Site Name: Trimingham 'QLE' CEW R1 Rotor Radar Station
Trimingham Radar Station was established in late 1941 as an army coastal
defence radar station for detecting German E-Boats and low flying aircraft;
it was equipped with a CD Mk.4 radar.
||Trimingham was also chosen as an 'Oboe'
station equipped with Type 9000 equipment for navigational purposes
to assist bombers to pinpoint European targets.
It was transferred from the War Office to the Air Ministry on 29.4.1942
becoming a Chain
Home Extra Low (CHEL)/CD with a Type 54 radar on a 200 foot
tower. The 'Oboe' equipment had been removed by 1945. In 1947 Trimingham
was placed in the Northern Signals Area under 90 Group.
On 15.4.1948 Trimingham was placed in care and maintenance but was
once again operational from 1.6.1949 and on 17.2.1950 the CHEL was transferred
from 90 Group to Fighter Command and from 1.11.1951 was renamed 432
In June 1950 RAF Trimingham was selected for the ROTOR programme as a Centimetric Early Warning Station (CEW). In the provisional
plan (17.12.1950) the station was to be equipped with, the Type
54 CHEL radar on A 200 foot tower one Type
13 Mk IV height finding radar on a plinth, one Type 14 Mk. 8 (on
a plinth) and one Type
14 Mk. 9 (on a gantry) surveillance radars. The station was completed
in November 1952 coming on line early the following year.
c.1945 view of RAF Trimingham click to enlarge
RAF Trimingham guardhouse in 2005
Photo by Nick Catford
Operations were centred in an R1 single level underground bunker accessed
from the rear of a standard ROTOR guardhouse/bungalow, consisting of
a single storey building with a pitched tile roof and a verandah at
the front. At the rear is a square stairwell and plant entrance with
a flat roof. Internally there was a guardroom, armoury, stores and rest
|In August 1952 Trimingham was selected
as the location for the first production Type
80 Mk1 search radar. The installation of the new Type 80 was
delayed and an American Type AN-FPS
3 (on a 25 foot gantry) long range radar and an AN/TPS10 height
finder were installed.
The Type 80 was finally installed in 1954 and handed over to the
RAF on 10.2.1955 making the two Type 14's redundant, these were
dismantled and removed. This was one of five Type 80 Mk 1's installed
throughout the UK.
RAF Trimingham in 1950's - click photo to enlarge
Trimingham was retained as a CEW station under the 1958 plan closing
on 15.2.1961, it had also continued in its CHEL role utilising the Type
54 Mk3 during this period.
Photo: RAF Trimingham
Type 80 radar in 1963
In 1965, air photographs show the station had been largely dismantled
and all the radar arrays had been removed apart from the Type 54 behind
Beacon Hill Cottage; but that was gone by 1972. By 1981 the station
was closed and the site had been sold and the guardhouse converted into
a private house.
Trimingham was repurchased by the RAF in the late 1980's with the installation
of a Marconi Type
91 'Martello' radar operated by 432 Signals Unit acting as a Ready
Platform (along with RAF Hopton
and RAF Weybourne) for the UKADGE Series II (Upgraded Air Defence Ground
Environment) Radar System controlled from the R3 underground control
centre at RAF Neatishead. The guardhouse was converted into crew accommodation,
offices and basic mess facilities. An upper storey was created in the
roof space and the external verandah along the front of the building
The earth mound covering the bunker was removed and the site shaved
to the concrete roof of the bunker. This was then built up with the
ready platform on top of a new grassed mound. Roads were then made to
allow vehicle access to the top surface, on which the remote radars
would be sited. In May 1987 the Type 91 there was sold to the Turkish
Ministry of Defence and it was replaced by a Type 93 (Plessey type ADGE-305,
NATO designation TGRI 50011) that had been moved from Hopton. Following
the removal of the Type 93 Hopton closed.
RAF Trimingham Type 93 radar. The original ROTOR guardhouse can
be seen at the bottom of the picture
Although originally a mobile installation in December 1997 the Type
93 was given a permanent mounting with a Kevlon dome composed of
irregular polygons erected around it. The Type 93 is still operational
feeding data back to the Control and Reporting Centres (CRC's) at RAF
Boulmer in Northumberland and RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire. RAF Neatishead
has now been downgraded to a remote radar head which is actually at
Trimingham. Neatishead only being retained as the circuits from Trimingham
pass through Neatishead
for further information and photographs of RAF Trimingham
Last updated 4th August 2008
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