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Ian Keyser turns his Dover home into wartime sky equipment museum

By Sam Lennon

A man has created a mini-museum of wartime spies’ equipment in his own home.

Ian Keyser has transformed his house in Church Whitfield, near Dover, into a shrine of communications equipment including radios dropped by parachute into enemy territory.

His collections also features Morse code transmitters that were carried in suitcases by Allied agents in German-occupied Europe during the Second World War.

Ian Keyser has turned his home into a museum of Second World War transmitters and equipment. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ian Keyser has turned his home into a museum of Second World War transmitters and equipment. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Most items include receivers as well as transmitters.

Some had their own six-volt batteries but others relied on local electricity.

Batteries were added in later radios to defeat the strategy of the enemy’s security of turning off the power in a designated area during a transmission.

If the message suddenly stopped it proved the transmission was coming from that area and that would limit the detailed house to house search.

A transmitter from the Cold War period. Picture: Barry Goodwin
A transmitter from the Cold War period. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ian Keyser has turned his home into a museum of Second World War transmitters and equipment. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ian Keyser has turned his home into a museum of Second World War transmitters and equipment. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ian Keyser has turned his home into a museum of Second World War transmitters and equipment. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ian Keyser has turned his home into a museum of Second World War transmitters and equipment. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Mr Keyser, 74, a retired ferry radio officer, said: “Immediately after the war it was possible to buy one of these machines for 12/6d (62.5p).

"People bought them for the suitcases and threw the rest away. But these radios are valuable today.”

One of the radios on display was manufactured by the Germans for use by one of their spies.

Another set was used by the Stasi secret police in post-war Communist East Germany when tracking a suspect.

Ian Keyser has turned his home into a museum of Second World War transmitters and equipment. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ian Keyser has turned his home into a museum of Second World War transmitters and equipment. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ian Keyser has turned his home into a museum of Second World War transmitters and equipment. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ian Keyser has turned his home into a museum of Second World War transmitters and equipment. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ian Keyser has turned his home into a museum of Second World War transmitters and equipment. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ian Keyser has turned his home into a museum of Second World War transmitters and equipment. Picture: Barry Goodwin

The museum includes other radios such as those operated in tanks and aircraft.

Mr Keyser is a radio ham who is in touch daily with a friend in New Zealand.

He also has many other radio contacts and regularly attends radio conventions.

The museum is free and visitors should contact Mr Keyser on 07703 688236 to book.

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