Hack Green bunker - a Cold War secret, now revealed
For over 50 years, a number of vast underground complexes around Britain remained secret. They were nuclear protection bunkers, designed to accommodate government officials in the event of an atomic war. Several are now visitor attractions, including one that was hidden on the outskirts of a sleepy Cheshire town.
Declared surplus to requirements in 1993, the bunker is now a tourist attraction, its location proudly announced to potential visitors.
The Hack Green 35,000 square foot underground bunker would have been the centre of North Western Regional Government had nuclear war broken out.
The bunker was built in the 1950’s as part of a vast secret radar tracking network code called ‘ROTOR’, then rebuilt towards the end of the 'Cold War' in the 1980’s at a cost of over £32 million, to be a blast-proof headquarters. One of a network of 17 such sites throughout the UK, it was designed to enable government to continue in the aftermath of a major nuclear attack on the UK.
The bunker was decommissioned in about 1992, and purchased by a businessman who turned it into a private museum – a combination of Cold War museum display of parts of the original installations, and a wide-ranging Cold-War-themed collection of ephemera and artefacts were assembled for display. This even includes a number of decommissioned (and hopefully completely decontaminated) nuclear weapons. It opened to the public as a museum in 1998.
Amongst other items of interest, visitors can see the Minister of State’s office, life support, communication centre, decontamination facilities, and telephone exchange. Original broadcasts that were made to be transmitted on all TV channels prior to a nuclear attack can now be chillingly viewed. Hack Green also has a display of some of the military nuclear warheads from the Cold War period.
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