Published: 15:57, 27 January 2009
THERE was a nuclear bomb alert in Gravesend on Tuesday – fortunately it was just the announcement that the RAF was donating a rare casing to go on display in the town’s Cold War bunker.
The explosive event saw a technical team from RAF Wittering bringing the WE177 air dropped nuclear bomb casing on the back of a lorry, and carefully lowering it, using a special cable and trolley system, into the 13-room shelter in Woodlands Park, Wrotham Road.
The huge bomb, weighing 900lbs and measuring 133 inches long, was once part of Britain’s weapons arsenal to be used against the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Victor Smith, director of voluntary organisation Thames Defence Heritage, said it had helped to organise the donation of the bomb to Gravesham Borough Council, along with Gravesham MP Adam Holloway.
He said: “This is possibly the last one available for anyone to have on display.
“It was fascinating watching them at work, and it is going to be a great experience for visitors to the bunker to get to see the bomb at close range and remind them of the apocalyptic nature of these weaopns.”
The bunker in Woodlands Park was built as a Civil Defence Control Centre to protect the community against the threat of similar weapons by the Soviet Union.
It will be open to the public for a two-hour guided tour on Friday, February 13, and Friday, February 20 at 7.30pm, entry £3.50 per person.