INVERKIP AAOR serving 3 Group 77 Brigade, the Clyde Anchorage gun defended area (GDA). The bunker is of the standard AAOR design, both entrances being on the upper storey which is above ground, the lower storey being below ground. The bunker is located within a fenced compound in a wooded area on the south side of an unmade track to The Langhouse Hotel at NS215720. Several years ago the building was severely damaged by fire and as a result of the fire brigade putting the fire out and some seepage the lower floor is now flooded to a depth of 15”.
All the walls are covered in thick soot. The seat of the fire appears to have been the balcony which is badly damaged. All the curved Perspex windows have gone and most of the timber is badly burnt. Strangely the fire doesn’t seem to have migrated downwards and the wooden stairway directly from the balcony into the well is only slightly singed and is perfectly usable. Most of the rooms on this level have been stripped out but the guard room immediately inside the front entrance retains an intercom unit and a rifle rack. Next to it is the kitchen with a cooker, sink and draining board and along one side is a room with a large blackboard mounted on one wall with the following painted column headings: Port or assembly anchorage, ‘Ships in port’ (with sub headings: ‘Ready to sail in next 24 hours’, ‘Requiring Bunkers’ [ships awaiting fueling], ‘Total’, ‘Expected arrivals in next 24 hours’ and ‘Remarks’. Another board in the same room is headed ‘Main plot’ These boards refer to the buildings later use as a naval control centre under the name HMS Dalriada. When it was no longer required as an AAOR it was handed over to the Navy, remaining in use at least until the mid 1970’s. The toilets, with most appliances smashed are also on this level with an other board lying on the floor with two columns: ‘Ships at Sea’ and ‘Ships in Port’.
The lower level of the bunker is mainly undamaged by the fire although there is soot on the walls in places. One of the rooms contains one of the original plotting tables with its Perspex map screen broken into several pieces. It is still possible to make out some of the wording on it. On the wall there is a large board headed ‘Aircraft State’ it has the following columns: ‘Type’, ‘Where’, ‘S/US’, ‘Due S’ and ‘Remarks’. This may be from the buildings earlier use as an AAOR.
The most interesting room on this level is the communications room which has a long table along one wall with compartments underneath it and a wooden framework above it with more compartments. There is a separate teleprinter table with its teleprinter intact and on the far side of the room is a large floor standing electrical cabinet full of relays and transformers etc. In a small adjacent room is a large GPO switching frame. There is another smaller communication room nearby with acoustic booths along both walls. Other rooms on this level include the boiler room, ventilation plant room and standby generator room which all have their plant still in situ although partially under water.
When visited in 2001 access was possible through a hole in the bricked up rear entrance porch. Steel sheets have now been welded over both entrance doorways and entry into the building is no longer possible.
Those taking part in the visit were Nick Catford and Robin Ware.