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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars17
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 16 November 2011
As another reviewer has mentioned, the title of this book is at least misleading if notjust downright untrue. The author, an obviously competent electronics engineer, is not very good at writing. The book is a jumble of his personal life anecdotes (interesting to him I'm sure but the rest of us?) and his experience in the avionics industry. If you have an interest in this field and are prepared to wade through this badly written text then you will extract some useful information -- but it's not likely to please you if you have any kind of literary appreciation.

Is it worth its price? Well, probably -- but it really is only a schoolboy essay made into a paperback with a technically racy title. I've given it three stars because the author has done some very interesting work but he really should have had it ghostwritten.
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on 22 December 2010
This a very engaging account of a career in avionics, beginning aged 16 with radar in the war, through post-war civil and military aids to navigation and flight safety, as well as diplomatic intrigue and a management buyout before they became fashionable. As such, it provides delightful insights into defence procurement, different attitudes to innovation between British, German and American interests, and more evidence of why Britain was unable to capitalise on the legacy of its amateur (in the best sense of the word) ingenuity after the war.
The book assumes some knowledge of electronics and radio theory, but as a lay reader, the narrative still moves along at a good readable pace- 120-odd pages in a couple of hours.
Whilst I would agree with another reviewer that this is not the book for a comprehensive account of reader work at Bawdsey Manor, it doesn't claim to be that. I think the subtitle and the clever play on words in the title, as well as the publisher's description, all make it clear what the author set out to do, and I think he has succeeded admirably. The whole point of this book is that it puts the wartime work into the wider context. Mr Goult continues with Swanage and Malvern and the part they played in the rest of the war, not least turning the tide in the Battle of the Atlantic, for more or less half of the book. This is interspersed with fascinating insights into about life on the Home Front as a young man engaged on important work, whilst also serving in the Home Guard and studying in the evenings.
The post- war account is equally fascinating. It describes cold war intrigue, political interests and the struggles of an entrepreneur against a background of important advances around such aircraft as Buccaneer and Phantom, as well as autoland systems used in civil aviation.
The author describes himself in the subtitle as a `witness'. This is typical of the modesty and self-deprecating charm perhaps typical of a generation more interested in the interest and vital importance of the work than in personal gain.
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on 24 January 2011
This is a very readable,worthwhile ,personal account of the avionics industry ,covering a career that invovled working on the development of Radar ,and moved on to other post war projects.It is not meant to be an in depth analysis of Bawdrey House , but is an account of an individuals career,and such has some very astute comments and gives the reader an insight into the important work carried out during and post war in the avionics industry.
this is a little gem of a book ,and i would reccommend it to people interested in Radar.
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on 25 December 2010
I found this to be an engaging, well-written and insightful account of the development of radar. The author's personal experiences provide the reader with a clear narrative that starts before the Second World War, and which is particularly interesting as it describes the very significant contribution made towards the war effort. Whilst there are some technical descriptions, these never interfere with the main thrust of the book, which is a personal historical account. The post-war period is similarly fascinating in its description of events relating to the 'Cold War'.

Overall this is a an excellent read, and I recommend it to anyone with a passing interest in matters historical and/or technical.
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on 26 May 2013
I purchased this book because I am interested in the history of Bawdsey Manor - which is depicted on the book's cover. The title "Secret Location", coupled with the cover picture, suggests that this is what the book is about. As stated in a previous review, only the first 19 pages refer to Bawdsey and then only in very general, rambling terms. The next 30 pages are a meander through the author's reminiscences of his work at TRE in Swanage and Malvern.

The rest of the book is an account of Mr Goult's employment and achievements in the avionics industry. The Appendix is entitled "Everyman's guide to the evolution of radio and electronics" which may help the uninitiated reader through some of the quite technical phraseology scattered indiscriminately throughout the book.

This is an unexceptional book of one man's experiences in the development of radar and avionics. It is certainly not a book about Bawdsey Manor.
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on 14 December 2010
Don't be fooled by the title or the covers, only the first 19 pages cover Bawdsey Manor, the 'Secret Location', the rest of the book of 115 pages, excluding the Appendix, is a boring tale of the authors journey throgh his working life. If you want a book on the birth of Radar at Bawdsey Manor you must look elsewhere.
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on 9 October 2014
This book was of special interest to me as my father was involved in this project, Due to the nature of said project my father never spoke of this. Secret location, along with the TV account starring Eddie Izzard, filled in lots of blanks regarding my father's life.
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on 4 November 2014
Bit too sketchy. Could be more detailed. Not worth the £8+ that it cost.
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on 22 January 2015
Useful addition to my radar history collection.
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on 12 December 2014
Well written story about the birth of radar.
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