The Transmitter Block on the Bawdsey Manor Estate and its unique “Magic Ear” exhibition tells the story of the 'invention that changed the world'. It reveals how scientists, engineers and technicians came together at Bawdsey in the 1930s in total secrecy to prove that radio waves could locate aeroplanes, ships and other targets and develop what became known as radar. RAF Bawdsey became the world’s first operational radar station in 1937 and radar was pivotal to the Battle of Britain in 1940. Other displays feature the lives of the people who d operatored it. Women, as WAAFs, played a big role in this technology and as such were working on the front line during WW2.
In 2015 Bawdsey Radar was awarded a grant of £1.4 million for a project to conserve the Transmitter Block and develop a new exhibition within it. The project has reached the point where work can commence on the fabric of the building. This means the Block will close at the end of August this year (2016). There will however be an opportunity to visit the Block on Sunday 11th September when it will be open as part of Heritage Open Day. The Block will be completely empty but entry will be free and it will be a wonderful opportunity to get an idea of what it may heve been like in its original state and find out more about Bawdsey Radar's plans for it