How the Brits prepared for end of the world..

…during cold war.


While this is an interesting read, it clearly omits a number of areas that would almost certainly have been at the core of the british plan for coping with nuclear holocaust.

For instance, not once does he mention putting the kettle on.

The Government’s plans for such catastrophes usually involved hiding themselves in bunkers :eek: and leaving the rest of us with advice like:

“If an atomic bomb goes off over your city, draw the blinds and shelter under the kitchen table.” :smack:

I thought Brits prepared for everything by stopping down to the pub to have a few pints.

Ford: Six pints of bitter. And quickly, please – the world’s about to end.
Barkeep: Oh yes, sir? Nice weather for it.


A different group of Brits prepares.

I’ve always loved that bit. :slight_smile:


And then lying down with a paper bag over your head, of course.

“Ausin!” said his master.

“Yes, sir?”

“I thank you for your faithful service.”

A smile stole over the servan’t gnarled face.

“I’ve done my duty, sir.”

“I’m expecting the end of the world today, Austin.”

“Yes, sir. What time, sir?”

“I can’t say, Austin. Before evening.”

“Very good, sir.”

The taciturn Austin saluted and withdrew. Challenger lit a cigarette, and, drawing his chair closer to his wife’s, he took her hand in his.

The Poison Belt by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1913)

“The best defense against the atom bomb is not to be there when it goes off.”

British government pamphlet c1965

Well, you can’t deny that that would work

Which is why the UK had elaborate plans drawn up to relocate the island of Great Britain in the event of nuclear war.

They planned to hide near New Zealand. They reasoned nobody would notice a new garter belt, or if they did they would be delicate enough to pretend not to.

Moving to NZ, leaving Belfast to be smashed and occupied (which happened in the 2000AD comic book series IIRC.)

There was a nuclear bunker of some sort in NI, now a bit of a relic. RAF Aldergrove, once used as a dispersal base for V-bombers when they represented the UK’s nuclear deterrent, in the present day only handles helicopters and the odd C-130.

Interesting article. Now, perhaps you’d like to bid on the Prime Minister’s bunker?

This might also be of interest:

The section on “Nuclear weapons control” discusses the letters which each PM wrote for the captains of the Royal Navy’s ballistic-missile subs.