Suffolk coast's television appearance

STORIES from Suffolk's shores will feature tonight in television's award-winning series Coast.

STORIES from Suffolk's shores will feature tonight in television's award-winning series Coast.

The team of explorers, historians, scientists and archaeologists will be delving deep into the mysterious Orford Ness spy station, looking at the county's piers and asking why artists are drawn to the county's coast, focussing on Southwold and Aldeburgh.

The journey along the 47-mile coast ends at Felixstowe, where there are sweeping aerial views of the town and footage of the port.

Historian Neil Oliver travels from King's Lynn to Felixstowe in the programme, which is on at 8pm on BBC2.

It is the third series of show and Suffolk has featured in each run.

In his visit to Orford Ness, Mr Oliver is taken on a tour of the experimental radar site from where the Cobra Mist operation was run to spy deep into the Soviet Union and China during the Cold War.

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A fan-shaped area of giant aerials was used to bounce signals off the atmosphere to watch missile tests and aircraft movements.

No-one is sure whether the system actually ever worked despite the millions of pounds spent on it.

Today there is little evidence of the American military's use of the site except the bomb-proof buildings, which are now used to transmit the BBC World Service.

Also in the programme, self-taught artist Alice Roberts tries to capture the unique beauty of Southwold which has inspired generations of painters and also learns about photography of the area, while archaeologist Mark Horton investigates the perilous state of our seaside piers.

Geographer Nicholas Crane discovers how a potentially lethal combination of tides and weather can cause catastrophic floods - looking back to the 1953 storm surge which devastated East Anglia's coast.

In Norfolk, earth scientist Hermione Cockburn meets a member of a forgotten army of women who worked in top secret on the coast to intercept German radio messages during the Second World War.

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