There’s not much to report these days, the weather has been a bit up and down so I’ve been moving only when it looks like I won’t get soaked. I haven’t always been successful but since I’m not in a rush I’ve stayed pretty dry. There has also been some wind, but that doesn’t pose any issues (as long as I’m not trying to maneuver too much). Last night, for instance, I was very glad to be on the canals and not anchored somewhere on the ocean. I didn’t feel any affects in terms of the boat moving but it was loud enough to keep me awake for a while. Apparently I was hearing the remains of Hurricane Dorian that had decimated the Bahamas last week. It’s a nice spot however, I’ll be staying an extra night here.

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Going back a few days, after leaving Natwich and the Food Festival I headed south as I had heard about a ‘secret’ bunker that was now a visitor attraction. The Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker is anything but secret, even during the cold war! It’s a large building, and a huge radar installation, visible for miles around.

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Although much of it is underground, it wasn’t a bunker in the sense of people sheltering there, apparently it was a control centre in the event of a nuclear war. It was well worth the visit though. It was operational from the advent of the Cold War until 1992, and is stuffed with military memorabilia and equipment. The feeling of impending doom that must have pervaded the place, and the people, is still palpable.

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The decontamination room included a bin for disposal and incineration of clothing.
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On display is the world’s largest collection of (decommissioned) nuclear warheads.
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Some of the equipment on display dates from the 50s when the site was used as an air traffic control centre for military aircraft.

Just south of Hack Green is one of the most beautiful mooring locations I’ve found. It’s just a long stretch of open canal, but has picnic tables and BBQ stands all along. The area is quiet and rural, there was even a fishing competition getting set up. Each village has a team and they compete against nearby villages (this was actually just a ‘practice’ apparently).

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As I’ve mentioned before, there is still lots of evidence of the long history of the canals visible, particularly from the time when the boats were drawn by horses. I’ve seen old stables converted to holiday homes, caves converted to stables, and many instances of the ropes used to tow the boats leaving a lasting imprint on the bridges. In this case, cast iron protectors have been added that only just managed to save the brickwork. I can’t imagine the number of horses that plodded by this spot in order to cut so deeply into solid iron.

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And that brings things up to date. I’m presently back on the Llangollen Canal (again!), making my way to pick up some visitors. As anyone that has been keeping up on the blog knows, I love showing people this stretch of canal, it’s got everything: remote rural scenery, locks, aqueducts, tunnels, pubs, and even a castle.

They don’t arrive for a few days though, so I’m taking my time and enjoying some quiet days. If it rains I light the fire and relax, if not I get a bit of work done on the boat (and the blog). I hope everyone has had as good a summer as I have, and all are healthy and happy. Please don’t hesitate to comment or send me a message, I still love hearing what you’re all up to!

///qualifier.homelands.baffle

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2 Replies to “Not-so-Secret Bunker”

  1. Hi Doug
    Good to read your update. Just to keep you abreast of our happenings, we are still in Spain. You’ll be relieved to hear that after four days of wall to wall 28 degrees and full sun, we had a downpour for three hours this morning and the forecast is for more tomorrow. We took a trip up high in the hills above Murcia yesterday just to come back down on a raft. It was great fun with the odd excitment thrown in. There were some easy rapids and one drop off a ten foot weir! Yes, they actually encourage jumping the boats off the weir here:). The river was warm enough to comfortably swim and we stopped part way for a baguette and beer, all very pleasant. All in 19 euros for four hours of fun, lunch and great banter with the ‘monitors’ who were a good laugh yet at all times proffesional and safety aware. Highly recommended. Tomorrow or Friday we plan to visit Valencia which we have been told not to miss if in this part of Spain.

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