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Report - Deepdene WW2 Southern Railway Traffic Control Bunker - May 2010

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by professor frink, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. professor frink

    professor frink Pro Snorer Skiff
    Regular User

    Nov 1, 2009
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    During World War 2, the Southern Railway commandeered the Deepdene Hotel near Dorking in Surrey to utilise it for its wartime emergency headquarters.

    In the grounds of the hotel a network of existing natural caves were excavated and enlarged to make an underground control centre.

    This was necessary to enable relocation of the 30 staff that were located at their vulnerable emergency headquarters at Waterloo.

    The protection offered by the caves made them suitable for the construction of a bunker to house both the telephone exchange and the control centre.

    Outside the bunker, concrete blocks with metal loops are still present for tethering the 99-foot aerial for the emergency radio system.

    In addition to the 30 staff, the night staff of the Operating, Motive Power, Chief Mechanical Engineer, and Chief Electrical Engineer's Departments were also housed in the bunker.

    Among the accommodation was a meeting room suitable for any conferences which might have to be held under emergency conditions.

    The tunnels were well ventilated and radiators in each room regulated the temperature.

    The Southern Railway General Manager Eustace Missenden. lived nearby and had a switchboard extension in his house. During the air raids he spent many nights there with his wife.

    The underground control centre consisted of a series of tunnels driven into the steep hillside to the rear of the house.
    There were three entrances plus a fourth emergency exit.

    A 60-foot vertical shaft at the rear of the complex provided an air inlet and the emergency exit. A 4-foot thick concrete slab covered the complex.

    As an additional defence the adjacent hillside has a long line of 'dragons teeth' tank defences.



    3. R2

    4. Switchboards

    5. R3

    6.Looking from R14 into R10

    7. Battery room

    8. R9

    9. Emergency Exit

    10. Looking into R2

    11. Ventilation plant

    12. Telephone Exchange

    13. Looking into R12

    14. R13

    15. R14

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