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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Life at Ullenwood 6: the discovery of poison gas ...

My appeal for Crickley and Ullenwood memories has elicited the following gem from Malcolm White. Thanks, Malc:

"Does anyone remember finding the poison gas? It happened when a group of us were clearing out the Civil Defence hut at Ullenwood for use as a dorm or storage hut. Unfortunately I can't remember which year it was but almost certainly some time in the 80s.
 
Many odd and interesting things were found in that hut, gas masks and gas mask filters, a map showing fallout levels for a 1 megaton bomb dropped on GCHQ, a Civil Defence Volunteers flag (which I had and used at Glastonbury rock festival as a sunshade until my rats ate it) and then there was the poison gas.
 
We unearthed two small display cases. Both were about 9 inches square and about 1 inch deep. One was made of plastic and the other wood with glass fronts. Inside were 6 glass phials with various liquids inside. I recall Mustard Gas and BBC (Bromobenzyl cyanide?). When Phil turned up we rather hastily (and carefully) gave him the cases and washed our hands of the responsibility.
 
The story then becomes third hand as far as I'm concerned. But from what I was told, Phil took the cases to the police station in Cheltenham where the officer behind the reception desk asked "Are they dangerous then?" to which the reply was "That's why I'm standing by the door!"

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