Outing to the Battle of Britain Command Centre 21st Feb 2019
We all arrived in our own cars at the Uxbridge Command Centre at 10 a.m. in good time for a coffee (and cake) in the new Visitor Centre cafe.
We then had time to look around the exhibits in the Centre. These included full scale, fully detailed replicas of a Spitfire and a Hurricane flying above a hall full of interesting items, from an air raid siren to a Merlin engine, an explanation of the new Radar system, and many other exhibits. The corridor leading into the main part of the hall was lined with graphics detailing the development of aerial warfare from airships to the Spitfire and beyond.
We were then led on a tour of the Command Centre itself. An inconspicuous grey concrete entrance went down into the earth to a series of rooms, 60 feet under a massive concrete slab designed to withstand a direct hit by the most powerful bombs then in existence.
From this room all the aerial combat in the South Eastern sector of England was directed
against the invading Nazi bombers and fighters. The central plotting table, with
its map of the South East and the Channel and the markers showing the positions of
all the aircraft was laid out as it was on a day during the Battle of Britain in
1940. On the wall behind the was the system of lights showing the state of each squadron
at the time -
Our very good guide took us through a typical day of combat in a most interesting and informative way.