Watford ROC Group HQ No.5

June 24, 2011 | Posted in Bunker, Nuclear, ROC, Royal Observer Corp, Royal Observer Corps, Watford | By

Finally and as promised some Cold War content for you…Watford ROC Group HQ opened on 18th November 1961, finished operationally in 1968 and closed in 1973 before being sold in 1974. These days the site is owned by the Park Veterinary Centrewho’s surgery and offices are sited in theWW2 ROC buildings on the main road and use the bunker at the rear of the site for storage.Many original items have been stripped over the years but a vast amount of original features are still intact so it was well worth a visit.

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Maidstone – 1 Group ROC HQ – Part Two

November 10, 2010 | Posted in Bunker, Nuclear, ROC, Royal Observer Corps | By

Here is the rest of the pictures from Maidstone – 1 Group ROC HQ, as mentioned in the previous blog post time was very very tight so the pictures were rushed, apologies for this.

These remaining shots are of the Plant Room, escape hatches and rooftop.

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Maidstone – 1 Group ROC HQ – Part One

November 9, 2010 | Posted in Bunker, Nuclear, ROC, Royal Observer Corps | By

Maidstone – 1 Group ROC HQ was built in 1959 and opened on the 25th June 1960 on an existing site for 1 Group Royal Observer Corps that had been operational since 1939.

Maidstone was part of the Metropolitan Sector, along with Horsham, Oxford, Colchester and Winchester. Each Group HQ controlled between 20 and 30 ROC Posts and collated data from all of these sites at five minute intervals. The information was then logged and plotted at the HQ where they would produce fallout predictions based on current weather conditions, log the detonation type (burst height) and location/yield before disseminating this information out to other locations such as UKWMO HQ, Regional Government Headquarters and other military sites.

Since closure in 1992 1 Group ROC HQ has been owned by a local Solicitors who until recently used the structure for archive storage.

It is of the same design as all of the ROC Group HQ’s in that its construction is of  a semi sunken type, containing a totally sealed environment for ROC staff to operate in during operations. This particular Group HQ is in very good condition with all of the plant, filtration and ventilation systems intact and most likely operational. Recently the HQ has had a new roof fitted in order to try and combat the obvious damp issues the structure has.

Time was extremely limited at this location so the photo’s were very rushed, apologies for any poor shots!! (I’ve already dumped 70+…)

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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…

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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

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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