The AAOR is adjacent to a TA Centre (SS 615 898). It is currently managed by the Joint Emergency Planning Unit which serves Bridgend, Neath & Port Talbot and the City and County of Swansea. Externally the building is still in its 1950’s condition although the original roof has been covered with an additional bitumen membrane and two original radar towers which were condemned have been demolished and replaced by a single mast with space rented to cellular phone operators.
For many years the building was used as the ‘War Room’ for the former West Glamorgan County Council and after Welsh local government reorganisation in 1986 it was passed over to the City and County of Swansea where it was used until recently as the ‘Major Incident Command and Control Centre’. It is now used as a training facility and is let out to appropriate bodies. With the recent opening of a new major incident control room in the City the future of the building is uncertain, its future is hopefully secure.
In common with many AAOR’s on the west side of the country, the two storey blockhouse is completely above ground level with the entrance and emergency exit at the lower level. The original ventilation plant remains in place but the generator had to be replaced after it was started up without any oil and the boiler has been replaced. The structure of the lower floor remains much as it was with RAYNET occupying one of the rooms an original upright GPO switchboard still in place (although unused) and a Faraday cage containing the BT exchange equipment. The main two storey control room is intact with its balcony above. The curved Perspex windows at balcony level are still in place on two sides although on the third side the balcony has been boxed-in. One of the stairways to the upper level has been blocked of at the request of the fire brigade.
On the upper level the multitude of small rooms and winding corridors was condemned as a fire hazard by the fire brigade and all the fibre board partition walls have been removed giving three large rooms that have been laid out as conference rooms with a canteen at the back.
Those taking part in the visit were Nick Catford, Tony Page, Nick McCamley, Ward Westwater and Caroline Westwater.