The Anti-Aircraft Command Operations Room in Merstham was built in 1951 as part of Pendell Army Camp, which was demolished to make way for the M23. The Operations Room was saved from demolition, being just metres away from the motorway. The Home Office took ownership of the site in the 1960’s before handing it over to the Met Police to be used as their Southern War HQ. It remained so until 1991 when the site was stripped of any sensitive material and left abandoned for a decade before it was sold.
It has since been sold again however no work to save the building has taken place, leaving the basement flooded with water and oil. The floor and walls on the ground level are falling apart making the building damp and dangerous.
Anti Aircraft Operations Rooms
Diagrams from Subbrit, designed by Nick Catford.
AAOR Rooms were created so that the raw data from radar stations could be filtered to produce the clearest and most accurate information. The Army Anti-Aircraft Command had 31 of these built, the majority of which followed the same layout which was based around a central operations room with administrative offices surrounding it. The AAOR sites became redundant in 1956 following advances in technology with guided missiles and the H bomb. Do checkout the Subbrit website for the 31 of these sites that they’ve documented. We thank Matt & James for showing us around this site.