Kent Defences => Radar, Radio, Telecomms & Sound Location => Topic started by: jael on September 07, 2010, 23:04:25

Title: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: jael on September 07, 2010, 23:04:25
Does anyone remember the Radar tower on the cliff top near what is now called the ridings?  I seem to remember it being pulled down probably in the mid 50's.  Was it part of the CHL
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: doug on September 23, 2010, 18:35:30
 information and photos of the Foreness Radar are on display at the RAF Manston History Museum, along with other radar units.
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: Scopie on March 11, 2011, 09:53:02
 :) The Radar station you are talking about is RAF Foreness. RAF Foreness was A C.H.E.L Chain Home Extra Low Station and was situated on waht is the minature golf course on the Ridings. Its three letter designator within the ROTOR system was (WJW).The station was Operational from 1953 till 1958 with a type 54 Mk 2 radar on a 200ft tower.The Type 54 was an S-band radar used to detect low flying targets. It started its life as an Army coastal defence (CD) radar used to detect coastal shipping. The narrow beam width produced by the parabolic antenna was ideal for detecting low flying aircraft close to the coast that were flying below the cover of the CH and CHL radars. The station was demolished sometime in the 1960s by Margate Borough Council, and no evidence now exsists. The site consisted of a Guardhouse that led to a single level R2 underground operations bunker. I am really interested if anyone on this forum has information at all on this site from 1953 onwards. I am in the process of putting a website together detailing all the ROTOR radar stations in the UK, the site should be up and running sometime after Easter 2011. So if you have any information please contact me.

Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: Scopie on March 11, 2011, 15:26:43
No records exsist at the National Archives relating to the station during the ROTOR period. Have also asked Margate Historical Society and the 2 Museum's at Manston and no one had anything in their archives. I am thinking about putting an advertisment in a local paper for people to come forward with information. I have done this for information on the site at Beachy Head and have been swamped with information. If its at all possible to take a photo of the plans, that would be nice if not I can forward my mailing address. Thanks Kev LJ
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: doug on March 11, 2011, 17:14:04
RAF Foreness radar station was never on the site of what is now the miniture golf course, the boundary to the golf course is the same now as it was when it was built in the 1930s.The boundary fence to the Kingsgate side of the golf course is the boundary fence to the radar site, the guardroom was to the corner of the fence with the track/footpath called the rideing.
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: Scopie on March 11, 2011, 17:41:45
Doug,
       My apologies, but information came from the English Heritage "Cold War Project", so obviously listed the wrong map reference. It seemed quite weird as I have just found a Aerial photograph from 1957 that still shows the left hand side of the golf course, but unfortunately not the RAF Site. Any details you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Do you know if the council, even demolished the R2 bunker? As looking at the location on Google earth there is no raised mound as evidence to a underground structure, as there is at other ROTOR sites. 
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: Islesy on March 12, 2011, 09:27:38
Been reading through this thread with interest Scopie, could you provide a link to your website please?
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: Scopie on March 12, 2011, 17:07:46
Islesy,
         The site is ongoing project, and I expect it to be launched sometime after Easter. Spending the next couple of weeks proof reading and carrying out administration. Will let you know when the site goes live via this forum.

Kind Regards
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: doug on March 12, 2011, 19:57:58
The RAF Manston museum, has about six photos of the site, one taken from the top of the tower, looking straight down to the top of the guardroom entrance, The chap who took the photo had to go right to the top of the tower to do some work, The top overhangs the mast, and he did say getting a 12ft wooden ladder on to the top platform was interesting. [No HEALTH AND SAFETY Nazis then]
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: Scopie on March 13, 2011, 09:18:29
When I started this research I approached the 2 museums at Manston for further information, and neither of them said they had anything. Might be worth another try, as there seems to be very little documented evidence on this site. I did a search yesterday on 1950s images of Palm Bay, and found the photograph below.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/16810493@N06/5433561893/in/photostream/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/16810493@N06/5433561893/in/photostream/)

You can see in the background the Type 54 radar on its 200ft mast to the right, and on the left the emergency exit and moist air vent for the R2 bunker.
 
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: doug on March 13, 2011, 18:55:11
Scopie do not know when you visited the RAF Manston History museum but we have had a section on local radar stations for some time,nearly all the east Kent RADAR stations were at one time or another parented by Manston,we have at least six photos of Foreness on display.
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: Scopie on March 14, 2011, 09:07:36
Doug,
       The request was sent by e-mail early last year, and I looked at them yesterday to check the reply I received. Anyway would there be any chance of getting copies of the photographs, so I could place them on the website? I was actually stationed at Manston myself in 1987 while I was serving at Ash. On my arrival at Ash we were accomodated at the former RM barracks at Deal, which was a great hoot, and we were not happy when we told we had to move to Manston. I think the move was instigated by the Station Commander (Wg Cdr) at the time, so he could have more personnel under his charge. I ended up doing nearly 30 years as a Aerospace Systems Manager (Radar Operator), and have spent a vast majority of that underground at former ROTOR Radar stations. I still look at my short time at Ash as one of my best postings, pity they did not keep the place open.

Regards Scopie
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: jael on May 28, 2011, 23:58:37
sorry i have been away, thanks for the answers proves i am not as batty as i thought.  I do have another question relating to a WAAF/RAF building that I remember in Northdown Park Road, it is now Laleham Gap School did this have any connection to Manston or the Radar?
Thanks
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: doug on June 05, 2011, 18:08:09
Laleham gap school i think was used by an auxillary air force unit[reserve] as such was probably parented by Manston.
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: jael on June 13, 2011, 23:22:12
Thanks Doug
That would account for me being taken by step-mum to watch a radar control room in action,
can anyone point me in te right direction I would like to know what Squadrons were stationed at Manston 1944/5/6
thanks.
if easier
johnlawrence46@tiscali.co.uk
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: doug on September 02, 2011, 19:26:59
squadrons based at Manston 1944/45/46. sqn 197/ 183/ 137/ 605/ 819/ 848/143/ 119/ 616/501/ 855/ 504/ 274/ 80/ 197/ 263/ 193/ 266/ 124/ 118/229/   1945.  sqn 91/ 26/ 63/ 406/ 1/ 310/ 312/ 313/ 822/ 29/ 175/ 567/
1946. sqn 567/180.
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: doug on September 30, 2011, 21:51:50
Laleham school for some reason had a Canberra fuselage section in the school field sometime, probably late 1970s early 1980s, dont krow why. no military connection with the site at that time.
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: doug on September 30, 2011, 22:04:33
Was RAF Foreness ever underground, as a single level Updated radar station, what showed above the ground level in the 1950s was more than enough for a single level. Most of the two level stations were new build. 
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: AnDy on October 01, 2011, 00:18:56
I've been told it was, but very little to back that up, one old fella did tell me that there were some tunnels there a long time ago before the pumping station was built.
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: JohnG on October 01, 2011, 20:32:11
I hope this plan will help position the Foreness CHEL Radar Station.

(http://i1028.photobucket.com/albums/y350/Williamfrederick20/ForenessCHELRadar01.jpg)
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: kyn on October 01, 2011, 20:41:25
Thank you JohnG I am sure this will be found useful  :)
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: JohnG on October 01, 2011, 20:54:16
The building was underground with a 200 foot tower.
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: wevsky on February 24, 2013, 19:47:52
When I started this research I approached the 2 museums at Manston for further information, and neither of them said they had anything. Might be worth another try, as there seems to be very little documented evidence on this site. I did a search yesterday on 1950s images of Palm Bay, and found the photograph below.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/16810493@N06/5433561893/in/photostream/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/16810493@N06/5433561893/in/photostream/)

You can see in the background the Type 54 radar on its 200ft mast to the right, and on the left the emergency exit and moist air vent for the R2 bunker.
 

the picture is set to private :(
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: doug on February 22, 2014, 19:26:11
Couple more sites for radar in Thanet during WW2 and these are RAF units not Army. North Foreland. T2 and T54  [tr 398 693]
Ramsgate  CD/ CHL T9 Mk2 [Big Ben] which I think was an attempt at tracking V.2 rockets and a T12 Set.
Title: Re: Radar Station kingsgate
Post by: doug on April 06, 2014, 19:45:53
Scopie the boss found out you were having to much fun in the fleshpots of Deal. Also when you lot were at Manston it kept me busy repairing the damage. My contract did not take in Deal.