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Report - ROC Post Restoration - Castleton, North Yorkshire - 2017

Discussion in 'Restored ROC Posts' started by Krypton, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Krypton

    Krypton 28DL Regular User
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    Keeping the flame burning

    Castleton ROC Post on the North Yorkshire Moors was first opened in April 1959, finally closing in September 1991 on the stand down of the Royal Observer Corps. Although in an idyllic location, it was still suceptible to vandalism. Nine years after closing, a visit by Subbrit show it as being in good condition.

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    As you can see from the photos its still in good condition and looking like the ROC have just removed their equipment and left the day before.

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    Fast forward to 2009 on my first visit, the post is in a very bad condition.

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    The hatch was ripped off and mangled at the bottom of the shaft. The monitoring room was full of rubbish and anything of interest or historical value had been stolen or broken.

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    I have always had an interest and fascination in the Cold War, particularly with the work of the ROC, who at the time seemed to have been completely forgotten. In 2010 I began restoring the nearby post of Chop Gate, which although abandoned wasn't vandalised or damaged. Castleton, whilst in a much better location, required a substantial amount of work - much more than someone not even old enough to drive could manage.

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    It wasn't for another two years until my path would cross with that of the Castleton Bunker once again. Having passed my driving test earlier in the year, 2012 saw me getting permission to take over the lease on the land at Castleton. A work day was held where the bunker was pumped out, cleared, hatch repaired and re-attached and a quick coat of paint.

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    After only a days work the place looked so much more better. Despite the great start, life got busy quickly. Exams, and then a busy and demanding job meant that looking after one post was bad enough, never mind two. So poor Castleton had to take a back seat. Bunkers are also quite expensive to maintain...

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    Fast forward another 5 years to February 2017. Having new circumstances and more free time meant I could once again work at getting Castleton open to the public. Despite being checked every couple of months, the place was in a sorry state on arrival. Both padlocks had been cut, the hatch had been left up over winter meaning downstairs had quite a lot of water in, and local children had ruined all of the polystyrene wall covering. Concrete had also been smashed on the post exterior. I initially felt quite deflated but soon felt spurred on to succeed.

    An unusual turn of events meant that four of the local children responsible for causing some of the damage volunteered themselves for a day to help fix it up, and i was pleased that two of them have now shown a huge interest in it and have been reliably there at every work day to lend a hand.

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    First job was to remove all of the water in May 2017. Cost saving measures meant we would do it by hand and pull up over 40 of these full buckets.

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    The bunker was very wet and took weeks to dry out properly.

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    Old damaged wall covering removed.

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    New tiles nearing completion

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    Finished tiles.

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    The bunker needed to be part re-wired and new light fixtures fitted, it wasn't long before we had lights again, with the addition of some new LED lighting.

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    The hatch needed lots of work doing to it to make it secure.

    The old paint had practically all worn off, but after an application of new paint it was starting to look quite smart.

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    Broken desks pieced back together and repairs with new supporting frames.

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    Finished exterior, note the damaged concrete.

    Giving the paintwork a well deserved clean and paint.

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    Newly acquired beds being prepped and painted up

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    The post was looking so much more smarter underground by July, a massive amount of work in just two months.

    We were able to officially open to the public on the August Bank Holiday weekend. Our first day saw 130 visitors descend below ground. Obviously, none of the equipment or artefacts are left inside!

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    Quite a transformation in three months, and a massive difference from when it was laying abandoned for 20 years. Thanks to all who have helped towards it. If anyone wants to see inside, just send me a message or visit www.castletonbunker.org.uk for more info.

    Krypton :)


     
    stranton, Salmon, tigger and 7 others like this.

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  2. raisinwing

    raisinwing 28DL Regular User
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    Brilliant work, always nice to see one being restored/maintained. Would definitely like to visit at some point, if possible! :)
     
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  3. albino-jay

    albino-jay 28DL Regular User
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    Excellent work.
     
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  4. Krypton

    Krypton 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks - always welcome to visit!
     
  5. tigger

    tigger 28DL Full Member
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    Excellent work and good to see the story of the restoration too..
     
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  6. mikeholt

    mikeholt 28DL Full Member
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    Splendid restoration, congratulations !
    I like the LED lighting, much better light than the original equipment, but without unduly altering the original appearance of the post.

    BTW, I have going spare a piece of equipment that you may want, will send a PM.
     
  7. dave

    dave 28DL Regular User
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    Great work having visited this post many years ago I know what hard work you have had to put in well done that man.
     
  8. stranton

    stranton the subterranean explorer
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    very nice & well done :thumb
     
  9. W.Klitschko

    W.Klitschko 28DL Member
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    Great work mate, how did you found out the post was originally abandoned? Could you just tell because of the condition of the post?
     
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