ASHBOURNE SECTION CROCA – VISIT TO 20GP CONTROL, YORK
As part of our 2007 summer programme, a group from the Section visited the former 20 Group Control at York, now restored, scheduled and in the care of English Heritage. WE were told that it has Grade 1 protection – equal to that enjoyed by Stonehenge ! For most of us, it was a trip down memory lane but an eye opener for a couple of our visitors who knew little about the ROC in general and what had happened in such Controls during the Cold War.
Our guide for the afternoon was Simon Bartle of English Heritage who, at the outset, said that he was sure that we knew more about the building and its activities than he did. Since, apart from one of the party, we were all post personnel, our knowledge was more about what happened before information arrived at the Controls. However, the exception was 8 Group’s former GC, Leslie Mitton who was able to give chapter and verse straight from the ex-Group Commandant’s mouth. I think that, in the event, Simon asked as many questions of us as we did of him and hence a valuable experience was enjoyed by all.
The visit starts with a short film made by English Heritage about the ROC role during the Cold War and then we were free to wander to see the rest of the Control. Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed on to the lower floor for safety reasons but all can be viewed from the balconies. I suspect that the reason is that there is no emergency exit at that level – although we did notice a ladder up to the balconies which I don’t remember in operational Controls.
The Control is situated on the Acomb Road (B1224) which runs from the Western ring road (A1237) into York. It is located about three miles from the A1237 on the left hand side, near to an hotel called the Carlton Tavern. Look out for a road called Monument Close – a short cul-de-sac which goes to some new flats and to the Control. Parking available.
We had pre-booked our party (minimum group size 10, entry per adult £5, minimum charge for a party £60). Entry is also available to individuals at certain times. For details, contact English Heritage at Clifford’s Tower, York on 01904 646940.
Secretary Ashbourne Section CROCA
See also item York Cold War Bunker