Lancashire At War.co.uk
Exploring the hidden history of War sites in Lancashire
Mellor Blackburn ROC
Mellor Moor Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Post.
The underground nuclear monitoring post was opened in July 1959. It would be used in the event of a nuclear bomb attack. Three men from the Royal Observer Corps would stay in the post for two weeks, with no supplies from the outside world. This meant that the post would have its own source of power, ventilation, communications, food and water.
Their job would be to monitor the nuclear bomb explosion for “blast pressure, power and flash”. The next task was to monitor the amount of radiation in the immediate environment so that the “local population would be informed of the amount of danger they were in.”
The post was closed in October 1968, and subsequently the underground part was sealed. There are still quite a few features to be seen above ground today. The main shaft which provided entrance via a ladder is the largest of the structures. Connected to it is the ground zero indicator. The nearby smaller concrete structure is the air ventilator. In between the two concrete structures is a metal tube with a flat discs on top. These are the bomb power indicator baffle plates.
The site was also used in World War 2 as a look out post. Staffed again by the Royal Observer Corps, it was used for identifying and tracking aircraft, both friend and foe. It overlooks BAE Salmesbury, which during the war was a factory site building military aircraft as well as being an RAF base.
However, Mellor Moor hilltop has even older roots. A Roman signal station was built here in the first century, to overlook Ribchester Roman Fort and the Roman road heading south.
The circular stone built "cairn" is a Millenium Project with a map of the view from the site and is not associated with the ROC station.
Above: The large square building is the main shaft down to the station.
Below Left is the ground zero indicator
Below Right is the air ventilator
Below: The site has an interpretation board (from which the above quotes are taken) and an excellent cut away diagram showing labeled external and internal structures.
Above - Left to right: The air ventilator; the bomb power indicator baffle plate; the modern Millenium Project "cairn"; the main shaft and ground zero indicator.
Above: The site in the middle of the picture, BAE Salmesbury in the distance below, with a trig point in the foreground.
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