cane hill bunker | dispelling the myths

This was one of the only rooms in the bunker, a strange hollowed out space, which was also the most northerly part of the tunnels. The Optical Factory alteration plans called it a Sick Bay. Possible - but it could’ve also been the Canteen, which was supposed to be located to the east of the tunnels, but was never built.

Offkilter had also joined our party, interested to see both the tunnels and Cane Hill hospital again. He also explored Cane Hill the same dank, dark December day I had the previous year (I missed him to travel on down to the CRX, and also missed him getting attacked by an owl in the hospital itself!)

The roof is also concreted - this was an alteration required by Optical Factory.

From the optical factory literature: "The chamber at the North end of the first transverse tunnel is 30 feet long, 10 feet wide and 10 feet high. The large polishing machine, capable of dealing with mirrors up to 80 inches diameter, is situated in this chamber".

"Came across this picture I have been meaning to find, save and keep. Looking at Dad and the diary he kept at the time, this would would have been taken between mid 1967 and early 1968. I am still working on the names for the gentlemen left and middle but Dad is on the right. Quite strange how very similar we look as he is around the same age as me in this picture - 30 or 31."

"This shot is taken with them standing on the corner of the passage and that rectangular room at the end of the left-right passage. The camera man is standing with his back facing the main front to back passage, so when you come in to the tunnels, round the dog leg, the first turning on the right leads you to this point. That is where we found the polyethene-clead walls and cubbies which you can make out in the pics is covering the ceiling at that point. Cut out of the picture would be the circulr ventilation cut out in the brickwork. You can just make out the archway into thayt rectangular room - which is where the polishing machines for the mirrors where."

"They must have been working on the main secondary mirror at this stage. The small lathe on the right would have been to cut the screw-threads for the finder and ra/dec points on the telescopes. Have also found some standard 8 cine film of them working down there - very good. Am now awaiting info on a company who can put it on dvd for us, then I can send you a copy." - Laurence