Marley Close, Stockton-on-Tees was a Former Intelligence HQ for the Royal Navy? This building has been described as the first radio station the Royal Navy had which was capable of intelligence gathering at the outbreak of World War One. It was based in Stockton and eventually became part of a network of sites feeding information to the military. The “Y Station” has been described as the first line of defence against Zeppelin raids.
A local historian described how staff slept in bunks on site. Radio masts were dotted around the building, which was powered by large batteries. The house was purchased from the Navy in the 1920s and has been a private home since then.
The “Y” service stations was a network of British intelligence collection sites established during the World War 1 and used again during the Second World War. The sites were operated by a range of agencies including the Army, Navy and RAF plus the Foreign Office (MI6 and MI5), the General Post Office an receiving stations ashore and afloat. There were more than 600 receiving sets in use at Y-stations during the Second World War.
The “Y” stations tended to be of two types, for intercepting of the signals and for identifying where they were coming from. Sometimes both functions were operated at the same site, with the direction finding hut being a few hundred metres from the main interception building. The sites collected radio traffic which was then either analysed locally or if encrypted, passed for processing initially to the Admiralty Room 40 in London and during World War II to the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire.
Photograph and details courtesy of Bob Wilson (Wiki primary source).