Great Baddow around 1954 and is used by BAE Systems for equipment testing. The last remaining example of a Chain Home tower maintaining its platforms, it was made a listed building by Historic England in October 2019 and given a Grade II status
 

Tyk

LE
Must re-read RV Jones' superlative Most Secret War...

I first read that when I was 11 still got it on my bookshelf through a fair few moves. Damn fine book, interesting bloke.

I had no idea that any of Chain Home survived, thanks for the various info posts folks.
 

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