Site Records


Site Name: Godalming - Waverley District Council Emergency Centre

The Burys
Godalming
Surrey
OS Grid Ref: SU971440

RSG site visit 6th February 2003

[Source: Nick Catford]

The Waverley District Council (now Borough Council) Emergency centre was built in 1984 as part of an extension to the council offices in The Burys, Godalming Surrey. Unusually this protected accommodation is located at ground floor level, accessed directly from the main ground floor spine corridor.

The open plan emergency centre - note the blast door at the rear
Photo by Nick Catford

Originally there must have been an entrance blast door but this has now been replaced by a wooden door which opens directly in to the large open plan operations room. This room has now been stripped of all original fixtures and fittings and has been refurbished as a gym and recreation room. The room was originally sub divided with 2 metre high screens. With designated areas for scientific advisers and intelligence, controller and operations. Strangely the domestic area was also only separated from the operations area by screens. This consisted of sleeping accommodation with 12 bunks and 20 lockers, a rest area and a kitchen in an alcove. This had a counter that could be removed during an emergency giving access back into the main corridor through a second blast door. The kitchen alcove has now been converted into a bar with roller shutters.

Waverley District Council Emergency Centre
Plan drawn by Dan McKenzie

Just inside the main entrance, a door to the right opens into the communications room, the only separate room in the operations side of the bunker. This room remains largely unaltered with a work bench around three walls with a shelf around three walls above it. At the back of the bench there is a notices board behind Perspex with some original notices still in place relating to radio operation and the county ECN network. There is a chart showing this network and the communications lines.

Ventilation plant - Photo by Nick Catford
These run from RGHQ6.1 (Crowborough) to the County Control in Guildford and the County Standby (collocated with Reigate and Banstead Borough Control) in the basement of Reigate Town Hall. From County Control lines radiate to the Police, Fire Brigade and Borough and District Controls at Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, Waverley and Woking. From the County Standby there is a line to Mole Valley District Control. The SX50 ECN unit in its Farraday Cage and its associated control equipment is still in place and operational. There is a panel of coaxial aerial sockets fixed to the wall and ventilation trunking running into the centre of the room. This is the only ventilation trunking visible anywhere in the former emergency centre. Any other trunking must have been removed or was never fitted. There is a blocked message window back into the operations room above the message clerks desk.

At the back of the operations room is a steel and concrete blast door. Behind the door there are three cubicles on the right, two containing Elsan chemical toilets and the third a shower. Behind the cubicles there are fuel and water tanks. At the back of the room is the Luwa ventilation and filtration plant. This is lying in pieces on the floor and has either been dismantled or more than likely was never installed. Above the plant is an emergency exit consisting of a small blast door three feet up the wall. Behind the door the escape shaft has been backfilled at the time of construction, it would have been necessary to dig this back fill out if emergency egress was required. On the left hand side of the room another steel and concrete blast door opens into the standby generator room. The twin diesel generators were removed and sold in late 2002. There is a small blast door high in the wall with a fan behind it.

Those taking part in the visit were Nick Catford and Keith Ward

[Source:Nick Catford]


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