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Report - West Calder ROC (rocking) Post - Mid-Lothian - May 2013

Discussion in 'ROC Posts' started by The Lone Ranger, May 17, 2013.

  1. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    West Calder ROC (rocking) Post – Mid-Lothian

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    History

    Cold War ROC Posts

    Over 1,500 of these small bunkers were built at various points around the country during the Cold War. They were designed to house three members of the Royal Observer Corps, whose job it would be to use supplied equipment to gauge the bomb power and ground zero of a nuclear blast and report back to a group H.Q. The posts were built to a similar design, with a single monitoring room 15ft below ground, which was accessed by a ladder with a hatch on the surface.

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    Internally, the furniture, bunk beds, communications and monitoring equipment remained standard. The posts began closing in the late 1960s with the last few remaining operational until 1992. Many of the posts have now been destroyed or are in poor condition due to vandalism, most of the remaining ones are on the edges of fields or areas of unused scrub land at the side of roads or foot paths. Fortunately, some people have begun recognising the importance of these pieces of history and some posts have been painstakingly restored.

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    West Calder ROC Post opened in October 1959 and closed in September 1991.

    The report from Subterranea Britannica in 2001 says this;

    “OPEN All surface features remain intact although the top of the ventilation shaft has broken off and the concrete around the reinforcing rods to the side of the ventilation louvres (which are still in place) has also gone. A metal dome and aerial bracket on the ventilation shaft indicates this was a master post. The green paint is flaking and the hatch is detached and resting in place. Internally the post is a mess with papers and items from the post strewn over the floor. Much however remains including the table, shelf, cupboard, twin bunks (partly dismantled), storage trunk, five wooden wall mounted shelves, lockable file index cabinet, two chairs, BT junction boxes and wiring, BPI mount, home made practice maroon launcher, copper earth straps around the walls, large splint, part of the aerial mast (in the shaft - the mast was not the standard design but was a one piece mast as their was line of sight view with Group HQ), wooden shelves in the toilet, poster of the Queen, wire brush, two brooms, plastic basin, dustpan/brush, mirror, crockery, kettle and various papers. Three sides of the wooden fencing of the small rectangular compound remain in place but the forth side has collapsed as the land around the post is badly eroded and partly deliberately removed. There is a depression in the centre of the compound above the monitoring room.”

    I’m sure it’s all still there, just not where it was located in 2001!

    This is the ROC Post in 2008.

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    My Visit

    Love them or hate them ROC Posts are the MacDonald’s of the exploring world. Usually located somewhere handy and the same (more or less) when you get inside, you know what you’re getting.

    A work mate was interested in seeing a few sites with his son, so after a bit of research I found this ROC Post not too far from where he lived. When he showed me his photos I struggled to get my head around what was going on so decided to pay it a visit myself.

    Even 5 years ago was sat where it was meant to be, on top of a pile of shale in a farmers field. Roll on 5 years and the whole structure has dropped about 10ft and now lies precariously at a 45 degree angle exposing all of the structure. I found it interesting as you could see how it was constructed, a fairly small foundation slab, concrete shell which was faced with a single brick shell.

    Access was interesting, the thought of slipping down the roof and dropping the 30ft into a field of cows wasn’t too appealing. The entrance shaft and everything inside was at very strange angle.

    View of the vent on the roof.

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    Looking down at the access shaft, something to aim for on the slide past.

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    Looking up the access shaft, it was an interesting descent.

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    A few pics from inside the ROC Post.

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    And a couple of external shots.

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    Well that’s it, not your usual ROC Post, and an interesting visit. Not sure how long this will be in one piece, but I enjoyed myself.

    Cheers,

    TLR.​
     
    #1 The Lone Ranger, May 17, 2013
    Last edited: May 17, 2013

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