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Lancashire At

Exploring the hidden history of War sites in Lancashire





Cold War Sites

Royal Observor Corps sites

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.


"I always said it could, they never though it would

The people look so pitiful, I'm thinking that it should

And now it's almost here, now its on its way

I can't help saying told you so and have a nice final day"


The Housemartins - 'Think For A Minute

Left & Right: The Guardian Building front and back.

Preston's Cold War Bunkers

What would the BBC do in the case of Nuclear War? See their page about it HERE

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"!


Today many secret Cold War sites still exist in the Lancashire Countryside - a few are on this page.

These pages, all text and photographs, unless stated, are the copyright of The Brothers B. No reproduction is allowed in any form without prior written permission

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ROC sites in Turton CLICK HERE 

ROC Mellor (Blackburn) CLICK HERE 

ROC Burscough (Ormskirk)  CLICK HERE


ROC Barrow-in-Furness CLICK HERE

Preston Cold War Bunkers CLICK HERE


Backbone - A Secret Cold War Communication Network



The Guardian Building in the heart of Manchester -


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.



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.


Hidden in Plain View: Backbone

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?"

A: "Er....?"


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.

A Cold War surprise in a Primary School in Bury - An Air Raid Siren in a school built in 1967.

A hidden Cold War story - READ MORE ON THIS PAGE.

During the Cold War thousands of people volunteered for Civil Defence duties and regular Civil Defence exercises took place across the country - including here in Lancashire.



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