Royal Observer Corps look-out post, Knowle Hill

By the early years of the war, (one report suggests as early as 1937), the Kenilworth Branch of the Royal Observer Corps, erected at their own expense an observation post on top of the water reservoir at the summit of Knowle Hill. The structure was made of wood.

It gave commanding views of the area, Burton Green and Massey-Ferguson's works at Banner Lane for example being clearly visible.

In November 1953, the local ROC observer in chief made his usual tour of inspection only to discover that the post had gone! It transpired that the Ministry of Works had removed it with the intention of replacing it with a prefabricated building at the bottom of the tank. This was clearly unsuitable due to the surrounding trees and so in Setptember 1954 a new lightweight structure with a tubular steel framework was erected. The lightness of the structure was vital due to it being on top of the tank.

When the Corps were asked to undertake a nuclear fall-out detecting role, a new location and building was required and they decamped to the former gun battery site in Rouncil Lane in 1966, and the Knowle Hill post was demolished.

Update, 15th December 2011:    I have been contacted by Maurice Butler. He assures me that the 'Nuclear' observation post was NOT at Goodrest Farm but much further down Rouncil Lane and on the other side of the road. It was approximately 20feet underground; today there are no visible remains of the 'Nuclear' shelter. (See also 'Goodrest Farm').


 The Royal Observer Corps look-out post atop the Knowle Hill reservoir shortly before demolition in 1966