Chris Marshall, Coastal Ranger, for New Forest National Park Authority and Hampshire County Council. Been in post since September 2014 to promote the special qualities of the New Forest, increase visitors understanding and enjoyment of the National Park and support local people with community projects within the National Park boundaries.
Here at Lepe we have been welcoming groups from Girl Guiding UK to discover the fascinating history of our underground monitoring post.
The 2nd Dibden Purlieu Brownie Pack joined us on a special evening to find out all about the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) and the work they did to protect the local people. They used their reporter skills to find out how the underground monitoring post was used to monitor radiation and warn the public. We then used our findings to write postcards to loved ones.
The girls worked so hard that they all achieved their Culture Badge!
Holbury and District Trefoil group also came along to Lepe to meet two ROC volunteers in person and ask them all about their duties as part of the ministry defence.
As well as talking through the equipment and its uses we viewed the monitoring post using our inverted periscope; to see down below ground.
If you are interested in bringing a Brownies or Guides group along to work towards their Culture Badge, or if you know a Trefoil group that would like to come and find out more, then please contact Nia.Crouch@hants.gov.uk.
To celebrate the rich history and heritage of the local area the New Forest recently held an event as part of the national Archaeology Festival.
Expert archaeologists and local historians ran a host of activities throughout the day, including guided history walks along Lepe Beach and talks covering a wide range of areas from new Lidar technology to Hampshire’s tourism industry since 1914.
Lepe also opened their new interactive periscope allowing you to see the Underground Monitoring Post as it would have looked in the 1960s. It gives information about the Royal Observer Corp’s role at Lepe Country Park during the Cold War and how the post would have been used.
The gate to the monitoring post is now open daily for the public to see the periscope. We are also holding a family workshop 27th August 10am -12pm to inspire all ages in this local heritage.
The exciting new Heritage Lottery Funded Project at Lepe Country Park.
Lepe Country Park has been awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to renovate the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) Monitoring Post. The underground post will be restored 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 will be carried out to uncover why a network of Monitoring Posts were built to protect our shores and how the volunteers charged with manning the post 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
We will be hosting an array of activities for families, schools and all our visitors to get involved in over 2015. Contact email@example.com to find out more.