by the local Royal British Legion
At stand-down in 1991, the Chief Observer of Farnsfield Post 8/22, Peter Robinson BEM, hit on the idea of erecting a small wayside memorial at the post site. For this, he used the step into the underground post and fixed an inscribed brass plate to its top. Unfortunately, over the years, the hedgerows and verges have grown so much that it became very difficult to find the result of his work
Farnsfield still holds a traditional Remembrance Sunday parade and this is well supported by post members from the area and former officers.. About three years ago after the parade, I got into conversation with the Parade Marshal, Nigel Caldecott, about the ROC and he didn’t realise that there had been both an above ground post and an underground one about a mile outside the village. Unfortunately, both had been demolished in 1992. In fact, I gather that the above ground post had been threatened with demolition when the ROC was still serving but the post members carried out remedial work to reduce any perceived risk from the structure,
The above ground post was one of the few brick built ones still left in 8 Group. Another at Brassington is still in existence and is now scheduled by English Heritage following initiatives by the Ashbourne Section of CROCA. Since the former presence of two ROC posts near Farnsfield seemed to be little known, I offered to attend an RBL meeting to give my talk “From Zeppelins to Ballistic Missiles” about our history. This led to Nigel and other members of the local RBL branch visiting the site and setting in motion a project to make the memorial more visible to passers-by and to visitors. The farmer who uses the land was happy to co-operate.
Former Farnsfield Post members
On September 22nd 2011, the twentieth anniversary (minus eight days !) of stand-down, a gathering of former ROC personnel took place at the site for the inauguration of the revamped memorial. They represented Farnsfield and Ashover Posts which were in the same cluster; also present were Leslie Mitton, former Group Commandant and Jon Layne, former Group Officer of nearby posts. Nigel Caldecott gave a brief summary of the project
Many thanks to the members of Farnsfield Royal British Legion Branch, especially Nigel , for their initiative.
Secretary Ashbourne Section CROCA
Farnsfield Post Photos from Lawrence H
Farnsfield Aircraft Reporting Post 1955 – This photo was taken of the superb above ground post before the nuclear post was built c1955. The post was brick built with a small cubby at the side with a coal stove, duck boarding on the floor and sloping glass panels. It was immediately located on the field side of the access gate and car park layby. In the 1950s many of the crew worked for the NCB and there was never had any shortage of coal for the stove. Farnsfield Post’s early morning ‘fry ups’ on an overnight aircraft exercise were legendary. The crew made the car parking layby using hard core obtained from Blidworth Colliery. No planning application was made, the crew just did it !
Farnsfield Post Crew 1963 – This photo was taken just after the nuclear post was built, in fact the crew members are standing on the ‘mound’. Note the van in the layby behind. Left to right are Harry Teague (not on Farnsfield post but presumably visiting. Later Group Commandant 6 Group ROC and now Chairman 6 Group ROCA), Keith Taylor (dec), Lawrence Holmes then Ch/Obs, Les Betts, Sheila Robinson, person behind Geoff Pendleton, Les Mitton (not on Farnsfield post presumable visiting. Later Group Commandant 8 Group ROC), Davey Morley, Ginger Harrison (dec), Peter Robinson (dec) then L/Obs. Lawrence Holmes moved to Cornwall in 1969.
[revamp 22nov11 18:50]