The story behind the card Series 2 #8 – Nuclear Bunkers

GB0SNB was the Special Event callsign used in 2000 to advertise a disused Bunker, once secret, that is located at Kelvedon Hatch between Brentwood and Ongar in Essex. It is a pretty dreary looking place too, as it appears from the photo, and it not somewhere where I would not to like live for very long.

Our country, it seems is awash with redundant Nuclear Bunkers and many are now appearing on the better road maps, especially those which are now museums. The Bunkers come in all shapes and sizes, from the small ones built to protect a small but special group of essential workers such as those employed at waterworks or pumping stations and even salt mines, to the large RSGs (Regional Seats of Government) that even now do not attract much publicity and perhaps are too massive to warrant preservation. The salt miners had a Bunker at Hack Green which is about 1.5 miles south of Nantwich in Cheshire, and is very close to the Shropshire Union Canal. This Bunker is now a museum and also home to two Radio Amateur Club stations.

The former RSG at Wargrave (a fitting name for a Nuclear Bunker) which is between Twyford and Henley-on-Thames was a very secret establishment at the height of the ‘cold war’, but at some time in the early 1960s some members of the anti-nuclear protesters managed to plant a ‘mole’ into the system at Wargrave where he could secretly gain details of the Bunker and its organisation. These details were printed onto a five or six sheet description of the place. The mere possession of these duplicated notes was I believe an offence.

nuclear-bunkers-g3bdq-2 nuclear-bunkers-g3bdq-1One morning I was astounded to find that a copy of the Wargrave Bunker description had been pushed through my letterbox. I was never an Anti Bomb supporter but my wife had joined the CND Movement. In my hands I could read lists of names, official standing and even the phone numbers of many of the people allocated to positions of authority within the Bunker. This ‘hot’ document was carefully hidden, so well indeed that I didn’t come across it again for many years. I decided to put it up for sale at a Philatelic/Ephemera Auction and when the Auction catalogue was published I was contacted by a Wargrave resident who wished to acquire it for the local museum. I declined sale and eventually it was sold for quite a respectable sum.

In 1965 a cousin of mine spent two weeks in an RSG Bunker located somewhere in North Yorkshire, near Caterick I think he was a member of the Derbyshire County Council and he told me about his experiences there and how depressing it was to be cut off from the real world outside the Bunker. I was particularly intrigued by the way there was a daily radio communication with an aircraft.

My nearest Bunker is located at Brede, a village a few miles north of Hastings. Near by the bunker the Brede Steam ARS have a purpose built shack.

By John Heys G3BDQ – Vital Spark February 2013.

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G3MGQ’s Month on the Air

Prepared by the clubs RSGB trainer, G3MGQ, you will find the latest DX contests including the ones to shoot for as well as ones to give a wide berth. Why not download the latest edition of Month on the Air and enjoy your DX just that little bit more.

Become a member of HERC

Join the Hastings Electronics and Radio Club.

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Vital Spark Archive

Vital Spark newsletter articles

Take a look through a large selection of articles written by club members over the years which have been published in the monthly Vital Spark newsletter .

Used Ham Radio Equipment

View HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list..

Every four weeks, HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list is updated on the site. Bookmark the gear for sale page to re-visit easily and take advantage of the used equipment on sale through the club.

Club Photographs

HERC Image Galleries.

Here is the official HERC photograph archive which contains multiple image galleries spanning several decades since the club was formed many years ago. Enjoy the images!

UK Amateur Radio Repeaters

UK repeaters

Click button above for full list, or a local repeater callsign below for info.

GB3EB 2m in Uckfield- Active
MB6EB 2m DStar Node in Eastbourne - Active
MB6RY Wires-X DigiGate in Broad Oak - Active
GB3HE 70cm in Hastings - Active
GB7HE 70cm DStar in Hastings - Coming soon
GB3ZX 70cm in Eastbourne - Low Power
GB3JT 23cm ATV in Hastings - NoV cleared
GB7RY 70cm X-Wires Repeater Rye - Active
GB7ES Eastbourne - DSTAR Rpt. - Active
GB3ES 2m in Hastings - Active

For a complete list of repeaters, head over to
the UK Amateur Radio repeaters list.

Popular pages

Get your amateur radio licence - Find out more about amateur radio licence training.
Month on the Air - G3MGQ's popular monthly DX contest/expedition list.
Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup - The clubs annual operating event in the memory of Wilf Gaye M0GYE.
St. Richard's College Buildathon/STEM/ARISS - HERC attends St. Richard's Catholic College for their various events surrounding the Tim Peake ARISS contact.
G3BDQ - John Hey's Rare QSL Cards.
Sussex Electronics Radio Fair - SERF Sussex Electronics Radio Fair 2016.
Vital Spark - A selection of articles re-published from the Vital Spark.
RSGB News - Find out how to get RSGB news on your mobile or PC.
Experimenters Corner - A selection of Proteus projects by Bob Gornal (G7DME)
BBADL - Bath Based Distance Learning Course.
Conquest Hospital Radio - Presented by HERC member Antony (G4CUS).
Radio Rallies 2016 - An up to date list of radio rallies scheduled for 2016.
Club QSL Cards - A selection of QSL cards the club has received over the years.
Other Newsletters - Excellent newsletters and magazines from other clubs.
TX Factor episodes - Take a look at the TX Factors YouTube videos.
John Taplin - A bio of the late John Taplin.

Amateur Radio Resources

Other Radio Clubs & RAYNET

BSARS - Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society

RAYNET - The Hastings and Rother RAYNET Group.

HERC members sites

Sigord - Gordon Sweet
Hastings Radio Comms - Andrew Haas-Campbell
Hoofbags - Liz Costa