Ravensden ROC Post – Bedfordshire Group

August 26, 2010 | Posted in Bunker, FSM, Nuclear, Observation Post, ROC, Royal Observer Corp, Royal Observer Corps | By

Opened – Unknown
Closed – October 1968


There isn’t too much that can be said about this post as you can see from the pictures. I’m not entirely sure when it was capped with concrete and steel bar but its at least 15 years ago, also I’m not sure if it is just a cap or in fact they poured rubble down the shaft and topped it with concrete. If I run out of things to do before I die I might go back with a large can of PlusGas and ‘FSM Cam’ it just out of idle curiosity.

Great location geographically with great vision all round, or certainly would have been before the odd building and trees that have sprang up since the 1950’s. Bedford is one of those unusual counties with very few ROC Posts, despite the fact that Bedford ROC Group HQ No 7 was the HQ for the UKWMO Midlands Sector, covering many more counties at the time.

Nature has certainly claimed back this post…

Read More...

Collyweston ESA (RAF Wittering Bomb Store) – Part Two

August 20, 2010 | Posted in airfield, An Watt, BL755 Cluster Bomb, Bomb Store, Hunting Engineering, Kings Cliffe, nangs, Project E, RAF, RAF Lakenheath, RAF Wittering, SNEB Rocket, SSA, whippits, Yarnold Sangar | By

Here are some more pictures from our recent explore at Collyweston ESA (RAF Wittering Bomb Store), the full write up and history can be found here
Note the Substation that is the size of a small car, someone has even tried to ‘remove’ that from the site…

Read More...

Collyweston ESA (RAF Wittering Bomb Store) – Part One

August 18, 2010 | Posted in airfield, An Watt, BL755 Cluster Bomb, Bomb Store, Hunting Engineering, Kings Cliffe, nangs, Project E, RAF, RAF Lakenheath, RAF Wittering, SNEB Rocket, SSA, whippits, Yarnold Sangar | By

Built around 1955 as a Remote Weapons Store for RAFWittering after the airfield changed use over several years from a Fighter Station to a Bomber Command Station, now decommissioned and awaiting ‘Adaptive Reuse’,Collyweston ESA is a fascinating site set deep in the woods with an eerie silence across it, occasionally punctuated by calling Red Kites soaring high above the treetops.A Yarnold Sangar Pillbox with an extra section on it forms part of the gate defences adjacent to a Guard House, Sub Station, Mains Room and Admin buildings, various roadways open up and 10 Bomb Maintenance Buildings are located towards the front of the site, the revetted buildings reportedly for 1000lb High Explosive bombs and Cluster Bomb Units.

Behind this and deep into the compound are rows and rows of explosive storage units: Thirty ‘Dutch Barns’ (some demolished) for storage of BL755 Cluster Bombs (manufactured by Hunting Engineering in Ampthill, Bedfordshire), several more 1000lb HE storage buildings, 68mm SNEB Rocket storage buildings and perhaps the most interesting, nine hardened ‘Igloo’ cells with filtered air supply and totally enclosed electrical supplies. These hardened units were used for storing ‘unspecified’ American explosives from RAF Lakenheath.

Given the size and construction of the Igloo cells compared to the other buildings and the fact they are the farthest away from the RAF Wittering runway, whatever was in these shelters were some serious toys. Contrary to popular theories though, this site was never used for Project E weapons, these type of weapons remained in the Igloos at RAF Wittering SSA as the US Military insisted that such weapons were never dispersed. This caused some conflict with the RAF who would rather have dispersed the V Force at times of high political tension. The SSA at RAF Wittering is still intact, although derelict and the unusual Fissile Core Stores can still be seen. Both the ESA and SSA share common design features and some of the doors are identical at both sites.

The site has also been used for many illegal raves over the years, mainly by the An Watt Sound System on Bank Holiday weekends. The kiddie ravers have left a massive amount of rubbish on site now, it’s down to them that thousands of mini ‘Nangs/Whippits‘ cartridges, NOS balloons and bigger NOS Bottles now carpet most of the site.

I don’t have a problem with illegal raves, been to plenty myself, just clear your shit up when you leave, that’s all…

In recent years ‘travellers’ have helped themselves to miles of 3-phase armoured cable, pipework for the underground fire prevention system and virtually all of the aluminium lamp posts. The Mains Room has been gutted and there’s even been an attempt to remove the Sub Station!

Yarnold Sangar Pillbox

Bomb Maintenance Buildings
BL755 Cluster Bomb Storage

SNEB Rocket Storage
Igloo’s

Read More...

ROC ‘Memorabilia’

August 13, 2010 | Posted in Observation Post, ROC, Royal Observer Corp, Royal Observer Corps | By

I’m not into Militaria….at all, but I couldn’t resist these couple of items, found on eBay whilst looking for other stuff that I actually needed.

Original overalls/coveralls patch worn by Royal Observer Corps Observers and a Royal Observer Corps Kings Crown cap badge that would have been worn on a beret originally.

Read More...

Crick ROC Post – Northamptonshire Group

August 6, 2010 | Posted in Bunker, Nuclear, Observation Post, ROC, Royal Observer Corps | By

Opened – Unknown
Closed – October 1968
Nearing the end of visiting every ROC Post in Northamptonshire I went to Crick, knowing it to be in a sorry state from earlier reports at least I wasn’t shocked when I got there. Internally and externally the post is heavily vandalised with some evidence of small fires being started in the Observation Room and all manner of junk thrown down the shaft, including the hatch, hatch mechanism, sump piping and Counter Balance.Only very few remains from the original post are present such as traces of telecoms cabling and possibly what were original chairs. What’s left of the toilet door is laying on a pile of house bricks and decorated with a variety of road cones…

Yet another trashed 68’er

Read More...

Market Deeping ROC Post – Northamptonshire Group

August 4, 2010 | Posted in Bunker, FSM, Nuclear, ROC, Royal Observer Corps | By

Opened – March 1960
Closed – September 1991
The last post visited as part of an ‘8 ROC Posts in one day’ tour and probably the mintiest ROC Post i’ve visited to date. Actually I didn’t really want to post this one up as it just serves as temptation for some morons to come and trash it and steal its contents but then I thought if I don’t post it up then someone else will…..its fate is sealed either way I guess…..hopefully someone will put a massive lock on it to protect this for future generations of visitors, who knows.

Some pix suffer from me experimenting with camera settings which I promise not to do while out in the field again…

Read More...

Castor ROC Post – Northamptonshire Group

August 3, 2010 | Posted in Bunker, FSM, Nuclear, Observation Post, ROC, Royal Observer Corps | By

Opened – February 1962
Closed – October 1968
Explored as part of an 8 ROC Posts in one day tour we visited Castor ROC Post, location of a well publicised suicide by a local farmer some years ago who hanged himself in the access shaft. Perhaps this has put off the chavs as the post is in no worse condition that when Sub Brit visited back in 1997, apart from the fact that the compound is now totally overgrown and it took us several laps of the site to locate the hatch and crawl on our hands and knees through the undergrowth.

Good deed of the day was rescuing a sick looking toad that probably fell down the severed at ground level FSM tube and bringing it back to the surface.

Also present at this site is a great example of an Aicraft Observation Post, originally this would have had a canvas cover on top and some steps.

I was experimenting with camera settings so apologies for the quality on some shots.

Read More...

Spalding ROC Post – Lincolnshire Group

August 2, 2010 | Posted in Bunker, Nuclear, Observation Post, ROC, Royal Observer Corps | By

Opened – October 1964
Closed – October 1968
Yet another post visited as part of an ‘8 ROC Posts in one day’ tour. We walked right past this one as the compound was totally overgrown. The hatch has been torn off for years but surprisingly it was bone dry inside. Some internal fittings still present such as the bed and no vandalism which is neat. Really nice and peaceful site with fantastic light outside.

As mentioned in my other reports for this day I was experimenting with camera settings (epic fail on most which got deleted ) so apologies for the quality.

Read More...

Moulton Chapel ROC Post – Lincolnshire Group

July 30, 2010 | Posted in Bunker, FSM, Nuclear, Observation Post, ROC, Royal Observer Corps | By

Opened – July 1960
Closed – October 1968
Explored as part of an ‘8 ROC Posts in one day’ tour sadly this was one of several sorry looking posts we came across. ‘Decorated’ my local morons in a fetching yellow and blue colour scheme, some smoke damage to the roof tiles and a shattered sump grate welcoming us below ground. The cupboard had been partially destroyed but there was an intact hand operated siren crate.

The compound was in a fantastic location on the edge of a cornfield and contains the demolished remains of a brick Aircraft Observation Post, also in the compound are several beehives….complete with LOTS of bees….needless to say we chose a swift and different exit on the way out as we had accidentally disturbed them on the way in.

Yet again I was experimenting with camera settings (epic fail on most which got deleted…) so apologies for the quality on some shots.

Read More...

Wansford ROC Post – Northamptonshire Group

July 29, 2010 | Posted in Bunker, FSM, Observation Post, ROC, Royal Observer Corps | By

Opened – February 1962
Closed – October 1968
Even more from the ‘8 ROC Posts in one day’ tour. We knew in advance that this one was badly trashed and that was certainly the case but we needed to visit to tick off some remaining Northants Group posts.

As previously stated I was experimenting with camera settings (epic fail on most which got deleted ) so apologies for the lame shots.

Also present at this site was a brick Aircraft Observation Post from an earlier time in ROC history, this would have been linked up to HQ with a land line using a Magneto Telephone.The other unusual item in the pictures is a very old cashbox from a BT pay-on-answer public phone box, quite what that was doing up here I don’t know, unless it was robbed then dragged up here to be prised open…

Read More...