Do something new: discover Lepe’s Cold War history

Up periscope! Nia Crouch introduces us to the cold history behind Lepe Country Park's monitoring station...

© Lepe Country Park - Children using the periscope to see the Monitoring Post below

As the Project Officer for our Heritage Lottery funded project this is my first Heritage Open Day Weekend. Lepe Country Park have held many in the past and I cannot wait to share with everyone our progress on our ‘Discovering Lepe’s Cold War History’ project.

What's special about your site?

We have been busy renovating the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) Monitoring Post to restore it to its original 1960s condition when members of the ROC were first stationed there to monitor the effects of a nuclear blast should Britain come under attack.

The fascinating remnant of the Cold War lies hidden from view at Lepe Country Park. Thorough research is being carried out and we are beginning to uncover the secret network of Monitoring Posts built to help warn the public of a nuclear attack and monitor the after effects.

We have also been interviewing the volunteers charged with manning the post to see how they felt about their responsibilities:

At a given instruction I was to go to the post at Lepe where I would be given arms and would stay until after an Atomic Explosion. After the all clear I would be given a set beat and would be responsible for law and order. At the time I was not happy … to leave my family. Thankfully the orders never came.” Keith David Laurence, Special Constable

What new things do you have planned to celebrate HODs this year?

Over the weekend ROC personnel will be manning the post, on hand to answer questions and give you a background into the Cold War history of Lepe. We have recently had a scale model of the post made alongside replicas of some of the equipment that would have been found there; all of this will be on view. Our new interactive periscope will be open for you to explore the room below and there will be a history walk to discover the broader heritage of Lepe’s coast. 

Have we whetted your appetite, do you fancy discovering something new?