Steve Ashdown's tour of
Cuckfield Royal Observer Corps Post
"We had our bunkbeds here, a two bed unit, and we actually jacked it up to enable us to get the
Jerry cans underneath for storage. On top we had our ration packs. The lower bed was available for anybody to have
a lie down if they wanted to, but in all my time in 50 Post, I can't actually remember anybody having a proper
sleep on the bunk beds!"
"There's still one or two bits and bobs. Some very old soap. I don't think we ever used that.
Few old tommy cookers. We never got round to using those thankfully. I think they were a bit dangerous anyway! Two
of my observers had camping gas equipment so when we did use up our rations we used to do some cooking up top there
and drop some food down."
"Now, just on the top corner of the post, we've got the fitting for the Ground Zero Indicator, a
big white breadbin with four pinhole cameras in it. If a bomb landed close by, the initial blast would have burnt a
trail onto the photographic paper, and at the prescribed time, an Observer would come up through the hatch, change
the cassettes for new ones, and then go back down below and analyse what we'd actually got from the photographic
"This is the top of the blast pipe and all that happens is that it goes straight down to the
Bomb Power Indicator. Any peak over pressure from an explosion would give us a reading on the indicator below. It
would have to be quite a strong wind to set it off. If you've got very strong lungs you could blow down it and get
a very small reading."