Personnel from Naval Regional Command Northern England (NRCNE) recently visited Hack Green Nuclear Bunker in Cheshire to learn about local military history in a trip part-funded by the RNRMC.

Braving a cold January morning Royal Navy sailors, Royal Marines and MoD staff from the NRCNE in Liverpool, travelled to the bunker, situated near Nantwich in central Cheshire, to explore the 35,000 sq/ft underground bunker.

Hack Green Nuclear Bunker is now privately owned but has an interesting history. It was the first military use of the area was in World War II, when a Starfish site was established at Hack Green to confuse Luftwaffe bombers looking for the vital railway junction at Crewe.

In the 1950s, the site was modernised and officially designated to RAF Hack Green, but it was also known as Mersey Radar as it provided an air traffic control service to military aircraft crossing civil airspace. The site was abandoned and remained derelict for many years until the Home Office took it over. The R6 bunker was rebuilt as a Regional Government Headquarters (RGHQs), one of a network of 17 such sites throughout the UK, designed to enable the government to continue in the aftermath of a major nuclear attack on the UK.

It houses a substantial collection of military and Cold War memorabilia, including one of the largest collections of decommissioned nuclear weapons in the world. It also displays Ballistic Missile Early Warning System equipment originally from RAF High Wycombe, and there is a simulator designed to recreate conditions in the bunker during a nuclear attack. The bunker is now run by Cold War enthusiasts as a museum, open to the general public.

AB Amy Bentley, a Writer at the NRCNE, said,

‘Opportunities like this to get out of the workplace and spend time with colleagues and friends from around the building was invaluable. I got to learn about some of the military histories in the area and have some fun, despite the cold. We had people from different branches and MoD staff who wouldn’t normally spend time together so we definitely became closer as a team.’

Lt Adam Lappin said,

‘The RNRMC are the backbone of harmony and welfare within the Service community, and it is great to see them support so many disparate and diverse events.  We were lucky enough to have received their assistance recently as, due to our location and command set up, we do not have a welfare fund to draw upon for Adventure Training and team building. 

'Our visit to a former MoD Nuclear Bunker/museum was not only informative and a good insight into recent history (scarily seeing equipment some of us have actually used in service…..), but enabled our small scattered organisation to come together for an enjoyable day out.’