Royal Observer Corps
Record added 27/4/2001
Post Name WIGMORE
OS Grid Reference SO42896949
County Herefordshire
Date opened May 1961
Date closed October 1968
Location 60 yards north of an un-named minor road, on the south side of a field boundary.
Description OPEN All surface features remain intact although all the ventilation louvers are missing, the step is detached, the BPI pipe is bent over and the hatch is detached. The FSM pipe is mounted on a concrete plinth. Internally the table, shelf, cupboard, twin bunks and a single bed remain in place together with BPI mount, aircraft instrument mount, wiring and GPO junction box. Unusually for an early closure the timer still works.

Observer Richard Blackburne remembers visiting the WW2 post at Wigmore in his 2007 autobiography A Castle for a Playground - On the top of Green Hill Common there was a building used by the Royal Observer Corps. This building was called a Post. All over the British Isles, in every ten-mile radius, one of these Posts was sited. Ships in the English Channel were also used for the same purpose.

The Post had two rooms on the ground floor, one being a store and a toilet; the other being the living and sleeping quarters. This last room was furnished with a table and chairs, bunks, a coke stove – used for heating and to boil water for making hot drinks. There was a flight of stairs leading to a platform and, in the centre, stood a plotting table. From this table, the crew, who like the members of the Home Guard were too young or too old to fight, would plot the course of any aircraft flying overhead. The crew also had the use of binoculars as an aid to distinguish what the type of aircraft was, whether enemy or Allied. All the information gathered was phoned through to the Post’s headquarters.

I regularly visited the crew manning the Post. Leaving the farmyard, I would climb the steep-sloped Green Hill Common, my little four-year-old legs aching as I reached the ridge on which the Post was built. Then it was a matter of climbing the stairs to the platform, where the crew greeted me warmly. A crew member would lift me above the parapet, with another holding binoculars, adjusted to fit my tiny face, and I looked around the Wigmore basin. Later in life, it seemed no wonder to me that this might have been the site of the fortress held by Edward the Elder in 921. The range of vision is only bettered by the present castle. On every visit, I was taken below to sit by the stove, given a mug of tea and a big slice of homemade cake.
Remaining
Surface
Structures
None
Date of Visit 23.4.2000
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