Bawdsey misses out

THERE was disappointment last night after Bawdsey Transmitter Block missed out on the £3million Restoration jackpot.The building, which was integral to the production of radar and consequently played a pivotal role in the Second World War, was one of the eight finalists in the BBC Two series, which is dedicated to the rescue of the country's heritage.

THERE was disappointment last night after Bawdsey Transmitter Block missed out on the £3million Restoration jackpot.

The building, which was integral to the production of radar and consequently played a pivotal role in the Second World War, was one of the eight finalists in the BBC Two series, which is dedicated to the rescue of the country's heritage.

However, it failed to win the £3m lifeline put forward by the Restoration programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund to bring the winning building back to its former glory.

More than 750,000 votes were cast in the final and Restoration presenter Griff Rhys Jones announced last night that the prize fund had gone to Old Grammar School in Birmingham, a 12th-Century church and a 15th-Century timber-framed house, known as the Saracen's Head.

The grade II listed structure, based in the grounds of Bawdsey Manor, was the site of pioneering research on radar by a group of scientists, including the physicist Professor Robert Watson-Watt.

Bawdsey radar station became operational in 1936 and was the first in a chain of radar bases that surrounded the east of England, which were invaluable during the Battle of Britain.

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It was used as a RAF base through the Cold War until the 1990s, but operations were eventually ceased and the station was closed, with the last transmitter mast being dismantled in 2000.

The concrete is now crumbling and it is in desperate need of restoration. Mary Wain, chairman of the Bawdsey Radar Group, said it would only need £250,000 to get the building into a fit state, although more funding would be needed for a planned visitors' centre.

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