ROC Post Portland Bill

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The site of the ROC Post after its demolition.

ROC Post Portland Bill was a Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Post on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England. The post was in use from 1960 until 1991, and has since been demolished. Although named after Portland's southerly promontory Portland Bill, the site was really situated close to the cliff edge of West Weares, near the housing estates of Weston village.[1] The site's location was within a square compound within the south-west corner of a playground, at the end of Grangecroft Road. It lay on the north side of a public footpath.[2] Nearby is the Victorian fort Blacknor Fort.

History[edit]

The ROC post at Portland was just one of over 1500 underground structures built all over the United Kingdom, constructed as a result of the Corps' nuclear reporting role and operated by volunteers during the Cold War between 1955 and 1991. 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 HQ was Yeovil's 9 Group ROC Headquarters.[3] Like most, Portland's ROC post was built to a standard design consisting of a 14-foot-deep access shaft, a toilet/store and a monitoring room. Portland's post remained operational until 1 September 1991.[4][5]

All ROC posts across the country would be grouped in clusters of 3-4, with a main master post in each cluster. After the 1968 closures of various posts across the UK, Portland was grouped with three other posts: Burton Bradstock, Dorchester and Buckland Newton.[6] Portland was designated with the unique reference number 57. The master post was Buckland Newton.[7]

Nick Catford of the Subterranea Britannica visited the site in July 1997 and again in September 2004. The reports of the post revealed that all surface features remained intact, although the post was in slight depression. By 2002 the compound fencing had been removed.[2][8] In 2007 it was reported that the post was soon to have the air vents and entrance way cut down, in order for the site to be used as an overflow water storage tank. Although unclear as to whether the site was successfully transformed into a tank, by 2008 any signs of the post had been demolished, where disturbed ground marked the spot where the post once was.[2] Though Dorchester and Buckland Newton's posts remain intact to date, the Burton Bradstock post is the other of the group's four posts to have been demolished since its 1991 closure.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Weston Estate, Portland". Geoffkirby.co.uk. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Portland Bill Dorset". Subbrit.org.uk. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/sites/y/yeovil/index.html
  4. ^ "Underground Posts - ROC". Roc-heritage.co.uk. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Posts Map - ROC". Roc-heritage.co.uk. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  6. ^ http://www.aerial.freeserve.co.uk/rocmap.jpg
  7. ^ http://thetimechamber.co.uk/beta/sites/roc-posts
  8. ^ Historic England. "Monument No. 1413186". PastScape. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  9. ^ http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/roc/db/988719866.004001.html

Coordinates: 50°32′23″N 2°27′06″W / 50.5396°N 2.4518°W / 50.5396; -2.4518