Radar Recollections - A Bournemouth University / CHiDE / HLF project


Wht Worth Matravers - Daily Life at TRE Worth

Although 'Taffy' Bowen seemed unimpressed with the situation at Worth in May 1940, most of the others scientists who arrived soon settled in and seemed satisfied with their 'lot'. At least the site was purpose built for cutting edge radar research. The huts seemed spacious in comparison to the cramped premises at Dundee. The blast walls made the huts gloomy and there was always thick glutinous mud everywhere in winter. The main mode of transport between the 5 sites (and into Swanage) was the bicycle.

An aerial view of TRE Worth
An Aerial view of TRE Worth

Initially, work proceeded on a seven-day basis and the rest day was 'staggered' so that six sevenths of the staff were on duty at any given time. By 1941, Saturday became the rest day in order that staff were on duty on Sunday to participate in the 'Sunday Soviets'.
There were special church services held in Langton Church for the men after work on a Friday, once a month.

The influence of TRE grew steadily through the summer of 1940. Attentions were shifting away from purely defensive systems such as CH etc and more towards offensive needs. Hence, by 1942, some 25% of the work carried out here was for Bomber command.

The arrival of the cavity Magnetron in July 1940 meant that work could forge ahead to produce operational 10 cm radar that could be used on land, on sea and in the air.

Bomb blast protection around a laboratory hut
A GCI Aerial Unit & Rig

The scientists were happy and productive at Worth and the results are apparent….the move to Malvern was not welcomed in the same way….either by the scientists or by the Malvern residents.

Link to "Achievements at Worth"
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G. E. Bacon
S. Ratcliffe(1)
S. Ratcliffe(2)
S. Ratcliffe(3)
A. I. Llewelyn
A. I. Llewelyn
A. E. Bennett