Monday, 16 July 2007

Hilltop bunker....

I came across another nuclear bunker today. It's not particularly obvious from the road (it's in that grassy bit in the middle of the photograph). There is a footpath here and it was the concrete plinth leftover from the aircraft lookout point that gave it away. These nuclear observer bunkers are always high up, this one is on the hill above the River Trent near Elford.

This bunker seems quite intact, although the three padlocks and the lock over bar were missing.

To the side is a concrete step, still in one piece, these always seem to get vandalised first (probably used to try and break in!)

Next to the hatch is the secondary vent shaft (the bit with the louvres) and on top of this is the circular mounting plate that the GZI (Ground Zero Indicator) would be fitted. This was basically a pinhole camera affair with holes facing each of the cardinal points. In the event of a nuclear explosion, the exact point of impact could be calculated. Unfortunately for the operator, the photographic paper had to be retrieved manually by opening the hatch! (Who's got the short straw!)

This is the FSM pipe (Fixed Survey Meter). The cover plate would be unbolted and a plastic dome put in its place. From inside the bunker a metal rod would be raised with a small ionization chamber on it (Plessey PDRM82F), this would measure the amount of radiation.

The main ventilation shaft is at the opposite end of the site. This also housed the BPI (Bomb Power Indicator). Simply a baffle connected to a tube which led down inside and operated a bellow fixed to a meter. It all sounds very basic, but this is deliberate and follows the reliable 'keep it simple, stupid' principle.

The extra bit on the side of the vent indicates that this was a 'master' post. Linked to HQ via radio.

Wooden louvres don't seem right somehow, maybe there's a reason.

Underneath the peeling green camouflage paint, there seems to be an odd silver layer. Is this to reflect blast energy?

It looks as if someone has got into this recently. It looks disturbed and the 'Halfords' lock and zip tags aren't military issue!

On closer inspection you could see the clasp had been hacksawed. This must have taken absolutely ages.

The other locking loop showed all the signs of bolt cutter damage. Distinctive vee cut ends and stress marks on the remaining bit.
I ran some candle wax into the crack of the hatch, this way I'll know if someone has been in. I'll pop back soon...


photowannabe said...

Amazing, scary and definitely interesting history.
Keep us updated.

Ackworth Born said...

I'm not quite sure why you would want to locate these things but then I used to love map mysteries too in my younger days.

Elisa, Jarrod & Thomas said...

I want to know if you are going to break in??
Please invesigate.

BTW loved the brum pics in the post below..oh know feel the home sickness coming back.

Angela Marie said...

I have to agree with photowannabe!

Please keep us updated!
Very interesting!

secret agent said...

hmmmm. I'd have to take a looksy
see if there are dead bodies in there.
keep us stuff

Sharon said...

Very interesting! I agree that it must have taken years to hack saw through that clasp.

Lavender said...

Fascinating! I dont hear of anyone buidling these now, and I find that surprising...and breaking into one - I cant fathom that at all - very interesting find, Im curious if the intruders will be back too.....great blog, thanks for visiting mine!