May 07, 2020
As we approach the 75th anniversary of VE Day, we are remembering back to 2005 when Aworth Survey Consultants was asked by one of our clients, Network Homes, to survey levels of Churchill’s Bunker in Dollis Hill London. The bunker, code name ‘Paddock’ was the secret standby Cabinet War Rooms in case the building in Whitehall was bombed. Today the entrance is an innocuous looking metal doorway in small plain brick building beside the road.
The bunker was deep enough to be completely bombproof and it was designed to accommodate the entire War Cabinet and 200 staff.
Having visited Paddock, Churchill decided that the War Cabinet should meet there in order to ‘try out’ the facilities to ensure that the bunker was able to fulfil its intended role. The War Cabinet met at Paddock on 3 October 1940; Churchill was joined by 12 other Ministers and the three Chiefs of Staff.
In his memoirs, Churchill said: “We held a Cabinet meeting at Paddock far from the light of day, and each Minister was requested to inspect and satisfy himself about his sleeping and working apartments. We celebrated this occasion by a vivacious luncheon and then returned to Whitehall. This was the only time Paddock was ever used by Ministers.”