WMO03544, Church Lawford

Posted: September 9, 2012 by tchannon in Analysis, Surfacestation


WMO03544, Church Lawford

52 21 32N 01 19 53W
Altitude 107 metres

Estimated Class 5, shadow from recent satellite uplink / downlink dish, previously perhaps shadow from tree, otherwise might be Class 3, fails 2 on unstable ground cover (farming) and local site.

UHI, local site, distance, 41km Birmingham otherwise none.

Oops… I have a tenuous connection with this site, all total news to me, a shock. Way back I was deeply involved with Satellite Media Services designing the embedded electronics of a critical part of their operation out of Euston Tower, computer controlled DAT machine used unattended at independent local radio sites for recording downlink audio and controlled via a crude channel. I didn’t think they still existed but since this is a former government bunker of some kind the presence of a communications centre is no surprise.

Mention is here and yes this was part of RAF Lawford Heath.

Hmm… fun, the bunker and hey ho serious air-con back then.
“After the scrapping of UKWMO (in about 1992), the Home Office considered using this bunker as a Regional Government Headquarters in place of the one at Drakelow, but in the event this never happened”

“In 1997 the site was sold to the present owners Satellite Media Services who provide an international Internet service as well as providing the feed for IRN (Independent Radio News) and various local radio shared programmes.” actually the prime business was distribution of advertisements.

All be dead history now.


Count the dishes, sheesh. I make that 6 in view, and yes the signs say SMS so this is the site.


There is the met site and tree before the trees were removed and yet another dish installed roughly where the tree is. See aerial Google images where I make it 15 dishs now.

  1. colliemum says:

    Just a footnote: I am intrigued by the clear change in land use. These big fields to the N and NW of this installation were made up of several small ones, the boundary hedges having been grubbed up.
    Small, original fields can be seen on the google map to the SW.

    Such change of use might influence temperatures, if I understand Roger Pielke Sr correctly.

  2. Mike (UK) says:

    Interestingly you can see where a stick of bombs fell, the 2 ponds to the NNE and the one to the SSW are telling evidence. There are a lot of ponds around there caused by bombing (I live not far away). The nearest UHI is surely Rugby or Coventry?

  3. tchannon says:

    You kid, this was a definite target?

    I need to redo many of the stations in the light of experience and later knowledge, is still a learning process. A lot been and is going on behind the scenes.

  4. Mike (UK) says:

    It might have been a target, more likely is the Mosquito factory a couple of miles away that is now Rolls Royce at Ansty. Having said that the accuracy of bombs was so bad it might have been Coventry they were aiming for. Keep up the good work!