Bunkers, and Subterranean Musings
Royal Observer Corps Observation Bunkers
Several hundred underground nuclear observation bunkers were constructed
during the Cold War, and manned by members of the Royal Observer Corps.
Although administered by the RAF, the ROC consisted mainly of civilian
volunteers. It would have been their job, amongst other things, to monitor
the strength and locations of any detonations in the event of a nuclear
war breaking out.
These links take you to pages containing pictures of some of the sites I have visited.
Wellingborough Civil Defence Headquarters
When a new fire and ambulance station was built in Wellingborough during the
early 1960s included in the design was a purpose-built
Civil Defense HQ in the reinforced and protected basement.
Kelmarsh National Pipeline Terminal
There are at least two national pipelines carrying
aviation fuel and other volatile chemicals around the UK. One of them passes close
to Kelmarsh in Northamptonshire and a hillside there
is home to one of the terminal sites where some of these chemicals are stored in
tanks and/or routed onwards. Click this link to take a look.
RAF Harrington - Thor Missile Launch Pads
During the early sixties the UK's nuclear deterrent was in the form of
Thor missiles. These were situated at a
number of RAF stations including RAF Harrington
in Northamptonshire. To have a look at these today click this link.
RAF Polebrook - Battle HQ
RAF Polebrook in Cambridgeshire was used by the USAF
as a bomber station during the Second World War.
After that it was used by
the RAF as a base for launching Thor missiles.
Now long-since decommissioned
many artefacts remain of it's former use, including the
Battle HQ. To have a look at these today click this link.
The following two pictures are something of a mystery to me. They show an
underground construction between Wellingborough and Irthlingborough. There
is a covered yet ventilated mound and what looks like a large concrete
A barred gate prevents access from the road. The mound lies beyond the
entrance block. You may be able to make-out an air-vent on the mound.
Inside the gate there is a large concrete apron, with room for several
large trucks to park.
This appears to be the only way in, other than by digging.
There is another air-vent to the right of the block which suggests
there is a tunnel of some sort from the block to the mound.
My current thinking tends towards something to do with the waterworks
about a mile away - perhaps some underground pumping equipment? I'd have
expected some sort of sign or notice identifying it though. I've emailed
Anglian Water Authority and asked them whether it's anything to do with
them - no answer as yet.
Another suggestion is that it is a sealed-up air raid shelter from the
World War II and may have been sited near a decoy airfield.
There are no identifying signs and all attempts to locate any
reference to it anywhere have failed. It is located next to the B571
road between Wellingborough and Irthlingborough, in Northants.
Ordnance Survey grid reference SP912685.
If anyone has any suggestions or knows what this is then I'd appreciate an email.