RAF radar museum at Neatishead appeals for helpers

An award-winning Norfolk radar museum is scanning the area to find more volunteers.

The RAF Air Defence Radar Museum at Neatishead has bounced back from an enforced temporary closure last year to meet fire safety requirements and is looking towards a winter re-jig of its displays and soon having a home to call its own.

It is planned to do a major rethink of how the museum tells the story of radar from its early days through its vital role in the Cold War.

Curator Chris Morshead said the museum had a team of 50 volunteers, ranging from a 'hard core' of 15 regulars to others who gave what time they could including one man from Bournemouth who helped out on his holidays three times a year.

But they could do with more, with a range of skills to do tasks ranging from manning the cafe and being guides, to doing maintenance work.

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'We could do with more people to help with the planning and the donkey work during the autumn and winter,' he added. Helpers did not have to have experience of radar.

The museum was voted best small visitor attraction in England in the 2007 Enjoy England Awards, and attracts about 5,000 people a year, from former RAF personnel to modern-day students. There is also still a working radar station on the site.

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Mr Morhouse said this past summer had been a successful one with numbers holding up in the recession. And the museum was still waiting to buy its site from the Ministry of Defence, which would give it more freedom.

'We are waiting for the RAF to do some work segregating its part of the site before it is finalised. Until then we cannot do things like installing lifts to make it more disabled-friendly, and changing things such as the large gents toilet and small ladies one which date back from a male-dominated site,' he added.

The museum also has an RAF Coltishall Memorial Room, including a rabbit mascot belonging to flying ace Douglas Bader, a Jaguar jet cockpit and

real time radar display, showing aircraft in the skies around East Anglia and beyond.

Anyone interested should contact Mr Morshead on 01692 631485, volunteer Brian Crane on 07505 914029, or visit the website www.radarmuseum.co.uk

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