A Royal Observer Corps (ROC) monitoring
post was located on the western edge of Farlington Redoubt. It ceased
being operational in September 1991. I won't go into too much detail of what function these posts
performed, because there are entire websites and research groups devoted
to this topic. Try
here for more information. Basically the posts consisted of an
underground room - 15 ft by 7 ft 6 in - which could be used to monitor the environment during and
nuclear strike by the former Soviet Union. The authorities could then assess
the damage and fallout situation, issue warnings and decide what level of retaliation to use. There were usually 3 observers on duty
at a post at any one time.
About 1,500 of these sites were built all around the UK, with a peak
staffing quota (pre 1968) of 25,000 people.
The post on Portsdown was known as "Havant",
and was tragically demolished around 2000 to
make way for a phone mast. However the underground portion of it still
remains, as it was incorporated into the phone mast site as a secure
equipment room. These sites were usually sold off for a couple of thousand
pounds, but because this one was in such a prime position it went for
£8,000 (late 1990s prices).
There was another similar site in
Portsmouth, which was located in an old gun battery at Old Portsmouth.
This too has been demolished.
An ROC post of some type had been in the
Havant area since 1926:
||First post at 770068 - Southbourne
||Resite (west) to 721073 - Post Office roof at Havant
||Resite (west) to 692065 - Camp Down
||Resite (west) to 685065 - edge of Farlington Redoubt
||Installation of underground monitoring post
||Monitoring post closed
||Site disposed of
Radiation monitoring for Southern England
is now carried out by SERMG.