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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'd like a nuclear bunker for Christmas, please, daddy ...

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This pair of photos by Mike Sims shows the Ullenwood bunker, wrapped up like a Christmas present, when all else at the site was being demolished in the summer of 2004. Presumably the new owner calculated that it would be easier and less expensive to bury the bunker and landscape it than to demolish it, which would have been an astonishingly hard task.

It would also have been a sad end for a Cold War relic, the existence of which the government of the day was not prepared to confirm, as late as 1981, as the following extract from Hansard shows:

"WARTIME HEADQUARTERS

HL Deb 20 October 1981 vol 424 cc744-5WA

744WA
§Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether one of the bunkers at Ullenwood near Cheltenham has become Sub-Region H.Q. No. 72; whether Bolt Head near Salcombe is the seat of Regional Government 7 or Sub-Regional H.Q. No. 71; whether Sub-Regional H.Q. No. 31 at Skendelby, Lincolnshire, is currently manned, and who will occupy this deep bunker in the event of nuclear war.

745WA
§Lord Belstead It is not in the public interest to provide information on current plans for the location of wartime headquarters. They are not staffed in peacetime. In a war emergency each would be manned by representatives of key departments and services under the control of a Minister."

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