The Decca Legacy


Engineering and Technology Magazine February 2011

The Decca Legacy
by RL Burr and EO Grove; £20.00.

Through the period 1949 to 2009 a great many radar equipments were designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned around the world by a company that began life as Decca Radar of Brixton, London. This book marks this 60-year period by recording some significant achievements of the Decca, Plessey, Siemens and BAe Systems engineers.

The authors joined Decca Radar in the 1950s and were employed by the company for most of their careers, both retiring in the 1990s. Prior to the Second World War, the Decca Company was a leading producer of recorded music and record players. It went on to produce television and radio sets. During the war, Decca was approached by the Ministry of Defence to manufacture a navigational aid that was to be used for the D-Day landings. This led to the creation of the Decca Navigator Company.

The Decca Radar Company was founded in 1948 out of the Navigator Company to address an increasing demand for marine radars.

The book is amply illustrated with photographs of the radar equipment and the people involved in its design and manufacture. The majority of its chapters cover specific types of radar, such as marine, air traffic, air defence, and meteorological. Further chapters cover site locations, display and signal processing, navaids, special products such as electronic warfare and laser systems, and research and development.

This is an interesting and informative book on the history of a well-known and important British engineering company.

John Couplan

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