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GES007 - Burly Underground City (Part 1)

There are a number of places in my life I thought I'd never get to see, but subsequently have. This is one of them. Burly City sits under the hills East of Bath. For a long time it was waiting to be used as a place for the Government to function in the event of a nuclear war. As this has yet to happen, it has stood empty. It was declassified in the last decade. Although the Soviets new about it a year after it was built.

I got wind of the site being open and subsequently joined GE032 at the Quarrymen's pub. We waited for GE031 to show up, and tootled off to a nearby town. We then wandered through some old long abandoned bits of a former military base, and then down into Burly. We were joined by  GE072 and GE073. And set about wandering through Burly City. They wanted to try to locate the PM's room in an area of a main Avenue. This is where cabinet would have sat should the city have been used.

The room on the right was thought to have been the PM's.

A Lamson tube terminus near the PM's office.

Exploring colleagues.

GE031 passes through a storage area.

Air conditioning overhead and Lamson tubes in a corridor.

No need to point out location within the city.

Towards the East Lung end of the City, it was wetter up here and lots of areas were roped off due to dangerous spores. Note the plastic sheeting to keep water contained.

Some buggies being charged up.

A place needs hot water, and here's where it comes from, the Boiler Room.

A pair of old boilers.

Water storage tank near the boilers area.

Old posters and signs on an Avenue.

The others had all come to see if they could get into the East Lung. And indeed they did after some looking around and dead ends. This is the first section of the East Lung. Burly City sits behind the camera down the path. I said my goodbyes, and then turned around to go back into Burly CIty. I would be exploring it by myself from now on.

A lot of the City is empty, and there are rooms sectioned off from the rest of the place by thick carved walls where the stone was excavated. And breeze block walls are used to sub-divide.

Areas are like globs of cells with Avenues forming walls to hem them in. The globs of cells labelled as 'Areas.'

A Goods lift to the surface.

It felt very strange wandering such empty cold Avenues underground, the sense of slight dampness never left me.

Directions directions directions. The Avenues divided the areas, and the areas divided into sections. The S11 on the left and S33 on the right marking the sections within areas.

One of the areas was the hospital. ER (Elizabeth Regina) branded boxes.

Stock lists.

Kitchen oddments

Waiting at the bedside of a bed that was never used. Spared Armageddon.

Admin section. Another more cerebral explorer and fellow documenter took a more appropriate photo here.

Sanitary area

Also in the hospital area was a room full of maps and books. Any interesting maps would have been removed when the place was declassified.

Who's Who was a popular choice here. They kept collecting them into the 1980s. I guess they would have gone through them, dead, strike through, dead, strike through, dead...

More maps and plans in a room painted black behind the room above. With a sink as well, maybe film development or x-rays would have been handled here.

Beds stacked up in the stores area.

Various other items were on the shelving or pallets, including headed HMSO paper, note books, toilet roll, cleaner products etc.

More items in Stores.

Census reports.

More STUFF in the stores area.

Examples of how dormitories would have been laid out, in Stores area.

Shot showing the way the place is slotted into an old quarry. Stores.


Typing pool near Stores.

Admin desk

Duplication machine

A reflection of Burly, a waste of taxpayer money.

The Civil Service legend, the tea trolley. Woman in her late forties with short curled hair and fag in mouth noticeably absent.

After visiting the Stores area, it was on to wander fairly aimlessly into other areas. Continued in Part 2