Buckinghamshire County Council: Emergency Control Centre (Main)
Site Visit Report: 23 March 2000
[Source: Andrew P Smith]
The main County Council Emergency Control Centre is located in a corner of one of the County Hall buildings and has moderate protection. Entry is gained through an unmarked door (again fully secure) and down a short piece of corridor. You then enter through a lightly protected gas/blast door at the top of a long corridor with the main bunker to the right. Straight ahead was a short piece of corridor which led to a gas/blast door beyond which was access to the rest of County Hall. Just before this blast door was a door on the left which leads into a small plant room containing the generator and fuel tank.
We retraced our steps and headed down the main corridor which was lined with galvinised steel fresh water tanks to the far end and turned left. Through a set of double swing doors was an exit door on our right which led up some steps into County Hall and a lift shaft on our left. Both the exit door and lift shaft doors were protected.
Working back along the corridor the first room on the left was now a cleaning store. The next on the left was a general store for the Emergency Planning Dept and they had retained many cold war items including the 'mushroom cloud cut-outs' that would be drawn around on a wall chart to indicate bomb detanation.
We are now back the the bottom of the long corridor. A door straight in front of us led into the old comms room which again had many original features including the individual bays. A further room off this led into the room which housed the Faraday cage for the BT lines (identical to the one at Beaconsfield). Moving up the corridor the next on the left was the main operations room.
Photo: Main Control Room.
Photo by Nick Catford
The whole facility is ready to go at a moments notice and is fully equipped with road maps, charts and OS maps of the County. Desks are laid out with stationery and telephones. Notices on the wall indicate private telephone numbers for the use of other services. Desk plates indicated positions for various Council Depts. and liason officers from Fire, Police and Ambulance. Our guide explained how the bunker was still used today for civil emergencies such as flooding or severe storm damage. A small room off this Ops room housed a briefing area with video conferencing.
Next room on the left off the corridor was a store room that had various items in it including medical supplies and 3 hand cranked sirens one of which was still in its' wooden crate. The next room was now a briefing room but had off it a small plant room which controlled the fresh air circulation within the bunker.
We were extremely fortunate to gain access to these 2 facilities which are both still in use.
[Source: Andrew P Smith]
Last updated xth month 2001
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