For nearly 80 years, thousands of men and women, military and civilian, crossed the River Ore from Orford Quay to serve their country in top-secret work. They were responsible for an astonishing series of developments in weaponry and defence systems vital to the outcome of the 20th-century world conflicts. Despite displaying resourcefulness, brilliance, perseverance and courage in often adverse conditions, their achievements have gone almost unrecognised.
The late Paddy Heazell (who was a National Trust volunteer and had written "Most Secret - The Hidden History of Orford Ness") proposed a memorial on Orford Quay to encourage visitors to find out more about these scientific and technical achievements. The Orford Town Trust, Orford Museum, National Trust, and the Touching the Tide Landscape Partnership Scheme commissioned proposals from local sculptors. The winning design by Charlotte Howarth is sculpted and engraved in Yorkstone and can now be seen on Orford Quay.
We are hoping to meet people who worked on Orford Ness for organisations such as the Ministry of Defence, Royal Aircraft Establisment, Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Royal Air Force and Cobra Mist. We are also keen to meet those involved who built, equipped, and maintained the various test laboratories and infrastructure. This will enable future generations to explore the history and significance of this iconic Suffolk site by listening first hand to those who worked there.
If you can help, please contact our Archivist by initially speaking to us at Orford Ness on 01394 450900 or email Orford Ness