Explored in April 2018, this was the result of 12 years wait. The wait was more than worth it.
When in 1948, spurred on by the developing Cold War and the Berlin crisis, civil defence was reintroduced the Civil Defence Joint Planning Staff quickly laid down the basis for a new civil defence structure for Britain. Early in 1949 they recommended the provision of “protected control rooms with signal communications at local authority, zone, region and central government level”. This lead to the setting up of the Working Party on Civil Defence War Rooms which initially concentrated on planning war rooms for the civil defence regions which had been re-established based on those used in World War II.
The Working Party only considered sites in England and Wales as Scotland and Northern Ireland had their own civil defence arrangements. The Working Party decided to leave London out of its initial plans because its size and potential as a target meant it would have to be treated as a special case. The sites proposed were all in the same regional centres as their wartime predecessors but they would be “outside the central key area of the regional town…where adequate communications can be provided with civil and military headquarters in the region and with the Central War Room in London”. Building the War Rooms did not start until 1952. The London ones were all built by 1953 but the others took longer and it was not until 1956 that the last, at Shirley in Birmingham, was completed.
Most of the war rooms were almost defunct by the time they were completed and in most cases handed over to the local regional government/council who would use them as a control centres in case of a fall out. The last evidence of use of the Brislington war room was around 1980/81. Since then it had been used for some file storage and more recently empty refrigeration cylinders.