By Nigel Slater 12/07 Updated: 12/07 12:38
VISITORS to Broadway will be in for a unique treat next week when members of a military group talk about their experiences in the village's nuclear bunker.
More than 100 members of the Royal Observer Corp will converge on Broadway Tower on Saturday, July 21 to discuss what life was like in the bunker, which was used by the group during the Cold War.
The group will also be recreating a display of their operations room to create a real sense of history.
The event has been arranged after the National Association of the Royal Observer Corp decided to hold one of their rare reunion days in the Vale village.
From 10am to 5pm, visitors will be able to see the wide range of equipment and gadgets which the group used when working in the operations room as well go underground and see the bunker itself.
There will also be display boards up detailing the Corps’ history and descriptions of the equipment on display.
The bunker, which is located just yards away from the tower, was built by the Home Office at the start of the 1960s to coincide with the start of the Cold War and the national threat of a nuclear attack.
If a nuclear strike exploded near the area, members of the Royal Observer Corp would have been able to detect the weapon blast from the bunker and monitor radiation levels and report everything back to the area's operations room in Oxford via telephone lines and radio.
There are more than a thousand nuclear bunkers in the country but the one in Broadway is one of a very few to have remained in perfect condition.
Neil Thorneywork, customer services manager at Broadway Tower, said: "This will be a very unique event and is the first time an event like this has ever taken place in Broadway.
"And it might be the last time an event like this is ever held. I genuinely hope it isn't, but I can't imagine there will be another one like this in the future. It is a great chance for people to sample some real history.
"Anyone who is interested in nuclear wars or aircrafts will I'm sure be fascinated by the range of equipment on display as well as listening to the members stories.
"I open up the bunker to the public most weekends of the year. But this event on July 21 will be something special because members of the Royal Observer Corp will be here to give a tour and tell their stories."
No equipment is left in the bunker overnight. Admission to the bunker will cost £3.50 on the day. For more information visit the Broadway Tower website at www.broadwaytower.co.uk or call 01386 852390.
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