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The Cold War Bunker

At the height of the Cold War, when it was part of the policy of deterrence to have an effective Civil Defence force, a series of bunkers were constructed across the Great Britain and Northern Ireland which were to be manned in times of attack by a team of three by the Royal Observer Corps. They were to measure radio-active fallout and forward them to local control bunkers to inform the public when it was safe to come out into the open. One such bunker was built near the Leeds Road at Scholes near Taylor Lane. It opened in January 1962. Regular exercises and maintenance evenings were held through the next twenty nine years. There was no mains electricity or water and sewerage connection so the bunker had a generator and battery power and a chemical toilet.

Following the end of the Cold War, the bunkers were no longer required and were disposed of. While many have been demolished, the one here in the parish has ended up in private hands and is still in quite good condition. On 25th July 2007, members of the society visited the bunker. Because of the precipitous entry to the bunker (see below) only a few members braved the climb down into the unlit interior. Those of us who did saw a small room with a bed at one end and two more stacked beds, maps on the wall and rudimentary living conditions very much in the state that existed when the bunker was last manned for the weekly exercise. in September 1991.

The precipitous entrance. A descent into a 15ft entrance shaft which gave access to two rooms, one containing a chemical toilet and the larger (15ft X 7ft 6ins) monitoring room

The "Domestic" end of the Monitoring Room

The planning area with empty clips for orders and a white board.

The area map still with its bunkers marked with pins.

A featureless part of the bunker where the spare beds could be erected.

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