A first hand account of life in the bunker

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A pensioner who used to work at the bunker in the early 50s told the Advertiser what he remembered of working in the underground building.

Gerry Kreibich lived in Manchester and was 19 when he was called up for National Service with the RAF.

Now living in Matlock, 80-year-old Mr Kreibich described how he used to plot the aircrafts coming in on huge maps laid out on tables in the bunker.

“It was great really. It was quite cosy down there,” he said. “There was a big table with the land map on, the second table was the sea and then we had a long range map showing other countries.

“We would sit with headphones on listening to the radar stations and then we plotted the tracks of incoming aircrafts.”

Mr Kreibich said he would march back to camp with the other workers after a shift, but villagers were unsure exactly what job they did because it was kept secret.

“We would do four to five hour shifts and when the shift was over we would march from the lane, three abreast, through the village and back to camp. So the villagers would get used to seeing us. But they wouldn’t really know what we were doing because it was all very secret.”

The workers’ camp was about half a mile from the bunker, where an MOT testing facility now is.

Modest Mr Kreibich said: “I didn’t think much of it at the time. I would finish at work and go and see my girlfriend.

“I felt I was doing an important job though. I would joke with her parents saying ‘I’ve been looking after you watching the sky!”