Broadway Tower (taken from www.broadwaytower.co.uk)
Reaching over 2000 households in the Parish of Broadway Issue 30: May/June 2011
Fifty yards behind Broadway Tower is located a Royal Observer Corps monitoring post that was manned twenty-four hours a day during World War 2 to spot enemy aircraft and was used for training and practice at other times before it was finally closed in September 1991.
In 1957, as part of our defence against the threat from Russia of nuclear attack, the Royal Observer Corps were given the new role of monitoring nuclear fall out and the strength of any bomb that might be dropped. To meet this need, the government proceeded to construct 1653 bunkers on the sites of the old monitoring posts. These bunkers were 25 feet below ground and would have housed three or four men or women for up to two weeks. Just how claustrophobic this would have been can easily be appreciated when you descend the twenty or so rungs of the metal ladder into the tiny chamber below. The only source of fresh air was through a small ventilator in the wall. Since the need for this kind of surveillance came to an end, the majority have been flooded or demolished.
The bunker at Broadway Tower is one of only about ten to survive in perfect condition, though, of course, minus the equipment with which they were all fitted for carrying out their monitoring role as well as being home to the volunteers of the Observer Corps.
Ladder entrance to the Underground Post
On Friday May 20th at 2p.m., our local MP, Peter Luff, will be coming to formally open the Post and all equipment will be in the bunker on display. It will be possible to visit the bunker afterwards for the usual fee of £3 or £1.50 in conjunction with a Tower ticket.
The other official opening dates can be found on the Broadway Tower web site www.broadwaytower.co.uk
From our National Secretary
The ROC Museum on the third floor of the Tower is extremely well put together with the help of a number of ROC people from around the Country.
Unable to be there myself at the Official Opening I did regard it as such a prestigious occasion that included the handing over of the Commendation Awarded to the war time Observer signed by Winston Churchill I thus arranged for the National Standard to be present.
To his credit again Murray Whitcher at very short notice was able to take the National Standard to the Opening.
I attach copy of email thanks I received from Neil and his special thanks to Terry Penn and Les Eales.
Especially please note Neil's plea for further equipment.
From Neil Thorneywork
Manager Broadway Tower Museum
Official Opening of the Broadway ROC Post Friday 20th May 2011 by Local MP
I thought that I would let you know how successful our weekend was as regards the ROC post.
Our official day went superbly and I believe I must thank you for arranging the ROC Banner to be with us---it was a lovely touch that went down so well with our ROC members who were visiting at the time. There were two very special visitors-----a 97 year old man who served on the post and a man who served from 1949 to 1953. I think this effort shows just how fond the old members are of this very special post.
On Saturday the post was open to the public with Terry Penn and Les Eales on site to help and advise and we enjoyed another 100 plus visitors and everyone was most interested in this wonderful piece of history.
The post was also partially opened on Sunday so over three days we saw 150 visitors.
We even had the aircraft spotting building open with some “kit” inside and this also received good reviews.
Our current thoughts are to hope that it is possible to acquire the missing pieces------GZI, Teletalk and radio------it may even be possible to get the baffle plates and the plastic FSM cover------but even if these do not come our way then we intend to expand our museum upstairs with three more cabinets and to maintain the post and add other items that are relevant and thus continue to promote the memory of the Corps.
Our next official open day is June 12th but I think we will probably open every day of the bank holiday as we are receiving so much interest.
Hope you are well