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Report - Drakelow - RSG 9 - Nov 2010

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by MarkR, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. MarkR

    MarkR 28DL Member
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    Designed by Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners, the Drakelow Tunnel Complex (originally called "Drakelow Underground Dispersal Factory") was excavated during World War II in sandstone hills near the village of Kinver and the town of Kidderminster, Worcestershire. It was originally constructed as a shadow factory for the Rover car company who were at the time manufacturing engines for the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It was also intended to supply components to Rover's main shadow factories at Acocks Green and Solihull, to supply spare parts, and to act as a backup facility if either of the main shadow factories was damaged by enemy action.

    The cost of the facility was originally estimated at £285,000, and construction, which began in June 1941, was expected to take just one year. In the event, the underground factory achieved full production in May 1943 and the final cost exceeded £1,000,000.
    The site consists of numerous tunnels that stretch for around 3.5 mi (5.6 km). The tunnels contained dormitories, storage areas, workshops, electrical equipment, toilets, offices, a BBC studio, a GPO Telephones communications facility and other facilities.

    During the 1950s and the growing Cold War, the site was initially used by the Ministry of Supply for storage.

    Then around 1958 part of the site was developed by the Home Office as a Regional Seat of Government (RSG9). Under later Home Defence schemes the bunker was designated a Sub-Regional Control (SRC), Sub-Regional Headquarters (SRHQ) and finally Regional Government Headquarters (RGHQ).

    The site was greatly modernised in the early 1980s, only a small portion of the site was designated for use. In about 1990 there was a plan to move the RGHQ to a much smaller bunker, formerly used by UKWMO, at Lawford Heath near Rugby. In the end this never happened, and the Drakelow site was decommissioned and sold in around 1993.

    The tunnels now lay derelict and thankfully a local group has taken up the task of saving the tunnels and hopefully opening them up to the public in the future.

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    #1 MarkR, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010

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