By Nigel Slater 26/07 Updated: 02/08 13:24
HUNDREDS of visitors flocked to Broadway Tower to sample history when a former military group made a special visit to the village.
More than 100 members of the Royal Observer Corp converged on the picturesque site on Saturday (July 21) as visitors were given a unique and rare chance to go underground and see inside the village's unique nuclear bunker as well as ask the former members about their experiences in it during the Cold War.
The event had been arranged after the National Association of the Royal Observer Corp decided to hold one of their rare reunion days in the Vale village.
Visitors could also see the wide range of equipment and gadgets which the group used when working in the operations room. There were also display boards up around the site detailing the Royal Observer Corp's history.
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: "It was an absolutely superb day. We have never had a day like it before here at Broadway Tower.
"It was great to see such a tremendous amount of visitors come along to this rare event and sample some real history. The members of the Royal Observer said they were delighted to have had so many visitors here asking them questions about their experiences."
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