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Report - - York ROC Group HQ No.20 - 14.04.07 | ROC Posts |

Report - York ROC Group HQ No.20 - 14.04.07

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Original Member
28DL Full Member
This place is so, so worth a visit...!

Myself & Madmax traveled over 200 miles to see this Group Head Quarters and it is worth every penny. If you have a interest in Military or even in the Royal Observer Corps, you won't be disappointed... this has it all...

Some of these places have been put together wrong and are so over the top, but they seem to have got this one spot on. And once you have finished, there's a great pub to have a meal and a pint within spitting distance - and in the sunshine!

A bit of history from Subrit:
The York group HQ is located at the rear of Shelley House on the north side of Acomb Road on the B1224 running west out of Leeds. It is of the semi sunken variety and is access up a flight of steps up a steep mound at the rear of the car park. There is a single storey brick built administration block alongside. On top of the mound at the eastern end is the original emergency exit hatch, which is a standard ROC post hatch. Later a door was added a few feet to the east at the end of the mound. The usual instrument mountings are to be found with BPI and FSM pipes on the mound itself and a GZI mounting on the roof of the small surface building. The ladder up to the roof has been removed. There is a pump up aerial mast beside the entrance door.

Internally the bunker is on three levels. On the right through the entrance door is the filter room with all the filters still in-situ and on the left is the decontamination room beyond these rooms, steps lead down and round a corner to the main east - west spine corridor which, due to the height of the mound is actually on the surface and then covered over. The first room on the right is the plant room with the ventilation plant and compressors still in place with a door at the rear leading to a smaller room containing the diesel generator. The next room on the right is the canteen/kitchen. A short corridor leads from the main corridor with a doorway into the kitchen on the right. The corridor then opens into the canteen with a connecting serving hatch between them. On the rear wall of the canteen is a cupboard containing various electrical boxes. All of the kitchen equipment is still in place. Next is the BT room, which still contains a lot of wiring, and two wall mounted cabinets on the rear wall containing switching equipment.
Photo: Picture shows the control room in May 2000 with many original fittings including totes, perspex displays, maps and control tables still in place.

After a stairway down to the third level there is a door opening onto the balcony around the well of the control room. All the revolving tote boards remain in place around the balcony with a small open-ended room at the far end with a cluster map on the wall and a large floor mounted light box. Going round the gallery there is a second door out into the spine corridor. Turning right leads round a corner and through two doors is the emergency exit. Between the two doors there is a ladder up to the original emergency exit hatch. Returning to the bottom of the steps down from the surface there is a small room on the left opposite the plant room containing all the sewage pumping equipment. Rooms on the left hand side of the spine corridor are the male and female toilets which are all intact although not working, the male and female dormitories (female bigger) which have been stripped of all fittings and the officers room.

Going down into the well of the control room the wooden mountings for the Perspex map screens are still in place. The B display is still in its mounting but the A display has been removed and is on display at the Imperial War Museum in London. The folding command table is still in place with maps on it and on one wall there is a large map of the UK (Display T) with the country divided into the various groups and sectors. There is also a display board on one wall labelled 'Communications Tote' and a ladder up to the balcony. There is a long window through into the communications centre which contains a number of tables, a rack of files and notices on the walls. The radio room is also on this level; this still contains wiring, telephones and a large floor standing cabinet.

At present the power is still on although restricted to the spine corridor and control room as the centre is suffering very badly from damp with water on the floor in places. The future of the bunker was secured in 2000 when it was granted Scheduled Ancient Monument status. The rest of the site, including Shelley House will be sold for redevelopment but the bunker cannot be altered either externally or internally and English Heritage are in discussions with a number of parties interested in taking it with a long term view to restoring it to its original internal condition.

Anyway, heres a few of my images from today enjoy...




















Owned by the English Heritage:
English Heritage


28DL Full Member
Re: ROC Group HQ No.20 York - 14.04.07 (What a fantastic Day!)

Yes, as Sixxfingers says, it was a quality day out. This place is brilliant and gave a real insight into what it was like for the ROC.
And the tour guide was quite cute as well :)
Thanks to Sixx for driving up there whilst carrying an injury.

Plus a nice sunny day and ice cold Magners can't be beaten either :D

For anyone with Sat Nav, here are the coordinates:
N 53.59452
W 0.95238