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Report (Permission Visit) Winston Churchill's Paddock - Dollis Hill, May 2014

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by Roses, May 27, 2014.

  1. Roses

    Roses 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    A friend told us about Subterranean Britannica who held tours for free down into Winston Churchill's Paddock twice a year so of course, me and a couple of other non members signed up!

    This place is in Dollis Hill and opens up in once in May and September; the company who purchased and and built housing on the land actually had to agree not to demolish the paddock and open it up to the public annually. We wouldn't have even known where it was if it wasn't for the guys in high vis jackets being it a small brick building that blended in quite casually with the rest of the buildings around.

    We went down in a group of about ten people and was not disappointed we came; it being so well closed off and protected it was a refreshing change to not see the place vandalised and smashed up but still have that abandoned and derelict sense to it (not to forget all the history)!

    The guys who held the tour were really awesome; they let us take lots photo's and gave us some good insights into the history of the place (sometimes I can get easily bored at these things but the guy here got to the point and had some good facts).

    I don't want to spoil it too much in case anyone wants to pay this place a visit later on this year but here's a little taster of the history. The paddock was built after WW1 after the government was certain there was going to be a WW2 and in the case of London being put out of action in a bomb attack this would be the bunker where Britain would be governed from (they don't know why it was called a paddock instead of a bunker but presume it could have been them using a code name). Bombs from that era could not penetrate the walls; and it even had a system to filter the air in case of a gas attack. Being an emergency bunker it wasn't 5 star accommodation; it didn't have a toilet, sleeping area and only a very small kitchen area. Churchill never described it admirably! After WW2 the paddock was left and never returned to; it was left to the Royal Mail Research centre to look after and then the land was sold off to a local housing trust with the above conditions.

    It really is somewhere I recommend to visit before it completely decays away. It won't get any money to restore it as it's too far away from central London to pull in investment as a tourist sight and after some damage during the building of the above houses a leak means that every time the paddock gets opened up the flood water has to be pumped out of it. Some of the guys who did the tour pointed out the speed and extent of the decay that has taken place over the last several years. This doesn’t have the same adrenaline kick I admit but if you are truly into urban exploring and the history of these places I really recommend going down there and seeing it for yourself.

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    Entrance

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    Communications

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    The BBC broadcasting room

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    Meeting room where other departments could watch through the windows

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    The ventilation system that would have been used incase of a gas attack

    Hope you enjoy :)
     

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  2. Camera Shy

    Camera Shy Old enough to know better
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    Nice one
     
  3. pigdog

    pigdog 28DL Regular User
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    very nice
     
  4. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Nice ones & interesting report :)
     
  5. Roses

    Roses 28DL Full Member
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    Thank you everyone! Was a really good visit :thumb
     
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