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Cold War monitoring posts


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19 replies to this topic

#1 jagdpanther44

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 06:57 PM

During the Cold War era some 1500+ underground bunkers were constructed throughout the UK and were manned by volunteers of the R.O.C (Royal Observer Corps).

 

The bunkers/posts were constructed to a standard design and accessed via a ladder down a 15 foot shaft. They were very cramped and comprised of a small toilet/storage room and a monitoring room measuring 15 X 8 feet.

 

Here's a cutaway view of an R.O.C post

ROC%20post%20cutaway_zps3cehtxul.jpg

 

Should there ever have been a nuclear attack, the R.O.C observers in the posts would gather information, including the power of a nuclear blast, level of radioactive fallout and whether it was a ground or air burst explosion. The data would then be collected from all posts concerned to determine the ferocity of an attack on the UK and monitor the after effects.

 

With the breakup of the Communist Bloc in the late 1980s, the last active R.O.C posts were stood down in 1991. Many of them were either demolished, sold or simply left abandoned. So, with a list of nearby posts to hand my son and I decided to visit some of them to see for ourselves what is left of these once vital monitoring facilities.

 

This is Faddiley R.O.C post in the heart of Cheshire

DSC_1429_zpswomdf8kh.jpg

 

Looking down the access shaft

104_9073_zpseob8r9yj.jpg

Monitoring room

104_9075_zpsfpg21hwr.jpg

Looking back towards the access shaft

104_9078_zpsfltji9yo.jpg

Artifacts can still be found. This is an old G.P.O (General Post Office) battery

104_9076_zpsuuxmysbj.jpg

 

 

 

 


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Regards
John

"It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see" - Sir Winston Churchill

#2 LRusso216

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 08:46 PM

Inreresting. Thanks for sharing. How many were you able to find?

When my son was young (mid 80s) he played soccer at an abandoned Nike missle base in Pennsylvania. I don't think there are any remains today.

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#3 jagdpanther44

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 09:05 PM

We have visited three so far. I have a long list of post locations throughout the UK and plan to get to more soon.

Regarding condition, the Faddiley post is by far the best one we have been to and I will post photos of the others soon.

A lot of the posts are vandalised and have suffered fire damage but the more remote ones, especially in Scotland, have managed to avoid damage.

Edited by jagdpanther44, 07 May 2016 - 09:10 PM.

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John

"It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see" - Sir Winston Churchill

#4 LRusso216

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 09:14 PM

Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. Good hunting!

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#5 Slipdigit

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 09:39 PM

Did these have running water and toilet facilities?


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JW :slipdigit:

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#6 jagdpanther44

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:32 PM

Rather basic amenities I'm afraid!
No running water and just a chemical toilet. The electricity was even supplied by batteries!
Regards
John

"It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see" - Sir Winston Churchill

#7 KJ Jr

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 01:31 AM

Good stuff
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Einstein
 

 

#8 Takao

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 02:13 AM

Inreresting. Thanks for sharing. How many were you able to find?

When my son was young (mid 80s) he played soccer at an abandoned Nike missle base in Pennsylvania. I don't think there are any remains today.

Several are still around, but not much remains above ground.

 

What was the area or nearby location?  Worchester?  Richboro?



#9 LRusso216

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 02:23 AM

Warrington. Not much around, even then. I remember seeing a few concrete pads.

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#10 YugoslavPartisan

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 09:40 AM

Awesome.


“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” ~ Epicurus


#11 Skipper

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 12:58 PM

The Cold War Radar in Hoek van Holland, Netherlands.

 

http://michel.foto-l...35#.Vy83uoSLS9J

 

20100404203904_radar_hoek_van_holland_wa


Vorsicht+Feind.JPG


#12 jagdpanther44

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 07:50 PM

This is Helsby R.O.C post which is situated on a hilltop which commands great views of the Welsh hills, the river Mersey and the city of Liverpool. This area would have been hit hard in a nuclear attack as there used to be a lot of industry in the area, including an oil refinery, chemical plants and a power station.

 

The post was locked when we got there but a large screwdriver made an excellent Torlift key to get the hatch open! The small round green disc on top of the air vents indicates that this was a master post which controlled others posts in the area.

104_9007_zpsmoxruesd.jpg

 

The interior has extensive fire damage and there is very little left..

104_9014_zps460xgrt0.jpg

 

The view from Helsby hill looking towards Liverpool

104_9035_zps7ljdcw1p.jpg


Edited by jagdpanther44, 09 May 2016 - 07:51 PM.

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John

"It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see" - Sir Winston Churchill

#13 von Poop

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 10:13 PM

My old bunker - Winchester HQ:
http://www.subbrit.o...s/w/winchester/

 

Decent explanation of how things were supposed to work:

http://www.ringbell....wmo/Page222.htm

I can still write backwards on Perspex...


Posts never looked like any fun at all to me. Bad enough being stuck in a dodgy 50s vintage bunker with quite a large team while the dust dies down. Potentially rather isolating being just a few of you, and that crappy comms system being your only link to the world.


It's only the Internet...

 


#14 Biak

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 07:18 PM

Gosh I wish our buddy Urgh would stop by. He'd have a few stories to tell.

 

Miss that ol' sheepherder!


Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.

 

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#15 von Poop

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 09:52 PM

One of the more interesting items in an HQ (dunno if the posts had them) was the Nuclear Weapons Effects Computer.
A kind of circular slide rule that after putting in yield, height etc., would then give you a rough guide to projected death and destruction in that area. Crater size, debris, population loss etc.
 

Also one of the first things to be nicked once the ROC shutdown became official, or so I'm told as I was gone by then.

http://www.roc-herit...-equipment.html

 

656471.jpg

 

 

The big question in a volunteer/civilian mob like the ROC was always who would actually turn up if things kicked off.
Quite possibly just enough to keep the HQ going, but you did always wonder.


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#16 Slipdigit

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 12:26 AM

I don't know how well I would have done in those casket-sized holes in the ground.


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JW :slipdigit:

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#17 von Poop

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 03:13 AM

I always had the impression that the ROC survived as long as it did because of a 'you never know' backup attitude.
There was definitely a more military/governmental level of Nuclear warning activity (which urqh, I think, as Biak mentions, had experience of), but nobody really knew what shape the instant sunshine would leave things in so dismantling any part of the network was risky.
There was also something solid state about the whole business, from Pinhole cameras to slide calculators like the above, even given the worst national situation there was at least some chance that useful data might be assembled by what was, even in the late eighties, a rather analogue system in an increasingly digital world.

 

Still don't know if I'd have turned up when things went nasty.
Glad I never found out really. Might have been quite awkward with the old man and a brother also being signed up in the same bunker.


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#18 jagdpanther44

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 08:19 PM

There was also something solid state about the whole business, from Pinhole cameras to slide calculators like the above, even given the worst national situation there was at least some chance that useful data might be assembled by what was, even in the late eighties, a rather analogue system in an increasingly digital world.

It's probably something to do with the analogue equipment being EMP proof, should the bomb drop.


Regards
John

"It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see" - Sir Winston Churchill

#19 jagdpanther44

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 08:38 PM

This is Burscough R.O.C. post in Lancashire. Considering the access shaft hatch is missing, the interior is still in good shape...and dry.
R.O.C.%20Burscough_zpsmzcug6ru.jpg

Note the polystyrene clad walls. This was done to offer a bit of insulation from the cold for the occupants. The floor was also covered in rubber matting (apparently made from old coal mine conveyor belts!)
DSC_1356_zpskavbs3rf.jpg

DSC_1374_zpsfo7j2qai.jpg

The original chemical toilet is still there
DSC_1360_zpshnbeqqyq.jpg

Radio mast coax cableDSC_1379_zps2wsdl4rn.jpg

One of the current inhabitants
_20160424_170628_zpsjhhe0xti.jpg

Edited by jagdpanther44, 12 May 2016 - 07:57 AM.

Regards
John

"It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see" - Sir Winston Churchill

#20 dbf

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 02:57 PM

Links to related items on 2talk...

 

Album showing UAS displays

http://ww2talk.com/f...rthern-ireland/

 

Mentions of a couple of bunkers http://ww2talk.com/f...nker-co-armagh/

 website for which http://www.nibunker.co.uk


Edited by dbf, 12 May 2016 - 02:57 PM.





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