Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

Ipswich: Bunker would have run Suffolk during nuclear war

08:59 05 February 2014

Clifford Smith

Clifford Smith

Ipswich’s bunker was designed as a county-wide centre in the event of a catastrophic disaster, including a nuclear attack.

shares

Had the country come under attack, the man in charge during the 1970s and 1980s would have been Clifford Smith, chief executive of East Suffolk, and from 1974 Suffolk, County Council.

He was designated “county commander” and in the even of a major emergency he would have had control over much of life in the county.

Mr Smith said: “I would have chosen who went into the bunker – although we often speculated on whether those selected would actually have gone in there or whether they would prefer to see things out with their families!”

The Ipswich bunker was not very large: “There was room for about 12 people, but that would have been fairly crowded.

“There was a small kitchen and a couple of toilets, but it wasn’t the kind of place you would have wanted to be shut up for very long!” he said.

The most important feature of the bunker was its secure radio connection to keep in touch with the outside world.

“The government bunkers, like those in Essex, were much larger and we would have been in touch with them but this was the Suffolk control centre.”

Mr Smith would have chosen the team to go into the bunker with him. There would have been a senior police officer (possibly the chief constable), the fire chief, a hospital boss, representatives of other services, possibly the county surveyor, and a representative of the WRVS who would help to co-ordinate relief efforts above ground.

“Everyone would be there for a reason,” he said. “It wouldn’t be a case of bringing down members of your family for safety.”

The bunker was ready for use in many emergencies, not just nuclear war. It was used for exercises and for occasional major incidents which hit Suffolk.

Mr Smith said: “The last time I can remember using the centre was during the aftermath of the great storm in 1987.

“It’s radio links were vital in the days before mobile phones. Those of us based there could keep in touch with what was happening around the county.”

Today there is an emergency control centre that can be set up at police headquarters – it was used to monitor the situation during December’s surge tide – but it is not an underground bunker because the threat of all-out nuclear is not considered as serious since the end of the Cold War following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

shares

1 comment

  • ......and the most important question...where is this bunker? Or is that still a national secret?

    Report this comment

    Steve Blake

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Iron Throne featured in the Game of Thrones series, which is coming to Ipswich this month

Pretenders to the Iron Throne will have the opportunity to stake their claim as ruler of Westeros this month as the iconic seat used in the hit TV show Game of Thrones will be coming exclusively to Ipswich.

Drink-drivers in court

An Ipswich drink-driver who carried out an ‘idiotic doughnut’ while police officers watched has been banned from the road.

The CCTV image issued by Suffolk police after a woman was assaulted in the Cornill area of Ipswich

Police have issued CCTV images of a man they would like to speak to after a woman was assaulted in the Cornhill.

John McGreal, the new manager of Colchester United

John McGreal has been appointed the new first team coach of Colchester United.

Andrew Harston (ABP - Short Sea Ports Director) is pictured in Ipswich with a sneak preview of their pigs tail for Pigs Gone Wild.

Ipswich Blue will be taking in the nautical views of Ipswich when the Pigs Gone Wild sculptures take over the town this summer.

What has Suffolk been talking about on Twitter? Photo: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Take a look back at some of the Suffolk tweets which received the most attention on Twitter last week.

Michael Leaberry

Police in Wales have launched an appeal to find a man wanted in connection with child sex offences, who is known to have links in Ipswich, Suffolk and Essex.

Woodbridge Thoroughfare

A fashion retailer looks set to open a new store in the heart of a Suffolk market town.

Sunset over Drinkstone - Pamela Bidwell

The sun going down over Suffolk is always a bewitching scene, with shadows cast over some of our most iconic landmarks and a warm glow burning behind.

Sports editor Mark Heath getting some wrestling and grappling lessons from wrestling and MMA coach Graham Yates.

Picture: ANTONY KELLY

I’m not sure if it’s called a ‘calf-slicer’ or a ‘calf-crusher’, writes Mark Heath. But I know this – it bloody hurts.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24