Thursday, 23 May 2013

Voe Royal Observer Corps Post

After reading a crime thriller that had a Royal Observer Corps Post from the cold war in the plot I decided to do a web search to see what there was in Shetland. I've seen one's else where but they've always been totally stripped and full of all sorts of foul stuff. Any way there are or were four in Shetland; the one's in Sumburgh, Walls and Voe showed some promise, or atleast they did back in 2004 so I opted for the Voe post.


It's called Voe, but it's nearer Mossbank on the edge of Dales Voe and was opened in 1961 and closed in1991. You are supposed to need a scottish t-bar key to get in but I found that raking the lock with a large flat head screw driver popped the lock to allow entrance into the bowels of the earth...


I went down first followed close behind by Beren...


At the bottom of the 20ft ladders is a sump tank, it was dry, but on the wall is a hand pump for if it needed pumping out...


There are only two rooms, straight opposite the ladder base is the smallest room. It was a bit odd seeing two pairs of wellies there, was there still some one in here!


It can't have been much fun emptying that bucket on a regular basis, I guess that's what the hemp rope was for, hauling the bucket up for emptying.

The other room is the main room. Not very big and lined with polystyrene sheeting, presumably for insulation as it's basically a concrete box where 3 observers would live and work. Oddly there are a number of vents and links through to the outside. I thought they'd need to be sealed from the outside environment to avoid radiation and other contamination, but I guess they still need to breathe!



The observers would be in there to carry out tasks monitoring what went on in the event of a 3rd world war and levels of radiation. I don't know what this board was, but surely they didn't communicate by some top secret esoteric means!


This shelter will destruct in 10, 9, 8... I'm sure the timer is really for something much more prosaic...


 From the ground level there is a great panorama. Something that would have obviously been useful in the original observation posts pre-1961. The post is on the right with Lunna Ness on the left...


Looking over Fora Ness to Lunna Ness...


And south-west up Dales Voe along Gardaness Hill...


So sometime we'll have to get to nose in the one at Walls and Sumburgh to see if there's anything more of interest and just to say we've been there! It is interesting find odd places to explore.

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