Site Records


North Wales Group HQ (Borras): ROC Group HQ No 17

Borras
Wrexham
Clwyd
Wales


Name: NORTH WALES
OS Grid Ref: SJ358528
Date protected accommodation opened: 1962
Date closed: 1992
Location: Borras Park Road, Wrexham, Clwyd.

RSG Site Visit Report 22nd March 2001

[Source: Nick Catford]

Borras was the Royal Observer Corps' No.17 Group HQ, in the UKWMO Western Sector.

Photo: External View
Photo by Nick Catford

The centre consists of a surface blockhouse of concrete construction faced with brick similar to Winchester, there is a purpose built prefabricated administration block alongside. On the opposite side of the blockhouse is a fixed radio mast, which appears to be unused. In the 1970's it was considerd as the North Wales RGHQ. The whole site is owned by a local farm who lease the administration block to a company called 'Groundwork' who use it as their office.

The protected blockhouse is leased to 'K Class' who have converted it into an audio mixing studio. As with all surface centres, the entrance is in a recessed alcove, a door to the right is the filter room and to the left gives access to the bunkers main spine corridor. The first room on the left is the decontamination room which is unaltered and unused. It is in a shabby condition and still has its two sinks with a second door leading back into the spine corridor through the dressing room, which still also has its sink. The next two rooms on this side are the male and female toilets, which are still intact and in use. The officers room and the male and female dormitories have been completely stripped and are used for storage. The female dormitory is also uses as a rest room and has several armchairs. On the right hand side of the corridor the first room is the plant room, which is unaltered retaining all the ventilation plant, compressors and control cabinet in excellent condition and working order.

The ventilation plant was still in use until a few years ago when K Class installed their own ventilation system. As the plant is now redundant they are prepared to offer it free of charge to anyone who wants it and is prepared to remove it. At the rear of the plant room is the standby generator room. The farmer removed the generator some years ago. A doorway was added (during ROC days) giving access from the generator room to the outside of the building. This doorway has now been bricked up on the inside although the door is still in place on the outside.

Photo:Old Control Room now turned into an Audio Mixing Studio.
Photo by Nick Catford

The next room is the former control room, which has been changed out of all recognition and now houses the company's mixing and recording equipment. The balcony above has been completely removed and a new curved false ceiling installed some way below the original ceiling level. At the back of the control room a doorway still leads through the old communications centre (currently being refurbished) into the BT equipment room and back into the spine corridor. The BT room still retains an original rack on the wall. The final room on this side of the corridor is the kitchen, which still has all its original appliances and a serving hatch into the canteen, which is used for storage. Between the BT room and the control room stairs lead up to the balcony, which has been removed, and the doorway at the top of the stairs leading to it has been bricked up. The new ventilation equipment is housed at this level at the top of the stairs. The tank room remains intact and the radio room has been converted into a second mixing studio.

[Source: Nick Catford]

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Last updated 11th May 2001

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