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Report - A.W.R.E Orford Ness, Suffolk 3/10/09

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by A man called Martyn, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. A man called Martyn

    A man called Martyn cultural theorist
    Regular User

    Aug 30, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Having found that site access did not measure up back in May, I arranged a return visit on the National Trust photography tour of the site.This time round i had all day around the A.W.R.E site.It was a very windy day on the ness.
    The Atomic weapons research establishment made use of the ness from 1954-1971, but official occupation was from 1955.It employed 300 personnel at its peak operating the sites six large test labs and bombing range, which was used for testing electronics,telemetry,ballistics and delivery(high and low altitude bombing).
    Labs 1,2,and 3 were built in the 1950s and were used in trials to test the reliability and safety of weapons like Blue Danube and Yellow Sun.
    Labs 4 and 5 (The Pagoda's) were built in the 1960s and were used for trials of WE177 bombs which were US weapons with a UK Casings.
    Lab 6 was used for centrifuge and vibration combination testing of missile warheads in the late 1960s.

    Lab 1 was built on a large raft 2ft thick concrete with over 100 piles going down 50ft.It also had a lightweight roof that was designed to blow off in the event of an accident.There was a large pit to replicate a aircraft weapons bay, where two vibrating machines built by frazer nash would subject the bomb to a replicated flight.The labs climate controls allowed for up to 28 day environmental trials.

    Test chamber of lab 1.
    Flame proof switch in lab 1.
    Rotting away at the rear of lab 1.
    Lab 2, which is similar construction to lab 1.Its only external difference being the main entrance is offset.Used for trials with a large centrifuge.
    Test chamber of lab 2, the centrifuge chamber is set at the rear.
    Trashed plant room of lab 2.
    Lab 3, was built with a concrete barrel vault roof and blast doors.Its Thermal chamber was used to subject the weapon under test to temperature extremes.
    The thermal chamber which is badly trashed.
    concrete service supports.
    Labs 4 and 5,had a multi purpose use for vibration and temperature combination testing.This was the winning design from trials at Foulness.
    Lab 5 and lab 6 in the background.
    Lab 5 plant room.
    Lab 5 plant room
    Lab 6, centrifuge and vibration combination testing of missile warheads (Polaris)
    The large Armoury building was used to store the weapons on the ness prior to testing.
    one of the storage chambers in the armoury.once again the pikeys have struck and the place is stripped.

    Control room and fire station
    The inside of the Control room is again stripped to its bare bones.
    The remains of the Hard target and its camera tower.Bombs were fired on a rocket propelled sled into the concrete to test delayed detonation.
    "Bert" Weedon likes this.

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  2. Bunkertastic

    Bunkertastic 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Jan 16, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Very nice report & photos, love that place. We recently rescued a full size, full weight concrete mockup of Blue Danube. It's 5' diameter & that's a big lorry tyre it's sitting on :eek:

    "Bert" Weedon likes this.
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