One of the countries best preserved “Nuclear Bunkers” is the R6 type ROTOR Station at Hack Green, Cheshire. Hack Green began life as a World War II decoy bombing site for the nearby Crewe train station before it became RAF Hack Green when its job was to utilise the newly designed RADAR systems to protect the Western Midlands from attack as part of 21 fixed UK RADAR stations on the mainland.
Following World War II and at the beginning of the Cold War the UK re-examined its existing radar and found it wholly inadequate to deal with the threat of jet aircraft. With this in mind the UK embarked on top secret plan known as ROTOR which placed radar screens in bunkers across the UK. Hack Green was one such bunker and was part of 12 Group. Hack Green’s job was to provide long range radar surveillance to provide early warning against soviet bombers and nuclear attack.
After the demise of ROTOR Hack Green was taken over by the M.O.D. in 1976 and used as a Regional Government War Headqurters (RGHQ) and assigned the designation of RGHQ10.2 to show it was in home defence region 10:2. Its purpose was to act as an emergency shelter for around 135 civil servants and military personnel in the event of a nuclear attack on the UK and to assists in post attack support for home and civil defence. It became operational in this role in 1984.
Hack Green today is a very well preserved bunker which is operated as a museum. It gives a fascinating insight it not only the workings of the ROTOR stations but the cold war as a whole with the owners collecting pieces ranging from nuclear warheads (decommissioned obviously) to cold war jet aircraft.
The bunker is set across two levels. The Upper level which is above ground was a fortified area used for offices, storage and equipment. It now houses the majority of the museum along with the tea rooms. The lower level which was below ground consisted of the radar rooms, plant rooms and critical stores along with more offices and telephony systems. The lower level has been left to display much as it would have been when it was in use.
Like many other RGHQ’s across the country it stood largely as a silent witness to the Cold War until it was decommissioned. It now provides a fascinating place to visit and learn about the “war that is yet to come.”
For Opening times and visitor information please visit the Hack Green website