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RAF radar museum open after fire safety closure

PUBLISHED: 16:48 27 March 2011

The re-opening of the Radar Museum at Neatishead.; Outgoing manager Doug Robb with new manager Chris Morshead, left.; photo Adrian Judd

The re-opening of the Radar Museum at Neatishead.; Outgoing manager Doug Robb with new manager Chris Morshead, left.; photo Adrian Judd

Archant Norfolk 2010

A north Norfolk military museum chronicling the invention and wartime use of radar has opened its doors again after being forced to close last year over fire safety worries.

The RAF Air Defence Radar Museum in Neatishead, near Wroxham, will also get a new manager and work continues to finalise a deal to buy the site from the Ministry of Defence.

The museum, which charts the history of air defence radar since its invention in 1935, was opened at a ceremony on Saturday by Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk.

An audience of local supporters and staff from companies which carried out refurbishment work were given a tour of the museum.

It then opened to the public free from 1pm to 5pm so visitors could see the changes.

The museum will open for the summer season from Tuesday April 5.

It had closed on August 26 because of concerns that the site was not up to health and safety regulations.

Around £50,000 of work to improve the building was carried out, paid for by public donations and helped by offers from local contractors.

The museum now has a new fire escape, improved fire detectors, extinguishers and warning signs.

And from May the museum will also have a new manager as Doug Robb, 68, steps down after 14 years.

He said he is enjoying the chance to hand over the reins and has found the perfect replacement.

Incoming manager, Chris Morshead, 50, has an MA in museum studies and was living in Ascot and working at Windsor Castle.

“I spent just under 30 years in the Navy, where I was an engineer with the Fleet Air Arm,” he said.

“Once I left the Navy one of the things I was doing was helping out at museums and got hooked by the whole thing.

“This job came up and my background is radar anyway, it was a fantastic opportunity.

“What I need is the time to sit down and see how things operate.

“Once we’ve bought the real estate then we’ll know what money we’ve got left, then we can start looking at refurbishment of some of the display cases.

“You then identify the areas where you can improve things. Education is an area we want to look into developing further.

“A lot of school do already cover the Cold War for A levels and this site is steeped in that history.”

Both managers have been working together from February 1, but the official handover will take place in May.

t For more information on the museum visit www.radarmuseum.co.uk

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