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RAF Menwith Hill

Free Photos, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Article By: Dave Roberts

First Published: 19 April 2011

Whatever your political point of view, RAF Menwith Hill is very much an awesome sight at any time of day. When I was much younger, visiting either the Yorkshire Dales or Harrogate, the route there and home would often include a drive past what my sister and I named the 'Giant Golf Balls'.

Sitting as it does on the skyline of the hills with its several, large, spherical structures, it still to this day looks like a piece of modern art, such an un-natural form set high upon a moorland. Unlike its sister site at Fylingdales, Menwith Hill has kept the globes which add something - rather than detract from the surrounding countryside. Although I'm sure that opinions will vary on that.

This photo was taken just as the sun was vanishing westward over the horizon, lighting up the sky with a reddish glow. A shot which I just couldn't resist, although I did wonder if while taking the shot - that I may get a tap on the shoulder from security. I decided that if the RAF were't happy for it to be seen, they would obscure it from view.

I suppose those kind of feelings come from the many so called peace protesters who gained fame during the mid 1980s to mid 1990s with their protests at Menwith Hill. The peace protesters are long gone now, but everywhere I looked CCTV cameras were in place observing and ready, should they (the protesters) ever return.

RAF Menwith Hill is a Royal Air Force early warning station on the York Rd near Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Reported on Wikipedia as providing communications and intelligence support services to the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The site contains an extensive satellite ground station and is a communications intercept and missile warning site and has been described as the largest electronic monitoring station in the world.





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