Rotarians go back in time in Arbroath

Brechin Rotary president Jim Houston emergies from the ROC bunker at Elliot Arbroath during their visit on Thursday evening.

Brechin Rotary president Jim Houston emergies from the ROC bunker at Elliot Arbroath during their visit on Thursday evening.

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Brechin’s Rotarians took a trip round the Royal Observer Corps Museum in Arbroath last week when they got a chance to explore an old bunker.

The site consists of a preserved underground Royal Observer Corps (ROC) monitoring Post with the museum providing a source of further information relating to the ROC.

It continues to attract visitors for guided tours by former ROC personnel.

At the end of the Cold War in 1991 the Organisation was stood down.

On Thursday, July 18, 20 members of Brechin Rotary Club visited the museum when they got a tour round the site - one of only two refurbished ROC Posts that are open for access in Scotland.

The tour included a short talk on the ROC’s two roles from 1925 to 1991, a guided tour underground, featuring the Cold War operational procedures as well demonstrations of the above-ground equipment.

Additionally there is a collection of material from the ROC’s original role of aircraft identification and reporting from 1925 to 1945 and the remains of the reporting post.

An original 1941 Post Instrument, incorporating the Micklethwait height corrector, has been acquired by the museum.

This was used for the tracking and identifying aircraft during WWII, to establish its bearing, estimated height and position.

The Observer at a post would line up the aircraft through the sight bar and a pointer would move to show the position of the plane on a map table.

It was used at the ROC site, on a turret on the water tower, during the war years and until 1956 before it was moved to Elliot where the bomb reinforced bunker was built in 1958.

This move meant the role of personnel changed from aircraft tracking and identification to that of training to monitor nuclear explosions and subsequent radioactive fallout in preparation of any nuclear attack taking place on the UK.

Museum visits must be pre-booked by contacting Cheryl at cheryl.stewart@gmail.com or 07791395976.