Cold War nuclear bunker hits the market for £25,000

Time to PUTIN an offer! Cold War nuclear bunker accessed by 14ft shaft and kitted out with gas masks and body bags hits the market for £25,000

  • The Royal Observer Corps monitoring post in Louth, Lincolnshire, was bought off eBay for £12,500 in 2003
  • Equipped with a bed and sleeping bag, as well as gas masks and a red telephone box in case of nuclear attack
  • Was one of 1,500 nuclear bunkers built from late 1950s onwards in response to growing risk of nuclear attack 
  • Now, with growing concerns about a nuclear attack from Russia, its owner thinks it is a good time to sell up 

A Cold War nuclear bunker, kitted out with gas masks, body bags and a red box telephone in case of a much-feared attack from Russia, has gone on sale for £25,000.

The Royal Observer Corps monitoring post in Louth, Lincolnshire was bought off eBay on a whim nearly 20 years ago.

But despite growing fears of a nuclear war at the hands of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, its owner has now decided to sell it.

Mark Colledge, 64, purchased the underground vault, which lies beneath a field between the A16 London Road and Kenwick Hill and can only be accessed down a 14ft shaft, after seeing it on online for the bargain price of £12,500 in 2003.

The army veteran said: ‘It was built the year I was born and I think I bought it due to a bit of a midlife crisis. I thought “that’s cool” and decided I wanted it.

‘I keep a caravan close by and have been using it as a kind of holiday home. I sleep in the bunker, and shower in the caravan.

A Cold War nuclear bunker, kitted out with gas masks and body bags in case of a much-feared attack from Russia, is up for sale for £25,000

The underground vault can only be accessed down a 14ft shaft and does not have any hot water. But it has solar and wind power, as well as a red box telephone in case of a nuclear attack

‘I am selling because it seems to be a good time given the global crisis, and I haven’t been there in years. I’d like some cash to go on holiday.

‘I have body bags in there and some gas masks. That goes back to my army training and what to do in an attack.

‘There’s a bed and sleeping bag but that’s pretty much it.

‘There’s also a red box telephone so in the event of a nuclear attack, that’s the only phone that will work – not that there’ll be many phones left to call.

‘It has solar and wind power too.’ 

The tiny vault, which fits three people, was built in 1959 in response to the increasing threat of nuclear attack in the 1950s.

In the event of a nuclear attack three observers would have taken shelter in the hold and reported on the fallout.

The observers had sufficient food and water to last for two weeks as well as landline telephones and radio communication.

The bunker, which is one of just 258 remaining in the UK, lies beneath a field between the A16 London Road and Kenwick Hill

Mark Colledge, 64, (right) purchased the underground vault after seeing it on online for the bargain price of £12,500 in 2003. But he said he hasn’t used it in years and thought it would be a good time to sell given the ongoing war in Ukraine

The bunker near Louth is identical to more than 1,500 built around the UK from the late 1950s onwards. And they didn’t come cheap, costing as much as an average terrace house to build.

Soldiers stopped using the hideaways for weekly training after the collapse of the Soviet Union and they were decommissioned in 1991, with the remaining underground posts closed at the end of September that year. Only 258 of the war dens still exist.

Mark, of Saltburn-by-the-sea, added: ‘When I bought it, I think it was a male menopause type of thing, like buying a new car.

‘I would just be happy to get my money back.’

Jim Demitriou, national valuer at SDL Property Auctions, said: ‘It’s a great property for people looking for something off grid or to get away from it all.

‘It’s a piece of British history so it could be nice for someone interested in historic places.

Army veteran Mr Colledge said he used to park his camouflage caravan near the bunker, which he used as a ‘holiday home’

Estate agent Jim Demitriou said he thinks it will appeal to ‘someone interested in historic places’. It was built in 1959 in response to the increasing threat of nuclear attack in the 1950s

‘I would advise buyers to speak with planning permission or their local council to see what they can do with it.

‘We’ve had about four or five people enquire about it already, before it was on our site. We’re anticipating a flurry of interest in the bunker.

‘I’m really excited about this property. I’ve never sold a nuclear bunker before. The guide price is £25,000 but may the best bidder win.’

The property will be auctioned on November 24 with SDL Property Auctions.

What happens if the nukes fall? Expert reveals which areas of London, New York and other cities will be instantly obliterated by Putin strike…and where you’d stand best chance of surviving 

The idea of a nuclear attack on the West used to be the stuff of dystopian science fiction – but it is a hellish vision that Vladimir Putin has repeatedly invoked as his war in Ukraine falls apart.

While most experts agree that an atomic attack on Paris, London, New York or Washington DC is still highly unlikely, it cannot be discounted. President Biden has personally warned that the world is now closer to ‘Armageddon’ than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

It is not a reality any of us relish contemplating, but as we stare down the barrel of a new nuclear crisis between east and west it begs the question: What would actually happen if Russian nukes hit a major city?

 Dr Jeffrey Lewis, a professor at the Middlebury Institute, said: ‘The first thing you’ll get is a fireball that will vaporise everything inside of it. That’s going to travel just over half a mile from the centre of the blast.’

If dropped on Westminster, that would mean the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street, St Thomas’s Hospital and Westminster Abbey being completely obliterated with a 100 per cent kill rate for anyone inside at the time. 

Targeting New York’s financial district would reduce One World Trade and the western end of the Brooklyn Bridge to ash. A blast above the White House would obliterate everything four blocks in all directions from Pennsylvania Avenue. Targeting Paris’s Elysee Palace would vaporise Place de la Concorde and most of the Champs Elysees.

‘Then you’ll have shockwave that is going to severely damage even really heavily built concrete buildings out to just over a mile from the blast, with everyone in that radius crushed to death’, Dr Lewis added.

For London, that would mean Buckingham Palace being flattened, along with Victoria and Waterloo stations – two of the city’s busiest. The whole of Soho, half of Mayfair, The Oval cricket ground, virtually everything from Chelsea Bridge to Blackfriars, would be history.

‘That blast wave will keep rolling – it will drop off severely, but it will keep going – destroying buildings and causing casualties out until about two and a half miles,’ Dr Lewis said.

In London, that encompasses the Tower of London and Battersea Power station. Most of Hyde Park, half of Regent’s Park, Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Belgravia. The damage would span from Camden to Brixton.

Everyone within that radius would also be given an extremely high dose of radiation. For many people it would prove fatal, but even among survivors up to 15 per cent would likely die later of cancer linked to the blast. 

Dr Lewis adds: ‘Radiation poisoning is just a really cruel, miserable way to die. The immediate effects are vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea – people can rally and seem much better, perhaps for hours or days – but then the symptoms return and get much worse.’ 

The effects of a 500kiloton nuclear bomb – a large device but certainly not the largest in Russia’s arsenal – being dropped on London are illustrated above. Everything inside the yellow and red circles would be completely destroyed, with an almost 100 per cent casualty rate for anyone inside. Third degree burns are possible up to the edge of the orange circle

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