Severn Trent Water built 8 emergency control centres in the late 1980’s. Although all were completed none of them were fully fitted out and commissioned following the end of the cold war. The bunkers were located at existing Severn Trent property in Birmingham, Gloucester, Derby, Warwick, Leicester, Shrewsbury, Stoke on Trent and Nottingham.
All the emergency centres were constructed under new office accommodation apart from those at Stoke on Trent and Leicester.
The semi-sunken mounded bunker at Leicester is located behind an office block at their Anstey Lane facility. Construction started in 1990 and the bunker is now used as a document store. The mound is grass covered with a small brick blockhouse on one side with a wooden door that gives access to a flight of eight stairs. At the bottom of the stairs is a heavy steel and concrete blast door to the right into an air lock. Beyond this first blast door there is another blast door on the left into the standby generator room. There are 2 Dorman/Broadcrown generators (415V 3 Phase 27KVa), a 260 gallon fuel tank and ventilation trunking. The second air lock blast door opens into a decontamination room with three steps up to a shower cubicle. At the back of the decontamination room is another blast door into a large reception room.
To the left are the unisex toilets containing two WC cubicles, two wash basins, a urinal and a floor standing water tank. The next room on the left is now empty but was the kitchen, it still retains its wooden units, sink and draining board. The generator control room with a large floor standing cabinet is accessed through the kitchen and at the back of this room, in another room are two large water tanks.
On the left hand side of the reception room are two empty rooms (one accessed through the other) one of which is painted pink. It is assumed that these are the two dormitories, the pink one being female. One of the rooms has an emergency exit consisting of a small blast door in the wall. Behind the blast door is an 8 foot vertical shaft with a ladder and a manhole cover in the grass mound above.
Two further rooms are accessed from the far side of the reception room. They also have interconnecting doors and a door into the dormitory. Again there is no confirmation of their intended use but the first one appears to be the control room with a wall board relating to the contents of filing cabinets. The second room appears to have been ‘Communications’ and still has two wall boards and a coax aerial cable.
On the right hand side of the reception room is the ventilation plant room with a large two man handle for manual operation in the event of a power failure. A blast door at the back of the room leads through to the air intake room where the filters have never been installed.
Those taking part in the visit were Nick Catford, Dan McKenzie, Keith Ward and Robin Cherry.