Site Records

Site Name: Wandsworth Borough Control 51D1

High Street
London, S.W.18
[Source: Keith Ward]

Wandsworth Borough Control (51D1) is located in the basement of the municipal buildings, in Wandsworth High Street, which were built in 1935. During WW2 a substantial Civil Defence training centre and decontamination centre was built at the rear of the Municipal Buildings, with a massive thick concrete roof, this was flattened in 60s to make way for new offices and a small part of the basement was converted into the control centre. This continued in use through to the end of cold war as borough control as part of the London South West Group, reporting to the Group War HQ at Churchill Road, Cheam.

Access is down a staircase from the main foyer, this area is unprotected as the basement holds stores/archives and power plant. A heavy WW2 or early 50s wooden gas door (similar to controls at Dagenham and Southwark) at the end of a corridor at the bottom of the stairs gives access to two rooms. The larger room is divided into two by a thin partition wall. Presumably the main control room and the communications room; 2 message passing windows survive through to next room, which contains the emergency exit, a steel door to the outside [in well of basement surround], in addition a small room contains a sewage pipe. The only items in use in 80s were a couple of phones, and the council did this to comply with Home Office guidelines. Most of bunker is now used to store ballot boxes. There were no standby generators and no toilets.

[Source: Keith Ward]

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Last updated 22nd October 2001

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