Site Records

Site Name: Cardiff (Coryton) Regional War Room
(Region 8)

Cardiff, South Glamorgan
OS Grid Ref: ST146812

RSG site visit 8th July 2003

[Source: Nick Catford]

Beyond the canteen is the women's dormitory with four rows of four bunks with three extra bunks dismantled and leaning against the wall. The ring corridor now turns to the right. And the next room on the left is the map room now full of waterlogged maps. The next room on the left has a paper label on the door marked 'Directing Staff'. There's only a wooden cupboard in this room, even the clock has been removed leaving a tell tale wooden ring on the wall where it was mounted, this is seen in most of the rooms throughout the bunker. Beyond this room is the second staircase down and the corridor turns to the right passing the rear exit which is a mirror image of the front. Beyond this the corridor turns to the right passing the female toilet with four WC cubicles, four hand basins and two hot water heaters. Beyond the mens toilet are the plant rooms, which are divided into three rooms, electrical switchgear and batteries, generator and ventilation plant with another door back into the spine corridor.

Photo: Plant Room
Photo by Nick Catford

The first room is the switchgear room with the control cabinet for the generator, a bank of lead acid batteries for running the bunker in the event of a generator failure and a large floor standing battery charger and rectifier unit. At the back of the room there are two diesel tanks and a narrow walkway at the back of the generator room with a low door into a filter chamber with a bank of filters still in place along one wall.
The Ruston Hornby 6YE diesel generator is in a small room within the switchgear room. The generator appears in good order and could probably be started.

The connecting door to the ventilation plant room was locked, as was the door back into the spine corridor. It was, however, possible to get in to the room by climbing a ladder on the wall behind the generator and through an inspection hole onto the top of the intake fan. All the ventilation plant is in good order. There is Dexion racking along one wall still stacked with spares, lubricants, filters etc.

Opposite the 'Directing Staff' office is a room with two curved Perspex windows overlooking the operation room in the 'well' below. There is an electric heater and a number of tables and chairs indicating it was used as a rest room. At the rear of the room a door leads into a storeroom stacked with furniture, stationery and a large number of boxed filters and at the back of this room are three more acoustic telephonists' booths. The curved window overlooking that operations room is still in place but it has been boarded over on the inside.

On the lower floor there is another ring corridor with three rooms accessed from the inner side of the ring with curved Perspex windows looking into the operations room. The first of these rooms is the 'Internal Works Group' with three tables, a wallboard and a filing cabinet; there are also wallboards on both sides of the ring corridor at this point. The second room has three wooden tables, a pile of stacking chairs and a wallboard. The third room looking into the operations room is for 'Support Services'. This has a pegboard on the left, coax cable going out through the wall. There are two piles of stacking chairs.

The ring corridor now turns to the right. There is a tank room on the left and then a dogleg to the left with a small alcove in the wall for the bottom station of the message basket. The corridor doglegs to the right with a room on the right with a curved Perspex window looking into the operations room. The door to this room was locked but it was possible to see through the window that it was stacked with paraffin heaters.

Photo: Telephonist's booths in the signals room
Photo by Nick Catford

Beyond this room the ring corridor turns to the right passing a small BT switch room on the left with cables running into the adjacent signals room and a message passing hatch between the two. The BT room has been altered with a brick partition reducing it to half its original (war room) width. The other section of room now forms the corridor and the original corridor has been blocked at one end forming a long storage alcove in the Signals Room which has also been altered with a wooden partition down the middle. There are eight acoustic booths on the left-hand side, each with a lamp above and drawers underneath and labeled 'out message'. There are three oblong hatches in the partition wall into the main body of the room. The main part of the room has racking and tables and a filing cabinet in one corner. There are stacks of papers in the alcove including the county war plan and a large amount of very damp stationery. There is a large message window into the operation room with a hinged Perspex tray at the bottom. There is a similar hatch into the adjacent teleprinter room on the corner of the ring corridor.

This room has five wooden teleprinter tables with a BT junction box on the wall with five incoming lines. There is a large office cabinet and three wooden shelves; an Autex teleprinter control unit stands on the floor. There are boxes of unused files and a stack of crockery on the floor.

Photo: The Operations Room
Photo by Nick Catford

There are three more rooms along the final left-hand side of the ring corridor, the first is the 'Telephone Switch Room' which is empty apart from two BT junction boxes on the wall. Next to that is another small signals room with three acoustic booths with lamps above them. The final room is the second tank room with stairs up to the top level alongside. A small recess under the stairs is for janitorial supplies.

On the opposite side of the corridor is the operations room, the largest room in the bunker spanning both levels. There are three curved Perspex windows into rooms on the left-hand side and a fourth window in the end wall; each of these windows has a small message hatch in the bottom left hand corner. There are a further three windows from the rooms above on the left hand side.

On the right hand wall is the 'County of South Glamorganshire Emergency Operations' map spanning the height of both floors. Furniture includes three large wooden tables, two blackboards and an easel

Those taking part in this private visit were Nick Catford, Keith Ward, Robin Ware, Bob Jenner, Nick McCamley, Keith Ward, Pete Turier & Bob Clary

Additional information: Bob Jenner

For further pictures click here

[Source: Nick Catford]


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Last updated 15th July 2003

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