SiteName: Paddock (Alternative Cabinet War Room)
Sub Brit site visit: 19th April 2001 and various later dates
[Source: Nick Catford]
At the end of the 120' long spine corridor is the cable chamber where all the telephone cables would have entered the building. The severed cables can still be seen high on the end wall with cable hangers fixed to the wall with a slot cut in the wall of the adjoining frame room. On the opposite side of the spine corridor is the large GPO Frame Room.
This was the battery room; it housed two racks of lead
acid batteries that would have powered the telephone exchange. There
would also have been battery chargers and at one end the pipe work for
a sink can still be seen. The sink would have been required if one of
the batteries had tipped over with acid leaking onto the floor.
Photo:Aerial photograph of the Dollis Hill Research Station in 1996 - click picture to indicate which building is PADDOCK
Photo supplied by Stadium Housing Association
A new doorway has been knocked through from the battery room into the adjacent room. This room was the switch board room, a fact confirmed by one of the few visitors to the bunker who worked there during WW2.
At the far end of the upper spine corridor there is a second narrow
spiral staircase down to the sub-basement, again the blast door frame
is in place but the door itself has been removed. There are also two
plant rooms, one on either side of the main spine corridor. The main
plant room is on the east side. This still retains all its plant including
fans, compressors, pumps and a floor standing electrical control cabinet
with glass doors for the air conditioning plant. From this room metal
trunking runs out into the spine corridor where it is suspended from
the ceiling, feeding into all the rooms in the upper basement. On the
opposite side of the corridor the smaller plant room contains a number
of fans and filters enclosed within metal trunking.
Photo:Top of a spiral staircase down to the sub-basement. Note the frame for the blast door.
Photo by Nick Catford
After the war, when the pumps were turned off there was always a little standing water on the floor in the sub-basement. In 1982 there was two inches of water on the floor.
Three of the adjoining rooms have large glass windows overlooking
the map room, perhaps one for each of the three services. There is also
a message hatch into an adjoining room.
Surveyed by Nick Catford drawn by Harry Pearman
Close to the north end of the sub-basement spine corridor a short side corridor leads to the teleprinter room, this has wooden tables around three sides, power sockets at table height and a small message window into the adjacent cabinet room. The cabinet room is also well lit with angled shades on fluorescent light fittings indicating that this room too had maps on the walls.
The only other identifiable room at the north end of the sub-basement
is believed to have been a small studio from where Churchill could broadcast
to the nation. There are still some acoustic tiles fixed to the walls.
For further pictures of Paddock click here
FOR DETAILS OF THE NEXT VISIT TO PADDOCK CLICK HERE
[Source: Nick Catford]