Sunday, 6 September 2015

Lochcarron ROC Post

Lochcarron ROC post was one of the neatest ROC post I’ve found so far. Although not a huge amount actually remains inside, what does is remarkably untouched and undamaged - either naturally or due to vandals.  

The post has been shut since September 1991, however Subbrit have visited it a number of times - the most recent of which was in May 2013 and the first being May 2001, however they have not been inside - so this one was quite exciting!

Initially we also had doubt about getting in but upon closer inspection we realised the post was open

Initially we also had doubt about getting in but upon closer inspection we realised the post was open. 

Internally the post was in quite good condition - a lot of the original furniture
remained along with mattresses and seats.
A lot of paperwork was left behind along with a number of plastic bottles
- even a couple of crossword books had been left. 

The toilet - and various bits of rubbish!

A fair amount of paperwork was left lying around too

Eye wash

And some of the more technical aspects  

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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

A Brief Introduction to ROC Posts

From 1955 until 1991, over 1500 underground posts were constructed and manned as a result of the Royal Observer Corps nuclear reporting roles. These posts were generally constructed to the same standard design of “a 14-foot-deep access shaft, a toilet/store and a monitoring room” These Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Post, or more simply known as ROC Posts would have been the front line during the Cold War should a nuclear attack have been launched on the UK allowing the Royal Observer Corps Volunteers to measure nuclear blast waves and radioactive fallout

Construction took place on 1563 ROC Posts between 1956 and 1965 along with about 30 larger headquarters and control centers. However as the threat from the Cold War reduced so did the need for ROC Posts with around about 500 of the posts being closed in 1968 during a reorganisation and major contraction of the ROC with the rest being closed down over the next few decades. By 1991 the Royal Observer Corps was disbanded and the final ROC Posts with them. 

Since them a large number have been demolished, and a number that are still standing are now burnt out wrecks, flooded or vandalised. 

There are however, still a few that remain in a semi reasonable condition...

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All images copyright 2015

Saturday, 8 February 2014

2013: A year through Urbex

As the second month of the new year begins, my thoughts once again are cast to Urbex. There is little doubt in my mind that soon a new explore will begin and it will be good. On the whole 2013 was, for Urbexing, a good year. 

I do on occasion get asked what I enjoy about Urbex, and for me, it's the escapism that Urbex provides. The escapism and adventure. The details that are found in the sites are, for me, what really hits home. Its the little things that remind you just how much of a history these places have.

especially felt this at North Sutor, where we found graffiti dating back to 1933, despite this generally being a pet hate of mine, I found this simple piece of pencil written writing only added to the place. 
I do wonder what William Morrison would have said if he know that in only 7 years, North Sutor would once again be teaming with solders and the world would be, once again, in the grip of war.

It was also the man made details that I found only adding to the experience. The simplest of things like a coat hook reminds you that these places lived in. I wonder who it was that lived here, who hung up their coat and what they placed on there shelves, and if they returned to their home, their true home, alive.

Further to this, the magazines that we came across were a first. 

After a brief crawl we were greeted with only darkness but once our torches were out we began to explore the vast rooms that would once have been full of munitions. We spend best part of an hour exploring these rooms and to this day, they are one of my favourite part of any site.


Fearn Airfield proved to be another interesting trip. It was the first time any of us had been to an abandoned airfield, which in itself presented one of my individual favourite "find" from any explore - three painted murals on the wall of the officers mess hall.

Considering they had been exposed to the elements for over 50 years they were still remarkably well preserved.  

I found personally found Fearn an interesting site. It was, mainly, in a sorry state, building were broken and crumbling. Some we chose not to enter because they looked to unstable - a first for us. 

Yet, it also held some of the most interesting finds we've come across. The murals made our day and the amount of "stuff" that had survived was vast. Showers, toilets and seats were all still to be seen once again reminded us that this was once home for many.  


After the success at North Sutor we decided to try out our luck at the slightly bigger South Sutor just across the Cromarty Firth. Together North and South Sutor guarded the Cromarty Firth which was used as a base for the Royal Navy Home Fleet and the scene of the Invergordon Mutiny in 1931. 
We had heard on the grapevine that there could be some issue with access into some of the site due to the land owner using some of it to breed wild bores, who also had young at the time we went. 

Initially it looked promising, the first structure we saw (the Fire Command Post) we saw was in surprisingly good condition. 
The post was also surprisingly, on the whole, graffiti free.

We were also pleased to see that the metal shutters were still intact and could - with great effort - be opened and closed. 

After a wonder off into the undergrowth we came across two other "structures" one of with we are still unsure as to its use. 

However we next came across the engine room.
The stairs were covered in moss but the room itself was surprisingly large!

We pressed on to the the main body of the site and found this...

We decided to not enter, due the the fact the bores seemed lively and had young.

South Sutor is also our only failure to date.

We will return.


Seabank Tank Farm was our next trip out and we were not disappointed. The site was originally built shortly after WW1 when the local town was turned into a Navel Base. The tanks were mainly used for storing oil but some were used for storing drinking water. It was in use until 1956 when it was decommissioned. The tanks were massive and went on for a huge distance. 

This site was on the whole well preserved.  The boilers in the boiler room were all still intact and we spent a happy while just going through all the leavers, switches and dials that had been left intact. 

 Even a lot of signage was left behind and was still intact.

We also managed to gain access t the interior of one of the tanks. They had a great echo and still - even after all this time - stank of oil. 

After contorting our bodies into all sorts of weird shapes to squeeze in this is what greeted us:


The sheer size of these was simply incredible. 

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Here's to 2014

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All images copyright 2013

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Seabank Tank Farm

Seabank Tank Farm was originally built shortly after WW1 when the local town was turned into a Navel Base. The town itself was the site of the "Invergordon Mutiny" where 1000 sailors of the British Atlantic Fleet went on strike. 
It was used extensively during the Second World War and was once targeted by a lone Junkers 88:

"On February 15, 1941 a Junkers 88 is reported to have carried out a solo attack on the Seabank tank farm. Approaching from the east at only 40 feet it dropped two 500-pound bombs. The first bomb passed through one tank and into the next. Although it exploded it failed to start a fire, but tons of oil spilled out on to the adjacent railway tracks and nearby station. The second bomb also passed went through another tank, but failed to explode after landing in the oil slick. The aircraft then made a sharp turn to avoid a church steeple, and machine gunned a Sunderland moored in the firth, causing slight damage, before making its escape. The attack had lasted four minutes, and was over before the defences had reacted." (More information here)

Stories conflict as to whether either of the bombs exploded. There was certainly no fire but one tank (Tank 13) was completely destroyed.
The tanks were mainly used for storing oil but some were used for storing drinking water.
The site was used until 1956 when it was decommissioned.

On with the pics!

The tanks were huge
and went on forever

There was one tiny one and two brick ones (in the background)
We climbed up the stairs on one

Most of the original pipework was still there

Some were used for water

There was a large number of outbuilding all with various parts of machinery 

Then we went into the boiler room

Lots of large piping

All over the site there were lots of buttons, leavers ect still surviving

This looked to be some sort of loading area/garage 
There was still a truck left

More controls

This was attached onto the outside wall

This was on the burnt out gatehouse

We then made our way through this hole and into one of the tanks

Birds had taken up residence here

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And twitter (@UKUrbex) All images copyright 2013