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Report - RAF Murlough Bay, Northern Ireland July 2014

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by Icecoldkitten, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Icecoldkitten

    Icecoldkitten Hooked on curiosity
    28DL Full Member

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    History
    Plan
    Type 14 radar photo

    All from Subterranea Britannica web site
    http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/sites/m/murlough_bay/

    ----------------------

    Riding round the north-eastern coast of Northern Ireland on our motorbike we found this place and stopped for a mooch. Initially disappointing, but with a small gem in the last door I looked in.

    The history: The final stage of the ROTOR Programme (Rotor 3) was to provide radar cover for the north and west of the British Isles, which were still exposed to attack, and to give low and surface level cover over the Atlantic, the absence of which prevented effective action against low flying enemy aircraft.

    Rotor 3 included five new Chain Home Extra Low (CHEL) stations equipped with Stage 1 radar equipment to enable detection and tracking of low flying aircraft. The proposed stations were at Kilchiaran, Murlough Bay, Prestatyn, Snaefell and West Myne (demolished). These were to be heavily built operations blocks, designated R11; the above ground version of an R2 bunker.
    It was hoped that The ROTOR 3 programme would be complete by 1957 and all technical aspects were classified as 'Super Priority'. Until they were completed arrangements were made to use mobile equipment in an emergency.

    The site chosen for RAF Murlough Bay (Rotor code URB) was a green field site on a plateau overlooking the sea one and a half miles south west of Murlough Bay on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland. An above ground R11 technical block was chosen because of the adverse weather conditions. Two radars were to be provided, one Type 14 Mk. IX search radar on a gantry and one Type 13 Mk. VII height finder on a plinth. A standby set house was to be located alongside the technical block. The station was to be equipped with six 60A consoles, one 61 console and two video map units. The proposed completion date for the station was April 1956.

    Original plan of main building

    14923252967_253f5de0f8_z.jpg

    Murloch Bay did have one of these radars but this picture is somewhere else.

    14923252927_2cbc0c03fc_o.jpg

    Despite the large outlay, the station had a very short operational life being reduced to inactive status by 1958. Two modern radio masts are now sited on the hilltop overlooking the technical block and within the original Rotor enclosure. Externally, the R11 technical block is in fair condition with open doors and windows, many with their glass still intact; it has now been put to agricultural use.

    Corridor of sheep shit - didn't venture too far down here as it was obvious it had been stripped out and used for animals

    14770423798_1ab3b6ab2c_b.jpg

    Inside the R11 block - the air-con unit

    14934118766_d3df9432eb_b.jpg

    The stand-by set house

    14954374341_3279657b35_b.jpg

    Inside the stand-by set house

    14770860559_7084f1f170_b.jpg

    View over the site - really quit peaceful with the view of the sea beyond the building

    14934043706_eccab69e7a_b.jpg

    Close to the road, concrete steps lead down to the base of a demolished building, which was the guardhouse. A smaller extant building alongside was for the police dogs. Internally this building has a number of half height partition walls which was the dog food preparation area. The filter beds for the sewage works can also still be seen close to the boundary

    14957512115_642ebb7ce3_b.jpg

    Washing up required

    14934056956_e23c676491_b.jpg

    1997 calendar - Readers tractors

    14956729772_65891b85a9_b.jpg

    Artifical insemination? What on earth is that...

    14770683128_1084f0e0a3_b.jpg

    Tea time

    14954280291_109dc8a615_b.jpg

    Farmer's base

    14770817680_7d96273a5d_b.jpg

    Enjoyed this explore
     

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  2. crusader

    crusader 28DL New Member
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    Re: RAF Murloch Bay, Northern Ireland July 2014

    I like the look of this :thumb reminds me of RAF Davidstow in Cornwall.
     
  3. Cuuvin

    Cuuvin 28DL Colonial Member
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    Re: RAF Murloch Bay, Northern Ireland July 2014

    new contest ! guess the what-cha-ma-call-it!

    being a Mechanical Engineering Technician (at least that's what it says on the piece of paper . . . :rolleyes: ) & the site being involved with electrical stuff, I'd hazard a guess of a desoldering tool on the left & some sort of cable insulation stripper on the right

    . . . next . . .;)
     
  4. weverall

    weverall 28DL Member
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    Re: RAF Murloch Bay, Northern Ireland July 2014

    Being of farming history.. and for some reason my first post..

    I'm pretty sure this is used to inject some sort of solution in to sheep.. it would be attached a large backpack style thing..

    potentially in protection against worms/flys/liverfluke?
     
  5. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Re: RAF Murloch Bay, Northern Ireland July 2014

    Nice report,have seen this place on DOB website and a couple of others,fascinating age of warfare I think.nicely covered.
     
  6. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Nice report, thanks.

    Just one thing though, in future please give credit to the history and pictures. Thread edited by request of copyright owner.
     
  7. Icecoldkitten

    Icecoldkitten Hooked on curiosity
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    Apologies! Terrible case of plageurism as it was the only source we could find. I do usually give a nod to the origin of the info :)
     
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