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Meet the man who has a ready-made ‘secret’ bunker if WW3 breaks out 


Mike Parrish at the entrance to his Cold War-era bunker in Essex (Picture: Adam Williamson)

Mike Parrish at the entrance to his secret bunker in Essex (Picture: Adam Williamson/Getty/Rex)

‘This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible.’

If the Cold War had gone nuclear, this is the chilling warning former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would have broadcast to the nation. She would have given the radio address not from No 10 Downing Street, but from a secret hideout 100ft beneath the Essex countryside.

‘‘The bunker was near enough from London to be far enough away’, Mike Parrish, 76, tells Metro.co.uk.

‘It’s only 20 miles as the crow flies from the House of Commons. If London was attacked the River Thames, in theory, could have come up and flooded everything. The bunker was far enough from a potential blast area.’

Construction of the hidden shelter began in 1952, when post-war fears of a Soviet attack had taken hold within Winston Churchill’s Government. The Government paid local farmer Jim Parrish, Mike’s grandfather, £2,410 for 25 acres of his sprawling 2,000 acre estate.

A humble bungalow, originally built in 1952, guards the entrance to the bunker (Picture: Andy Drysdale/REX/Shutterstock)

Mike ‘farms the public’ while his son ‘farms the land’ at the bunker (Picture: Kirsten Robertson)

‘They bulldozed a hill to make it,’ Mike continues. ‘Then put the hill back again. We farmed over it as though nothing had happened, so the Russians wouldn’t cotton on.

‘My grandfather had little choice in giving away the land to the Government, but was relatively happy with the arrangement. He’d fought two World Wars, he didn’t want to fight another.’

The bunker, in the village of Kelvedon Hatch – five miles from Brentwood – remained one of Britain’s best-kept secrets for decades. Whenever there were training exercises, the Army would travel in civilian clothes so as to not raise suspicion among the locals. There was never a convoy of vehicles, but instead a sporadic arrival of cars.

To the unsuspecting eye, the small dirt track off the A128 simply led to a small farm cottage owned by the Parrish family.

People were none the wiser about the hidden fortress beneath their feet.

Concrete walls 10ft thick protected the entrance tunnel (Picture: Andy Drysdale/REX/Shutterstock)

Army top brass and politicians would rush to the bunker if London was threatened by a nuclear bomb (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

A 109m tunnel stretched beneath the bungalow and into the main bunker, where generators had enough fuel to run continuously for at least three months.

Heavy doors, guarded at all times, were built to withstand any blasts and the unique ‘L’ shape of the corridor was created to deflect explosions.

A hospital bay, several bathrooms, bunk beds and a large canteen were built for the 600 people who would have gathered in the bunker if a nuclear bomb was dropped. Morbidly, several coffins and body bags were also stored in case anyone …read more

Source:: Metro

      

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