Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Hack Green Secret Bunker

Right at the side of The Shropshire Union Canal, at Hack Green, lies a hidden secret. This is a concrete under-ground bunker, that has played an important role in the defence of Britain from before World War 2, right up until 1993, when it was finally declassified and decommissioned. It is now a tourist attraction, and was the place we visited today.......
Set up before the second world war as a bombing decoy site for the railway centre of Crewe, in 1941 it became RAF Hack Green, to protect the land between Birmingham and Liverpool from hostile attack. It was fully equipped with searchlights and fighter aircraft control, and was one of a network of 21 such radar sites. After the war, and into the cold war period, the site was updated to provide an early warning role to detect approaching Russian bombers, and thus deploy the aircraft, or Bloodhound ground to air missiles to intercept them, or co-ordinate retaliatory attack by the V-bomber squadrons in the event of a strike. It was abandoned by the RAF in 1966, but the site was retained by the government to be converted into a Regional Government Headquarters, <Click> to be used as a co-ordination centre for emergency services, and planners, whose controllers were able to survive under ground, isolated from the outside world, in the event of a thermo-nuclear attack. It was one of many such centres, or bunkers, across the land that were built as part of the Government's Emergency Planning, and was opened in 1984 in this role, at a cost of £32million. In 1993, it was decommissioned, and declassified, and is now open to the public, still full of rather worrying information, and equipment, as a tourist attraction. More information on the history of the site can be read here: <Click>. It can be accessed by a very short walk from the canal, and is signposted from the canal bank at Hack Green. Here are some pictures.....

The whole site was self sufficient, and could support 135 personnel without contact with the outside world for 12 weeks. Although it does have worrying undertones, it is well worth a visit, even if only to hammer home the futility of war. It is suitable for children, after a considered decision by parents, and there are no restrictions. The cost of entry for adults is  currently £6.80, with concessions for students, children, and seniors.

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