Site Records


Site Name: Thornbury - North Avon District Council Emergency Centre

Castle Street
Thornbury
Gloucestershire

RSG site visit 25th July 2001

[Source: Nick Catford]

The former North Avon District Council Emergency Centre is located in the basement of the (now) South Gloucestershire Council offices in Castle Street, Thurnbury. The bunker was built in 1985 with a total grant of 72,000 from the government. For a district council bunker it is unusually small and is only semi sunken with access down a few stairs from the rear of the building. At the bottom of the stairs is a corridor, at one end a heavy steel and concrete blast door gives access to the bunker with a second double blast door/air lock at the far end of the corridor.

There is no real emergency exit directly to the outside of the building. Once inside the first blast door there is a small lobby area with two further blast doors, one into the standby generator room where the generator and its fuel tanks are still in place.

Photo: Blast doors and the standby generator
Photo: Blast doors and the standby generator
Photo by Nick Catford

The other leads directly into the control room which has a supporting pillar close to one end. This room is divided into several areas, to one side of the control room is the communications area where the government ECN, an SX50 is still in place and operational. Next to the comms. area is a small kitchen (no dividing walls) just a single partition with an open front into the control room. The kitchen is still fully equipped with all the usual facilities including a water tank at the rear. To one side of the kitchen there is another supporting pillar, another water tank and two chemical toilets. These are plumbed in ready for use including hand pumps. Again there are no partition walls and the two toilets sit next to each other looking directly into the kitchen.

Photo: The ECB
Photo: The ECB
Photo by Nick Catford

At the rear of the control room a door leads into the dormitory. The ventilation plant is also located here in the metal trunking on the ceiling. It is very basic consisting of circulating plant within the trunking that blows air into the control room. On the other side of the dormitory is another blast door giving access to a small lobby area/air lock and the final blast door back into the corridor. There is another room accessed from the corridor at this point but this is outside the bunker and should not be considered a part of it.

The bunker was de-commissioned in 1994 although it had never been used as a peace time emergency centre and had never had its maps or any equipment installed other than the ECN. In the event of a nuclear attack or a civil emergency it would have been manned by 6 people.

Those taking part in the visit were Nick Catford , Keith Ward, Bob Jenner & Caroline Ford

[Source: Nick Catford]

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Last updated 6th November 2001

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