Bunker 13 – RAF Blakelaw
RAF Blakelaw was a WW2 Royal Air Force Fighter command station based at what is now Kenton Bar in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
It’s location was chosen before September 1938 and a temporary surface station was brought into use by July 1939 to coincide with the formation of 13 group which controlled fighters north of the Humber and throughout Scotland.
The permanent underground bunker was completed and became fully operational on December 3rd 1939 at 23:59hrs.
Although the site is now surrounded by new houses the Bunker still exists and is listed grade II
The Bunker formed part of the revolutionary air defence system devised by Dowding.
This comprised an integrated air defence system which included:
Radar (whose potential Dowding was among the first to appreciate).
Human observers (including the Royal Observer Corps), who filled crucial gaps in what radar was capable of detecting at the time (the early radar systems, for example, did not provide good information on the altitude of incoming German aircraft),
Radio control of aircraft.
The whole network was tied together, in many cases, by dedicated phone links buried sufficiently deeply to provide protection against bombing. The network had its apex (and Dowding his own headquarters) at RAF Bentley Priory, a converted country house on the outskirts of London.
Bunker13 Ltd is currently unable to arrange visits to the bunker.
Look North visit 2015