ASHBOURNE SECTION CROCA – VISIT TO RAF HOLMPTON

 For our August meeting, we travelled east to RAF Holmpton near Withernsea on the East Coast. The building of the facility started in 1951 and the bunker opened in 1954 as an RAF Master Radar Station. In 1985, it was massively refurbished to form a new RAF HQ and, in 2003, became home to the Defence Archives Agency.

 The bunker is entered via a steel door in what appears to be a bungalow and is entirely underground, covering some 35000 square feet. Our guide, James Fox (the  Principal Officer) took us through the operational areas and, with the help of exhibitions, film and video shows, gave the account of over fifty years of the bunker’s RAF use. Given that most of this period was during the Cold War, the ROC role  got a significant mention.

One interesting fact (which few if any of us knew) was that until 1997, two ROC Officers from Bentley Priory were based there, allegedly looking for new roles for the Corps.

 The visit was something of a first for our Section since, in addition to our own members and personnel from the post at Ashover,  we had a good turnout from the “top brass”; three former Group Commandants – Leslie Mitton (Coventry), Peter Jex (Lincoln) and Jim Millington (York) plus Coventry’s penultimate DGC, Mike Rose.

 The bunker is open most weekends from April to mid-October and there are two guided tours (approx. 2 hours) for the public at 11 am and 3 pm. Private visits such as we enjoyed can be made at other times.

Contact details are 01964 630208; www.defencearchives.org; info@defencearchives.org

 Jon Layne


Main admin office

 
"Practice" 500kt thermonuclear warhead


Plant room

 


CO's office

 
Above ground
-entrance to bunker through steel door on right

 

RAF Holmpton update (2006)

Best wishes
James Fox.


[25aug05 23:45]