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  #1  
Old 24-06-2018, 03:49 PM
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Default Shilbottle ROC Nuclear Bunker

Now the various online websites give the location of this as "55.36649749 , -1.698633111"

put this into google maps and you end up here:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/...5!4d-1.6986331


which looks like farm buildings south of Shilbottle.
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Old 24-06-2018, 03:58 PM
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Meanwhile to the north, between Bilton and Bilton Banks, on the roadside, is this:



had to join 3 photos together to get it all shown. Coquet Island is just nicely hidden behind it.










[photographed 24th June 2018]
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Old 24-06-2018, 03:59 PM
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Is this not the bunker?
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Old 24-06-2018, 04:01 PM
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If so, then it is here:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/...5!4d-1.6986331
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Old 24-06-2018, 06:48 PM
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Your first reference is right, the mast at Hill Head Farm Shilbottle was where the ROC bunker was. Your second photo above Bilton is a water reservoir.
If you have any ROC questions, that 1950s generation still has some former members about the area and I can get questions answered for you!

Last edited by hollydog; 24-06-2018 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 24-06-2018, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollydog View Post
Your first reference is right, the mast at Hill Head Farm Shilbottle was where the ROC bunker was. Your second photo above Bilton is a water reservoir.
If you have any ROC questions, that 1950s generation still has some former members about the area and I can get questions answered for you!

I think there is something at the foot of the mast visible on google street view:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@55.36...7i13312!8i6656

is that it?
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Old 24-06-2018, 07:46 PM
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What brought this on is that I've come across some ROC cloth insignia with some WW1 medals (all for disposal), and recalled there was a bunker at Shilbottle somewhere. The hatches into that tank look the same as bunker hatches elsewhere online http://home2.btconnect.com/harrowdenit/wolstroc.htm

but I suppose a hatch is a hatch.

Is the bunker intact or vandalised do you know?

I get the cap badge from time to time. The long service medal much rarer beast at 200 up.

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Old 24-06-2018, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coquet View Post
I think there is something at the foot of the mast visible on google street view:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@55.36...7i13312!8i6656

is that it?
I am told that was / is it , next to the mast at Hill Head
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Old 24-06-2018, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coquet View Post
What brought this on is that I've come across some ROC cloth insignia with some WW1 medals (all for disposal), and recalled there was a bunker at Shilbottle somewhere. The hatches into that tank look the same as bunker hatches elsewhere online http://home2.btconnect.com/harrowdenit/wolstroc.htm

but I suppose a hatch is a hatch.

Is the bunker intact or vandalised do you know?
Unfortunately I have no idea of its condition, we worked up there for the farmer a while ago, I normally ask about things like that but this one I missed!
My dad was an ROC member back in the 50s and we as a company painted many of them over the years.
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Old 24-06-2018, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollydog View Post
Unfortunately I have no idea of its condition, we worked up there for the farmer a while ago, I normally ask about things like that but this one I missed!
My dad was an ROC member back in the 50s and we as a company painted many of them over the years.
Must have been interesting places for you to have a look at? You father would be familiar with the various insignia. (I have to look them up in book !)










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Old 24-06-2018, 09:49 PM
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I have no further info, but I'd be surprised if any bunker wasn't a few hundred meters or so away from Hillhead Farm where a hillfort possibly was, on the plot near where the reservoir is now (Beacon Hill, the trees to west of the farm) which tallies with the "west" side of a road in descriptions thrown up in searches.

Hillhead has been there for at least a couple of hundred years and to my knowledge has always been a farm (and it's never been a particularly welcoming farm with the current owner, unlike most around the village, but I've no idea if his predecessor (family?) was any better).

There's a pillbox half a mile towards Hampeth on the same road, but I doubt that's of much relevance here, not that I've ever had a look at it. Here on Google maps.
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Old 24-06-2018, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
There's a pillbox half a mile towards Hampeth on the same road, but I doubt that's of much relevance here, not that I've ever had a look at it. Here on Google maps.
Must have passed that a few thousand times on the pit bus off to Whittle. Can't remember seeing it
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Old 24-06-2018, 11:21 PM
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Without attracting the attention of MI5 , what is the 'establishment' not too far from the top of Bilton Bank??


https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@55.38...7i13312!8i6656
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Old 25-06-2018, 01:24 PM
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What better way to check than to go for a wander. It's private land so I didn't want to stray too close.

Click for the full-size images.

Bunker near the mast?


Does it look like a bunker you'd expect?




I also went down to what I thought was the pillbox on the roadside near Hampeth, but I've no idea what it actually is. There were no holes to suggest it was a pillbox (the side facing the road (north-west side) is completely sunken), only a single opening in the top with a decent-looking ladder down (quite a small hole, not sure I'd want to try to squeeze in there.

From the field-side (south-east side):


On-top:


And down the short shaft with exposure blown up (just the ladder and a lot of rubble that's been thrown down).





I also had a look at the pillbox near Southmoor:

Not much to see here. No opening in the sides (or even a trace of a doorway), so I assume access was from above?




I had a wander down the footpath between Whittle Farm and Newton on the Moor too, seeing as it was such a nice day.

This is the quarry on the way to Newton on the Moor with the old road in front of the A1 and Newton on the Moor itself (the pit road is hidden here, but it is down there).


Last edited by this_is_gav; 25-06-2018 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 25-06-2018, 06:42 PM
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Around 1982 until '84 I used to fill in for a colleague at Whittle Colliery, he was a part time member of the ROC and was often granted special leave for exercises / drills etc. He lived near 'The Farriers' and was still active with the ROC when I left in '84.
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Old 28-06-2018, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
What better way to check than to go for a wander. It's private land so I didn't want to stray too close.

Wonderful photos Gav. That's clearly the ROC bunker. Just what I wanted to see. MOD did sell a few bunkers off a few years back, not sure if the process is still ongoing. Some of them should be preserved as cold war artifacts.

You pillbox is and odd one, must be a story with that as well. Nice snap of Whittle lime kiln too. I've a page on that somewhere.
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Old 28-06-2018, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpy shore View Post
Around 1982 until '84 I used to fill in for a colleague at Whittle Colliery, he was a part time member of the ROC and was often granted special leave for exercises / drills etc. He lived near 'The Farriers' and was still active with the ROC when I left in '84.
If what they were practicing for came to pass I think I would rather be outside the bunker and get it over with 'in a flash' so to speak. Boulmer was a target it turned out, still is I bet. God knows what sights would be to greet you sticking head out that bunker after Boulmer had been hit. You can probably see Boulmer from Shilbottle beacon, it would have been quite a view.
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Old 29-06-2018, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coquet View Post
If what they were practicing for came to pass I think I would rather be outside the bunker and get it over with 'in a flash' so to speak. Boulmer was a target it turned out, still is I bet. God knows what sights would be to greet you sticking head out that bunker after Boulmer had been hit. You can probably see Boulmer from Shilbottle beacon, it would have been quite a view.
There was a much better bunker (other than air filtration) only a few hundred yards away called Whittle Colliery, we might have been saved!
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Old 29-06-2018, 10:44 AM
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It would not surprise me if that had been given some thought back in the day. We have a picture on here somewhere of civilian Drifters lined up down the drift during a WW2 Air raid drill.
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:11 PM
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I have it on good authority that the Shilbottle bunker was dug out and the land re-instated when handed back to the land owner. Also, the only bunker that survives locally is at Whittingham, further afield, the Milfield bunker may also still exist, both very securely locked up.
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