Nantwich – Hack Green Nuclear Bunker Monday 7 May 2018
Today is Jo’s birthday and, as she and the kids well know, I’m generally hopeless with celebrations of any kind. However I’d organised with Gary & Jo, the owners of the Griffin Inn where we were staying, to have a surprise birthday BBQ starting at 2:30pm. The problem was that Jo wanted to visit a number of local sites but we needed to be back at the Griffin by 2:30pm.
Today we visited the vast underground bunker complex of Hack Green, which remained secret and hidden for over 50 years, on the outskirts of Cheshire town. It was declassified in 1993 and would have been the centre of Regional Government if nuclear war had broken out. After entering through massive blast doors, we went on a self-guided tour.
Some of the displays are the Minister of State’s office, a communication centre, decontamination facilities, a telephone exchange, a life support facility, a hospital and it is also the home to the largest display of nuclear weapons in Europe. There is also a nuclear shelter room where you can experience a demonstration of a nuclear explosion. The noise is deafening with intermittent flashes of red lights and then the impact of a bomb exploding is quite disturbing. It is a fascinating place which makes you think about the realities of a nuclear war.
Heading back towards Rossett we stopped for lunch at a gorgeous old English Pub called The Thatch. The atmosphere and food were delightful. During this time, I had phone calls from my children and grandchildren in Australia wishing me a happy birthday. It was lovely to hear their voices!
When we arrived back at the Griffin Inn the owners Gary and Jo had a surprise BBQ and cake waiting for me. This was very unexpected but very touching. We ended up partying into the night with many of our new-found mates at the Griffin Inn.
Tuesday 8 May 2018
On Tuesday, we had a lazy morning and then bade goodbye to the owners and staff of the Griffin who had looked after us so well over the last 11 days. We have made many friends but, unfortunately, we had to break the umbilical cord and move on, but we will probably be back again on 14 July for Martyn’s 60th that we have been invited to many times over.
We drove to the Isle of Anglesey on the north west coast of Wales along a few narrow stretches of road to a lovely country pub the Y Ring, Rhosgoch where we camped for the night. It cost 13 pounds for the night which included internet and electricity