The Siren Board

Discussion of Outdoor Warning Systems
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 2:40 pm 
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Real Name: Alfie Woolard
YouTube Username: Alfie Woolard
Discord: Alfie
Location: South East England, UK
Before I start I want to make certain that all my information has been found from the newly revived German website that is all about compressed air sirens:
https://www.hochleistungssirene.de/
Therefore all credit goes to them and to the publishers of the Home Office reports on the matter.


Fairly recently I got notification that the website was being revamped and its new design would be rolled out on May 1st. I then forgot completely until Synther gave me this very interesting link:
https://www.hochleistungssirene.de/inde ... te/england
This page contained these VERY interesting PDFs:
https://www.hochleistungssirene.de/inde ... e-1971.pdf
https://www.hochleistungssirene.de/inde ... 27-136.pdf
https://www.hochleistungssirene.de/inde ... 12-932.pdf

The story of the UK HLS trials is summarised here:
http://www.ringbell.co.uk/ukwmo/Page216.htm#pneu

To cut to the chase, concerns were raised within the Home Office about the inadequacy of the 7000 sirens installed throughout the UK during the course of the Second World War, with the majority of these sirens being in towns and cities. This was fine for the war, as bombing raids focussed on the cities, fuel was rationed and general movement from city to countryside was miniscule during this time. However, times had changed since the war with the dawn of the atomic bomb, and so the entire country had to have sufficient warning siren coverage. The second PDF link covers this in great detail, showing how compressed air omnidirectional sirens were far superior to the standard sirens the country was using. To paraphrase from the file, the pneumatic sirens had quintuple the performance of the standard electromechanical sirens, with the standard siren range being 3/4 mile compared wo the HLS' 3 mile range. According to the articles, the country searched everywhere for a siren to fill the gaps the present system had, and only the pneumatic sirens installed in the Federal German Republic were suitable for the task. Around 2000 (most likely less in reality) would be required to give adequate warning to those in the country.

Thusly, some testing was in order and this is where the UK's only two pneumatic sirens were installed.
A Pintsch Bamag Anlage 2 was installed as a demonstration unit at the then Army Apprentice School in Harrogate, as shown here:
https://www.hochleistungssirene.de/inde ... ice-school
All the plant what would normally be in a bunker was installed above ground. The sketch on the page shows what the siren would have looked like. No-one knows for sure when it was installed or removed and a sketch is all we have of what it looked like. According to the report PDFs, the signals that came with the PB sirens were the standard attack warning and all-clear, however there would also be two more signals, the Atomic, Biological or Chemical signal and the fire signal. Put basically, these sirens (2000 of them no less) would be following the German warning signals, despite being used in a different country, while being juxtaposed with the signals the 7000 pre-existing warning points would be using.

A Hörmann F71 was installed in Knaresborough, Plompton (what a name) on the land of Windgate farm:
https://www.hochleistungssirene.de/inde ... ngate-farm
Co-ordinates are available in the pages by the way. The theme of a British F71 might ring a bell to some of you, because, according to hochleistungssirene.de, the F71 seen in Sound An Alarm, the 1971 UKWMO public service video (skip to 8:25 for siren):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3y0WmONP4E
is indeed the F71 installed on British soil. So there we have it, the recording isn't from a German promotional video. At least, it isn't according to the Germans. It seems that, unlike the PB sirens, Hörmann allowed flexibility in their siren controllers and so this is why a standard attack signal and yelp signal are heard in the video. One thing to consider though is that these could be synthesised signals, as it is rather obvious the UK siren sounds are synthesised in the video. Unfortunately, the siren has been removed without a trace on satellite view.

Unfortunately, it seems that the plan to install any pneumatic siren fell through before a rollout could be commissioned. This could be due to the immense cost of the project, about £16,000,000, the fact that Pintsch Bamag was going bust and the fact the UK was running out of money, however the real reason isn't known. I highly recommend reading the ringbell.uk article I linked to at the top of the post which discusses the problems and shortcomings the UK's siren system had, and why having these high performance sirens imported from Germany would have essentially fixed the problem.

Anyway, thought it was interesting to see that the UK did, at one point, have an HLS or two knocking about.

_________________
Alfie Woolard
Federal Signal MC know-it-all.
Installed, initiated and maintains school campus warning system.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtGVVz ... 8BQ47VmdHg


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