Bawdsey R3 ROTOR Bunker - September 2016

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jsp77

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During WW2, RAF Bawdsey was identified as a potential target and in September 1939 was protected by three 40mm Bofors guns and two .303 Lewis anti-aircraft guns. With an increased fear of a German invasion, these defences were supplement in 1940 by slit trenches, sandbag gun emplacements, a concrete gun post and at least ten type 24 pillboxes; nine of these still survive. There were several attacks on the station during 1940 which did little damage with no casualties and on 18th October 1940 anti-aircraft gunners shot down a German bomber. Sporadic attacks continued over the following three years with some loss of life; the last bombing raid near Bawdsey was on 30th June 1944. A V1 rocket crashed on the beach on 21st September 1944 and a V2 detonated over the sea on 9th October.


In 1950 the station was chosen to participate in the ROTOR programme which involved the construction of a new underground operations room on a new 21 acre site on the north side of the Bawdsey Manor estate; this was planned to be operational by January 1952 as part of the ROTOR Plan Stage 1. Work on the R3 two level underground control centre at the northern end of the site began late in 1950.

In August 1979 Bawdsey reopened as a Bloodhound Mk2 surface to air missile (SAM) site operated by C flight of No 85 Squadron. It was divided into 2 missile sections, each equipped with 6 launchers and a Type 87 fire control radar. The Type 84 modulator building (R17) was retained as a crew room and store for Bloodhound armament handling flight. A new control room was established in the R3 bunker to administer the missile control site. The new storage sheds and storage bays and protective wall are all of Bloodhound origin.

From 1984 - 85 Strike Command's (UKAIR) Interim Alternative War HQ was established in the R3 operations block while a new Strike Command Bunker was being built at High Wycombe, during the construction period the bunker at Bawdsey was given a short new lease of life. The R3 was given a refit and much new (temporary) equipment was installed. At this time the central operations room was altered and a new control cabin installed above. When the new bunker at High Wycombe was ready the team pulled out of Bawdsey, their equipment was stripped and the bunker was abandoned.

On 31st May 1990 the Bloodhound force ceased operations and in June all the missiles were withdrawn to RAF West Raynham. The RAF Ensign was lowered for the last time on the 25th March 1991 and the station closed on the 31st March.


Visited with Rubex, I have been here before but only above ground and couldn't wait to see below. After being inside for a few minutes I realised i had forgotten my tripod so all pics were taken hand held. I wouldn't advise staying down here too long, after about an hour i started to feel a bit funny, also there's plenty of mould and would strongly advise wearing a mask.​


on with the photos

29404122831_5fa826f840_b.jpg 1 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29375581832_2710fbfcc9_b.jpg 2 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29404269621_d6277b144a_b.jpg 3 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29375564462_b146eea420_b.jpg 4 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29404258491_b372080daf_b.jpg 5 by JSP 77, on Flickr

28859586774_2c715b487f_b.jpg 6 by JSP 77, on Flickr

28861996563_71d4f456ea_b.jpg 7 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29484207695_ef64945c9a_b.jpg 8 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29404134351_575f5c0d8b_b.jpg 9 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29449864756_f50366b31f_b.jpg 10 by JSP 77, on Flickr

28861967163_946f1dfdb8_b.jpg 11 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29375539722_04825266e4_b.jpg 12 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29484170375_b7b5b4a8ce_b.jpg 13 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29375530122_69c49686e8_b.jpg 14 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29195235380_d99dfe7bc9_b.jpg 15 by JSP 77, on Flickr

28859639304_10f388d567_b.jpg 16 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29404188971_6e36d17129_b.jpg 17 by JSP 77, on Flickr

29375458002_0216794d7a_b.jpg 18 by JSP 77, on Flickr

28861927863_a53e0e248a_b.jpg 19 by JSP 77, on Flickr

thanks for looking
 

Mikeymutt

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Great set there mate considering you took it handheld.I did like it down there
 

fluffy5518

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You forgot your tripod !! Mate,you must have the steadiest pair of hands in the business! Pics are great ! We stayed in here for about two hours and felt fine !
 

jsp77

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You forgot your tripod !! Mate,you must have the steadiest pair of hands in the business! Pics are great ! We stayed in here for about two hours and felt fine !

I did take quite a few pics, trying different settings and extra light. thanks Fluffy


Thats fantastic bud - really nice - thank you for sharing.

Cheers Taz
 

Brewtal

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You have taken some cracking shots there, tripod or not! Thanks for sharing.
 
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