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Cruise missile site, Greenham Common
Cruise missile site, Greenham Common
The War Rooms at Flowers Hill, Bristol
The War Rooms at Flowers Hill, Bristol

Press Release - 26 October 2005

Free public lecture on the legacy of the Cold War

Should we preserve the architectural legacies of the Cold War? At a free public lecture at the University of Bath in Swindon local people can hear about the surviving Cold War structures that mark the British landscape and ask whether these should be preserved (Wednesday 2 November).

It is now fifteen years since the end of the Cold War and like any conflict it has left its mark on the British landscape. Local sites include the War Room under the old police station in Swindon and the listening post on Blake Hill Farm in Cricklade.

In his talk The Cold War Legacy: List it or Lose it! Bob Clarke, QinetiQ archaeologist at MOD Boscombe Down, will look at the monolithic concrete structures built to protect Britain’s infrastructure from first the A-bomb and, later, the much more powerful Hydrogen Bomb. With walls often 1.5 to 2 metres thick you would think these monuments would be almost immovable, but that’s not the case.

“The spectre of nuclear war and the devastation that would bring spawned a new type of structure – the bunker. These were designed to protect the country’s infrastructure, rather than its population. Although they form part of our history not many of these archaeological sites have avoided demolition,” said Bob. “This lecture looks at the threat to their existence.”

Bob has just completed his first book on the Cold War and is custodian of several nationally important Cold War sites. He has published a number of papers on wider archaeological subjects and has lectured for the University of Bath in Swindon since its conception.

Admission is free, and people can just turn up on the evening. Free parking available in the West Car Park. All lectures run from 5.30pm until 6.30pm in the Main Hall on the Oakfield Campus.

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