Nuclear bunker re-opened

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By David Tingley

It was a sunny afternoon in quiet Cuckfield when I took my first trip underground and into a nuclear bunker. Lovingly restored by Mark Russell over a 12 month period (assisted by Ed Combes) it is now back to its working state as it was shortly before it was officially decommissioned in 1991. 

The bunker was part of the Royal Observer Corps and was Post No. 50 of over 1500 originally built in the UK in the 1960s. The nearest other posts were in Brighton and Lewes; Cuckfield completing the local area triangulation.

Once down the vertical ladder visitors can hear the constant beeping of the “4 minute warning system” and see the official paperwork and recordings of the three-man volunteer workforce that were once in place in the village. The government documents on nuclear attack, also on show in the bunker, are both fascinating and very sobering. 

Since restoration in 2009, Mark and a small team of volunteers have opened the Cuckfield Nuclear Bunker for a few weekends over the summer. The remaining open dates this year are: 27-28th July, 24-25th August & 28-29th September. Contact can be made for booking your visit via the website www.rocremembered.com or by talking to Phillipa Malins at The Cuckfield Museum.

  

Cuckfield Nuclear Bunker open weekends in 2013

Cuckfield Museum is again helping to organise visits to the village’s Cold War bunker.  

The underground bunker was built in Cuckfield in 1962 as part of the Royal Observer Corps Post.  It formed part of the Cold War early warning system and stayed in place until 1991 when the Post was closed. Mark Russell and Ed Coombes have restored the bunker to how it would have looked in1991.  

Open Weekend dates for 2013: June 22nd -23rd, July 27th-28th, Aug 24th -25th and Sept 28th -29th.

For more information and to book a place, please contact Phillipa Malins on 01444 452307.

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