News: “Over the graves of the Druids and under the wreck of Rome,
Rudely but surely they bedded the plinth of the days to come.
Behind the feet of the Legions and before the Norseman’s ire
Rudely but greatly begat they the framing of State and Shire
Rudely but deeply they laboured, and their labour stand till now.
If we trace on ancient headlands the twist of their eight-ox plough.”

-Rudyard Kipling
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Life in an ROC bunker  (Read 12509 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
Re: Life in an ROC bunker
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2011, 18:54:58 »
The ROC didn't have any vehicles of its own, however, during the aftermath of an attack post observers would be expected to make 'mobile monitoring' sorties. I would expect if their cars had remained unscathed the observers could have used them to help complete their alloted objective although this is highly unlikely as the roads would have been blocked by debris. It is also uncertain what effect the EMP would have had on the electrical components of a car, so although the car may have escaped blast damage the electrics may well have been burnt out.

Mobile monitoring was a task undertaken away from the post to another location to perhaps ascertain damage, blockage to a road, seeing if an installation had survived the attack or restablishing contact with say an adjacent post with which contact had been lost. Such tasks would be requested by RGHQ or AFQ and tasked by the appropriate ROC group control taking into account local fallout conditions.

I believe radiation monitoring is now carried out by a contractor from fixed installations round the UK, i.e roadside weather stations although such equipment is a lot more sensitive than that used by the ROC and is probably not hardened against EMP and therefore not resiliant.



  • Guest
Re: Life in an ROC bunker
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 19:27:53 »
Whilst walking along the cliffs between Dover and Folkestone about 10 years ago I came across a man with monitoring equipment. When I asked him what he was measuring he explained that it routinely done due to Dungerness power station. I think if I remember he was from BNFL.


Offline GP

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 162
  • Appreciation 13
Re: Life in an ROC bunker
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2011, 16:44:52 »
Well in the 1970's, the only role for the ROC I suggest was to monitor radio active fall out. , following a nuclear explosion. Originally the service was spotting enemy planes .

I guess once you had learned how to take gyger counting readings, check equipment etc there was not much else to do.

I never saw adverts to join it, I always thought it was some secret spy organisation, especially as it was all done in underground bunkers.

Did they have any vehicles in ROC?

Wonder who takes readings for nuclear fallout now. ie around Dungeness PStation


  • Guest
Re: Life in an ROC bunker
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2011, 21:57:30 »
What do you mean boring!!!!!

Lets place it in context, the mid 80's were a dangerous time with messrs Regan, Thatcher and Andropov playing poker with the world. Cruise missiles were deployed, in turn SS20's were pointing this way, the spetznatz were about to pop up at any moment and sabotage just about anywhere and anything, Threads was a much discussed film of the time. To a younger person it may all seem a tad bizarre but back then it was all too real.

I joined the ROC back in 1973, to be honest during the 70's the ROC was a bit moribund like the rest of civil defence in the UK. The distrubution of fallout maroons and equipment would have taken anything up to a week in transition to war, frankly things were a mess. However within a decade the ROC had completely changed being able to go to war in little under an hour, something we practised on many occasions during Intex and Warmon. It was a well oiled slick machine at standown.

Never forget though the main draw were your fellow observers who were normally a pretty eclectic bunch. As for ex's we were paid a mileage from our homes to our post or place of work. At annual camp you got an allowance based on an airmans pay and the uniform was a freebie. Oh and the ration packs actually weren't that bad, personally I liked the choccy bars (a female thing!)

Offline GP

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 162
  • Appreciation 13
Re: Life in an ROC bunker
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2011, 19:40:12 »
H'mmm seems rather a boring way to spend a weekend, sitting in a wet cold bunker, eating army food packs.

Was there any pay or other goodies.?

I guess the ROC would have eventually been unable to recruit new members.

Must admit I saw adverts for the Civil defence. The Chatham HQ was where the new bus station is being built. none for the ROC, though.

Offline Paul

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1481
  • Appreciation 64
  • Batpigs'n'Boobies.. ;)
Maybe it's big horse I'm a Londoner. :{


  • Guest
Life in an ROC bunker
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2009, 22:14:57 »
Purely by coincidence I posted a picture of a local ROC bunker entrance on another forum I am a member of and was contacted by someone who used to be a member of the ROC and spent many cold winter evenings sat in one of their concrete coffins  ;)

It doesn't really tell us much new but its interesting to get a first hand account nonetheless and even if he didn't do it in Kent, others were...

Hi sam, I was in the ROC from 86 till it disbanded in 1991. My bunker was at Cerne Abbas Dorset, Really it was just a concrete structure
about 15 feet under ground, it had a rickity sort of lean to over a manhole as an entrance. The under ground structure
 was about 10x15 ft
we had seismographic equipment, some sort of kit for testing radiation and a radio, We had MD rations for 4 persons to last six weeks.
The biggest pain was changing the drinking water supply as it had to be hauled up and down the ladder,
All we really did was keep a log of weather conditions, like wind speed and direction, counted clouds, noting the type of cloud and
percentage of cloud cover.
I don't think that really helps you and sorry I can't be of more help.

I think from looking at Google Earth he would have been cloud counting from this post as the only other local post was shut in the 60s like many were.


BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines