Monday, 2 March 2009

Bulletin 25 (March 2009)

Investigating the Wireless Listening Station at Hunstanton

Documentary and photographic evidence exists of the Wireless Listening Station at Hunstanton, which was used to overhear the radio transmissions between the German Zeppelins and their home bases. The Station was one of a number along the east coast, providing vital information on the movement of these bombers.

Although we have the above evidence, the exact location of the listening hut and associated aerials is not known for certain.

Photographs and postcards show that the aerials should have been placed high on the cliffs at Hunstanton, between the lighthouse and the coastguard look out station. Sadly this area is subject to erosion, and some of the remaining evidence may have already fallen into the sea, so time is of the essence to try and records that which remains.

Angie Hibbitt liaised closely with the local authority, who were exceptionally positive and helpful, and a date was set to carry out a geophysical resistance survey in the area where we believe the aerials to have been sited. Chris Mackie contacted the local media who interviewed both him and Dave Hibbitt and kindly publicised the survey and the story of the listening post. Almost immediately, members of the public started to contact Chris, with many pieces of very useful information.

On the day of the survey, Hunstanton was wreathed in a wet cold sea mist obscuring most of the survey site. However, geophysicists are a hardy bunch and the survey was carried out, with the assistance of GWAG members, Charlie Middleton, and Chris Mackie, clip board in hand, who chatted to the numerous visitors, both casual and in response to the media pieces.

The day was a success – with the surveyors, Grid Nine, reporting anomalies that could be associated with the masts, and thus be of potential archaeological significance for the project. Huge amounts of information were received from members of the public, and as a result, we will be returning in the near future to survey a second area, in an attempt to locate the site of the listening huts themselves.