After my initial training at RAF West Kirby, apart from one short break, I completed my remaining service at West Beckham, during which time I was mostly at Bard Hill. The domestic site was near the village of Bodham and it accommodated about a hundred souls and the whole complex of RAF West Beckham was completed by 'Bard Hill', a CHL (Chain Home Low) station about six miles distant.
I moved into a room at Bodham for six people, which had an adequate small coke burning stove with doors, and a four-drawer chest of drawers; luxury. I was allocated to CH at 'A' Site West Beckham for the first few days, where I was introduced to the 'K' Type equipment, which was ex-naval ships gear situated above ground in a couple of huts under one of the steel towers. The operators display was similar to the CHL PPI, but here similarity ended. The wavelength was ten centimetres, and the transmitted power reached a rotating parabola mounted half-way up the tower, by passing up a hollow waveguide of internal dimension ten centimetres by two centimetres, closed by a mica window at the parabola end.
Air pressure was maintained in the waveguide to keep out damp air by a compressor in the 'engine room,' so called because of the difference between the power systems of CHL and K Type. With CH or CHL you simply entered the receiver room and operated switches connected to the normal mains supply. K Type was designed for use on ships where basic electrical supply is not 200-220v 50Hertz. To fire-up this gear, your first job was to operate the star/delta switch for the compressor. The second was to operate another star/delta switch, starting a generator of 200-220v which provided the proper output voltage and frequency required by the naval generator to provide all necessary power to the transmitter and receiver. K Type was originally installed to detect the low-flying aircraft that CH could not, but for about the first fifteen miles from the station out to sea, it detected the tops of high waves, flocks of birds, the Goodwin Sands and ships.
We had to provide a continuous watch when the Cromer lifeboat was on standby, which only happened in my time when ships were too close, or had gone aground, on the Goodwins, usually at night.We were in land-line communication with Cromer, and gave them a position for the lifeboat when requested.