North Weald Decoy KQ

Staying local for a change to tick off those I never got round to visiting leading us to the North Weald Decoy KQ site for a nice relaxed explore.

The larger of the bunkers is accessible if your brave, or indeed stupid enough, with a sketchy collapsed entrance with nothing much to see inside, however the smaller bunker still had a few random things inside.

Checking previous reports over the years, it looks as though its been used for storage at some stage including a slightly out of place bath.

History below borrowed from

One of wartimes carefully kept secrets was the building of dummy or decoy airfields. Nazeing Common, just to the south of present day Harlow, was such a site.

Designed to be a decoy for nearby North Weald airfield, this site was for day and night use, hence the designation ‘KQ’.

The idea for dummy structures or installations was designed to attract bombs away from the real airfield, It stemmed from an idea by Colonel John Turner, a Civil Engineer who became head of ‘Works & Buildings’ with the Air Ministry.

He was instrumental in conceiving these decoy airfield sites, of which over two hundred and thirty were built. He was himself a pilot and also understood the infrastructure and design of military airfields. With his HQ in the Shepperton Film studios, his department had the knowledge of deceptive construction, the big film company’s were masters at creating an illusion from canvas and wood.

Command and control bunkers were built away from the layout of the ‘airfield’ so as to give the crews some protection. These buildings housed generators for powering the lighting and had an ops room where the the lights were operated from, and where contact could be maintained by telephone to the controlling station ie: North Weald itself. The other bunker at Nazeing was used for shelter and a general area for sleeping and cooking.