ROC Group HQ-Dundee
Located to the east of Dundee, just north of the Tay and east of the Tay Bridge, is the former headquarters building of ROC 28 Group.
Built in the 1960s, this two storey, semi-sunken underground bunker also housed the facilities of Caledonian Area Sector Control. Closed in 1992 when the ROC was stood down and it was no longer needed, the building has survived, and been donated to the Civil Defence and Emergency Service Preservation Trust. Much of the content was preserved, and can be seen in the ROC exhibition on display in the museum at Scotland's Secret Bunker in Troywood, near Anstruther. Externally, the former blockhouse structure has been disguised by brick and pebbledash cladding, combined with a conventional pitched and tiled roof over the original flat structure.
The description of the site gives the location as being in the back garden of Cragiebarns House, which has been sold and developed as a number of flats for rent, and in Gardyne Place. This location is slightly different from that marked by the Grid Reference given for the bunker, and we have added a second marker adjacent to a building which lies closer to the spot described. This may or may not be correct, and will be checked by a future visit.
We are grateful to our friends at Subterranea Britannica for permission to reproduce the following details. Please be sure to review the original reports at the links given below.
DUNDEE (Craigiebarns): ROC 28 Group Headquarters & UKWMO Caledonian Sector HQ.
OS Grid Ref: NO439314
Date protected accommodation opened: 29.4.1961
Date closed: 1992
Location: Gardyne Place, off Craigiebarns, Dundee, Angus.
Description: EXTANT This is a semi-sunken two level bunker with administration located in adapted residence. Caledonian Area Sector Control was also located within the complex. Much of the contents of the bunker have been preserved in the ROC exhibition at Anstruther Museum. The bunker was in the back garden of Craigiebarns House, which has now been sold. It is now entered through a small housing estate to the left of the house through a sham house built by the contractors to disguise the bunker entrance. The house is in fact brick and pebbledash cladding around the original surface blockhouse with a tiled roof resembling those on the surrounding estate. The contractor who renovated Craigiebarns House donated the bunker to the Civil Defence and Emergency Service Preservation Trust. The trust is run by Sub. Brit. Members Ward and Caroline Westwater.
Immediately inside the new 'front door' is the original blast door opening on to a short corridor, on the left is the decontamination room with sinks and a water tank and to the right the extractor fans. Directly ahead is the first of two gas tight air lock doors marked' do not open' and' airlock'. Past these doors is the winch, which must have been taken out of use as it would be difficult to lower anything past the ventilation trunking in the corridor below. Beside the winch is the water tank and stairs to the lower level. At the bottom of the stairs is a dogleg round into the main north - south spine corridor. The first room on the left is the sewage ejector room with the pumps intact though not in use. Beyond this are the male and female toilets, which again are all intact but not currently used as there is no water supply connected. After the toilets are the male and female dormitories. These are currently empty but all the bunks are stored elsewhere in the bunker and will eventually be replaced. The final room on the left was originally the controller's room but when the controller moved to a new room downstairs it was converted into a 'sick bay' with a sink, concertina screen, medicine cabinet and a doctor's examination couch. Beyond this room is a second airlock and a ladder up to the original escape hatch, a standard ROC post type hatch. This was taken out of service when a new 'walk out' rear exit was installed through a second blast door.
Back at the bottom of the stairs the first room on the right is the plant room with the fans compressors, filtration plant and control equipment; the plant is still operational. To the rear of the plant room is a smaller room containing the standby generator with its control cabinet. The generator appears to be a 1980's replacement. Beyond the plant room is a short corridor into the canteen (which is empty) and at the back of that a door accessing one of three flights of stairs down to the lower level. The kitchen is accessed from the short corridors and is complete and useable with all its original appliances including a 1960's Creda industrial cooker with oven, hot plate and a separate grill. There is also a double stainless steel sink, water heater, industrial dishwasher and cupboards. There is a large serving window opening into the canteen. The next room is the BT room, then a store, then the main stairway down to the lower level. Beyond this is the original balcony, still in place but now floored across with thin plywood. There is a third stairway at the back of the balcony leading down into the Sector Ops room.
On the lower level the original control room and communications centre has been converted to several small offices and the radio room to the right at the bottom of the stars will shortly be used by Raynet. It still contains a large floor standing cabinet with control equipment for AWDREY (Atomic Weapon Detection Recognition and Estimation of Yield). A corridor leads through into the large 'L' shaped Sector Ops Room passing a small office with three aging computer terminals with phones and original notices around three walls; there is a message passing window into the ops room. While the rest of the bunker is painted light green and light blue, the Sector Ops room is painted a very dark blue (as is the similar room at Horsham). It still retains some tables and a semi circular raised dais. To one side there are a number of room, one is a third dormitory containing bunks and the other is the new controllers room.
Externally the FSM and BPI pipes are visible on top of the mound. The bunker is still in the process of renovation and it is hoped to reconnect the drainage and water supply in the near future and to re-equip the bunker close to its original operational state.
Date of visit: 13.10.2001
- Subterranea Britannica entry: DUNDEE (Craigiebarns): ROC 28 Group Headquarters & UKWMO Caledonian Sector HQ
- Civil Defence and Emergency Service Preservation Trust
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