I once was lost, but now am found...
Posted by Hendrix on Jul 30th, 2009
Me and gabriel (fallen angel) Visited Kelvedon Hatch
For those not in the know, Kelvedon Hatch was the regional command centre
the South-East of England if a nuclear attack took place. Basically it
is a 3 story nuclear bunker semi built into a hill. Its near the town
of Kelvedon Hatch, which is roughly 7 miles from Brentwood.
the train to Brentwood guys, then get off and get on the 501 bus, then
get off at Kelvdon hatch. Follow the road (be careful, there is no
pavement) towards Ongar, and it will be on your left. You'll have to
walk through a tangle of roads that cut through fields and its pretty
difficult to get to.... but i guess thats its purpose.
The entrance to the bunker
its a standard looking guard house, relatievly unimpressive in itself.
There is a humber pig parked outside (i have a love affair with the
humber pig, as the rest of the team knows!) There is also a Green
goddess fire engine in a shed, and some kind of missile (which me and
gabriel failed to identify!)
Into the Darkness
surprised to find a sign telling you to pay at the end of the tour, but
worry not. You grab a 'wand' (basically a large hand held device that
talks you through the tour) from what was once an armoury, and then
step through the first set of reinforced doors. This was the first
impressions of what it would be like to be living and working in these
conditions, and let me tell you, a chill ran down my spine. There is an
air raid siren playing on loop as you enter the immersion shaft, a long
tunnel maybe 100 yards long. There are beds hanging from the walls, and
push bikes to get people about. You walk down and are told the
schematics by your wand.
The Entrance Shaft
The blast doors
you've traversed the shaft, and are not at the entrance to the bunker
actual, the most impressive thing, is the scale of the blast doors.
They are massive, and bloody heavy looking. Each door aparantely weighs
more than a car... not something you want to run into after a few
pints! Following the tour we walk into various government rooms,
control and computer terminals spread all about...
i wont spoil it for you and tell you about ever room, but a few things
you need to take into consideration here. These rooms are not made for
space or comfort, they are designed for efficiency and protection. The
ceiling is adequately high, gabriel may of ducked at a few points, but
he does that a lot as he's a tall bastard... me being an respectable 5
foot 10", had no worries in getting around. The rooms are narrow
mostly, there are air filters in every room, hanging from the ceiling
like strange UFOs. There are also small comms boxes, voice to voice
communication i guess between different areas of the shelter.
thing that did disturb was the taste of the air. Its recycled as you
can imagine. There is a constant odor of dirty linen, and sweat... and
this is before a large group of men has been living in it for weeks on
end. Your eyes will begin to ache slightly at the fluorescent glow of
every single bloody light!
really goneout to town on finding information and items from the cold
war. There are civil defence items strewn about, there are maps, videos
and dummy's in period costume... perhaps the most interesting thing for
me and Gabe, was the stuff from the bunker itself. The torches fixed to
the walls, the communication equipment, the plotting boards, everything.
Probably the most eye opening part was the cardboard coffins laid out towards the end of the tour.
for about an hour and a half, watching all the videos and in our
element, it was time to go. We made our way yo the exit, where there is
a cafe and left via a creepy corrugated shaft leading to a shot of
darkness above... walking back to kelvedon hatch, and then back to
A Ghost in the exit??
Lads it costs approximately £10,
this is paid at the end. If you wish to take photos, you must pay £5
and sign a form. There are drinks available during the tour, and is a
cafe at the end of it.
From London Stratford it cost about £40 for the pair of us.... including travel but not including the slap
up greasy breakfast we had.
I would advise anyone with an interest in the cold war to do it.
Pus we got a tonne of reference for the mod!!