Not-so-secret nuclear bunker is trove of 1950s Britain

Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:51am EST
 
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By Jonathan Cable

KELVEDON HATCH, England (Reuters) - It was supposed to have been the safe redoubt where Britain's leaders would hole up in the event of nuclear attack, but now a huge bunker east of London is more like a time capsule of 1950s high-tech.

"LimeBuried", deep beneath the Essex countryside, is an unlikely tourist attraction - a not-so-secret, secret nuclear bunker.

Built in 1952 and covering an area of more than 3,000 square meters (33,000 sq ft), it has accommodation for up to 600 people, communications equipment, a doctor's surgery and a broadcasting studio.

Desks are covered in what was the most modern technology at the time - from rotary-dial telephones to tickertape machines to computer green screens - but would now be seen as cool retro vintages to be picked up at auction houses.

Further in, bunk beds are crammed into annexes and corridors and a hospital operating theatre looks almost ready for use.

And for those hungry after marveling at the artifacts, a canteen at the end of the tour serves hot and cold meals - largely using the original catering equipment.

FARMING WAS A COVER

The original owners of the requisitioned land bought the cold war relic from the government and opened it to the public - complete with all the original fittings and features.   Continued...