The Decca Legacy

Welcome to The Decca Legacy

The Website of the Book


The driving force and primary author of this book, Ron Burr, has entered his tenth decade. He worked in radar during the Second World War, subsequently joining Decca Radar, where he was Chief Engineer at the time Decca set up the radar design and manufacturing facility on the Isle of Wight. Having seen at first hand the enormous achievements attained and the advances in technology made during his lifetime, he strongly believes that an historical account should exist of the systems designed and manufactured by the company. The record would include the impact of advances in technology and would trace the changes in corporate structures and locations.

It is also a landmark time for publishing this book. Some seventy years since the concept of radar was established, sixty years since Decca Radar was registered as a company to design and manufacture radar systems (1949-2009) and fifty years since the factory at Cowes, Isle of Wight, was established.

As a step towards gathering the support needed to prepare such a history, a reunion was arranged for as many of the company's original design engineers and operations staff that could be traced, this included those that transferred from Surrey to the Isle of Wight and those that were recruited on the Island at that time. There were two reunions during 2008 at which the photographs in this chapter were taken. Since then a considerable amount of data and pictures have been received and specific text prepared, thereby turning this book into a reality.

During the compilation process a number of the contributors have sadly passed away. Their contribution is gratefully acknowledged.
`The Decca Legacy' is published as a lasting tribute to the talent, ingenuity and application of all the people engaged in this radar systems business, from the founding of Decca Radar in 1949 to the present day.

The corporate names and locations have changed due to takeovers, mergers and joint ventures, but the skill and character of the workforce and the high quality and performance of the products remain a testament to what has been, and can be, achieved in the United Kingdom.

The author hopes that this legacy will encourage current and future generations to continue this success. Some Historical Notes to the book, expanding on the detail of this introduction, are given in Appendix 1.

NEW! February 2012 - Supplement to the book

For a number of reasons, some of the events and activities which contributed to the history of the Decca, Plessey and B.A.E. periods could not be included in THE DECCA LEGACY. One of the most significant was the story of the business which was given the name PLESSEY AIRPORTS. This was not a deliberate act of omission, but occurred because at the time of writing the DECCA LEGACY, no account of it`s history was available. This has now been rectified by the issue of an excellent series of notes by Ron. Pearce. These have been used to provide the story of this business. I also took the opportunity to compile a set of anecdotes relating to some interesting, and sometimes amusing experiences which salesmen and field staff enjoyed (or suffered) during their periods with the radar companies. These will be found in part 3. Read More...

Webmaster's Note

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