Saturday, August 20, 2005

Daddy's taking us to the zoo park scary underground place tomorrow! 

Perhaps you have seen this picture:

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We pass by this sign quite often. It's something of a habit of ours to drive aimlessly around little villages, salivating over Georgian manor houses and shaking our fists at rich bastards who build palatial "executive mansions" which spoil the look of them.

So we took a new turn today, and found a sign saying that we were actually at the "secret" bunker. Seeing as the entrance fee was only £5 per adult, we thought we would take a look.

It was quite eerie. We were the only tourists there, although there were plenty of CCTV cameras. We walked down a long, steep forest path.. and entered. There was a tunnel. The bunker itself was protected by huge doors made out of the steel they use to make tanks. It was cold, but that was good. I'm guessing the owners (it was bought from the government as an attraction) pump plenty of oxygen in there. I had started to panic about being so far underground, until I realized that there was plenty of air.

It was great! There was a "broadcasting room" with a waxwork figure of Margaret Thatcher addressing the nation. According to the posters, she would have been telling people to "leave the elderly and bedridden. You can do nothing for them." Lovely!

"John Major" was in the P.M's bedroom, asleep. There was a room full of machinery which was the telephone exchange system in the 1950's. Outside of that, was an archaic P.C and fax, with a note on it saying how that machine alone, could do the work of all the equipment in the previous room.

I liked the command centre. Full of the best technology the 1980's could provide. It was funny, how we used to laugh about Jeff Goldblum saving the world from his Apple Mac laptop in "Independence Day", but how they expected to get shit done here.. my God.

Tara kept asking why there were so many maps and charts on the walls. Sign of the times, I know. I had to keep explaining that in those days, one couldn't just call up information on the internet.

And all around the walls, little plaques showing where each minister would have been sitting at their machines. That made me laugh. I said to Alex, "can you imagine, in the event of a crisis, how shocked the lazy bastards would be at actually having to get together and work for a change?"

For a mere £2 in "The Honesty Box", you could dress up and take a photo. I was an air force Sergeant. Tara didn't like the gas mask, so she is wearing army greens and a little tin hat.

To be honest, I didn't understand a lot of it. We were going in to "The Plant Room", and I was thinking, "Oh, that's a good idea. Having lots of plants to make oxygen. You would need that if you had to spend up to four years down here." Turned out it was an engine room. It smelled good, though!

My mind is odd like this, but I was also thinking, "wouldn't it be mad if there was a nuclear strike, right now, and we'd have to stay here. Just us, and the guys who run the canteen. Pretty soon, we'd have to start eating the tinned spam.. and Alex would have to fix all those computers!"

Speaking of Alex, he was shaking his head in disbelief. "They didn't have a clue, did they? You can imagine what the bunkers are like these days, but back then.."

For more accurate information, the website is HERE

Tara's verdict? "Can we come back and visit the spooky place again, please Mummy and Daddy?"

We are a strange family. I don't deny it.

UPDATE: Blogsister Boudicca comments: "leave the elderly and the bedridden. There is nothing you can do for them."

Well, there goes Palm Beach County!

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