The network of tunnels hidden under a country park near Kidderminster
It may not sound like it, but the beautiful and quiet Kingsford Country Park in North Worcestershire has a dark but fascinating secret.
Hidden in the forest, behind closed doors, is the entrance to the infamous Drakelow tunnels, an underground military complex that stretches for five and a half kilometers.
The pitch black, empty tunnels have a long history, having been first used by automaker Rover in the 1940s before becoming part of a network of “highly classified” nuclear bunkers scattered across the country. during the Cold War.
With a history often associated with war and bloodshed, it may come as no surprise that the resort has attracted several ghost hunters to the area in recent years, many of whom believe there are spirits lurking in the huge tunnel rooms.
Haunted Happenings, which offers ghost hunts across the country, said of the tunnels: “285.00 square feet of sheer terror – that’s probably the best way to describe the Drakelow tunnels in Kidderminster.
“These tunnels are pitch black and empty and desolate.
“They are terrifying to be there even during the day. Once the door is closed behind you, it’s like being in a whole different world.
A tour of the tunnels indeed offered a fascinating glimpse into the past and allowed visitors to see dormitories, storage areas, workshops, electrical equipment, a BBC studio and a communication center, all dating back to several centuries. decades.
After being built between 1941 and 1942, the tunnels were used during World War II to aid in the war effort and parts for aircraft engines were made there.
It was in 1961 that the British government then converted half of the tunnels into a top secret facility, designated the regional seat of government.
This meant that in the event of an all-out nuclear war, Drakelow, along with 12 other facilities hidden across the country, would be the place from which the British government would exploit the country. It served as a bunker for almost 30 years until the end of the Cold War.
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According to the Drakelow Tunnel website: “In 1980 the tunnels were also modernized and blast doors and airlocks were installed to bring the complex to nuclear bunker status.
“Throughout the 1980s, Drakelow operated in secrecy until the end of the Cold War in 1990.
“In 1993, the Ministry of Defense deemed the facility to be surplus to requirements, and the entire complex was decommissioned and sold. “
So what future for one of Worcestershire’s most historic sites?
Earlier this year, London City Bond’s (LCB) plan to turn the tunnels into a warehouse and distribution center for 10,000 tons of wine was approved, despite the initial refusal by the Wyre Forest District Council planning committee in September 2019.
The company has also obtained permission to provide a small museum at the site, which will be dedicated to the Cold War and Drakelow’s role in the conflict.
This means that tunnel tours are now a thing of the past.
In a Facebook post after the LCB’s planning request was approved, the Drakelow Tunnels Society said, “Paranormal, Airsoft, and any other venue rental events are gone.
“The only spirits that will roam Drakelow now will be the bottled variety!”
“When underground work begins to convert the site, this will unfortunately also end our visits beyond the boundaries of our museum.”
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