Saturday, August 19, 2006

YORK: Acomb: ROC Group HQ No 20

York: Acomb: ROC Group HQ No 20
Cold war bunker
Acomb Road

The cold war bunker at York has recently opened its doors thanks to English Heritage and a large chunk of cash (reputedly £240,000) The bunker is situated behind Shelley House on Acomb road in York, and is open for pre-arranged tours. Based on photographs of the interior in 1991, when it was 'stood' down, its appearance, including a large collection of equipment such as computers, telephones and uniforms, has been re-constructed as authentically as possible. Also in situ, are maps and recording equipment that would have been used to monitor radioactive fall out in the event of a nuclear attack on the UK.

Photography was forbidden on the tour, hence the only shot I have is of the exterior of the bunker, but needless to say, it's a tour well worth taking.

The bunker is a semi-submerged structure, built into a mound of earth a story high, and accessed by a flight of stairs up the outside. The bomb proof door is still in situ, as is the pump up arial at its side. Once inside, there are an further two floors beneath the earth.

Once inside, the bunker is pretty much like a large house (without the windows of course). There's a kitchen and canteen, dormitaries to sleep a staff of 60 in shifts, the plant room containing the deisel generator, a telephone exchange room with impressive faraday cage, the Control room from which the trajectory of radioactive material would have been monitored and all presented pretty much as it would have been when in action!!!

The tour is presented by a member of English heratige, and the young lady that took our tour was very knowledgable and answered all of our questions.

The bunker was opened for operations in 1961, and found itself on high alert during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

Well worth a visit.

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