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29 February 2016

crown and castle

A visit to the wonderful Lavenham Press who print the Persephone Biannually and Catalogue led seamlessly to a comfortable and restorative night at the Crown and Castle in Orford; it has been a hostelry for eight hundred years. In May 1935 Robert Watson Watt started to stay there for weekends, driving every Friday afternoon  from Slough. He made the first experiments on Orford Ness using radio waves to detect incoming aircraft – the system that was to become radar, and without which we might well have lost the Battle of Britain in 1940. After dinner in the hotel, Watson Watt would discuss his ideas with his colleagues long into the night.  Cf. also the BBC TV play in 2014 – Castles in the Sky.

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