Attribution must be made to Roy Eames. He was a Radar Operator at Ventnor in 1955, about two years before the author arrived there and a few years ago Roy placed a small ad in the Saga magazine with the object of establishing contact with Ventnor veterans. He achieved only a limited response, but the author was amongst that number. Roy suggested that the Internet might be a good way of obtaining additional contacts, and that set the author searching too. However he very quickly discovered that there was no dedicated RAF Ventnor site, so the decision was made to attempt to create one and you are presently viewing the result. The author had the great pleasure of eventually meeting Roy at the top-site in September 2005.
Subterranea Britannica If you have not been there yet, go there now and you will not be disappointed. An enthusiastic group has compiled an extensive collection of very professionally presented photographs and descriptions of long defunct civilian and military artifacts, and the entries are updated as new information arises. The student of such will find that it is the most encyclopaedian of all the radar websites to visit, possibly because it is not overly cluttered with anecdotal information, and it is certainly a site not to be missed. However there is no significant technical description of radar equipment, and for that you would do better to stay here. Thanks are given to Subterranea Brittanica's contributor Bob Jenner for his patient provision of a number of pictures of various relevant equipment, the most appropriate of which are displayed here. I thank Bob for his ongoing interest which has encouraged and allowed many visual enhancements to this site. The link provided at the start of this paragraph connects directly to Subterranea Brittanica's most excellent Ventnor pages.Local man Nick Stotesbury managed to explore the the underground site before it was finally sealed. He has produced a most excellent video summary of the site's history and this is available at U Tube
Radar Pages deserves the acolade of being the definitive radar website as it concerns radar only and contains extensive technical information together with many pictures. With permission, the large Type 80 and colour Mekon pictures were 'borrowed' from there.The RAF Air Defence Museum at Neatishead in Norfolk is certain to be of interest and The RAF Signals Museum at Henlow in Bedfordshire, which is more about early radio, might be.
The Defence Electronics History Society treats such things in a more academic way and their site is well worth a visit.
Ventnor Heritage Museum This is the the public interface of The Ventnor and District Local History Society. The Society has premises at 11 Spring Hill, (near the central carpark in Ventnor) which houses an interesting collection of Ventnor documents, pictures and relics. Two leaflets about the wartime RDF, which may be written by 'people who were there', together with a few photographs are available for a small sum. In addition I have recently donated to the museum the text for a 35 page booklet compiled from extracts from my Ventnor pages together with the Harold Lewis, George Sutton, and Type 80 pages. Combined, these form a short unique written history of RAF Ventnor in the early cold war years. An explanation of the former CH system is also provided. Sold in aid of museum funds, this spiral bound A4 size booklet is available from the museum via the secretary at the above address in return for a cheque for £3.00 plus p&p £1.50. A direct purchase may be made from the premises but these will only be open on Saturday mornings during the winter from the end of October.
Last Flight This site provides a moving postscript: it tells in detail the story of the last moments of a Dakota which crashed on St. Boniface in 1962 shortly after the Radar site was closed and has some pictures of the terrain.
Radar - a Wartime Miracle By Latham & Stobbs.Sutton Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7509-1643-5 Published in 1996, reprinted 1997. This is without doubt the best book on the subject discovered so far, as it contains a very readable blend of technical descriptions and very many personal wartime experiences.
Pioneers of Radar By Latham & Stobbs.Sutton Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7509-2120-X Published in 1999. This is required reading for those with an interest in the early days of RDF. It consists of 59 very readable contributions from the then young recently graduated pioneers, many of whom later became well known scientists.
Eileen Younghusband BEM was a Filter Room officer at Stanmore during the war and she gives us a first hand highly interesting account of her RAF Service in her book "One Woman's War ". Sadly, since September 2016 this remarkable lady ceased to be with us at the age of 95. She had a Ventnor connection in that for a period, together with her husband they managed the Winter Gardens.
Radar on the Isle of Wight A definitive and excellent small booklet prepared by Sqdn.Leader Mike Dean who is believed to own the Historic Radar Archive. Initially one will think that the site seems to consist of a home page only, but if the tiny "Up" link at the top of the Home Page is clicked there is some information about American radar to be seen.
Radar. How it all Began by Jim Brown. Janus Publishing Company, 1996. ISBN 1-85756-212-7 A detailed insight to the development of the then 'state of the art' CH transmitter, by a man who was a key member of the small design team.
The left hand picture at the top of the Home page is taken from an oil painting by John Finch who is a respected marine and aviation artist. I am so pleased to have his blessing in displaying the full version of his unique painting to the internet world on my CH page. See John's work (and his daughter's) here.
It must also be pointed out that the picture of the Type 80 also at the top of the Home Page is not of the Ventnor radar. Painted by R.J.Singleton, it is from a limited edition of 225 prints commissioned to mark the closing of the last Type 80 at RAF Buchan, which amazingly was as recent as 1992. Having purchased one of these and as the Ventnor radar was so very similarly situated, it was felt that this was the perfect opportunity to display this unusual, nostalgic and rather beautiful painting to a wider audience of radar people. No deception was ever intended.
The three other larger pictures in the CH section and the old Type 13 picture are all from Radar Bulletin published by RAF 60 Group in October 1945 as a Victory Souvenir edition, a copy of which is in the author's possession.
Thanks are due to John Higton who has been able to provide the true dimensions of the Rotor R1 'Hole'. John has recently completed the construction of a 3D computer"walk through" model of the R1 'hole': the author has been provided with a DVD version preview and very good it is too. Should it become generally available the source will be linked here.
If you have found this site of interest then you might like to know that there are several similar sites about life in the RAF in the nineteen fifties. One such is about RAF Great Worth and this leads on to others. Much happy reading!
On Parade This page contains names of people who served at RAF Ventnor or who have made contact with reference to service at RAF Ventnor and is provided in response to requests to do so. Thanks are due to many of those people who have either corrected or prodded the author's memory, or provided additional invaluable and unique material for sole publication here.
Finally those excellent instructors at the RAF No.1 Training School at Locking deserve a mention. What they taught the author in 1956/57 served him well both in the RAF and in his later civilian career in the fledgling computer industry.
"Isle of Wight Attractions" is a good starting point for those wishing to find out more about the Isle of Wight. Simon KInsey's beautifully presented site is an interesting compendium of Island information together with many photographs and it includes a dedicated Ventnor section.
The Isle of Wight Beacon is a locally widely read monthly magazine which will give the visitor an insight to our insular life.
Ventnor Blog , now known as "On the Wight", reveals in an upbeat modern style what is happening in the Ventnor of today.
No apology is offered for this very basic style of presentation. Indeed it is believed that the very lack of cramped frames, tiny buttons and other ' bells and whistles' will be well appreciated by the eyes & brains of those over a certain age, i.e the target audience, as will be the simplicity of navigation and quantity of information provided. Note that my only knowledge of radar is that 'snapshot' of the art provided by RAF Locking in 1956/7, which will be pretty obvious to anyone employed in that field today.
If you have encountered any non-working links, please let me know. It is usually because the target website has had a change of address and I can update the link provided that I can find where the site has moved to.
Most of these pages were originally compiled on a 15 inch monitor and it is possible that occasionally you may find a photo to be incorrectly positioned and possibly obscuring the text on other sized monitors. If so try catching an edge of the frame on your display with your mouse and pull it to the left or right. Due to the HTML coding version used here getting, like me, quite a bit ancient, the site is probably best viewed in "Compatibility View". However, having said all that, on looking at the site on my newly acquired Smartphone I was pleasantly surprised to see how well Android managed to handle it.
Don Adams ........... September 2021
A few further ramblings on other totally unrelated subjects are
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Text © 2007 D.C.Adams