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FTW
02-04-2010, 13:06
Afternoon all
Can anyone provide more info

Currently reading The Charterhall Story and Chap 5 page 57 states:-

"August
WEF 1 August (1944) the Unit took over Hawthornside Fixer Station from Turnhouse. A joint meeting of staff from the two Stations took place on the sixth at Bonchester Bridge Communal Site at which the site and station were inspected and then formally handed over."

Can anyone provide more info on the

Hawthornside
Bonchester Bridge Communal Site

Units
Purpose - I assume it was to broadcast a signal on a specific frequency which allowed a/c to obtian a fix

Locations of fixer stations

A Google search produces little

Hawthornside is about 3 miles SW of Bonchester Bridge which is just in the Scottish Borders near Carter Bar on the Border

MTIA

Frank

Carnaby
03-04-2010, 00:23
Hawthornside Fixer Station
Purpose - I assume it was to broadcast a signal on a specific frequency which allowed a/c to obtain a fix
To the best of my knowledge, 'Fixers' was another name for either the HF or VHF Direction Finding stations which were usually located a short distance from the airfield.

Se http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?t=3388

Graham

FTW
03-04-2010, 08:06
Morning

Thanks for that

Knowing the area there is not an airfield within 40-50 miles. Would that be considered a short distance do you think?

Regards

F

Carnaby
03-04-2010, 11:56
Knowing the area there is not an airfield within 40-50 miles. Would that be considered a short distance do you think?
Hmm, see what you mean. However I do vaguely recall something in the ORB for RAF Thornaby. During WWII that airfield had an HF D/F station about half a mile west of the airfield. In the fifties a VHF D/F hut appeared on the airfield itself. The post war ORB mentions another D/F station connected to the airfield which was located many miles away - possibly in the Barnard Castle area. See if I can locate my notes - but don't hold your breath!

Your two places mentioned are here (http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=55.40012425573897&lon=-2.676091841458323&gz=15&oz=8&gt=1). The mapping in 'Where's the Path' is superb, but the Google overlay is poor. Bing gives you a better aerial view, but their maps are dreadful as the villages are difficult to locate due to lack of font size distinction between say Hawick (population 18,000), and Bonchester Bridge(135). Nearby Newton St Boswells has 1,100 residents and is in a larger bold font. Microsoft and consistency just never go together - end of rant.

Hawthornside is here (http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=55.39982568410428%7E-2.6830244064331055&lvl=17&sty=h) in Bing

Graham

FTW
03-04-2010, 13:33
Hi

Thanks again - I'll visit the area in the next wee while - I live about 20 m north -to see if there are any remains

Another thing that I find puzzling is that the spot height for Hawthornsiode is about 230m but it is surounded by hills up to almost 600m - i would have thought that any transmitter would have been much higher. Along the A68 on both siodes of the Border there are the remains of what look like aerial foundations but for some Bonchester would be the closest settlement

I have an outstanding arrangment to visit the local archive in Hawick to reserach the locally bought presentation Spitfire so will have a search

Thanks for your help

Regards

Frank

Dave Smith
05-05-2010, 21:00
This has just appeared in the Shropshire Star. The photo shows - indistinctly in the background - a fixer station.

http://www.shropshirestar.com/pictures/2010/05/04/this-weeks-nostalgia-pictures-3/

PNK
05-05-2010, 22:50
A few years back the Shropshire Star did a series on local airfields and even included a little plan of the airfield covered. I was mightily impressed.

RadarArchive
09-05-2010, 10:52
Sorry to come into this so late, but I've only just found and registered for this forum.

Hawthornside Fixer Station was indeed a VHF/DF installation used to locate friendly aircraft, an essential part of the air defence system. D/F stations were often located on aerodromes, but these Fixer Stations seem largely to have been at remote sites, certainly in Scotland at least. I have a partial list of sites which I am still working on, but those I have located in Scotland include Hawthornside, Lamberton Moor and Outhmuir, all many miles from the nearest aerodrome.ince these installations used triangulation to pinpoint where an aircraft was, it makes sense for them to be spread across remote areas and not just co-located with aerodromes.

I hope the above is useful. My main area of knowledge is radar, which this is peripheral to as another element of the air defence system, but if I can be of further help, I am happy to do so.

Cheers,

Ian

Carnaby
09-05-2010, 18:58
Thanks for the above Ian - useful stuff, and welcome to the forum. Radar - you're talking my language :D.


Another thing that I find puzzling is that the spot height for Hawthornsiode is about 230m but it is surounded by hills up to almost 600m - i would have thought that any transmitter would have been much higher.

Being a receiving station means that height isn't important when receiving airborne signals. The old 95MU bomb store site at Lord's Bridge has been put to use by Cambridge University's Dept of Astronomy. Some of their radio telescopes are located inside the old traversed open bomb stores (http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=spttq7h02gcz&scene=4261957&lvl=2&sty=b&eo=0) as the earth banks help to shield the receiver from local electrical and radio noise.

Graham

RadarArchive
09-05-2010, 20:24
Carnaby,

Thanks for the welcome. Hope I can be of help in this forum. Whilst not disagreeing with your post, I should mention that the Hawthornside site is actually at around 280 metres. The map reference I have for it is NT 557114. I've been to the site and photographed the surviving structures many years ago, and it is just to the west of Hawthornside Farm. If you look on the Ordnance Survey map on Bing maps, there is a large cross marked on the map (no idea why), and there are a couple of the octagonal enclosure walls which you can see if you zoom right in on the aerial photo.

Cheers,

Ian

Carnaby
09-05-2010, 22:25
... on Bing maps, there is a large cross marked on the map (no idea why), and there are a couple of the octagonal enclosure walls which you can see if you zoom right in on the aerial photo.

Must be HERE (http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=55.394730829697814%7E-2.701890394091606&lvl=18&sty=h&eo=0&where1=Hawick%2C%20Scottish%20Borders) Ian.

Not sure exactly where the walls are. A case here of Bing being very much better than Google Maps.

Graham

RadarArchive
10-05-2010, 06:07
The walls are just to the north of there. If you scroll the aerial photo upwards, you can't miss them at that scale. You can then zoom in and you can see they are octagonal.

Cheers,

Ian

PETERTHEEATER
10-05-2010, 09:55
I nearly dismissed them as sewer pipe section!

RadarArchive
10-05-2010, 10:41
If you zoom in on the aerial photo as far as it will go, you can just about make out the octagonal, rather than circular, shape. That's the giveaway!

Cheers,

Ian

hootsmangreen
18-08-2010, 21:38
There is a bonchester model flying club that fly at hawthornside you could try contacting them. One of my customers flies with them I'll give him a call and see who at the club would be best to ask.

Colin