Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Guardhouse And The Bunker

This derelict bungalow stands on top of the concealed entrance to a secret nuclear bunker which once housed an R2 ROTOR radar system.

The Rotor project was divided into two areas, east coast and west coast, partly as an economy measure. The threat was seen as higher on the east coast, so the majority of the sites had underground protected operations rooms. The west coast had mainly surface bunkers or semi-sunk ones. The distinctive feature of the east coast sites was the bungalow, which served as access/guardroom to the bunkers. The bungalow concealed an access corridor, which led to a one-, two- or three-level bunker.

These bunkers were known as R1 for single level bunkers, R2, R3 and the SOC - R4. In construction, a massive hole was first dug and usually extensive de-watering had to take place. The bunker was then constructed and buried under earth. The bunker had 10-foot thick ferro-concrete walls, complete with its own borehole, generators and filtered air conditioning. They were supposed to give protection against a near miss by a 20 kT nuclear weapon. The west coast sites had similarly massive bunkers, but built on the surface.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

A Shoemaker's Dream

Ah nivver could understand what pleasure folks could find in foxhunting; men and hosses and dogs all rinnin' like gaumerils after a nasty, lahtle beast like you! But Ah've coomed to see different sin' Ah got to come diggin'wi' you in thoas houes. You'll maybe hardly credit it, but sin Ah gat word fra you yesterday at e'en, Ah framed as if Ah could settle to nowght, only thinking it lang o't' moorn to come. Well, I gat me to bed middling early, aiming it wad nae be sae lang while moorn, gin Ah could only get a gay good sleep. But bless you, bairn, there wa'n't nae sike a thing as sleeping. Ah tonned and Ah toommled, and tahms Ah sloommered a bit, but wakkened oop again iv a minnit or twees, while Ah was as wakrife as a backbeararaway i' t' glooaming (a bat in the evening dusk). Towards moorn Ah gat me to sleep some mak' or ither, but it wa'n't for lang. Ah began to dream all mak's and manders o' fond things. But all at yance, Ah foonn mysen digging for bare life in this houe we's boon for now, and we coomed to a finnd, a soort of a lile chamber made wi' steean. And in't there was a main big pankin (pancheon, cinerary vase or urn), and it wur near hand full o' bo'nt beeans (burnt bones), Some way-Ah deean't ken how-it gat whemmled ower, and a skull rolled out, nearlings a haill yan. And it looked to be splitten all across the top; and then it opened, and out cam' a elephant-and a greeat foul beast it wur! And Ah warsled to get out o't' rooad, and wiv a strike and a loup Ah gat me out iv the houe, and that minnit Ah wakkened i'truth; and if you'll believe me' Ah fun myself raxing and striving o't' fleear as gin Ah had guan clean wud (stark mad). And Ah've considered thae foxhunters's nae sike feeals as Ah aimed 'em.

Text taken from 'Forty Years In A Moorland Parish: Reminiscences And Researches In Danby In
Cleveland' by Rev J C Atkinson (1891) - recording an account of a barrow digger's dream in local dialect.

Photographs taken at RAF Danby Beacon - Danby Highmoor.