The secret is underground!

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The Cold War was brought to life for visitors in Arbroath at the weekend during a rare open day at the town’s own ‘Secret Bunker’.

On Saturday the Royal Observer Corps monitoring post threw open the hatches to the three man subterranean bunker at the Elliot Industrial Estate.

The men and women of the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) served Britain from 1925 until the organisation’s dismantling in 1995, in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union a few years before.

Originally the ROC was tasked with aircraft recognition and early warning of raids during World War II, and at that time were based atop the water tower at Keptie Pond.

However, with increasing tensions between East and West from the 1950s onwards and the advent of the nuclear arms race the role of the ROC changed.

The monitoring post at Elliot is one such example of this new role, to monitor the effects of a nuclear missile strike on British soil, presumably by the USSR.

The Elliot bunker was purchased by former ROC member Cheryl Stewart a few years ago and it has been restored to its former glory, along with the addition of a museum of ROC and World War II memorabilia.

In addition, everyone who enters the bunker receives a commemorative certificate.

There are only a few open days per year, but the site can be opened for special occasions, contact cheryl.stewart@gmail.com for details.