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Monday, October 05, 2009

No.1 Group ROC HQ, Maidstone

At the beginning of WW2 a house in London Road, Maidstone was requisitioned by the Royal Observer Corps for use as a headquarters. A partly submerged bunker was built at the rear of the property in 1961, and was used as a control centre for the Maidstone cluster of ROC posts (No.1 Group). The H.Q would receive information from the local posts in the event of a Nuclear blast, and collate the data to determine the position of the explosion and the extent of the damage. This HQ is built on three levels, the first being a concrete building above ground, from which steps lead down to the other two levels. Internally, the bunker is in remarkable condition, with much of the heavy equipment, such as the filtration plant and most of the fittings still in place. Now in the hands of a firm of solicitors, who aquired the bunker with the purchase of the house, it only used to store a few items and it's future is unknown.

Many thanks to the owners for allowing access, and to Mark Power for arranging the trip.

Blockhouse entrance to the bunker

View from the side showing the mast and FSM pipe (in the foreground)

Just inside the entrance

There are many fire safety notices remaining

Air filtration fan

Passage on the middle level of the bunker

Entrance to the plant room

Some of the equipment inside

Switch boxes

Comms equipment in the BT room

The main control room

Stairs down to the lower level

One of the rooms on the lower level