Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Would you like to know a secret ?

This may be one of the most unusual tourist signs you may come across as you drive around the East coast of Scotland. A secret posted on a sign becomes somewhat of a non secret, but that's what happens at the end of a long a protracted Cold War.

If you follow the signs you come to some more, that give away greater  information..

and then you come to a rather innocent looking farm house...

innocent except you cant help noticing all the windows have steel shutters that can be closed over "if required"

Enough of the spooks and dramatics.. Today we went to one of Scotland's more unusual tourist attractions. Formerly a nuclear survival bunker for the Scottish Government, it is now privately owned, presumably no longer required now the Cold War is over ? To be fair it is a little more touristy and obvious than the previous picture suggests. The collection of vehicles around the car park would make it stand out on a satellite picture now, but they do add a little more for the paying public to take pictures of.


But what about the bunker I hear you ask? Well in true spy style you enter via the farm house, but unlike James Bond we had to pay for a family ticket and go through a turn style, then down one flight of stairs to a very long tunnel that slopes downwards..

The information pack informs you that the tunnel is made of concrete 18" thick and it leads down to a large set of steel blast doors that weigh 1.5 tons and a pair of 90degree turns to further reduce the effect of any explosion.

Once inside its hard to tell your underground except the air smells a little musty, other than that it has the look of any government building or perhaps an old hospital. There are two floors each the size of a football pitch and it is all encased in 9 feet of concrete extending to a depth of 90 feet.
A lot of original "equipment" is on display from both its original use in the 50s and 60s as a secret observation post, to its later use as the emergency seat of Scottish Politics from 68 to 93. 



From top left, Power room, Telephony switch board, Radar Room, Operations room.

There were things to play with too, which Rachel in particular liked.

 Wearing a Wok ?

New laptop ?

Hello Bunker Pizza, can I take your order please?

Dad there's a weird girl on the phone selling Pizza's !

On the whole I think this next picture shows the boy and I would rather take a direct strike than live down here long term.

Whereas Mrs RJR was quite happy once she realised that despite having no phone signal, thanks to the wonders of a wi-fi transmitter in the underground mess room come cafe, she could get Facebook !

All in all an informative and fun morning out. The big question is, do they have a new Bunker ? 
I guess that would be a real SECRET !


Duckie. said...

That green goddess and Austin champ look familiar.
Drove both at one time or another.

Raejean said...

Now I'll be questioning every innocent looking farmhouse I see. I guess if you live in the suburbs or the city you are out of luck!

KarenG said...

Thanks for taking us along on this intriguing tour! It would really be fun to go into a WWII bunker and explore.

Anonymous said...

Just remember where it is in case you ever need it.

Plain Jane said...

There is an old bunker on a hill where we live that faces the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, I can only wander around it as the insice is locked.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now that is really cool! Thanks for sharing the photos. And is there anywhere on the planet one can't check his or her Facebook?

Su said...

Hey, you have plastic people working in your government, too!

I've never been to the East Coast of Scotland, but I'll put this on the list for our next visit.

Duncan D. Horne said...

Wow, very interesting post RJR! Enjoyed that a lot...

Duncan In Kuantan

Crystal Pistol said...

Hey! Your son looks just like you! And your wife has a lovely Lady Di haircut. You have a gorgeous family.

Looks like you had fun!

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