What a strange thing to find in a farmer's field - an underground bunker from the Cold War Era. It was a secret monitoring station to record the nuclear blast and fallout in the event of a nuclear war! Three men would have lived six feet underground in a small room and recorded what was going on above ground in the event of a nuclear strike. They would also regularly go down there and monitor and record as part of the ROC's (Royal Observer Corps) role. There were sites like this all over the country.
It is hard to explain to a generation today how it felt growing up in the Cold War. Being told that the world could end any day and that at best we might get a "four minute warning". We would imagine what we would do in those last few minutes. We regularly saw government adverts on TV at home and at school on what to do if the warning came. The paranoia of the day is hard to explain to people today. Remember, "Duck and Cover"!
The Guardian Building
in the heart of Manchester - CLICK HERE
ROC sites in Turton CLICK HERE
ROC Mellor (Blackburn) CLICK HERE
ROC Burscough (Ormskirk) CLICK HERE
ROC Bacup CLICK HERE
ROC Barrow-in-Furness CLICK HERE
Preston Cold War Bunkers CLICK HERE
Backbone - A Secret Cold War Communication Network
The Guardian Building and tunnels, Manchester was a closely guarded secret until recent years. We had heard rumours of it some time ago, but put these down to conspiracy theorists...... However, it is real and it is still closely guarded due to its current useage.
It is between George Street and St James Street in the heart of Manchester, just next to St Peter's Square which houses the Central Library.
For more information on it, the best place is Underground Manchester (p48 - 53) and Below Manchester (p214 - 251), both by Keith Warrender.
Left & Right: The Guardian Building front and back.
RAF Bempton became a key Cold War site after its WW2 use.
Read more about it HERE as part of our Yorkshire At War theme
Hidden in the Preston countryside are a series of Cold War bunkers that began use in WW2.
Q: "What are all those large towers for?"
A: "They are "Post Office" Towers."
Q: "Why do the Post Office need those in the 1980's?"
So what were they really for?
In 1956 a General Post Office document was written to propose a purpose built national communications system that could withstand a nuclear attack on Britain. The paper was classified ‘Top Secret’
We have lived with these "Post Office Towers" for decades without questioning what they were built for. Little did we know that they were built to ensure communicatons after a nuclear attack. This is the story of Backbone and how the tower at Heaton Park had its own role in this secret system.
Heaton Park was therefore used in WW1, WW2 and The Cold War.
What would the BBC do in the case of Nuclear War? See their page about it HERE