Secret papers have just revealed that the White Cliffs of Dover hide a sinister nuclear past.
One month before the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, a nuclear bunker was constructed within the chalk tunnels honeycombing the cliffs as part of a top-secret NATO exercise.
The network of seven corridors and 30 rooms was to be a place of safety, papers at the Public Record Office have revealed. But eye-witness accounts and post-exercise analysis show the bunker and its organisation was surrounded in chaos.
Rowena Willard Wright of English Heritage told ITV News: ” We didn’t even know that this place was running until this year when we got the records out of the Public Records Office.”
And EH’s Kirsty Smith added:” They wanted to keep the details safe from the British public, but also to pretend how prepared they were for the Cold War. They weren’t as prepared as they said. They did an analysis afterwards which showed that really it was so chaotic here.”
You can find out more about the White Cliffs bunker from the ITV news report here.
The White Cliffs bunker is on the third and lowest later of tunnels which are curt into the White Cliffs. They were originally used to house troops during the Napoleonic Wars, and used in the crucial defence of Britain during the Second World War. Churchill was a regular visitor there.