March 2014

So here it is – our first website. Fairly simple for now, but the best way – we thought – to share our vision for an Adastral Park Heritage Group, find out if you’d be interested in joining us and start gathering your stories and other items.

It’s nearly 45 years since the Post Office moved its R&D from Dollis Hill in London, to what’s now Adastral Park, at Martlesham Heath near Ipswich. There’s less pure research going on these days, but Adastral Park is very much the hub of BT’s technical design and development. All of which means a rich and varied history, that a group of us believe is time we started collecting and sharing. Notable achievements that started life or were given a big R&D ‘kick’ at Adastral Park include:

  • Microwave Waveguide Transmission
  • Fibre Optic Transmission
     - Pioneering Research & Patents
     - Devices (Semiconductor Laser Transmitters & Receivers)
     - Submarine Cables
    - Blown Fibre
  • Electronic & Digital Telephone Switching
    - TXE2/4 & System X/Y Exchanges
    - Monarch PBX
  • Prestel
  • Customer Equipment
    - 1st generation electronic phones
  • Cellular Mobile
    - 1st generation analogue networks
    - 2nd generation digital networks

The list goes on …

We’re an informal group at present, but, over the coming months, starting with this website, we aim to get

  • more people interested, involved and the group formally organised
  • funding and other resources
  • working on a permanent heritage display area

Thanks to our site management members we already have the physical space for the display area; the podium above the car park end door of the Hub building at Adastral Park. An excellent start – we now need to fill it!

The display area would be available to Adastral Park visitors as well as workers; from those here on business, to schools and community groups. Alongside this, we aim to develop our web presence into an extensive online information and archive site.

We’d be really interested in hearing from you, especially if you’re about to leave BT and Adastral Park at the end of March.

Are you interested in contributing your stories, being part of the group or do you just want to keep up with our progress?


  1. (Now) Click Here or on Survey in the top menu, to go to our quick online survey, to let us know about your background and what interests you. 
  2. (Any Time) Click Here or on Tell Us in the top menu, to go to our general comment and contribution page.