19 March 2011

Hack Green, Nuclear War Bunker

Hack Green started life in 1941 as a fixed radar station. It was one of only a dozen provided with both searchlights and the communications facilities to control fighter aircraft. After WWII, radar technology needed to be updated to cope with jet aircraft, and to be protected against nuclear strikes. Accordingly, Hack Green was refitted as a Rotor radar station. Fully staffed, the site was home to over 260 personnel.

In 1958 the site was one of four that provided joint civil and military air traffic control. As an RAF station, Hack Green closed in 1966, yet a decade later the Home Office acquired the site from the MoD, for conversion into one of the regional seats of government proposed to operate in the event of nuclear war.

A massive bunker was constructed, partly underground, to provide for self-contained power generation and air filtration; decontamination facilities; and communication, control and broadcasting functionality. Were the Emergency Powers Act to be invoked, the 135 civil servants and military staff bunkered in the RGHQ at Hack Green would have sought to govern the area from Cheshire to Cumbria, or at least what was left of this.

Hack Green RGHQ operated from 1984. Like its counterparts in other parts of the UK, it was sold in the early 1990s. It is now home to a splendid collection of radar, civil defence, and cold war exhibits, drawn together by Rodney Siebert, the site's curator. Some of the communications equipment, all valves and flashing lights, came from Criggion (YMGW passim).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

fascinating ... many thanks !!