The Collingwood Collection

November 2021

The ubiquitous B40 Communications Receiver (Courtesy of the Collingwood Collection)

The Defence Electronics History Society has reported that the HMS Collingwood Collection has closed. The collection of radar and communication sets, navigation aids and its archive are to be moved off site at the earliest opportunity to store in a new location, perhaps to Yeovilton; at this future location it will come under the management of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN). The collection is being moved so that the space it occupies can be used as a Centre of Excellence for trainees and trainers. The Centre of Excellence has a ‘ready for use’ date of 31 August 2021. Notice to quit was issued on 28 March 2021, leaving little opportunity for careful packing of the valuable artefacts, including the radar from the Graf Spee and perhaps the only known Type 271 radar in the UK, the first operational centimetric radar in the world. Nick Hewitt, head of NMRN Collections and Research, has stated that NMRN is working closely with the Royal Navy to ensure that the collection will be recovered, preserved intact and held safely, and that in due course public access to the collection will be greatly improved. Until now the collection has been held within HMS Collingwood, where access to the collection has become ever more difficult due to the increased need for security.

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