On Wednesday 28th March, 15 members of Subterranea Britannica descended on the South Coast to visit two fascinating local authority bunkers. Our first port of call was Fort Fareham in Hampshire which now houses the Fort Fareham Industrial Estate with many of the old barrack buildings and tunnels converted into light industrial units. Fort Fareham was home to two cold war structures the Fareham Borough Emergency Centre and the 2 Group AAOR (Anti Aircraft Operations Room) for the Portsmouth and Southampton GDA (Gun Defended Area).
We had a brief look at the site of the AAOR (2 Group, Brigade 10) which was located in the northern end of the barrack block on the far side of the parade ground. Unlike nearly all the other AAOR’s, which had a standard design, this one was situated in the fort’s existing casemates. Unfortunately there was no access to the inside of the building which is currently empty and available for rent. There appeared to be a chimney like structure on the roof that looked similar to that found on standard AAOR bunkers.
The post war AAOR for the Portsmouth and Southsea GDA (2 Group 10 Brigade) was not built to the standard design. It was located in a converted barrack block at the rear of the parade ground at Fort Fareham. The building containing the AAOR is currently empty and available for rent.
We then drove to Southampton to look at one of the City’s post war sub control centres reporting to the main control centre in the basement of the Civic Offices.
Those present for this trip included Nick Catford, Keith Ward, Peter Cobb, Peter Walker, Robin Ware, Duncan Halford, Caroline Ford, Tony Page, John Duel and Bob Jenner.