Site Name: LISBURN: ROC Group HQ No 31 (Belfast) &
3 Group, 51 Brigade AAOR serving Belfast & Londonderry GDA.
Group No: 31
OS Grid Ref: IJ263658
Date protected accommodation opened: 1963
Location: Army Headquarters Northern Ireland,
Description: EXTANT. The Lisburn Anti-Aircraft Operations Room (AAOR) was built
in the early 1950's to control the Belfast and Londonderry Gun Defended Area (GDA).
It was located within the Thriepval Barracks complex in Lisburn and was built
to the standard design with one floor above ground and one floor below with both
entrances on the upper level.
It was originally planned to split the GDA with another AAOR at Campsie
on the outskirts of Londonderry. This second protected blockhouse was nearing
completion when the advent of guided missiles and the H bomb led to the abolition
Anti-Aircraft Command in 1956; the gun sites and AAOR's became redundant. Campsie
was never fitted out and commissioned and is now a derelict shell while Lisburn
was put onto care and maintainence until 1963 when it was adapted as the new 31
(Belfast) Group ROC Control.
Like the Lansdown AAOR at Bath which was
adapted as 12 Group (Bristol) Control, the former operations room was given a
External view showing modified front porch and side extension with the
admin. block to the left
Photo by Nick Catford
During the conversion it was extensively modified both externally and
internally with partition walls being altered on the upper level. The
front entrance was lengthened forming a large enclosed porch with another
extension to one side housing ventilation and filtration equipment.
The original rear open porch was retained and is now used as a car port.
New blast doors were fitted for emergency access.
Internally there have been numerous modifications, some post ROC. The most
notable being the blocking of all doors and windows onto the gallery, the central
well can now only be accessed from two doors on either side of the lower ring
The building is now largely used for storage by maintenance staff although
many of the rooms are empty and unused while still retaining some of
their ROC furniture. Since the ROC moved out, the upper ring corridor
has been blocked on one side while the lower ring corridor is still
passable. The ROC kitchen remains intact and usable.
Photo:The operations room at 31 Group HQ
On the lower floor the standby generator has been removed and the room is now
empty. On the opposite side of the lobby the original AAOR ventilation plant has
been retained but some new plant, including two compressors, were added during
The male and female toilets have been modernised with new showers installed
but remain in their original positions. A large water tank has been
installed in one of the rooms on the lower floor. Throughout the bunker
new ventilation trunking was installed during the ROC conversion and
this runs into all the rooms.
Apart from furniture there is now little evidence of the ROC's presence.
The original four fingered 1950's aerial mast still stands at the rear
building which front's onto an internal road was painted brown
and cream in 1998 and now has a slightly hipped roof with brown corrugated
metal cladding coming part way down the walls, this was installed after
the ROC moved out in 1992. The pre-fabricated ROC administration block
still stands alongside.
Photo:On 14th October 2007 a plaque was unveiled on the building to commemorate the Northern Ireland ROC HQ.
Photo by Bill Anderson
Those taking part in the visit were Nick
Catford, Keith Ward, Wayne Davies
& Roy Coulter
Last updated 29th October 2007
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