The Cornwall County Emergency Centre located in the basement of County Hall in Truro on the south side of Treyew Road, the city ring road. The building was constructed in 1982 with a large emergency centre under one of the long office blocks. It had little or no blast protection and was little more than a conventional basement. In recent years much of the centre has been stripped out with the kitchen, dormitories and ventilation plant room being put to other uses. A short flight of stairs opens into a long spine corridor running the length of the building. The standby generator remains intact and in use at one end of the corridor while the current emergency centre is accessed through a door at the far end passing the re-used rooms en route. As with St. Austell, Truro’s emergency centre is still maintained in a state of readiness taking part in regular local and regional exercises. It is housed in a single large room that has been sub-divided to create the main operations room and a smaller communications room with windows between them. The communications room contains the usual array of transceivers and computer terminals mounted on tables along one wall. Stuck in one corner behind the photocopier is another BBC radio ‘studio’ consisting of a microphone, telephone and a five-channel mixer. At this site however there is no soundproofing.
The larger operations room has a large number of tables arranged in a circle in the centre of the room, with maps, a projector screen, TV and video recorder at one end. In one corner there is a flight of wooden steps leading up to the emergency exit. A wooden door gives access to a long concrete lined room at a higher sub-level. At the far end is another wooden door into the grounds of County Hall. Steve Winston, who was also our guide at Truro, showed us a number of large cardboard boxes containing documents, books (including Peter Laurie’s Beneath the City Streets) and numerous Civil Defence manuals and training manuals dating back to the 1950’s. He was keen that when they were no longer required they should not be disposed of but handed to the county archivist for preservation. He did however donate two personal dosimeters and an EAL Type N105A Dosimeter charger.