Reviews on Amazon

"Although not a former observer myself, I am very familiar with the ROC underground posts having conducted a photographic survey of all 1563 of them between 1997-2004.

For anyone with an interest in the ROC post-WW2 this book is an absolute must. Well researched, crammed with photographs most of which are in colour.

As well as a detailed history of the ROC’s nuclear role there are descriptions with photographs of all the post instruments and a chapter on restored posts which have sprung up all over the country in recent years.

As a post owner myself I find myself referring to this book on an almost daily basis. If the print quality wasn't so good it would be worn out already! Put a copy in your basket now, you won't be disappointed."

"Sometimes books on specialist areas can be a bit dull with long narratives to read, slavishly going through detail in chronological order, and occasional black and white photos.

But I was pleasantly surprised that this book is beautifully printed with lots of colour photos, and the text is concise, well-written and structured. It's a book you can read from cover to cover, or just dip into as interest takes you.

Highly recommended whether you're already knowledgeable on the subject or not."

Lawrence Holmes
of the ROC Association


The Royal Observer Corps Underground Monitoring Posts

by Mark Dalton


224 pages, 190mm x 250mm
ISBN: 978 1 9161789 6 0
Price: £22.95
New Softcover Edn. Publication date: June 2023

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The Royal Observers Corps was the volunteer organisation that watched the skies of Britain during the dark days of Second World War, reporting and tracking enemy aircraft and helping to win the Battle of Britain. What happened after the end of that conflict is less well known, with the Corps becoming the front line in a new kind of war; the Cold War.

In 1963 it was revealed that a powerful new radar system had become operational on Fylingdales Moor in North Yorkshire. This could detect the launch of Soviet ballistic missiles and allow a warning to be given to the population. The `golf ball' radomes at Flyingdales and the `Four Minute Warning' they provided are probably the most lasting icons of this nation's Cold War legacy.

While it was accepted that there was no defence against ballistic missiles, successive governments understood that many millions would still survive away from the impact zones if there was adequate warning and time to take shelter. The confirmation of such a strike and the extent and power of the weapons used were also key to both military and civilian organisations. Further lives could be saved if the ensuing radioactive fallout was tracked and warnings given.

To facilitate this, over 1500 blast and radiation protected, three man underground monitoring posts were built during the late 1950s and early 1960s. This huge building program resulted in posts being built approximately eight miles apart in a network stretching across the entire country.

Provided with simple, reliable and robust instruments, and reporting back through larger Group and Sector control bunkers, the posts could warn the public and provide accurate data about nuclear explosions and radioactive fallout. This allowed the government to build up an accurate post attack picture of the whole country.

This book recounts the detailed history of the underground posts, their equipment and the crews that operated them, from their inception in 1956 to their closure in 1991. It also chronicles the fate of the many posts that have survived until the present day, either abandoned to vandals and natural decay, or lovingly restored.

The volume contains approximately 500 colour and black and white archive photographs and plans accompanied by comprehensive captions and an authoritative text.

Topics covered include:

The sections on equipment, abandoned posts and restored posts are extremely comprehensive and form the major part of the book.