A BUNKER used by Winston Churchill during the Second World War will be opened to the public this month.
Built 35 feet underneath the site of the former Post Office Research Station in Brook Road, Dollis Hill, the bunker was used as a standby facility if Cabinet offices in Whitehall were deemed unsafe.
Codenamed the Paddock during the war, it was built deep enough to survive a direct hit from a 500lb Nazi bomb.
It contains two storeys with 43 rooms, including a map room, kitchen, and Churchill’s War Cabinet room, where he held a Cabinet meeting on October 3, 1940.
A number of original features dating from its construction in 1939 still remain, including the telephone system and soundproof tiles used to prevent conversations being overheard.
It was handed back to the post office station after the war and was untouched for almost 25 years until Subterranea Britannica, a charity specialising in underground spaces, gained access to it in 2000.
The ground floor was flooded with water and many of the remaining furniture had rotted, but the charity cleaned it out, eventually opening the bunker to the public in 2002.
Since then it has been opened several days a year and bookings are currently being taken for guided tours on Thursday, May 5, between 9am and 4pm.
Tours, which are free of charge, will be one-hour long and involve access to eight rooms, but the site does not have disabled access.
Booking is essential and can be made by calling Katy Bajina at Network Housing on 020 8782 4239, or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org