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Goldsborough Radar Station

Geoffrey found this picture that shows the radar gear as it was in the 1950s.  The airmen who operated the Coast Radar were stationed on camp at East Barnby and marched down to the site each day to carry out their duties. Dave Jones tells us: ”I was stationed there from 1954 to 1956, we had the worst snow in 100 years, cut off for three weeks; ran out of food, they dropped food by helicopter; snow ploughs could not make Lythe Bank. Hey anybody remember – Dave Jones – me? (Now living in California, USA) or Nat Cole from London (now deceased); two guys from Sheffield in our six bed dormitory? What a waste of time National Service was but I met some great lads from all over UK. God Bless (Norman) “Nat” Cole from London.”. Whilst Dean Gibson tells us: ”The picture shows a Type 14 Chain Home Extra Low (CHEL) / Ground Controlled Intercept (GCI) radar. It had a frequency of 3 GHz, (10cms wavelength) giving it good definition and could pick up a bomber sized target at 90 miles flying at 6,000 feet over the sea. This provided adequate early warning against piston engine aircraft; however, for jet aircraft, due to their higher speed, greater pick-up range was required and the Type 14 gave way, in the early 50’s, to the magnificent Type 80. These were located at various sites around the UK and Germany and also on Mount Olympus, Cyprus, with four being sold to Sweden. One was installed at RAF Seaton Snook but never at RAF Goldsborough. The last Type 80 in service was at RAF Buchan, NE Scotland. I was fortunate to use that Type 80 radar in operations at RAF Buchan and was sorry to see it taken out of service in 1992 to be replaced by a modern planar phased array radar.” Geoffrey assisted with: “I took the photograph when we and the lads went down to Goldsborough pub, think it was the Fox. I was stationed at RAF Goldsborough the camp at East Barnby; it was at the time they were building the first early warning station at Fylingdales with golf ball type enclosed radar aerials. Talking about the weather I was up at Fylingdales marooned for days and yes we had food helicoptered into us. It was 1962/3, I was 19 years old on 5131 Bomb disposal and went out daily to clear the moorland for a safe build as it was used as an artillery range in the war and had to be made safe. We cleared 2 inch and 3 inch mortar bombs and 25 pound shells, very unstable with proximity fuses.” Sharon Warren commented: “My father, Peter Warren was an armourer stationed at RAF Goldsborough, about 1959/60 to about 1962 when he was posted to France. He was part of the team that had to clear the ground of any ammunition, ready for Fylingdales to be built. He was part of 5131 bomb disposal, I was born there, do you remember him?” Geoffrey responded to Sharon’s query: “I was at Goldsborough in October 1960 onwards but did not come across your father, I am so sorry I could not help. Then I was a 20 year old and now coming up 80: where have the years gone?” 

Image and information courtesy of Geoffrey Powell, also thanks to Dave Jones, Dean Gibson and Sharon Warren for the updates.

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