Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Friday, 4 June 2010 10:05 UK
Nuclear bunkers in Herefordshire and Worcestershire
Shaft down into a nuclear bunker
The entrance shaft to the nuclear bunker at Broadway Tower

The Cold War threat of a nuclear attack led to a network of bunkers being built in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Between 1959 and 1963, 26 were built in this area, part of a national network, staffed by the Royal Observer Corps.

This Civil Defence organisation, staffed by volunteers, helped spot enemy aircraft in World War II.

After the war their job was to monitor the effects of a nuclear attack, from the comparative safety of the underground bunkers.

Herefordshire

In Herefordshire, bunkers were built at:

  • Burghill.
  • Founhope.
  • Harewood End.
  • Lea.
  • Leominster.
  • Lyonshall.
  • Pencombe.
  • Peterchurch.
  • Pontrilas.
  • Ridgeway Cross.
  • Trumpet.
  • Whitchurch.
  • Wigmore.

More details on the bunkers in Herefordshire can be found on this website.

Worcestershire

In Worcestershire, bunkers were built at:

  • Arley.
  • Broadway.
  • Bromsgrove.
  • Clows Top.
  • Crowle.
  • Evesham.
  • Inkberrow.
  • Ombersley.
  • Pershore.
  • Powick
  • Redditch.
  • Upper Sapey.
  • Upton-upon-Severn.

More details on the bunkers in Worcestershire can be found on this website.

Underground observation

Inside a nuclear bunker
The Broadway bunker is very small - only two rooms

The bunker at Broadway is 6m (20 feet) underground, and is about 274m (300 yards) away from the base of Broadway tower.

It was opened in June 1960 and closed in September 1991.

There are only two rooms - the main observation area and a toilet.

The job of the Royal Observation Corps volunteers, in the event of a nuclear attack, was to monitor where a bomb fell, the pressure of the bomb, and the level of radiation.

The bunker was opened to the public for the first time, for one day only, in June 2010.

Other local bunkers are even less accessible - the one at Bromsgrove has been sealed with concrete, though the ventilation shafts can still be seen within a scouts adventure park - there is a picture on this website.

The ventilation shafts for the bunker at Crowle can also still be seen - there is a picture on this website.

The bunker at Inkberrow is near a large brick tower, used for communications equipment.

The bunker itself is used for storage - there is a picture on this website.

Drakelow tunnels

The Drakelow Tunnels
The original underground factory cost 1m to build.

The largest nuclear bunker in this area is the Drakelow Tunnels, near Kidderminster.

These were originally built during WW2 to be an underground factory for the production of spare parts and components for aircraft engines - they cover 285,000 square feet, and there are more than three miles of tunnels.

In the 1960's they became a Regional Seat of Government - that means they were a nuclear bunker for government officials.

In the 1980's the complex was updated and renamed as an RGHQ, still doing the same job.

They were sold into private hands in mid 1990s.

See pictures from inside the Drakelow Tunnels here.

If you have any stories about the nuclear bunkers in Herefordshire or Worcestershire we'd love to hear them.

Send your story to worcester@bbc.co.uk




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