May 2nd – Following on from yesterday’s pillbox, I thought I’d visit a military relic of an altogether different stripe today. Shenstone ROC post is a small, self contained nuclear bunker, designed to hold three operators during a nuclear strike. Their duty would have been to take measurements of radioactivity, blast pressure, weather and air conditions after an attack, record them and report back to central control if possible. The people who trained for this quasi-military role were volunteers, usually ex-servicemen. In a nuclear attack, these men would retreat into this hole, and effectively wait to die of either radiation sickness or starvation.
The British countryside is peppered with these little-known facilities, now derelict after the disbanding of The Royal Observer Corps at the end of the cold war – there are posts locally at Harlaston, Rugeley and Queslett. This one is sealed with a concrete block after fears that it would be occupied by anti-motorway protestors during the construction of the M6 toll.
For more information, bang the term ‘Subterranea Britannica ROC’ into google. A fascinating, very british history.