Watton & District Rotary Club had a recent visit to Langham Dome a WW2 Training Facility at Langham Airfield on the North Norfolk Coast.
The Dome was a ‘State of the Art’ AA (anti-aircraft) gunnery trainer, trainee gunners were schooled in in accuracy using ground-breaking-stop-frame film technology developed in 1940 which ‘simulated’ air attacks by projecting images of enemy aircraft onto the interior roof of the dome, some 25ft tall and 40ft diameter.
Some 40 domes were built during WW2 around the country generally at airfields, and some were in use until the 1960’s, but were then decommissioned, and many then fell into disrepair, and there are only 3 now left, including Langham.
Langham Airfield including the Dome was bought by Bernard Mathews for pig production, who then provided financial and practical assistance, along with other organisations when Langham Dome Trust was formed to restore the dome approx. 8 years ago, and it is serviced and maintained by the Friends of Langham Dome.
The dome now provides a museum of the era and has practical facilities where visitors can have a go at shooting down enemy aircraft and experience what it was like during WW2 when the dome was in use.
The Friends of Langham Dome have a current project with a group of UEA Students to develop a system that will signify ‘hits’ on aircraft by visitors, which will be recorded so that visitors can compete with each other in competition.
The dome site is now enhanced by a replica Spitfire erected on a pole in the memorial gardens around the dome, where light refreshments can be enjoyed.
Our afternoon visit was with 16 members and guests, and was preceded by a very pleasant lunch at the nearby Chequers Inn, Binham.
Watton & District Rotary Club