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Report - Road Of Remembrance Naval Bunker - Folkestone - October 2016

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by UrbanZ, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. UrbanZ

    UrbanZ 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Visited with @Minor

    History poached from subbrit:
    The Road of Remembrance, originally Slope Road, was renamed in the early 1920s in memory of the several million First World War servicemen who had passed down it as they marched from basic training at Shorncliffe Camp on their way to the harbour and embarkation for the continent.

    Near the bottom of the road though is a strange concrete structure, a survival from two decades later and now one of the country’s oddest remnants of Second World War brutalist architecture. Where other bunkers strive to be unobtrusive, this tries to hide in plain sight by disguising itself as an upended biscuit box. But this roughly-built concrete structure with its blank square face is just the entrance and service end, and the important part, comprising several vaulted rooms, lies further back, buried deep into the cliff face behind.

    The structure is believed to have been built to serve as a Naval (although run as Combined Operations) communications relay site which would have passed on information from coastal shipping radio traffic to Bletchley Park for decoding, possibly acting as one of its network of Y-Stations. A local boy, Tom Broderick, employed as a messenger, on several occasions delivered weather reports to the “offices”, as he called them, and once allowed past the sentry on the door found Wrens at work on typewriters in the front part of the bunker. He was not allowed to venture further down into the complex, however a woman who worked in the deeper sections of the bunker later described their work as “advanced communications”.

    Entering into the bunker at the side of the concrete monolith one would have passed under an upper room containing ventilation plant and rusting filter drums. Ahead there are toilets, while turning through 90 degrees a passage and steps lead down into the bunker. The main sections consists of several rooms at an angle to the passage, two either side, with internal walls tiled with rectangular panels of unknown composition painted a beautiful ochre colour (possibly gas detection paint?), while old posters remind one that “Security Saves Lives”. An escape tunnel leads back to the road at the end of the two largest rooms, running parallel to the main tunnel, and there is a second bank of toilets.

    The structure appears to have been built at a later stage of the war, based on a message from the Vice Admiral at Dover in October 1942 describing arrangements made to build an underground structure containing a telephone exchange and a small control room. The estimated cost of the project was given as £1000 and the construction period three months. Unusually for a secret bunker, it is believed to have been built by Otto Marx builders, a local firm also responsible for two other bunkers on the Leas, one of which was reputedly destroyed by a German bomb before the concrete had completely set. Using non-service contractors rather than say, the Royal Engineers, may have been a necessary relaxation of normal procedures due to manpower shortages.

    Ownership complications have, to date, sadly prevented its reuse as a heritage site

    The Explore:
    So its 1 am, i'm ever so slightly intoxicated and bored as the hotel bar had long closed, @Dora Grew Up was asleep (well trying to stay asleep with me being rather loud, sorry about that). so me and @Minor decide its a good idea to go exploring and seeing as this place was a 12 minute walk away from the hotel, it seemed like the logical choice....logical choice...me and logic should not mix when I've had a few beers and shots.
    anyway...we find this place and getting in looked easy enough, well it would have been had i not had a drink or 12. Minor being small in stature was able to get in easily, me on the other hand not comfortable with getting in while under the influence, found it hilarious to lay in the bushes just outside the entry point, hiding from the passing cars and people on their way back from the town, so i'm trying not to laugh then minors head pops up at the entrance and asks what I'm doing...to which i burst out laughing and explain, rather loudly, that i was being a ninja...not my best stealth entry ever...a few minutes later i had a moment of clarity and managed rather easily to jump up and in..getting out after was equally funny.

    on to the pics...taken on a phone, while drunk...sorry for quality

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    thanks for looking
     

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  2. Dora Grew Up

    Dora Grew Up 28DL Full Member
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    Don't be sorry for the quality, most important is that you got out there! Plus the pictures are actually pretty good.

    What you should be sorry for however, is waking me up multiple times.
     
    Minor likes this.
  3. UrbanZ

    UrbanZ 28DL Full Member
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    i did apologize for that

     
    Minor likes this.
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