Revealed: the top secret wartime work of the hut on top of a hill near Sheringham
06:30 31 July 2014
Archant Norfolk 2014
The eight-sided concrete scar on a north Norfolk hilltop has a top secret war story to tell.
The mark on the summit of Beeston Bump near Sheringham is the outline of a Y Station - a listening post spying on enemy boats during the Second World War.
Information gathered by the staff, usually German-speaking Royal Navy Wren women, was fed to commanders who would despatch boats to sink them - or was whisked to the famous Bletchley Park codebreaking teams.
Now the vital wartime role of the station is being told through a new information board.
Local research shows the hut on top of the concrete base had double-skinned wooden walls filled with shingle to make them splinter- or bullet-proof.
Y stations got their name from being wireless intercept stations - which became WI and Y for phonetic or security purposes.
There were several along the south and east coasts of England listening to the chatterings from German E-Boats.
Coded information for Bletchley was taken by motorcycle courier because it was more secure than the airwaves.
Working with stations at Trimingham and Hemsby a locational “fix” could be passed to Navy chiefs who would send Motor Torpedo Boats or Motor Gun Boats from Lowestoft or Great Yarmouth - sparking fierce battles.
The Wrens manning the stations had to sign the Official Secrets Act and were unable to discuss their work for 30 years. But their role was later outlined in a book called They Listened in Secret.
The Beeston Bump board was put up by the Sheringham Enhancement Group thanks to a £400 grant from the East of England Co-Op and design provided for free by Graphic Edge in the town.
Group spokesman Diane Evans said a copy of the information board would also be placed in the Sheringham Museum at the Mo, so that those who cannot manage the walk up the Bump would be able to view the information too.