The Battle of Britain Bunker is the home of the RAF No 11 Group Operations Room. The operations room has been restored to it’s original appearance as it was on the 15th September 1940 when Winston Churchill visited the Bunker. It was here that No 11’s group operations controller was responsible for making major decisions throughout World War 2 and particularly during the Battle of Britain such as how many fighter aircraft to scramble, which squadrons to use and where to scramble them from.
The Bunker is a little hidden away near a housing estate in Uxbridge just past Grade II listed mansion Hillingdon House but well worth a visit.
After climbing down 60 foot down the 70 steps you find yourself in an introductory exhibition area where you can view a short 10 minute film about the Bunker, the role of the teams working there and the systems in place to communicate the position of enemy aircraft.
After watching the film you make your way to the operations room itself where you can see the plotting table, tote board, original clock and the area where the controller would have sat having an excellent view of the table and board.
Afterwards you can spend some time in the attached museum housing a collection of items from The Battle of Britain, the RAF and wartime artefacts and documentation.
It’s now possible to visit the Bunker at the weekends between 10am and 4pm from now until the end of August 2013. There are also guided tours every weekday usually at 10am and 2pm and these can be booked in advance by contacting 01895 238154 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The good news is that there are plans to develop the bunker site into a major tourist site in the future so hopefully more people will learn about this place of enormous historical significance.
To learn more about the history of the bunker visit http://www.raf.mod.uk/battleofbritainbunker/history/