During this project we have been investigating the Bunker’s secretive history. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, instead of a site visit, we explored the bunker virtually. We were guided by Senior Curator, Kevin Booth and we learned about how English Heritage look after the collection. This ranges from high-tech equipment like the AWDREY (Atomic Weapons Detection Recognition and Estimation of Yield) machine, to more mundane objects like the 1980s sellotape which is now degrading!
After practicing interview skills with researchers from York St. John University, we then took part in an online sharing session with members of the ROC who worked at the bunker before it was vacated in 1991. It was in this video chat that we learnt that they made many friends for life during their time in the Bunker, that the smell was the worst aspect of their work, and that they preferred coffee to to tea!
Drawing on our tour of the site, our knowledge of the collection, and the stories we heard from the ROC as inspiration, everyone has been creating their own imagined narratives of the Cold War. Between January and February 2021, we worked with sound artist, Charlotte Barber, to professionally record those scenarios and turn our them into an audio soundscape experience. You can listen to our recordings below.