Excellent! Will have to visit next time I'm home. Love these type of places.
Shame about the bunker, theres some unexplicable coolness with underground lairs, sorry bunkers :-)
During the Cold War, Neatishead in Norfolk was theoretically the worst place in the UK to live: the nearby RAF base would be target Number One if the Russians nuked us. This was brought home to me in a guided tour by a retired officer, whose old job was to run Blighty’s air defence. Standing in the 1980s-era Cold War control …
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> As a Cold War Brat, these movies always cause me major distress.
I was always pretty laid back about it. I grew up within 5 miles of three or four military installations, most of which would have been on the target list.
I wouldn't even have heard the four minute warning; there would have been a bright light and an Anonymous Coward shaped outline on the wall. It seemed a little pointless worrying about it...
visiting the Russian side and seeing the missiles which were pointed at us. It got a bit scary at one point as a load of soldiers turned up and started climbing on the missiles as if they were going to work on them. Then I realised that they were just enthusiastic visitors too.
Good god... I never expected to come on El Reg and see my old Ops Room.
That brings back so many memories from the late-80's. Standing behind the perspex with a chinograph pen in my hand, learning to write backwards. If you look closely enough you can see Phantoms from Wattisham marked up as C44+8. IIRC that's 4 IR and 4 radar guided missiles, plus plenty of cannon ammo!
Also, in the bottom left, you can see the details of the QRA flight from RAF Leuchars, with an RAF Marham tanker, all ready to go!
I will deffo be taking my son to see a bit of personal history on the 2nd weekend in April!
Should i, perhaps, point out that the bunker did indeed open up as the Ops Room in the early 90's? I can remember going down there to see all the new tech being installed in about 1990...and also having exercises that required us to be in the bunker....so it wasn't completely devastated!
I also remember a small hill in the middle of the camp that I and 3 mates had to dig out to fill sandbags when the IRA were known to be watching the camp from a farm building up a local track. Standing on that hill and watching a Jaguar fly past, BELOW my eyeline, remains an amazing memory!
I may be back during the day to add to these memories!
Depends where you're coming from!
I can still give directions from RAF Coltishall, Norwich, Gt Yarmouth, Northants....!!!
I knew the roads around there like the back of my hand! Coming from Wroxham, as you get to Horning, turn left at the staggered crossroads, follow road down, then turn right towards camp. Follow road around outskirts of base, until you get to the main gate!
From Yarmouth, it'll be a right turn at the crossroads!!
Top tip for correct pronunciations is to avoid the west country oooaarrrrrrr
for example westcountry norwich == narrrRrrrisch
norfolk == Nar ich with a short sharp r
another example is roof. Westcountry == RooooOoooooooof
norfolk its closer to ruff as in dog noise. like woofter and change the w for a short sharp r (and no ter)
Also I've been here, as a kid. whilst it was still active (they'd moved out of the control room about 5 years earlier) The amount of power it used was/is mind boggling something like 10Megawatts
regarding the accent...
BBC Radio 4 Extra has the moderately comic "Alison and Maud" in its schedule (should be available on iPlayer) Set in/near Norwich one of the supporting characters - Mr Mullet - has a fairly authentic accent. Not as impressive as Samuel in NIck Warburton's "On Mardle Fen" series though. Also the work of the Nimmo Twins.
One last thing - the homonyms. My wife criticizes the way I pronounce "bear" "beer" and "bier" exactly the same. Best thing to do though is to get yourself down to Neatishead and afterwards go for a listen to the locals. But remember to leave before night falls!
Sounds great, reminds me of Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey, which has great rocket and explosives exhibits and knowledgable volunteers, some of whom used to work there as rocket scientists, good family day out, check the weather first though as rainy days don't get all the pyrotechnics.
I remember going to Neatishead on a jolly (ahem, I mean... educational visit) from West Drayton in 1989 as a young and enthusiastic LAC scopie. It was a large, busy Ops room then. After posting to Buchan, I was told that it was "only the CRC for the south, nothing much goes on there, Buchan is where the action is".
After interminable Tankex ops over the North Sea, staring at one tanker feeding another for hours on end, I began to doubt the veracity of the WO Ops. And the story about the underground ops room not being complete is a tall tale. It was built for the latest kit that was due to be introduced sometime around 1979. It was only 11 years late - which is bang on time in Cold War RAF terms.
I too remember heady Cold War days, when all that stood between us and eating cold beetroot soup were a Type 80 at Peterhead that could give you a suntan in 60 seconds, some leaky Phantoms, and 19 year old scopies helping 22 year old FCs decide right from left. Happy days!
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