Bedford: ROC Group HQ No 7
[Source: Nick Catford]
OS Grid Ref: TL028503
Bedford was the Royal Observer Corps' No.7 Group HQ, in the UKWMO Midlands Sector. In 1998 the Home Office sold the site, with planning permission to demolish the bunker and build five houses.
Photo: WWII Op's Block
Photo by Nick Catford 1999
The above picture of the Bedford WWII Group HQ is typical of a standard ROC Centre in use prior to the nuclear era and the need for protected accommodation. Its hub was a two storey brick built operations room consisting of the plotting floor with an upper gallery around three sides. Around the central block were single store pre-fabricated buildings containing offices, dormitories, rest room, kitchen and dining room. Bedford was opened in 1943 and when the semi-sunken protected bunker was opened alongside in 1964 the original Centre continued in use as the administration block. Bedford HQ closed after stand down in 1992. The site was sold for redevelopment in September 1998 and the buildings were demolished in December 1999.
The Group HQ consisted of a two level purpose built semi-sunken bunker with the administration located in the original 1943 ROC Centre which consisted of single storey buildings around a two storey ops. room. Both buildings were painted bright green. All rooms in both buildings had been completely cleared apart from a few items of furniture and a BPI which was mounted on a wall. The generator, ventilation, and filtration plants were intact, as was the kitchen. The buildings were demolished at the beginning of December 1999 and the site is due to be redeveloped for housing.
Sub Brit site visit: 23.9.1998
Before demolition Howard Martin took these pictures:
Last updated 11th May 2014
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